When you smoke a cigarette or chew tobacco, you are consuming a toxin called nicotine. This toxin stimulates your brain and mental processes and makes you feel good by masking neurotransmitters that detect emotions. But it also causes a lot of health problems like increase in blood pressure and heart rateand may also result in vomiting and nausea.Thus it is not advisable to consume nicotine in large amounts and it may also make you addicted to tobacco which can cause many kinds of diseases and prove fatal as well. Nicotine first enters your blood stream and then gets converted into cotinine in the liver and lungs. It is then finally excreted out of the body through your urine.
How to determine how long nicotine stays in the body?
The amount of time nicotine or cotinine stays in your body depends on your body’s ability to metabolize these substances and the amount of nicotine you used. There are several tests that can help you determine how much nicotine is there in your body even after you have stopped consuming tobacco. These tests include the areas where nicotine or cotinine can be traced like blood, hair, urine and saliva.
The laboratory will take your blood sample to test the amount of toxins or just the amount of nicotine or cotinine in your blood. If you are being tested for the amount of cotinine levels, you can determine this amount even 10 days after you have consumed some tobacco substance. On the other hand, levels of nicotine may be difficult to determine as it disappears after 3 days of consuming tobacco.
This test is one of the best to determine the levels of cotinine in the body’s system and a test strip is placed in your saliva. After 20 minutes, you can check how much nicotine you have consumed. This test can check cotinine levels in your body up till 4 days.
This test is one of the most convenient and cheapest ways to determine nicotine levels in your body. Your urine sample is taken and tested for 5 minutes and the result is either positive (presence of cotinine) or negative (absence of cotinine).
This is one of the most expensive tests to conduct but it can determine nicotine levels right up to a year. For this, the laboratory will take a piece of your hair from the scalp and then test it for nicotine. These hair follicles will help accurately depict exactly how much nicotine is there in your body. This specialized test can be taken even after 3 months of consuming tobacco substances.
How to get rid of nicotine from the body?
Suppose you have determined from these tests that there is still nicotine in your body, even though you have stopped consuming tobacco. You can get rid of all the nicotine in your body in the following manners to stay healthy:
Drink lots of water
There is no better way of flushing out these toxins from your body than drinking atleast 8 glasses of water a day. This is because nicotine is excreted via urine so it is best to stay hydrated.
Munch on antioxidant-rich foods
Foods that are rich in antioxidants help enhance your body’s metabolism and help it to break down and get rid of toxins in a more effective manner. Try some fruit juices that do not contain sugar as well as juices with a high acidic level like cranberry juice and orange juice.
Consume foods that help increase bile
Bile is a substance that is made in the liver and it helps remove toxins from the body and keeps your body fit and healthy. You should try food substances that have a very strong smell like garlic and onions as they help increase the amount of bile production and keep your body free of toxins.
If you follow a daily exercise routine that suits your body, you can increase your body’s metabolism and thus help it get rid of toxins faster. You should follow a regular exercise routine that is not too exertive for your body but helps you to remain fit and regulates your body’s functions. You should always talk to your doctor or trainer before following any exercise program to ensure that you are capable and fit enough to handle it. Don’t try anything too grueling.
Thus nicotine or cotinine levels may be determined through four tests: blood, hair, saliva and urine. These tests will help you understand how much nicotine is still there in your body and thus motivate you to remove them from your system. You can remove these toxins by drinking more water, eating food items that have a pungent odor and help create bile, eat foods that are rich in antioxidants and also follow a regular suitable exercise routine. These not only remove nicotine from your body but also keep you in good health for a longer period of time and thus are beneficial to follow.