Updated December 28, 2018
For smokers who suffer from IBS, it’s time to quit. This stimulant can cause IBS symptoms and attacks. This is true regardless of whether the tobacco is chewed or smoked. It stimulates the gastrointestinal walls in addition to causing numerous other health conditions. Even those who don’t have IBS are subjecting their digestive system to very adverse effects. Plain and simple: smoking and IBS just don’t mix.
In fact, the entire digestive system is harmed by tobacco. Tobacco triggers acid reflux and heartburn, which are two symptoms IBS sufferers have to deal with in many cases. As it is, IBS sufferers have sensitive intestinal tracts, so tobacco will only make things worse.
The sphincter which is the muscle and the esophagus is weakened by tobacco. The weakening of the sphincter allows stomach acid to escape into the esophagus causing that burning sensation. Additionally, the risk of developing peptic ulcers increases with smoking. The toxic chemicals found in tobacco are also known to hinder ulcer healing. Moreover, the medical community believes there exists a link between tobacco users and the development of Crohn’s disease or gallstones.
More on Smoking and IBS
If that’s not enough, tobacco also decreases sodium bicarbonate made in the pancreas which is there to neutralize stomach acid. While much of the focus is on nicotine, 400 other toxins exist in tobacco as well. All these can affect a healthy individual, but they really wreak havoc on someone suffering with IBS. Smoking tobacco also increases the amount of air consumed. Anyone who understands the symptoms of IBS also knows that bloating and flatulence increases with air consumption.
Certainly, in this day and age, most understand the effects of long-term cigarette smoking and even tobacco chewing. Cancer of various types can develop as a result of smoking. IBS sufferers may be in a higher risk category in developing digestive tract cancer, although that has not been proven.
Tobacco affects the intestines. It irritates their lining, leading to the various symptoms of IBS. Stomach cramps increase with nicotine in IBS sufferers. Tobacco also interferes with proper food digestion, causing a slowdown of the metabolism in IBS sufferers. This can easily affect bowel movements and lead to more bloating and other IBS symptoms.
IBS sufferers must understand that only a tiny bit of stimuli in the digestive track can overwhelm it. Smoking and tobacco use of any form is bad for you no matter what, but for those with IBS, it’s worse. Treatment options for IBS vary greatly and there is no known cure for this disorder. Therefore, it’s best to avoid irritants altogether, or at least reduce the amount of tobacco use to improve your condition.
Recent studies demonstrate just how damaging and irritating smoking cigarettes is for the gastrointestinal tract, triggering IBS attacks and affecting virtually all parts of the digestive tract. Additionally, it can also cause damage to the esophageal sphincter, meaning more acid reflux and pain and discomfort. This is just more proof that smoking and IBS are not a good mix.