GDen, I read about the smoking (including second-hand smoke) being a known trigger for crohn's via my CCFC journals (crohn's and colitis foundation of Canada), it's also on the net. UCers that tend to quit smoking brings out the UC (since with smoking for a UCer can keep their UC at bay because of the carbon monoxide via smoking is known to keep inflammation in the colon at bay) and once a UCer quits smoking then it triggers the UC to become active..KEEPING IN MIND, that this is not necessarily the case for every UCer just as it's not necessarily the case of smoking and second-hand smoke being the trigger for every CDer either.
For myself, I think that when I was a teenager, I started smoking first then I went on the birth control pill then I developed my perianal crohn's skin tags (which just came and went on their own and every doc I saw at that time said it was just hemherroides), it wasn't until about a yr and a half after I had my first baby (in my early 20's) that my crohn's became completely full blown active... As I mentioned in my reply above, I did swallow toothpaste, I smoked (still do cuz when I quit I got even sicker maybe cuz my crohn's is affecting mainly my colon and anus with perianal crohn's skin tags) and I took birth control pills and the hormonal changes from having a baby were more than likely my combination of triggers for the disease becomming active....when I mentioned in this reply about the perianal crohn's skin tags first appearing in my teens after I went on the BC pill and was already a smoker at the time, I had absolutely no other symptoms of CD other than those tags on my anus, my bowels functioned completely normally until the time after I had my first baby in my early 20's. Also, when I was about 19 yrs old, just out of the blue, my bottom lip swelled up like crazy, looked like I got punched, it bothered me cuz how messed up it made me look, I went to the hospital cuz it freaked me out and the ER doc said he'd never seen anything like it before and for it to get so big within a day and no other symptoms/issues going on anywhere else (except my anal skin tags were also "flaring" at the same time)...he told me just to put ice on it, so I did and it finally went away, that only ever happend to me once in my life (so far) and I'm sure it's related to me getting/having crohn's since crohn's can affect any part of the GI tract from mouth (starting at the lips) to anus.
So you see, it can take time and be subtle for IBD to develop, even though for the most part it seems like it hits ppl hard and out of the blue, when I think back to my own personal history, there are the obvious signs that I was doomed.
bee propolis caps 500mg one cap twice/day
omegas 369 caps one cap twice/day
probiotics 10 billion cfu once/day
vitamins C-calcium ascorbate (easy on the gut) and vitamin A each once/day
Prodiem fibre supplement one cap before bed
I've also altered my diet (no junky stuff at all, processed, fast-foods, refined sugars, ect) and exercise regularly.
I went from 30+ bloody BM's/day with lots of lower back pain to an average of 5/day no bleeding no back pain and completely formed stools, still have severe urgency issues.
~~~~~~~~My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)~~~~~~~~