Back to School Checklist

As the kids enjoy their remaining time off, you can avoid back-to-school madness by mobilizing now. Here, our Facebook fans share a peek at their late-summer checklists.

See More
/content/bhg/health-family/weight-loss/12-ways-to-boost-your-metabolism

Get Involved in Your Child's Education

Getting involved in your children's education is a proven way to improve their school performance -- here's how.

See More

Which Type of Doctor’s Office Should You Visit?

Whether you've sprained an ankle on vacation or just don't want to wait three weeks for a doctor's appointment, you now have more health care options than ever. A variety of clinics, offering a wide range of services from stitches to wellness exams, are popping up in neighborhoods near you.

See More

Your Top Health Insurance Challenges–Solved!

Trying to understand health insurance, knowing how to appeal a health insurance claim, and trying to organize insurance paperwork is tough. In fact, we surveyed over 1,000 women who told us just how difficult it is to understand health insurance. We culled your biggest challenges and got advice from leading health insurance experts.

See More

10 Habits for a Healthy Life

Seems like a new study comes out everyday telling us what to eat, drink do -- it's enough to make your head spin. Deep breaths. Here's what experts say has true staying power, and how to easily follow their insights.

See More

12 Free and Fun Family Activities

Get ready for summer fun on the cheap with these 12 deals and steals for the family.

See More

Improve Your Home's Air Quality

You know that air pollution is bad for the planet. But what's happening to the air inside your home?

See More
Popular in Health & Family

Curbing the Craving to Smoke

Kelly Anne Spratt, D.O., Director of Women's Cardiovascular Health at the University of Pennsylvania Presbyterian Medical Center, answers your questions.

Q. I quit smoking yesterday, after smoking one to two packs a day for five years. I considered using the patch, but I've heard many people say it made them sick. I think I will be fine without the nicotine; however, I am about to go crazy looking for something to do with my hands. I feel very nervous and anxious. What do you recommend? I also had a very hard time sleeping; is this normal, and should I take some over-the-counter sleep aids until the withdrawal symptoms lessen?

A. Anyone who smoked one to two packs of cigarettes per day will definitely have withdrawal symptoms from lack of nicotine (this is a very addicting drug!), so first, accept your symptoms as normal and congratulate yourself for having the ability even to take the first step in quitting this deadly habit. This is the most important step you will ever take to improve your overall health.

For anxiety and sleeplessness, the best remedy may actually be the prescription medication Zyban, since this actually decreases withdrawal symptoms. It is used for a finite period of time, generally six to eight weeks, and by that point the cravings are far less strong. Over-the-counter sleep products may help. I would not hesitate to use one.

Although not actually an indication for smoking cessation, the herb St. John's wort also may help with some of the same craving symptoms and is worth a try if you prefer to avoid prescription medication. The dose is 300 mg, 3 times per day.

As for your hands, do anything but put food in them! Start a journal, learn calligraphy, or use the signal to pick up a cigarette as the signal for a new habit, such as standing and stretching or taking a quick walk, even if it is only a few feet. The important part of this is rewiring your system to expect a new activity; it really doesn't matter what the activity actually is.

Good luck!

close
close
close
close
close

Loading... Please wait...