Irritable bowel syndrome is a very common condition a lot of people all over the world suffer. Because this chronic condition is characterized by so many symptoms of IBS that you can easily mistake as those of another medical condition, it’s hard to make an accurate diagnosis of IBS. This is why it is important to pinpoint certain food items, habits, and events that can trigger the symptoms of the condition, so as to avoid them altogether. And smoking is one of the many things that can trigger the condition’s symptoms to manifest themselves.
So, what are the effects of smoking on irritable bowel syndrome? And what is it about smoking that triggers such? Recent studies show that tobacco does not just cause lung cancer, but it is also a potent irritant of the gastrointestinal tract. In fact, tobacco is now known as a gastrointestinal tract irritant, as well as a carcinogen and a stimulant. Yes, tobacco has indeed become that infamous where health is concerned.
People affected with irritable bowel syndrome have gastrointestinal tracts that are very sensitive to a lot of stimuli, even in the form of spicy and oily food items. Tobacco, in its very basic form, can affect almost every part of your digestive system. It can cause reflux and heartburn, which are two conditions that almost all IBS patients acquire after being affected with the syndrome. Tobacco can also damage what is known as the esophageal sphincter. When this happens, there is then a large possibility of your stomach contents to flow right up, and then down into your esophagus’ lower portion.
Smoking also increases the risks entailed in peptic ulcer. And when you already have stomach ulcers in your stomach and you keep smoking, you are actually worsening the condition of these ulcers. To the point that these ulcers would not heal normally, and they would reoccur more often as well. The perforation of stomach ulcers is worsened by the mere act of smoking ten times. What’s more, smoking also increases the risk of acquiring Crohn’s disease, as well as the development of gallstones in your gall bladder.
The nicotine in every cigarette stick you smoke can actually lead to heightened production of stomach acids in your system. Nicotine also decreases the production rate of sodium bicarbonate in your pancreas. Sodium bicarbonate has to be produced because it is what counteracts the production of acid in your stomach. With the production rate significantly reduced, chemical imbalances would definitely occur.
With these many negative effects of smoking in irritable bowel syndrome, it is not difficult to perceive the need to stop smoking. So, if you are afflicted with the condition, now would be the perfect time to quit smoking.