6 effects of cigarette smoking or chewing tobacco on stomach acid
Tobacco seems to increase stomach acid secretion in the following ways:
- Relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter
- Increases acid secretion in the stomach
- Reduces salivation
- Damages the esophageal lining
- Worsens heartburns
- Interferes with the esophageal muscles
- Nicotine relaxes the muscle that propels the food down the esophagus. These muscles are essential for numbing the damaging effects of acid reflux. As nicotine relaxes these esophageal muscles, they fail to exert their function efficiently, thereby preventing the damage caused by acid reflux.
5 effects of tobacco on the digestive system
Tobacco can affect the digestive system in the following ways:
- Tobacco and peptic ulcers
- Consuming or smoking tobacco can increase the risk of peptic ulcer formation. Ulcers are painful sores that originate in the stomach lining or at the beginning of the small intestine. It is essential to quit smoking or chewing tobacco to alleviate ulcers. Tobacco increases the risk for Helicobacter pylori infection, commonly found in ulcers.
- Tobacco and Crohn’s disease
- Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune inflammatory disorder of the digestive tract. It is still unclear how tobacco causes Crohn’s disease. However, smoking can make it difficult to control the symptoms of Crohn’s disease. There is no cure for Crohn’s disease. However, there are many ways to manage the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
- Tobacco and diseases of the colon
- Smoking tobacco is the major risk factor for developing colon cancer. Colon cancer is the second largest cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Nicotine is the major carcinogen known to develop different types of cancers. Routine screening, such as colonoscopy, is the foolproof way to identify small precancerous tumors in the colon lining.
- Tobacco and gallstones
- Gall stones occur when the liquid in the gall bladder turns into a hard substance that resembles stones. Some studies have concluded that smoking tobacco can increase the chances of developing gall stones that can range from a size of a sand grain to a pebble.
- Tobacco and cancer of the digestive system
How can you combat the effects of tobacco on the digestive system?
Quitting tobacco use is the only solution to prevent these adverse effects. Systematic planning is essential to quit tobacco use before it causes significant health problems.
Here are some tips to gradually reduce and eventually quit tobacco:
- Try using nicotine patches or gums because they help prevent tobacco use
- Seek support from friends and families
- Engage yourself in different activities to avoid the temptation
- Do not put yourself in a situation that would prompt you to use tobacco
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Wait M. Why Tobacco Use May Make Heartburn Worse. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/features/heartburn-tobacco-connection
Johns Hopkins Medicine. Smoking and the Digestive System. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/smoking-and-the-digestive-system
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