Nicotine and Ulcerative Colitis

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Elyssa 1978
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 4/29/2011 2:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi! I'm new to Healing Well. I was wondering (sorry if this has been brought up a million times before), has anyone had success with their Ulcerative Colitis and Nicotine therapy? I have had UC for about three years now. It came about after I quit smoking...what a kicker to find out later that Nicotine "may" put UC in remission. I don't want to start smoking again for obvious reasons however, I've ordered an e-cig and am going to try to "vape" my colitis away? would love to hear if anyone else has had success with either vaporizing or trans-dermal nicotine patches! Thanks!!

songlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 3252
   Posted 4/29/2011 6:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, and welcome to the forum!
We have had a number of discussions about nicotine and UC..... some within the past few days. So I hope they can help!

If you use the search button to the upper right and type in what you're looking for, you should find some threads, but here are a few to get you started:

http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=38&m=2090571

http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=38&m=1794458

http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=38&m=2083458

http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=38&m=1708337

There are more, so.... happy reading! And again, welcome!
Co-Moderator, UC Forum
Age 55. Diagnosed UP 1983, UC 1986
Asacol - 16 pills/day,
Rowasa and Canasa occasionally
Metamucil - 2 doses/day
VSL#3DS 2 x daily, Multivitamin, Calcium and D
homemade yogurt each day
doing well!
Son, 17, dx pancolitis 2007, in remission

Ernee
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 134
   Posted 4/29/2011 11:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I just purchased an e-cig so I cant really give my opinion on whether it works for colitis or not but I will say that when I smoke the e-cig, I get the same effect of smoking a cigarette so im assuming that the nicotine does get into the blood like a cigarette
23/m Diagnosed: 5/2008

MEDS: Asacol 4800mg(12pills)
SUPPLEMENTS: Omega 3 Fish Oil + Glutamine + Aloe Vera gel + Boswellia + Turmeric + Probiotic
OTHER: Tbs Olive Oil + Nicotine

Flare since: Feb/11

Elyssa 1978
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 5/1/2011 12:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks! I just got my e-cig yesterday. So far so good. I am an ex smoker, so it's been easier than expected to "vape". I have noticed a heaviness in my throat though...however, no blood this morning after vaporizing yesterday! Not sure if the nicotine is the reason or not. Going to keep going for a bit and see if my symptoms improve! Thanks for the response Songlady and Ernee! I appreciate it!

carus
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/20/2011 8:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Just joined this forum/site

Diagnosed with UP in 1998, smoking definitely helped. Had a collapsed lung so no choice and had to give up the cigs. Now going through a very very intense relapse. I am taking Salofalk enemas, and ASACOL and drinking cabbage juice and Aloe Vera Juice. I am also taking probiotics.

Does not seem to be helping much. ECIG is not avail in canada so I am thinking about nicotine gum or patches. Has anyone used gum or the patch with any success?

Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 3766
   Posted 7/20/2011 8:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I got UC when I still smoked, so nope, nicotine didn't help me.
27 years old; diagnosed March 2007

Asacol, 6 tabs, 2xday; Rowasa every other night; multivitamin; Ortho Tri-Cyclen

Lady-V
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 7/21/2011 3:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Studies have shown that many new cases of UC, and also relapses, happen a short time after people quit smoking. That's why some doctored recommend nicotine patches. However... more recent studies have shown that it's not *just* the nicotine that helps, but the carbon monoxide and nitric oxide contained in the actual smoke emanating from a cigarette.

Now pharma companies are trying to figure out how to put the mix into some kind of inhaler. rolleyes

When I landed in the hospital in 2003, the first thing the GI asked me is if I had recently quit smoking. I had. He then ordered the nurse to put a big nicotine patch on my arm. It made me nauseated.
Diagnosed with UC in 1996. Started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) in 1997. Always stayed in remission until I "cheated." Severe flare=ups in 2003 and 2011 due to ingesting SCD-illegal foods. Also take liquid fish oil and Vitamin E for maintenance, just in case.

hekela
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 729
   Posted 7/21/2011 12:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I use an e-cig and it works great for me. Like one of the previous posters said, you can search for the other related threads.
Starting nicotine got me out of a flare (when I previously had to use prednisone and was able to avoid it this time) and has kept me doing really well... among other things I do.
32, happily married, stay at home mom to boys, ages 2 & 5.
currently: well
UC (probably pancolitis, but no c-scope yet), dx'd 2006
-mainly whole foods diet, no caffeine
-Prayer! Asacol, Slippery Elm, D3, nicotine (e-cig), psyllium husk powder, fennel after meals

imagardener2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3780
   Posted 7/21/2011 1:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Has anyone used gum or the patch with any success?

Nooooooo. Nonononono. In my opinion.
I just this morning tried a 14 mg patch because my GI rec'd it (and I read of others here).
Horrible things happened within 45 minutes. I took it off and spent the next 4 hours with multiple BM's, so dizzy and nauseous I had to lie down for several hours causing my DH great worry.

I asked my GI whether a smaller amount patch would be better to start and she said no, the 14 mg. is the recommendation. I don't need any more help like this.

Now for those of you thinking about the nicotine patch my personal history of supplements/alternatives is very very bad. Almost everything disagrees with me. So if you have a stronger constitution you should try it. It didn't kill me but if I had been anywhere except home (driving? yikes) it would have been much worse.

It was just too strong for me and it didn't take long at all to feel the ill effects. I'm feeling better now but not great. Drinking lots of water and chicken broth.
In remission April 2010 after 10 years of UC with no remission ever
Jan 2010 began SpecCarbDiet (modified to remove dairy, fruit & juices,)
Gluten-free=bleeding stopped in 3 days, 95% remission in 5.5 months on SCD
SCDiet: Gluten/grain-free, starch-free, low carb, honey as sweetener
(9)Balsalazide+(6)Citrucel, mesalamine enema as needed
Spinach & sunflower seeds daily, (1) VSL#3 nightly

Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 3766
   Posted 7/21/2011 2:40 PM (GMT -6)   
When I smoked, it always made my UC symptoms worse...increased urges, mostly. I noticed improvement in symptoms when I quit 2 years ago. I know that is more the norm for Crohn's than UC.
27 years old; diagnosed March 2007

Asacol, 6 tabs, 2xday; Rowasa every other night; multivitamin; Ortho Tri-Cyclen

wodin
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 496
   Posted 7/21/2011 7:08 PM (GMT -6)   
My experience is that nicotine lozenges put me into almost immediate remission after months of 60 mg/day of prednisone without relief. A couple of months later I switch to e-cigs with occasional supplement of lozenges, and have been in remission for going on two years now.

Are they good for me? Probably not, but not as bad a cigarettes.
Am I re-addicted to nicotine? Yes!
Is my quality of life orders of magnitude better? Most definitely.
Proctosigmoiditis
67 year old male
Diagnosed Feb 2007
Currently in remission X 22 months
Contracted Steroid induced diabetes during last flare.
6 Grams/Day Colazal, nicotine therapy
Nicotine therapy , primarily electronic cigarettes supplemented by Nicorett lozenges

hekela
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 729
   Posted 7/21/2011 8:30 PM (GMT -6)   
wodin said...
Are they good for me? Probably not, but not as bad a cigarettes.
Am I re-addicted to nicotine? Yes!
Is my quality of life orders of magnitude better? Most definitely.


Yeah, what he said.
32, happily married, stay at home mom to boys, ages 2 & 5.
currently: well
UC (probably pancolitis, but no c-scope yet), dx'd 2006
-mainly whole foods diet, no caffeine
-Prayer! Asacol, Slippery Elm, D3, nicotine (e-cig), psyllium husk powder, fennel after meals

THB
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 11/15/2011 12:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I got into a flareup a week or so ago. Complete loss of appetite, frequent/urgent BM's, blood, the works. Hit me out of nowhere (I still can't pin down what triggers flareup's for me, and it's been almost 2 years!).

My flareup started on a Sunday morning, and I stumbled back across some articles I had read months prior regarding nicotine and such. I decided to give it a go and bought the 14mg patches Tuesday afternoon (still with zero appetite... hadn't eaten since Saturday night; it's now Tuesday). Within half an hour of applying the patch, my appetite came storming back and I couldn't believe it. I didn't rush to the store to grab a bite to eat as I wanted to let it go for a bit to make sure I wasn't just feeling the "placebo" effect. It maintained completely, and I enjoyed a solid meal that evening when I got home. Also, any and all instances of blood were completely 100% gone by that evening (of administering the patch) as well.

While my loose BM's are still present to a degree, the urgency has since gone away (I can sit at my desk, feel a BM coming on, and not have to make a mad dash).

To summarize, my experiences with the patch have been nothing short of amazing.

Keep in mind, the greatest benefit from the patch, if not its ability to satisfy the issues within the colon, is its immunosuppressant properties (hence why smokers tend to get sick more often than non-smokers). And immunosuppressant drugs, such as nicotine in this case, take time to settle in and do their thing. That, I believe, will be the most promising attribute to my experience with the nicotine patch.

Unfortunately, where I come from (Canada), doctors don't seem to be as keen in suggesting these kinds of alternative treatments for patients as they tend to be in places such as the UK. They're very quick to just run you through the typical industrial strength drugs before giving any 'alternative medicines' a chance. Again, it's quite unfortunate since this patch has done more for me in the last week than my pharmaceutical drugs have done for me in 2 years.

Hope this helps somebody.

Disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor. Any suggestions I might have made are not meant to influence anybody into giving this a try for themselves. However, with that said, I have read past the fineprint and into many of the actual trial papers regarding the treatment, and everything seems to be very promising.

Post Edited (my_name_is_Marc) : 11/15/2011 12:17:54 PM (GMT-7)


hateuc
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 1801
   Posted 11/15/2011 1:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Marc,
Just curious if you were a smoker at all before this? I find this fascinating that this helps UC....such a strange disease. Thanks for sharing your story...pls keep us posted on how it is going.
B
Proctosigmoiditis
2 Lialda/day  Rowasa nightly
VSL#3
Metamucil wafers

notsosicklygirl
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 10333
   Posted 11/15/2011 1:37 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been smoking a cigarette or two a day since my UC became unstable (3 weeks ago). I am almost back to being stable. I will stop smoking when things stabalize completely. I did smoke in college and quit a few years prior to developing UC.
Co-moderator: Ulcerative Colitis
Diagnosed with Pancolitis, Laryngopharyngeal Reflux & Migraines. Battling Extreme Exhaustion.
Currently: Asacol (3200mg) + 6mp (50mg) + Pristiq (50mg) + Canasa (1g PM) + cerazette

THB
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 11/15/2011 2:14 PM (GMT -6)   
hateuc said...
Hi Marc,
Just curious if you were a smoker at all before this? I find this fascinating that this helps UC....such a strange disease. Thanks for sharing your story...pls keep us posted on how it is going.
B


Yes I was a smoker. I fall into the realm of those who quit and shortly thereafter started experiencing the symptoms.

DBwithUC
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 1633
   Posted 11/15/2011 2:24 PM (GMT -6)   
there is research about which receptors in the immune system the nicotine binds to, and how this blocks other "undesirable" chemical signals from parking on the receptor. there is also something about the CO gas, but I did not read that research. As a result, trans-dermal patches have been studied and used for treatment. Mm impression was that it worked much better for some people than it did for others. I think this is because every one's immune system is different. There are some adverse side effects to nicotine, including heart valve damage, so it is best if any therapy is medically monitored.

Post Edited (DBwithUC) : 11/15/2011 12:43:02 PM (GMT-7)


Cadillac Lover
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 11/15/2011 2:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm kind of a social smoker. When i'm in remission I will smoke sometimes 2 or 3 a day or not smoke for a week. When i'm flaring I will smoke a pack every few days. I think it might be helping with my uc, if not that then it helps calm me down a bit from the prednisone.
Male. 31. Tattoo Artist. Diagnosed with UC summer of 08.
Diagnosed with severe uc 1-3-11 from 2nd cscope.
Currently flaring (mild/moderate).
Pred 20mg tapering from 40mg, 6mp 100mg, AsacolHD (2 @3 x a day).
Canasa supps + enemas every day/night.
Slippery elm, multi vitamin, probiotic, wheat-free, dairy-free, gluten-free(most of the time), LOTS of water.
Turmeric. Medicinal Herb :)

THB
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 11/15/2011 2:57 PM (GMT -6)   
DBwithUC said...
there is research about which receptors in the immune system the nicotine binds to, and how this blocks other "undesirable" chemical signals from parking on the receptor. there is also something about the CO gas, but I did not read that research. As a result, trans-dermal patches have been studied and used for treatment. Mm impression was that it worked much better for some people than it did for others. I think this is because every one's immune system is different. There are some adverse side effects to nicotine, including heart valve damage, so it is best if any therapy is medically monitored.


Agreed. As with any medications, people will sometimes see benefit, while others will not. I'm keeping up with my mesalamine during this trial as a safety net; however, I do not believe that it has been doing a heck of a lot since I started taking it 22 months ago. But I could be wrong.

Perhaps, because I'm an ex-smoker, my body is more accepting of the nicotine which is why I'm seeing beneficial results in only a few days.

Still glad I gave up smoking for the obvious reasons; however, there is now that part of me deep inside that is not so glad smilewinkgrin

ExcuseMeINeedToPoop
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/27/2014 8:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all. First post here. I thought I'd share my experience thus far with the nicotine patches in trying to control my UC. I was a 2 pack a day smoker up until 6-7 years ago then quit cold turkey. I never put the pieces together but I had my first colonoscopy about the same time due to a little bleeding and the GI said I had inflammation and some ulcerations but never committed to saying it was UC. He took a little biopsy during that first colonoscopy which was negative for anything cancerous but not long after I wound up in the the hospital again with heavy heavy bleeding. The biopsy site was just gushing blood. I don't suppose all the aspirin and fish oil that thinned out the blood helped...my blood was just too thin to clot.

Anyway, the UC slowly started kicking up getting a little worse year after year until the last 6 months where the urgency, diarrhea, etc, has made me want to avoid leaving the house. The max dose of AsacolHD (6x daily) never really seemed to do much. Mesalamine enemas seem to help for a day or two. VSL#3 seems to help a lot but jeez it's expensive. Specific Carb Diet calmed everything down but I snapped after 5 days because I was weak as a kitten. So next step in my mind was prednisone...and I want to try everything I can find before committing to that.

I read the studies on nicotine...15mg a day for 6 weeks, bought the step 2 patches at Walmart, and slapped one on a few weeks ago. BIG head rush, lots of nausea, and that first day I threw up everything but my toenails. It cleaned everything out of my bowels which I kind of expected...after all coffee and cigs in the morning always used to trigger a great morning poop. I took meclizine (over the counter nausea stuff) for the next few days but the bleeding got worse...I blame this on the meclizine as it calmed down after I stopped. I discovered somewhere online that sniffing rubbing alcohol or the little swabs that you use when checking blood sugar REALLY help with nausea so I have a couple of those in my pocket all the time. The nausea fades once my body adjusts to the nicotine but it still makes me a little queasy every morning. We have a 4-year old and are going to start carrying the little swabs in the car all the time for motion sickness.

I'm on week 3. After the first 2-week box I moved up a step to the 21mg patch. I'm really not seeing much of an effect, though. I've debated just stopping the protocol since I'm not seeing any positive results. The negatives are the nausea and the increase in blood pressure. I think I will continue with the 2 week box of 21mg I have then back off to the 14mg again. I haven't seen anyone mention stopping the patches cold turkey. I haven't decided whether I should cut back to 2 weeks at 7mg after that or just stop. Even though it doesn't seem to be helping I don't want to trigger even more troubles by going from 14mg or 21mg to nothing.

Oh well, onto the next thing. I'm going to stick with the VSL as long as I can and maybe try psyllium seed powder next. But that's for another thread.
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