Nicotine Gum Side Effects: Stories From Long Term Users
Most medicines cause side effects, but the hope is that the medicine will give you more positive relief from your problem than side effects. The best vapes make you feel like you are smoking a cigarette without any of the negative consequences, but it is still not 100% safe or without risks. Unfortunately, after reading a lot of personal stories and research studies, we don’t think this is the case when it comes to nicotine gum.
There have been many reports of side effects, both short and long-term, by nicotine gum users. They range from the bizarre (crazy dreams) to the very scary (hair loss, stomach ulcers). We’ve collected some information on some of the reported side effects of chewing nicotine gum.
Nausea and nightmares
Nicotine gum has been said to have caused nausea and uncomfortable stomach pains. ‘I actually smoked when I used the gum. A lot of the time I felt the need to throw up’ a 25-year-old entrepreneur claims. One of the main problems with the nicotine gum, he argues, is that there is far too much nicotine within it. This sends the body into shock and causes nausea. This is the body’s response when there are toxins in your bloodstream – you get a similar reaction if you drink too much alcohol.
‘The worse complaint I hear is people experiencing nightmares or strange dreams’. Says a male entrepreneur. He adds that he suffered from such problems himself whilst on the nicotine gum and this made it very difficult to sleep. Sleep deprivation can also cause a multitude of health problems in the future, which is why some people use vape oil pens to help them sleep.
Addiction and long-term use
The issue with nicotine is that it is incredibly addictive, and though supermarkets leave a warning on the product to not use for more than 12 weeks, some people become dependent on them for years. ‘I also personally know people who have used them [nicotine gum] for years and have experienced stomach problems, high blood pressure, borderline glaucoma and hair loss’ says a 67-year-old wife and mother. All these complications disappeared when they stopped using the gum.
She had been smoking for over thirty years and only managed to quit with the help of the nicotine patch and nicotine gum.
‘I have now been smoke-free for a decade, but not gum free. It took me years more to get over that addiction, and my experience is far from unique.’
Her personal struggle with fighting the addiction of the nicotine gum made it very difficult for her to come off of the nicotine replacement therapy. Compared to the nicotine patch (which we do recommend), the nicotine gum seemed to take a much larger toll on her health:
I threw out all my cigarettes one night and slapped the patch on. After four weeks on the patch, I decided to use nicotine gum instead, figuring that I would taper off even more on the gum till I was using no nicotine replacement at all.
It didn’t happen. Like any addict, I stopped counting how many pieces of gum I chewed. I kept buying my supply and ignoring the fact that it was taking more and more of the substance to satisfy me. I got so bad that I liked the taste and looked forward to my lozenges the way I had once enjoyed cigarettes. I told myself that it was OK to keep using my lozenges and gum because at least I wasn’t smoking.’
Various Other Health Problems
Nicotine gum also causes various other health issues that develop after long-term use. ‘I’ve been on the gum for about three years, after quitting smoking 20 years ago. My left eye has gotten worse and worse in the last few years and has resulted in my getting glasses and I’ve had four teeth pulled. I use up to 20 pieces of gum per day.’ says a 44-year-old musician. These health problems may not be connected to the gum, though most seem to appear once the gum is used as a long-term therapy.
Chewing nicotine gum can also cause complications on your skin and make it very uncomfortable and unattractive. A 58-year-old software engineer claims that a year ago he quit smoking and relied on nicotine gum instead: ‘My face had become horribly dry during the last year. At various times I would get pimples on my face which would leave scars – I now have 11. I now have reddish skin with white dots upon the rash.’ After visiting three different dermatologists, they could not determine what was causing such an outbreak.
Other lesser considered side effects are nicotine withdrawal when you stop using the nicotine gum. Symptoms include:
High Blood Sugar
Some diabetic patients who quit smoking because of its destructive effects which aggravate effects of diabetes were put on NRT. For some time that apparently helped, however, many people have complained of a rise in blood sugar levels with the consistent use of nicotine gums.
A 38-year-old veteran, who is also a diabetic patient, sent us an email with his concerns about nicotine gums, “I have presented compliance with my diabetes treatment; however, my FBS is constantly rising. Should I quit using nicotine gum as well? Because this is the only way I can help, restore better health.”
The human body has nicotine receptors which act on nerves and muscle fibers, their main effect on the brain is that of excitation and in this way nicotine excites the brain and when such stimulation is continuous the brain cells start firing up abnormally. “I have become irritable, and I have started having panic attacks recently. When I was informed by my doctor that I was developing a lung infection, I switched from cigarettes to nicotine gum. Since then, I have been unable to concentrate on my work, and it has affected my memory as well,” says a 40-year-old journalist in one of his articles.
This change has started giving anxiety attacks to the ladies all over the world with nicotine gum use. “My hair was gorgeous and thick before, even when I was smoking, yet ever since I have started chewing nicotine, my hair fall has increased ten times than the usual. I am anxious that I will go bald if I don’t stop using the gum. Can anyone suggest me some better alternatives than nicotine gum.” says a 31-year-old model in a TV interview.
Nicotine gum is an effective Nicotine Replacement Therapy, but it is not meant to be a long-term solution. It is best to try to wean off of nicotine so as to stop using the gum after 12 weeks from your quit day.
It’s not just your hair that can fall out. Nicotine gum can also damage your dental health over the long term. From TMJ from chewing too often, to the weakening of the mucous membrane that lines the mouth, there are side effects from long-term use.
Nicotine gum may seem like an easy and simple way of quitting smoking, and it’s definitely the most popular “nicotine replacement” product on the market. But we urge you to look at the side effects and horror stories and think before trying the gum. but there are other options that you can use which are arguably healthier. We particularly like nicotine patches and electronic cigarettes because of their lack of side effects and promising potential.