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Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Chest Pains after i have stopped smoking


 blewi - Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:45 am

I am a 27 year old female, with no history of chest pains and have no medical conditions that i am aware of. I gave up smoking 3 weeks ago, i had been smoking for approx 18 years and i have started to experience sharp chest pains to the left and also a lot of headaches. I did not have any chest pains when i was smoking - are these part of the quitting process? should i be worried? I have also had a few episodes of shortness of breath!
 Marceline F, RN - Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:11 am

User avatar Dear Blewi,
l am glad you decided to quit smoking even after so many years! It will take a long time, up to many years, smoke-free before you will realize the wisdom of your decision. The build up of pollutants in your lung tissue will go away slowly, and sometimes the damage is not easily reversed, or not reversable at all. Our lungs are complex organs and are highly responsible for the exchange of oxygen in our tissues. When they are compromised by tar, nicotine, and the damage that inhaling smoke can do, they respond by causing you pain. Pain is a sentinel, it tells you something is wrong. The best response to pain is to explore the origin of the pain. The best one to explore this is your primary physician. There are several basic tests, including a chest Xray, EKG, and blood work, that will give your primary care provider a better picture of your lung health. If you are experiencing pain that does not go away on its own, and you are sure is not a result of muscle strain due to heavy lifting, it may be prudent to get these tests done. The headaches could be caused from dissociated issues - such as sleeplessness, or caffeine withdrawal, or may be stress related - especially with you having just recently quit smoking!

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