Being very slow on the uptake, for which I blame multiple sclerosis. It occurred to me that there were some very real smoking implications with smoking and my development of Multiple Sclerosis.

Slow in making this realisation and discovering the evidence I have been. Let’s face it, nearly 25 years is a long learning curve.

Smoking Implications

It occurred to me the other day, while I was smoking a cigarette. That I began smoking when I first met my wife. My first MS symptoms began a few years later.

Are these smoking implications just a coincidence or am I being paranoid. I know that smoking is a very bad idea. But, smoking is a very addictive habit.

I also know, from experience, that multiple sclerosis can impair cognitive function.

In my own defence, I spoke with my neurologist many years ago. When I asked about the risks of smoking, he informed me “I can give you dozens of reasons to stop smoking but, MS is NOT one of them”.

I now think my neurologist was WRONG.

Smoking Implications with Multiple Sclerosis Chronic Illness

Why do I now think that smoking is bad for multiple sclerosis? Apart from the apparent link between my smoking habit and the development of this debilitating condition. I have been conducting some research into the subject.

In addition, I have spent several periods of not smoking. And on each occasion my MS symptoms lessened considerably.

So, why do I continue to smoke? It is a filthy habit. A fact I don’t deny. But, it is highly addictive and I clearly have an addictive personality.

A Wake Up Call

Again, in my own defence, I don’t smoke a lot. On a heavy smoking day I might have six or seven cigarettes.

But, Having made the timeline connection, I had to take the situation much more seriously. Was my multiple sclerosis self-inflicted? This was not the first time I had asked that question of myself.

When I began researching the benefits of diet for chronic illness I purchased a copy of the book The Wahls Protocol. This extols the health benefits of a good well-balanced diet. At this stage I thought the MS was self-inflicted because I had not been feeding my mitochondria the correct nutrition.

Furthermore, I do not believe multiple sclerosis just happens. There has to be a cause for the body to start malfunctioning.

I had been thinking that my diet had somehow contributed to the onset of multiple sclerosis. And, I still think diet has a major role to play in managing the condition.

However, smoking is now the main suspect in identifying the underlying cause. It could not be a coincidence  that my MS symptoms began only a year or two after I started smoking.

Another main instruction from the Wahls Protocol was to reduce the toxins in your body. We are all exposed to a certain level of toxins. Both in our diet and from from the environment.

Cigarette smoke contains many toxins. These are readily avoidable if we stop smoking. Note to self; it is time to kick the habit. These smoking implications are real and significant.

The Supporting Evidence

Some irrefutable evidence is provided by The National Multiple Sclerosis Society. They provide a fairly damning account of the hazards of smoking to the unfortunate MSer.

Healthline also have an article indicating that Smoking May Speed Multiple Sclerosis Progression.

Furthermore, the VeryWell web site reports that cigarettes may worsen or even increase the risk of MS. All very sobering reading.

I think if I had any doubts about quitting, they have just been removed.

Smoking is a real health risk to everyone. And it is not just the danger of developing lung cancer, it can also be a risk to developing multiple sclerosis.

So, if you have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and you smoke you MUST quit. Regardless of what anyone else, including your neurologist, might say to the contrary.

The Smoking Implications

There are many factors thought to be involved if you have developed MS. So, I began to think about the title of this post: “Smoking Implications with Chronic Illness”.

I was referring to the realisation of the coincidence of my starting to smoke at roughly the same time as I started to suffer MS symptoms.

However, multiple sclerosis is, itself, all about coincidences.

  • Are you aged between 30 and 60
  • Are you female
  • Do you have a history of MS in your family
  • Do you live in a temperate climate
  • Have you suffered a viral infection
  • Do you smoke

These are all factors thought to increase the likelihood of developing multiple sclerosis.

I was the wrong gender. My age matched the criteria. As a child I had suffered from the usual viruses.

We had the family history and I live in a temperate climate. The odd had been stacked against me! Oh, and I smoked.

Note: I closed with the word smoked. Because, as of now, I no longer smoke.

The Danger of Viral Infection

It is currently January 2018 and there have been a number of influenza outbreaks in the UK. I did not escape this current flu infection.

Just before Christmas, both my wife and I, succumbed to what our GP called a chest infection. The GP prescribed me a course of antibiotics, I guess because of my MS.

I do not believe this infection had anything to do with smoking. But, because it was significant from the MS perspective.

I concluded that I must have become infected with influenza. Because I had become very ill with fever and dizziness.

My wife recovered in two or three weeks. However, it hit me much harder and I took nearly eight of nine weeks to fight it off fully.

Consequently, I discovered that the strain of influenza I had contracted, was not the expected strain. And the inoculation I had received was the wrong one.

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4 Comments on "Smoking Implications with Chronic Illness and Autoimmune Disease"

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Matthew
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Interesting blog, Stephen. Surprised that I missed this one… I was looking for active CR bloggers just recently, as many seemed to have quit over the years. Sorry to hear that you have MS. :/ My cousin developed it when he was younger, and I tried to get him to try calorie restriction and do other things to improve his situation, but he never listened to me. I know from the research, things like CR and IF can apparently help reduce chances of relapse, disease progression and lessen symptoms. Have you been doing CR or fasting for long? It’s my… Read more »
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Nice site, It strikes a nice balance of the concept. I had a natural tendency towards ‘mindfulness’ from a young age. I am glad that I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation. Thanks for sharing.

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