However, this element has many more roles to play in your body – it’s an essential ingredient of everything from muscle function to brain function.
Smokers have a much lower blood oxygen level than nonsmokers, and this can lead directly to a wide range of health problems and harmful situations.
Quitting smoking now can help immensely, and you’ll find that you can avoid some very serious conditions.
The benefits are immense. You will just be healthier in every way. Blood is your life force and the oxygen breathes life into the blood.
One of the first problems smokers encounter is within the lungs.
Your lungs are responsible for:
However, a smoker’s lungs don’t do their job very well.
The longer you’ve smoked and the more cigarettes you smoke per day, the less lung function you can expect.
In this situation, your lungs do a poor job of allowing oxygen into the bloodstream (because you’re unable to bring in as much air and because of tissue damage from nicotine and other chemicals in the smoke).
Why does this matter? First, you’ll experience physical symptoms. These are common, and should require very little explanation. They include:
However, those physical symptoms are only minor inconveniences compared to what goes on in your body if you have a low blood oxygen level.
For instance, if the level drops too low, you will begin to lose consciousness (death results from prolonged, extreme oxygen deprivation).
It’s essentially the same thing as being asphyxiated.
Other side effects include weight gain and joint pain, as well as changes in your skin, hair, and nails.
Your lips can begin turning blue, as can your fingers and even your skin as a whole as it starves for oxygen.
Even in someone who isn’t experiencing any of the aforementioned signs and symptoms, low blood oxygen causes very serious damage.
For instance, without an adequate supply of oxygen to the heart, it will begin overworking and deteriorating at the same time.
The same thing happens to your arteries and blood vessels – they are damaged by both the lack of oxygen and the effect of nicotine and other chemicals in the cigarettes.
Stopping your smoking habit right now offers some significant benefits: