Although in recent years the use of tobacco has generally declined, the action of smoking is still common today and a habit which, although harmful and dangerous in the long term to health, continues to lead to a great long term. number of persons.
Most smokers find a certain pleasure and a sense of calm in the use of this substance, also being something socially accepted and traditionally associated with maturity or virility / femininity. However, it is an exogenous substance in our body which will have different effects on the body. For example, many people have reported on certain occasions that they have come feeling dizzy when smoking. Is this normal? Why is this happening? In this article, we will try to answer these questions.
Nicotine: type of substance and effects on the body
Nicotine is one of the main substances that are part of tobacco (although in a cigarette they can find many other substances, many of which are toxic).
This substance has psychoactive properties and is mainly responsible for physical dependence on tobacco. It is considered a psychostimulant substance, Although continued consumption eventually causes depressant effects. This is why most regular smokers feel relaxed when they use and tend to smoke more often when they feel nervous.
The mechanism of action of nicotine it is based on its action on acetylcholine receptors, Specifically for nicotine addicts. It acts as an agonist of this substance, having an effect on the central nervous system (in the cortex, limbic system and basal ganglia, among others) and peripheral, as well as on the cardiovascular and adrenal system. However, with long-term consumption, it ends up having a blocking action on this neurotransmitter.
At low doses, it initially generates an increase in cholinergic activity, leading to an increase in the level of activation and vigilance. Higher doses generate feelings of pleasure by helping to activate the limbic system through dopamine synthesis. It also has an effect on increasing cortisol levels, ACTH, prolactin, vasopressin and growth hormone. At the cardiovascular level, nicotine causes vasoconstriction, so the blood passes faster and with more pressure. This speeds up the functioning of the heart and at the same time carries less oxygen, which also increases the frequency of inhalation.
In the adrenal cortex, nicotine works by generating stimulation which results in the release of adrenaline. Finally, it hinders the action of the pancreas by reducing the release of insulin (which allows us to break down blood sugar).
Dizziness when smoking: is this normal?
Smoking, as the various advertising campaigns we see today indicate, can have serious long-term adverse effects, especially on the respiratory level. Emphysema, lung lesions and diseases, or different types of cancer (such as lung or windpipe) were significantly associated with continued tobacco use.
But in addition to these effects, it can also cause various discomforts and unpleasant effects during the act of doing so or after. Among them, the presence of nausea, vomiting and dizziness, the latter being relatively frequent.
Why do we feel dizzy when we smoke?
In general, the presence of dizziness is more common in people who start smoking for the first time or in people who resume smoking after a long time without doing so, as well as in people who quit smoking abruptly. These dizziness can occur due to various circumstances.
First of all, it must be taken into account that smoking mainly consists of repeatedly inhaling a substance that has entered the lungs, being this irritating substance and difficult for the respiratory system to integrate a sufficient level of oxygen into the brain . Likewise, the vasoconstrictor effect of nicotine causes compression of the blood vessels, Pass the blood at a much faster rate than usual and can cause high blood pressure. All of these effects are some of the reasons why, on first use or after spending long seasons without smoking, the body reacts by producing dizziness.
Another reason why we can find them in poisoning if the amount that has been consumed is excessive, or when other substances have been consumed like alcohol that could interact with the effects of tobacco. The internal balance to which he is accustomed our body suffers from an alteration which can cause the manifestation of various symptoms.
Likewise, dizziness due to lack of oxygen it does not need to be given to new smokers only. Since this substance damages the respiratory system, if you have lung disease for this or other reasons, smoking may cause these effects more frequently.
Another time when dizziness usually occurs is when a person who has developed tolerance and addiction to nicotine its consumption suddenly stops. And it is that the body has become accustomed to a certain balance which suddenly undergoes a change. We would be in this case with a symptom of withdrawal syndrome.
Blocking the cholinergic action which generates long-term exposure to nicotine and increasing the number of nicotinic receptors generated by habituation would in this case be responsible for the imbalance of the organism and generate symptoms.
- Pozuelos, J .; Martinena, P .; Monago, L .; Vell, D. and Pérez, T. (2000). Nicotine pharmacology. Integral Medicine, 35 (9): 409-417. Elsevier