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Sara14
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4190
   Posted 8/30/2008 9:36 AM (GMT -6)   
(and the ex-smokers)
 
I'm very slowly trying to cut back on how much I smoke. I'm down to about 8 cigs/day, but I've been cutting back super slowly. I just saw blood again two days ago and I've got the rumbly tummy thing going on, but I still feel okay (I don't know that it's in anyway related to cutting back on smoking). I started the Rowasa nightly again and haven't seen blood yesterday or today. I have a couple questions for smokers or people who have quit, because I'm trying to figure out if smoking is hurting my UC, even though I know that is typically related to Crohn's.
 
1) Have you ever noticed an increase in flare symptoms from just cutting back on smoking and not quitting altogether?
 
2) For those of you whose UC is helped with smoking, do you feel a difference right after/while smoking? For me, when I smoke a cigarette I often have the urge to go to the bathroom right away. I always had that to a certain extent since cigs can do that to you, but now that I have UC the urge is worse and more frequent.
 
3) Any tips on the best route to quit smoking without flaring?
 
Thanks in advance. =)

Diagnosed with UC March 2007; Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day; Rowasa weekly; Canasa weekly; Viactiv; Metamucil wafers; multivitamin


Irish_Mom
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 385
   Posted 8/30/2008 9:50 AM (GMT -6)   
It definitely could be related to you trying to quit smoking. The only thing I can think of to suggest is to try going to a lower tar/nicotine cigarette (kind of like weaning off pred), or to try utilizing some of the quit smoking aids like Commit lozenges or patches.
Terri
 
_________________________________________________________________________________
Breast Cancer at 37; bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction.
Colon resection 2004; Sub-Total colectomy September 2007 for colonic inertia - didn't work.
Son with UC; taking Asacol and 6MP with Prednisone and Rowasa added during flareups. Recently diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis - now on Humira. Canasa now added due to UP.
Husband with ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis.


nellewbl
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/30/2008 9:55 AM (GMT -6)   
This is so strange, but I just quit smoking about 3 weeks ago cold turkey (yikes!) and about 1 week ago started feeling a flare up coming on.  Now, I can't tell if it is due to missing some meds or to the quitting, or a combo of both.   Smoking helped me to regulate my BM schedule.  If I wanted to "go" in the mornings, I would have a smoke (like coffee drinkers and their coffee I think).  Smoking also killed my appetite, so I ate less, which meant less food going through my system and less BMs probably.  I am sorry I don't have any advice as I am going through the process myself, but I guess if it is a flareup vs worse conditions from smoking, the flare up is worth it.  That's what I keep telling myself when I want a smoke, so I say that a lot  tongue  .
 
Good luck with the cutting  back/quitting and with not getting a flare up!
 
Nelle
  • Diagnosed in 1994 at the age of 14
  • Initally prescribed prednisone and Rowasa enemas - near immediate improvement (Yay!)
  • Within 1 - 2 months later, prescribed only Sulfasalazine - Yikes! Severy allergic reaction!  1 week in hosptial with 4 blood transfusions.  Then prescribed Asacol - Phew!
  • Mid 2008, tried Lialda - NO!!!  Caused flare, pills too big to swallow! 
  • Back to Asacol - 400 mg tablets, 3 pills, 3 times per day, and a daily multivitamin
 


Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4190
   Posted 8/30/2008 10:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, guys. Good luck to you too, Nelle.

I am kind of thinking the best way for me to quit might be to go cold turkey, but I am scared it will make me get pretty depressed, b/c that is what has happened to me in the past. I don't want to go on antidepressants either.


Diagnosed with UC March 2007; Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day; Rowasa weekly; Canasa weekly; Viactiv; Metamucil wafers; multivitamin


jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 8/30/2008 10:27 AM (GMT -6)   
There is a definite, well-known correlation between smoking and IBD. People with UC are significantly more likely to be non-smokers or former smokers. People with Crohn's, on the other hand, are significantly more likely to be smokers!

I quit smoking in March 1997. I was diagnosed with UC in November 2001. Even after being in an uncontrolled flare for the first several years after diagnosis, I still believe quitting was the single bast thing I ever did for myself. I may some day have to have my colon removed, but I know I'll never smoke again.
Judy - Southern US 
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from Entocort.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
 
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.


Old Hat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5182
   Posted 8/30/2008 11:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Good luck with quitting, Sara! My gastro is aware of all the UC-related studies & would encourage you to quit, regardless. Be extra nice to yourself & get whatever distracts you from those nasties-- rent a DVD, do yoga, but keep cutting down. You can do it, and it's very important to your heart & lungs. Keep us posted, eh? / Old Hat (nearly 30 yrs with left-sided UC ... [etc.])

Gigi1227
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 469
   Posted 8/31/2008 10:45 AM (GMT -6)   
My husband and I quit smoking March 11, 2008. Quitting smoking brought on my uc. Would I quit smoking had I known this would happen? Probably not, but then I also have to be thankful that I don't have lung cancer or copd.

Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4190
   Posted 8/31/2008 11:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for all the comments. I will keep you posted. I know I want to quit because of the risks of lung cancer and other illnesses, but then sometimes my brain tells myself I don't really want to quit because I like smoking...I'm sure that's probably just the nicotine addiction talking though.
Diagnosed with UC March 2007; Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day; Rowasa nightly; Canasa weekly; Viactiv; Metamucil wafers; multivitamin


cigsbeezon
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/31/2008 12:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed 98 with UC.  Was in remission from 98' just up until 4 weeks ago.  I quit smoking about 9 months ago and I think my recent flare had to do with it.  My dr. told me when first diagnosed that when you smoke it constricts your blood in your body.  So I think it helped me stay in remission (in my own opinion) but now that I've quit....I'd rather go through these flares than the long term effects of smoking.  I feel so much better now.

Old Hat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5182
   Posted 8/31/2008 4:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Sara, I read what you wrote today in the other thread re Azathioprine. I'm wondering why your gastro calls it the
"next step" for you-- when he has never prescribed Cortenemas or Cortifoam. That seems wrong to me! Granted, you don't want to go on a long course of steroids for reasons of side effects, but a month or 2 of the enemas might be enough to get you to remission; then you could use 5-ASAs again for maintenance. For some of us left-siders, the short course of steroids can work wonders. / Old Hat (nearly 30 yrs with left-sided UC; currently on 3 Colazal daily for maintenance of remission)

Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4190
   Posted 8/31/2008 9:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Old Hat - I know...I was confused about that too. The GI I consulted with at Mayo told me that a study showed that the Cortenemas and Cortifoam were no more effective than Rowasa, and my long-term GI (the one that is not quite up-to-date regarding meds...) seems to be really against prescribing any kind of steroids (pred or rectal steroids) due to possible side effects. I asked him about the rectal steroids, but he didn't prescribe them to me. I think he said he would prescribe them if I started bleeding again and couldn't control it with the Rowasa. I have an appointment with him in November. Do you think it's worth asking him about them again? It would be great if I could get into an actual remission, and not just this "almost there" stage that I've been in for the past year and a half.
Diagnosed with UC March 2007; Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day; Rowasa nightly; Canasa weekly; Viactiv; Metamucil wafers; multivitamin


marty1976
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 2045
   Posted 8/31/2008 11:46 PM (GMT -6)   
The last time i quit i started flaring badly after 3 months and ended up smoking again.Not just because of the effects quitting was having on my body but because i'm hopelessly addicted, its so hard to quit.I respect anyone who does it.I would pay the price of a really bad flare if i knew i wouldn't smoke again.Nasty things.
Marty...away for my coffeee and cig now :)
                                     keep the faith 

         asacol/proctifoam/
Zoton (lansoprazole)/pred/colofac


       
                   http://www.myspace.com/martylogue


Sweetie31105
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 9/1/2008 8:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Sarah14:
Random observation:

Just noticed that u were diagnosed with UC same time as myself. I was in the hospital around that time for 25 days. How bad was your UC at that time, were u able to work? I was out of work for almost 6 months.

lambkins
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 574
   Posted 9/1/2008 9:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi i quit smoking in january and was dx with U/C in may dr said it could have had something to do with it seems strange it started not long after quiting won't start smoking again though good luck
  
  Diagnosed 22.5.08 with Lft sided U/C
  Meds Predfoam 20mg 2x day stopped started Salofalk supps 1gm 26/6/08
  Mesalazine 400mg 2 tabsx2 day


Deacon Blues
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 304
   Posted 9/1/2008 11:24 AM (GMT -6)   
A little history from me: I smoked from 8th grade to 28 years old. I quit and started running=eventually a marathon runner. Developed UC when I was in the "best shape of my life?"...In Feb of 2007 I decided to try smoking again to see for myself how it would play out with symptoms. ALMOST immediately I started a remission that lasted 1 &1/2 years & feeling better than I ever had since Dx of UC. I drank a little too much one night and vomitted really hard and am suspicious that the trauma of that event started another moderate flare that lasted 2 to 2 & 1/2 Months (should have tried the ROWASA?) So at this point I can take it or leave it as far as smoking goes  ( I could stop at any time). BUT I don't want to live? the way I did before when I was a slave to the bathroom and terrible flares! Do I want to die of lung cancer? absolutely not. Such a hard choice for me. Sorry that any of us have to face these maladies, hope you make the choice that is best for you.
DB


Diagnosed with UC in 1999
PANCOLITIS-mild to moderate
3-400mg Asacol 3x per day
44 yrs old


Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4190
   Posted 9/1/2008 1:29 PM (GMT -6)   
See, I got UC and hadn't even quit smoking...I keep hearing it's rare for smokers to get UC and it makes me mad because it's pretty much the only way smoking could have benefitted me healthwise and it didn't! And they seem to make me have to go to the bathroom more than if I don't smoke...
 
Sweetie: I was out of work for about a month. I had just started a new job after college too and had only been there for a month before getting this so it really sucked. I'm pretty sure my boss and co-workers all thought I was lying and making this up. And how do you explain what you're going through to your boss without being to graphic but still getting across the point that it is a serious disease...? I could barely even walk b/c I was in so much pain, but I did not go to the hospital and didn't go to the doctor for a few weeks at first b/c my insurance hadn't kicked in yet...finally I went anyway b/c I couldn't take it anymore. I was going 25+ times a day with mostly just blood and mucous. That sucks that you had to take 6 months off. I'm sure my job would have fired me if I would have asked for much more time than I did.
Diagnosed with UC March 2007; Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day; Rowasa nightly; Canasa weekly; Viactiv; Metamucil wafers; multivitamin


Sweetie31105
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 9/1/2008 4:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Sara14: I too had just started a new job at the time of getting this diesease, I ended up not going back to that place. The boss there totally stressed me out. I worked there 2 months, almost past probation when it started. I had a hard time finding meds that put me in remission, I was put on Humira and Imuran that May, and went into remission. At the end of February I went on temporary disability and hospitalized the end of March. Thankfully your weren't hospitalized, cuz I got sicker in there, developed a Staff infection, and C-diff colitis in there. Went home with a pic iv. But Thankfully I've been in remission since May of 2007. I went into the hospital cuz I was extremely dehydrated, and couldn't eat anyting at all without it going right through me.

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 9/1/2008 5:18 PM (GMT -6)   

smoking and IBD link, worth the read...

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/35173.php

 

:)


My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


potato
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 281
   Posted 9/1/2008 5:49 PM (GMT -6)   
After smoking for 33 years, I quit in May 2001.  For a few years before that, I'd had what I thought was gall bladder problems and IBS, and by Sept. 2001, I was in bad enough shape that my HMO finally figured out that I needed my gall bladder removed.  I still had and have pain in that area, though.  I think it's all related to my UC but somehow I didn't have the last key symptom of bleeding until last year, after an extremely stressful period.  So smoking may have kept my UC at bay for 15 or more years, who knows?
 
That said, I would never think of picking up a cigarette again.  The damage they cause is so much worse than what they can help. 
 
I used Quitnet.com for support when I quit, rewarded myself with massages and funnelled my energy as much as I could into exercise.  I didn't start yoga until a few years later but I wish I had before I quit.  Yoga breathing is very helpful, for quitting smoking and for getting through some of the urges and cramping etc of UC. 
 
    
Potato...  Female, 58, dx mild left sided ulcerative colitis 11/07
asacol 3 3x a day 
cortenema (generic) am & pm Rowasa every other day 
culturelle, benefiber wafers  generic acidophilus, metamucil wafers
children's vitamin, Vitamin E 400 mg
omeprazole 2x a day
oxazepam when needed, lomotil or ImodiumAD (but not in the same day)
 
 
 
 
 
 


beartooth
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 9/1/2008 10:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Sara -

I noticed that all my pre-diagnosis flares occurred when I was trying to stop smoking. Since I quit tobacco altogether 4 years ago, my UC has been a problem, but the rest of me feels so much healthier. Using a patch or nicorette gum would help with cravings, allow you to continue with the soothing quality of the nicotine, and help your lungs to begin their healing process.

Good luck with this. Quitting tobacco was the toughest habit/addiction to break for me, at least until I tried to cut back on sugar...now that is one tough drug to beat...LOL!


Brandon
 
Diagnosed w/ moderate UC in May '06, had symptoms for years prior to dx - currently flaring
Suffered from depression since I was 19
Taking Asacol, Florastor, VSL#3, Wellbutrin XL, Prozac, multi-vitamin, and fexofenadine for allergies

Post Edited (beartooth) : 9/2/2008 1:54:48 AM (GMT-6)


Old Hat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5182
   Posted 9/2/2008 9:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, Sara, I would ask your local gastro about the steroid enemas again, but try to bring some supporting lit along to your appointment to show him-- to hopefully strengthen your argument. I think your local GI has Pred & steroid enemas mixed up; the Mayo gastro should not rule out steroid enemas on the basis of a single study, however recent it may be! Especially considering that you have persistent proctitis, these guys should be willing to let you at least try Cortifoam, which is only 10% steroid. / Old Hat (nearly 30 yrs with left-sided UC ... [etc.])
 

quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30587
   Posted 9/2/2008 10:17 AM (GMT -6)   
I think some GIs have a butt med aversion...don't get it.

Sara...definitely try the steroid enemas..even the foam which is a bit lower dosage. Worth a try.

q
*Heather*Status: mini flare Dec 28... tapered to every 4th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol (6 daily) + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~vitamins/minerals/supplements 
~Probiotic 3(Natural Factors Protec) bedtime + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) occasionally
~multi-digestive enzymes as needed ....zymactive 3 - 5x daily
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!


jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 9/2/2008 11:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Quincy, I think patient behavior patterns play a part in the doc's choice of meds. Those of us with IBD are notorious, statistically, for not taking our meds. Heck, you can see that just by browsing this forum. Since they know most people are even more averse to rectal meds than oral meds, I think they try to give the medicine in the form most likely to actually be used.
Judy - Southern US 
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from Entocort.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
 
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.


Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4190
   Posted 9/2/2008 8:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Sweetie - Wow. Sounds like you had a rough few months. I am glad you were finally able to go into remission.

potato - I like that massage as reward suggestion...I may have to steal that idea from you!

beartooth - Yeah, I think I may look into getting the patch or the gum, just in case I need them. I agree that sugar is another hard addiciton to break! I've been pretty good about cutting back on that one although I did have a big ice cream cone yesterday.

Old Hat - Thanks, as always, for the advice. I agree with you completely and will gather some studies together before my next appointment with him.

quincy - Love that phrase - "butt med aversion." lol.

Thanks to everyone else for all the input. I love reading your experiences and advice.
Diagnosed with UC March 2007; Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day; Rowasa nightly; Canasa weekly; Viactiv; Metamucil wafers; multivitamin


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30587
   Posted 9/3/2008 1:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Judilyn said...
Quincy, I think patient behavior patterns play a part in the doc's choice of meds. Those of us with IBD are notorious, statistically, for not taking our meds. Heck, you can see that just by browsing this forum. Since they know most people are even more averse to rectal meds than oral meds, I think they try to give the medicine in the form most likely to actually be used.

Definitely true, but we do see many patients whose doctors haven't even suggested them, because their assumption is that they probably won't use them (which many wouldn't anyway).  My doc is still surprised at my faithfulness to them....the payoff is huge for me.  I wish everyone had that success.
Ignorance is bliss...what did I know 19 years ago?
q
*Heather*Status: mini flare Dec 28... tapered to every 4th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol (6 daily) + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~vitamins/minerals/supplements 
~Probiotic 3(Natural Factors Protec) bedtime + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) occasionally
~multi-digestive enzymes as needed ....zymactive 3 - 5x daily
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

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