Are you looking for a way to quit smoking without giving up your electronic cigarettes? If so, you may find that there are some similarities in how e-cigs work with traditional tobacco cigarettes. While both nicotine products can be harmful to your body, one product could potentially help you live healthier while the other could potentially cause more harm than good.
E-cigarettes were originally invented as an alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes. They contain nicotine, which is addictive, but they do not have the carcinogens found in regular cigarettes. Instead of burning tobacco leaves, these devices heat liquid containing nicotine into a vapor that is inhaled by the user. The only way to get the nicotine from the e-cigarette is through inhalation. This is different from traditional cigarettes where users must suck on their cigarette and then exhale smoke.
The popularity of e-cigarettes has grown tremendously in recent years. According to a 2014 survey conducted by the American Lung Association, about 10 percent of high school students reported using them at least once in 2012. Another study showed that over half of adult smokers who tried switching to e-cigarettes successfully quit. These numbers continue to grow every year, and it’s likely we will see even higher rates of success in the future since e-cigarettes are much easier to use than traditional cigarettes.
While many people are turning to e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking, others have used them to treat or alleviate symptoms associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). There is still debate among scientists as to whether e-cigarettes can actually help with GERD symptoms, but the evidence suggests they could be effective.
There is no doubt that GERD can be very uncomfortable. It often causes heartburn, indigestion, nausea, abdominal pain, and sometimes vomiting. For some people, especially those who suffer from frequent episodes of acid reflux, these symptoms can make everyday life difficult. People often turn to prescription medications, such as prescription antacids and proton pump inhibitors, to try and control their symptoms. Unfortunately, these drugs can come with side effects themselves, including dry mouth, constipation, headaches, and dizziness.
Some people may prefer trying natural remedies before resorting to pills. Many herbal supplements, like peppermint oil, ginger root, chamomile tea, black cohosh, St. John’s wort, and dandelion root, are said to work well for controlling acid reflux symptoms. Other options include avoiding certain foods that might trigger an episode, like fatty red meat, spicy food, caffeine, chocolate, citrus fruits, alcohol, or carbonated beverages. Some people also report that eating smaller meals during the day helps prevent acid reflux from occurring.
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If none of these methods work for you, you may consider trying an e-cigarette to relieve some of your symptoms. One study reported that 80 percent of participants who tried e-cigarettes had noticed improved GERD symptoms within two weeks. E-cigarettes can relieve some of the symptoms associated with GERD, but there is still some debate on whether they can actually cure it.
One of the main concerns about using e-cigarettes to treat GERD symptoms is that they may actually worsen the condition. When you breathe in the vapor from the e-cig, your esophagus relaxes due to the presence of nicotine. Your lower esophageal sphincter gets weaker and less responsive to signals sent from your brain. This means your stomach contents may leak upward and back into your throat instead of going down toward your intestines. In severe cases, this can lead to something called “reflux esophagitis”. This is when the lining of your esophagus becomes irritated.
For this reason, doctors usually recommend against putting anything down your nose to treat your GERD symptoms. The same goes for drinking warm liquids. This might seem counterintuitive, but it’s been shown that warming the contents of your stomach can increase the amount of pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter. The increased pressure is supposed to keep stomach acids from coming back up. However, if you drink a hot beverage, the temperature of the liquid inside your stomach will be too great for the lining.
This could lead to damage. You should avoid hot liquids at all costs. Even cold liquids could irritate your esophagus and cause inflammation. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about this happening with e-cigarettes because the vapor isn’t heated above 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
In addition to not causing any damage to your esophagus, e-cigarettes are generally considered safer to use than traditional tobacco cigarettes. You won’t experience secondhand smoke, and you won’t have to worry about accidentally inhaling dangerous chemicals. This makes e-cigarettes a better choice for someone who suffers from GERD.
There are still plenty of questions surrounding the effectiveness of e-cigarettes for treating GERD. In order to answer this question, more studies need to be done. Until they are, it’s best to limit yourself to using e-cigarettes to treat symptoms and not to treat GERD itself. At least until more research is available.
Anecdotally, many people swear by e-cigarettes to treat their GERD symptoms. Some studies show that e-cigarettes can relieve some of the symptoms associated with GERD; however, more research needs to be done to confirm these findings. The bottom line is that there are still lots of unanswered questions regarding the safety and effectiveness of e-cigarettes for treating GERD. If you’re thinking about trying one out, talk to your doctor first before making any changes to your diet.