Do Your Lungs Heal When You Quit Smoking?
You might be asking yourself do your lungs heal when you quit smoking. If so how long will it take and will they fully heal.
The good news is that there is some research that suggests that the lungs do heal but only a certain amount. If you have been smoking for many years there is some damage that may never fully heal.
I recommend a very effective lung detox cleanse (click for the latest price).
Cigarette smoke can cause significant damage to your health, they have a major effect on the body, and the lungs. The airways are areas that are significantly affected by cigarette smoke.
Damage smoking does to the lungs
Smoking causes inflammation almost immediately, once smoke is inhaled the lungs lining becomes inflamed and irritated.
The tiny hair in the lungs is called cilia slow down their brush movement. This continues for several hours after smoking.
Unfortunately, this makes them less effective at cleaning out mucus and other particles such as dust.
Another change in the lungs of smokers is an increase in the thickness and production of mucus. Because cilia cannot sweep mucus out of the lungs as quickly as it’s being formed.
It accumulates in the airways, clogs them up and triggers a cough. A buildup of mucus can also cause more lung infections, such as chronic bronchitis.
How long does it take to heal when you quit smoking?
Some of the short term inflammatory changes to the lungs can be reversed when people quit smoking. Given enough time and care, the lungs can begin the process and start to heal when you quit.
The swelling subsides on the surface of the lungs and airways. the lung cells produce less mucus. New cilia can grow, and these are better at clearing out mucus secretions.
In the days to weeks after quitting, former smokers will notice that they have less shortness of breath when they exercise. This is because it should become easier getting carbon monoxide out of the blood.
This gas found in cigarette smoke can interfere with the transport of oxygen because carbon monoxide binds to red blood cells in place of oxygen. This may account for the breathlessness some smokers experience.
Another reason former smokers have improved breathing is the inflammation decreases in the lining of their airways.
This happens because the lining is no longer exposed to smoke’s chemical irritants. This reduced swelling makes more room for air to flow through the passageways.
Former smokers may cough more during the first few weeks after they quit than when they were smoking.
This is a good thing, it means the lungs cilia are active again.
These are like fine hair, and can now move excess mucus secretions from the lungs into the airways and toward the throat, where they can be coughed up.
Coughing is cleaning up the gunk in the lungs.
Reduced cancer risks
Another health benefit of quitting is a reduced risk for lung cancer. The longer that former smokers go without lighting up, the lower their risk of getting this cancer, although the risk never completely goes away.
10 years after quitting smoking, a former smoker’s odds of getting lung cancer are about half that of a smoker, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But an ex-smoker is still more likely to die of lung cancer than someone who has never smoked.
Not all damage can be reversed
The body is very good at repairing some of the damage to lung cells and tissues caused by smoking, but not all of the damage is reversible.
Damage to the lungs and a deterioration in lung function are directly related. The number of packs of cigarettes a person typically smokes per day times the number of years the person has smoked.
A measure is known as pack years. The more pack-years, the more likely the lungs will have irreversible damage.
Although the lungs have ways to protect themselves from damage, these defences are reduced with long-term exposure to the harmful chemicals inhaled from cigarettes.
As a result, lung tissue can become inflamed and scarred from smoking, and so the lungs lose elasticity and can no longer exchange oxygen efficiently.
Is there any long term damage?
Smoking causes some permanent damage to the lungs. It can also trigger asthma symptoms, or even worse an asthma attack. People who are already suffering from asthma are at a higher risk of setting off an asthma attack.
Long term smoking can lead to emphysema, a type of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). This condition damages areas of the lungs known as the alveoli.
They are the tiny air sacs in the lungs where the main function is to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide molecules to and from the bloodstream.
COPD sufferers have shortness of breath and struggle to breathe. Once a person’s lungs have been exposed to smoking for this long the walls of the airways lose their shape and elasticity.
This is known as emphysema, unfortunately, this kind of lung damage is permanent and cannot be repaired.
It usually takes a few years of smoking to cause this type of damage. Emphysema begins a few years after a person starts smoking, although full symptoms may not show up until 20 to 30 years.
Dietary improvement you could make
Do your lungs heal when you quit smoking? yes, but the quicker you quit the less damage and more chance you have of recovery.
A good lung detox cleanse will help you breathe deeper and help your lungs clear out quicker (click here for the latest price).
Eating the correct foods can help boost the immune system and help reduce inflammation. Food can help keep the lungs safe from infections.
Eating 3 – 4 servings of fruits and vegetables, vitamins and minerals can be especially helpful to smokers trying to give up the habit for good.
Cranberries and green tea in particular have been known for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Apples are another food you should include in your diet that is great for lung function and food considered to reduce the risk of lung cancer. Another food, now considered a superfood is avocado.
It’s strongly recommended to consider taking a vitamin supplement to support the changes in your diets. I have highlighted one above.
Some key vitamins to improve lung function include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B-6 and Vitamin K2. All of which helps increase the absorption of vitamin d3, this will help protect the lungs.
it’s never too late to quit smoking, the best time to quit is now, imagine how you breathe better and increase your quality of life.
I have an affiliate relationship with some companies where we get a percentage of sales if you click over from our site. This is at no extra cost to you and how I pay the costs of running this site.