There are lots of reasons to give up smoking and with No Smoking Day fast approaching on the 11th March, what could be a better opportunity to kick the habit once and for all? We all know that smoking causes your health to deteriorate in many ways and it’s certainly not beneficial for your bank balance either! However, not many of us are aware that smoking can hugely impact on the health of your digestive system.
How does smoking affect my gut?
Here are just some ways smoking can affect your digestive health:
Stomach cancer – People who smoke are twice as likely to develop stomach cancer and it is thought that 1 in 5 cases of stomach cancer are a result of smoking. The good news is, that if you quit smoking now, you can significantly decrease the risk of developing stomach cancer. After 20 years smoke free your risk of developing the disease could be similar to that of someone who has never smoked.
Bowel cancer – Smoking has been found to be a contributing factor in the development of bowel cancer, with smokers being at a 17-21% higher risk of developing the disease; around 8% of bowel cancer cases in the UK are thought to be caused by tobacco smoking.
Crohn’s disease – Research suggests that smoking can both increase the risk of developing Crohn’s disease as well as increasing the severity of the symptoms experienced. Studies have also shown that smokers with Crohn’s require stronger immunosuppressant drugs and are twice as likely to experience a flare-up when compared to non-smokers. The great news is smoking cessation could decrease the number of flare-ups, as well as reduce the need for repeat surgery.
So if you need a good reason to quit smoking this March, quitting for the ‘love of your gut’ may be a great start. Don’t forget you are not alone; there is lots of help and support available to you. For further information visit the links below:
Information for this blog was obtained from the sources below: