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Q: Bell's Palsy and smoking ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Bell's Palsy and smoking
Category: Health
Asked by: esarkissian-ga
List Price: $12.00
Posted: 11 Aug 2003 12:50 PDT
Expires: 10 Sep 2003 12:50 PDT
Question ID: 242610
I'd like information about any connection with Bell's Palsy and
smoking.  My mom, a smoker of 35 years, went to bed one night and woke
up with partial paralysis in the left side of her face.  It's been 2
years and it's still there- some days worse than others.  She's had
therapy but with little success.

My first impulse is to blame her smoking, like I do everything else,
but I don't want to be irrational.  I'm looking for connections
between Bell's Palsy and smoking, and any other information regarding
Bell's Palsy that you think may be helpful.  We already know all the
general stuff (it's a virus, 85% people recover completely, etc.)


thank you,

Subject: Re: Bell's Palsy and smoking
Answered By: journalist-ga on 11 Aug 2003 13:43 PDT
Greetings Esarkissian:

I found a few references to smoking and Bell's Palsy but the cause
seems to remain unclear although some claimed causes besides virus
were located.  From
comes "The cause is unclear. Viral infection, vascular ischemia,
autoimmune inflammatory disorders, and heredity have been proposed as
the underlying cause.2, 8, 9 A viral cause has gained popularity since
the isolation of the herpes simplex virus-1 genome from facial nerve
endoneurial fluid in people with Bell's palsy.10"  The copyright date
is 2000.

I did locate general advice:
"General care - Continue your normal activities, but choose a good
lifestyle by getting plenty of rest and sleep, avoiding smoking and
excess alcohol."

I also discovered a vitamin B factor proposed that mentions smoking as
depleting that vitamin - this article suggests the intake of sugars as
the cause:
"Stressful situations, either long term or short term can be one of
the triggers because of the increased requirement for the B vitamins.
Taking prescription drugs often increase the demand for B vitamins.
Smoking, high caffeine intake, and alcohol intake also increase the
demand for the B vitamins. So prescription drugs, smoking, caffeine,
and alcohol can be triggers of Bell’s palsy. However, the most common
trigger is the intake of sugars."

From a chart at's%20Palsy.htm
comes ""Characteristic symptoms...Sudden and great sinking of
strength...Patient worse by...from tobacco smoke"



Electro-stimulation is suggested by the site at  They have a link
there to that
describes a unit to use.

Diabetes and Bell's Palsy
"The effective treatment for Bell's palsy is intense steroid therapy.
However, steroids can raise blood sugar levels and cause complications
in diabetics who have the disorder."

A story I recall from my childhood, told to me by my mother, involved
a lady she knew who was riding in a car and a cool wind was blowing on
one side of her face.  The lady in question woke up the next morning
with Bell's Palsy and my mother was convinced that it was because of
the cool breeze on the nerves of her face.  I found this at that
suggests the cold air theory: "When one side of a person’s face
becomes paralyzed, especially after being exposed to wind or cold air,
this remedy may be helpful." (This same source is listed below under
"Homeopathic Remedies")

Herbal treatment - NF40

Nutrients and supplements suggested to be helpful for Bell's Palsy

"Author and Publisher Maggie Davis talks about her personal experience
with Bell's palsy" (she includes the treatments she used)

Bell's Palsy Homeopathic Remedies


I hope the information I have provided is of assistance and thank you
for asking such an interesting question.

Best regards,


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