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How Smoking Can Mess With Your Entire Body

Written by Courteney

Posted on March 16, 2017 at 11:16 pm

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Smoking causes nearly half a million deaths in the United States annually. And while most people know that smoking is a leading health hazard, many don’t realize just how many different ways it can adversely affect your health. Let’s take a look at how smoking affects the different systems in your body:

Your Head and Face:

  • Smoking increases your risk of developing oral Cancer. Chewing tobacco further increases this risk.
  • Smoking can lead to tooth loss and gum disease (periodontitis).
  • Increased stroke risk: Smoking can lead to a buildup of plaque in the blood vessels, as well as greatly increase risk of blood clots. Both of these factors combined puts smokers in greater danger of having a stroke.
  • Smoking increases your risk of developing cataracts or blindness due to macular degeneration.

Your Lungs:

  • Lung cancer – According to the CDC, smoking causes over 90% of lung cancer deaths. Moreover, even more women are killed by lung cancer than breast cancer.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of life-threatening lung conditions primarily caused by smoking. 80% of COPD deaths are a result of smoking.
  • Smoking increases your risk of developing pneumonia when you catch a viral or bacterial lung infection because your lungs are already compromised by smoke toxins.
  • Smoking can cause general damage to your airways and alveoli because of the influx of harmful chemicals directly to the lungs.

Your Heart:

  • Heart Disease. Smokers have a 2-4 times higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease than non-smokers.
  • Smoking puts you at an increased risk of developing an aneurysm or aortic rupture.
  • Smoking can contribute to blockages that can restrict blood flow to the extremities.
  • Smoking spikes adrenaline levels in your blood steam which can cause tachycardia, making your heart work harder than it has to.

Your Stomach:

  • Smoking can lead to different types of cancer of the digestive tract such as colorectal, esophageal or larynx cancers.
  • Smoking can worsen pre-existing gastrointestinal conditions such as GERD.
  • Smoking increases your risk of developing intestinal complications such as gallstones, ulcers or polyps.

Your Reproductive Organs:

  • Smoking can reduced fertility in both males and females.
  • It can also lead to impotence in men.
  • An Ectopic pregnancy can occur in women who were smokers around the time of getting pregnant or continue to smoke throughout the pregnancy.
  • Smoking can lead to a miscarriage or increased risk of SIDS death in babies exposed to smoke in the womb or to second hand smoke after birth.

Your Circulatory System:

  • Smoking can lead to thickened blood vessels, causing them to narrow so blood can’t flow efficiently. This can lead to hypertension or blood clots.
  • Smoking damages blood cells.

Your Immune System:

  • Smoking can cause decreased immune function and general inflammation in the body.
  • Smoking increases your risk of developing certain autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
  • You are more likely to develop Crohn’s disease if you are a smoker.

Your Pancreas:

  • Smoking is a lead contributor to type 2 diabetes and diabetes mellitus because it increases blood sugar levels, leading to insulin resistance.
  • Pancreatic cancer is more likely to develop in those who smoke.

Your Bones and Joints:

  • Smoking lowers estrogen levels in the body which can lead to early osteoporosis.
  • Smoking can weaken your bones in general, which can contribute to easy fractures.

These aren’t even all the problems smoking can cause. Second hand, or passive smoking, can cause many of these health problems as well. It is particularly dangerous to children and can lead to stunted growth, lung conditions and many more issues. So, do your health (and the health of those around you) a favor and quit smoking today!

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