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smoking cessation and constipation
Hello everyone,

My life has been a mess from IBS for 11 years but I have found that smoking helps relieve the constipation. I am not sure what does it but it does help to make my stools pass more easily. Before anyone starts preaching about the dangers of smoking, I know its bad. I had given up smoking 15 years ago, but after 3 years with IBS I started smoking again. So knowing how bad smoking is I want to give it up but I am afraid to face the constipation again.

Does anyone know about smoking and constipation? If I start taking stop smoking patchs will I get the same benefits?
No judgements here. I have often wondering if marijuana would make my symptoms easier. I didn't know that smoking made constipation easier. The doctors don't usually mention that. I have yet to try marijuana but I have been tempted.

I can say that stopping smoking and managing IBS pain at the same time is going to be a challenge. I can't answer about the nicotine because I don't know. Are you taking psyllium fiber or magnesium? Do you have cramps with your constipation?

You're not alone!

Actually, it's not even isolated to IBS. I've heard numerous accounts and read some research about constipation being a side effect of quitting smoking. Why? Because nicotine is a stimulant. It's not just a stimulant for your brain, but also for your digestive system, so it actually acts as a mild laxative. So when you quit, your body isn't having that constant laxative any more and causes things to be much tougher.
I do get cramps that that is the worst part. The pain is quite miserable. I take fiber supplements but it doesn't help me much at all. I have not used magnesium.

You have a rough road ahead I am afraid. If you can get nicotine patches, I would do it. Nicotine helps with motility so when you stop it, you are going to face increased constipation. In fact, I would work to start increasing your fiber and magnesium long before stopping smoking. You want to make sure you have minimum constipation problems before you stop smoking.

Also you will want to take Bentyl if you are getting cramps. If you can soften the stool enough, you might be able to avoid taking it.

Withdrawal wasn't what I had anticipated. I thought I was going to have my normal constipation and that was bad enough. Thanks for the suggestions. I don't know what I will do with fiber being useless to me.

Fiber should work if you drink a lot of fluid when you take it. I can't say in your case but that is the usual problem. Drink as much water as you can with the fiber and see if that helps. Good luck. Let us know if you are able to kick the habit successfully.

I find having a cig with a big cup of hot coffee before I try to go really helps to relax me too. I'm not sure if it's all in my head, the warmth of the coffee (Which is is my cig trigger), the combination of the two or just the cig that does it. I'm a bit worried about this for when I quit smoking too. It's become routine for me.
I wish I had the coffee too and maybe I wouldn't risk feeling so bad in giving up one while keeping the other. This is going to be very rough indeed. I hope you have some luck when you decide to quit too.

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