Cigarette smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable illness. What’s more, there is clear cut evidence smoking damages the thyroid.
Studies show smoking has significant effects on thyroid function and thyroid autoimmunity.
This should come as no surprise as cigarettes contain a wide range of thyroid disrupting chemicals (TDCs). This includes nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide (found in car exhausts), formaldehyde (found in embalming fluid), hydrogen cyanide (found in pesticides), hydrochloric acid (a corrosive acid), toluene (found in solvents), ammonia (found in some cleaning products), and acetone (found in nail polish remover).
It’s Time To Quit
Smokers are at far greater risk of developing thyroid disease.
It’s time to quit.
According to the Australian Quit Now website it’s common to feel the benefits of quitting almost immediately. Depending on the number of cigarettes you smoke, typical benefits of stopping are:
- After twelve hours almost all of the nicotine is out of your system.
- After twenty-four hours the level of carbon monoxide in your blood has dropped dramatically. You now have more oxygen in your bloodstream.
- After five days most nicotine by-products have gone.
- Very quickly your sense of taste and smell improves.
- Within a month your blood pressure returns to its normal level and your immune system begins to show signs of recovery.
- Within two months your lungs will no longer be producing extra phlegm caused by smoking.
- After twelve months your increased risk of dying from heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker.
- Stopping smoking reduces the incidence and progression of lung disease including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
The sooner you quit, the longer you will live. After ten years of stopping your risk of lung cancer is less than half that of a continuing smoker. This risk continues to decline provided the disease is not already present. After fifteen years the risk of heart attack and stroke is almost the same as that of a person who has never smoked.
Ready to Quit Smoking For Thyroid Health?
Cigarette smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable diseases, including thyroid disease. But it’s not too late to stop this harmful habit and slash your disease risk.
To be successful you need to have a plan in place to beat cravings and triggers.
The good news?
You don’t need to navigate quitting on your own. You will find there are online resources and counselors with the skill set to help you.
Australian Government QuitLine. The Benefits of Quitting. Link
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Soldin OP, Goughenour BE, Gilbert SZ, et al. Thyroid hormone levels associated with active and passive cigarette smoking. Thyroid. 2009 Aug;19(8):817-23.
Shields B, Hill A, Bilous M, Knight B, et al. Cigarette smoking during pregnancy is associated with alterations in maternal and fetal thyroid function. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Feb;94(2):570-4.