Inhaling secondhand smoke has an effect on all parts of the body, including the digestive system. This can then have a serious impact on health because the digestive system is responsible for processing food into nutrients that the body needs to live.
So, what are the negative effects of smoking on the digestive system ? We will cover all of them here Undoubtedly.
Heartburn occurs when acid from the stomach rises into the esophagus health. Normally, a muscular valve at the lower end of the esophagus, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), keeps acid solutions in the stomach. However, reported by the Gastrointestinal Society, smoking lowers the strength of the LES, allowing stomach acid to reflux or flow into the esophagus.
Smoking also increases the movement of bile salts from the intestines to the stomach, which makes stomach acid more dangerous. As a result, smoking can directly injure the esophagus, making it less able to withstand further damage from refluxed fluids.
2. Crohn’s disease
People who smoke or have smoked in the past have a higher risk of developing Crohn’s disease than people who don’t smoke. Meanwhile, people with Crohn’s disease who smoke have an increased frequency of relapses, repeated surgeries, and a greater need for intense treatment.
It’s still not clear why smoking makes Crohn’s disease worse. However, it is thought that smoking decreases blood flow to the gut or triggers a response in the immune system.
According to a 2005 study in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics , even after quitting smoking, ex-smokers are still at risk of developing Crohn’s disease. However, people with this disease still benefit from quitting smoking. Quitting smoking can reduce the severity of the disease.
3. Liver disease
The liver or liver is a digestive organ that has an important job in filtering toxins from the body. These toxins include drugs and alcoholic beverages.
Cigarette smoke can inhibit liver function. Smoking also worsens pre-existing liver disease caused by alcoholism.
A 2005 study in the World Journal of Gastroenterology found that people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) also have an increased risk of developing certain liver diseases, such as primary sclerosing cholangitis, autoimmune hepatitis, and primary biliary cirrhosis. This is also the reason why people with IBD are strongly discouraged from smoking.
4. Peptic ulcer
Smokers have a higher chance of getting ulcers or holes in the stomach. Smokers who have ulcers also take longer to heal and are more likely to develop the more fatal condition than nonsmokers.
The Verywell Health page explains , this is because smoking lowers the amount of sodium bicarbonate produced by the pancreas. Without it, stomach acid is not neutralized in the health duodenum. This then contributes to the formation of ulcers in the duodenum. Also, smoking triggers an increase in the amount of stomach acid that flows into the small intestine.
5. Colon cancer
According to the Johns Hopkins Medicine page , smoking is a major risk factor for colon cancer.
Colon cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the large intestine, which is the last part of the digestive tract. Colon cancer usually starts as small polyps, which over time can develop into colon cancer.
The gallbladder is a small organ located on the right side of the abdomen below the liver. If these digestive juices settle and harden in the gallbladder, these are called gallstones .
According to the Gastrointestinal Society’s website, there are several studies showing that smoking can increase the risk of developing gallstones. This risk may be higher in women.
Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, a gland behind the upper stomach that produces enzymes that aid digestion and regulate how the body processes sugar. Pancreatitis can appear suddenly and last for days, or it can develop over years.
Citing the Mayo Clinic , smokers are on average three times more likely to develop chronic pancreatitis than nonsmokers. The good news is that quitting smoking can reduce your risk of developing pancreatitis by about half.
Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of indigestion and other health problems. So, if you smoke, quit. If you need help, you can go to a hospital for medical help or join a community for advice that will help you.