47 Days smoke free, UC is catching up.

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 2/17/2010 7:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey everyone!
I am new to this forum.  As my disease has been in control for most of it's existence, I've never felt the need to reach out.  I was diagnosed with UC at age 12 in 1992.  I'm now 29 and have lived a very normal life.  I had one significant flare up 3 years after diagnosis, but was treated with enemas and I was back into remission.  Since then I have had spots of cramping, rare mucous, basically reminding me that I have the disease.  But for the most part I've just taken my asacol every day and that's kept me "normal" for all these years.  What I find strange about my story is that I was exceptionally hard on my body during my teens and early twenties.  I smoked cigarettes, I partied and drank regularly to excess and really pushed my luck.  However, in terms of UC I remained healthy.  My doc increased my asacol intake over the years, and I started going for colonoscopies more often, and my bowel health remained good.  At the age of 22 I took a major turn in my life.  It was time to grow up, and I started my path to become a professional firefighter.  I have been an avid runner and weightlifter since.  I still socially drink, sometimes a little too much but I quit the *** long ago.  I think it's been 7 years since I touched it.  The one vise that I couldn't shake was the cigarettes.
I'm now a firefighter, husband and a father of 1 with another on the way.  It's time to give up the smoking.  I quit in 2004 for 8 months, and was met with mucous and blood in my stool but never really got out of control.  I started smoking again and the symptoms disappeared.  I'm now 47 days into this attempt at quitting and feel completely in control of the addiction.  However, my colitis has become evident again.  I feel the urge to use the toilet at least 7-8 times a day, and there is always quite a bit of mucous and sometimes blood.  I can't seem to have a regular bowel movement, like there is something blocking it.  And I've got tonnes of gas!!  Alot of the time when I get the urge, I sit on the toilet and all that comes out is a huge fart with some mucous.  After reading a lot about the therapeutic effect of nicotine on UC I feel as though I'm doomed to be a smoker for life. 
Today I started the NICODERM patch step 2, in hopes that it will help thwart this episode.  I'm also noticing that some foods I've been eating are really making the symptoms worse.  I always thought that my good doctor diagnosing early and staying on top of my medication is what helped me stay healthy, but now I'm starting to think that being a smoker all these years is what kept my UC at bay. 
Thanks for taking the time to read this novel.  I hope there are some people out there that can help me understand what is going on with me and give some much needed advice.
Toronto Firefighter
Asacol 2400mg 2X daily
Salofalk enemas during flare
(edited; please see rule #2--fruitgirl)

Post Edited By Moderator (fruitgirl) : 2/18/2010 9:23:50 AM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2105
   Posted 2/17/2010 7:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Maybe give the e-cigs a shot? I think I would rather be addicted to the nicotine than having the symptoms of UC.
Proctitis DX 1999, Pancolitis DX 2008
Remicade, Sulfasalazine 3g/day, Rear meds as needed
Psyllium (palm full twice daily)
Probiotis/VitD3 5000IU+Ca/1000mg DHA

Ugh Just Ugh
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1004
   Posted 2/17/2010 8:08 PM (GMT -7)   
There are lots of stories on here from people who have quit smoking and then had bad flares or been diagnosed with UC. Hopefully some will offer you some advice. In the mean time did you try a search? You might be able to find some interesting posts on the topic!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 545
   Posted 2/17/2010 8:42 PM (GMT -7)   
I developed UC when I quit smoking. The first time was back in 93 and I was diagnosed with UP. It got too bad and I went back to smoking and of course it went away. I probably tried to quit smoking 10 times over a 15 year period but the symptoms: lots of blood, cramping, gas , "accidents", pain, etc., would get so bad that I would just go back to smoking. In addition I did not have health insurance so that limited my options. Well I finally quit 2 years ago this month and have been dealing with UC since. I am currently coming out of my 3rd flare and apprehensive. I don't feel like everything is back to normal. It is really difficult to quit smoking when you are confronted with all this. People always made me feel like I just did not have the will power to quit and look at me like I was nuts when I would say I get sick when I quit. My advise is to stick with it. Smoking is an easy out but not a healthy option. I am determined to live with out smoking and to find a way to deal with living with UC. It is very difficult and I don't feel like I am physically the same person, lots of aches, etc. Hopefully you can find a way to keep it under control.

Present: Lialda & Mesalamine Enemas; Current Per Day: Fish Oil 2000-Calcium/Vitamin D 1200 mg /800 IU, Folic Acid 800 mg, Magnesium 250 mg, Potassium 99 mg, Boswellia/Curcumin/Tumeric( 1000/400/600 mg); Vitamin D 50,000 unit once a week; Diagnosed UP 1993/Diagnosed UC August 08; Reclast for Osteoporosis Dec.09; Past: Remicade/Asacol /Rowasa/Anucort/Canasa/Prednisone 2/10/10 last day! (this time...)

Durango Kid
Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 330
   Posted 2/17/2010 11:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Check out the thread titled "New to Board". I kind of explained to Terrapin what I went through with smoking and U.C. You can do a search at the top of the board on smoking and Ulceratve Colitis and you should find many threads....
U.C. (Proctosigmoiditis) DX 2004 after quiting smoking
Currently fighting flare since 7/07/09
CURRENT MEDS: Asacol 4x3 daily; 7.5mg Pred (tapering down from 40mg); Azathioprine 100mg (Discontinued due to elevated liver enzymes); Hydrocortisone enema nightly; Probiotic 12 billion cfu; Psillium Husk Powder; Fish Oil; Multi-Vitamin
I don't believe diet contributes to my flares, however some foods tend to irritate symptoms while flarring.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 536
   Posted 2/18/2010 5:16 AM (GMT -7)   
FFCanada your story is so similar to mine. Unlike most in this situation, I really wish I could simply smoke and be OK. However, one has to quit, there is no place for a smoker anywhere now.
23 years of UC which started after quitting smoking. In and out of flares which are usually triggered by antibiotics. Latest issue is endless diarrhea without blood or mucous.


Rio in Maryland
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 891
   Posted 2/18/2010 5:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I was diagnosed with UC soon after quitting smoking too, so I know where you're coming from. Before you try smoking again, you could try some of the nicotine replacement options, such as e-cigs, gum, lozenges...Good luck with it
Rio, 34 year old male. Diagnosed with UC in 2006
Azathioprine (stopped), 3200 mg Asacol + Canasa
VSL#3 probiotics, Metamucil capsules, Forvia multi-vitamin
Vitamin E enema occasionally

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 100
   Posted 2/18/2010 6:09 AM (GMT -7)   

I was diagnosed with UC back in 1987, after a couple of months of blood and mucus i never had another attack unti xmas 09! 22 years without a symptom, no meds the only thing i done was smoked. September 09 i gave up smoking by xmas iwas in a huge flare and was hospitalized with C diff and dehydration. I started to use Niquitin Minis lozenges when i gave up smoking, i am still on them and i still am flaring with UC, i believe that nicotine has had no effect on my UC recurring i believe it's a stress disease. I was a police officer living on adrenalin i believe that without added adrenalin the UC becomes active. I gave up smoking = less adrenalin i gave up the police = less adrenalin = = = = UC

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4034
   Posted 2/18/2010 11:27 AM (GMT -7)   
First of all, congratulations on quitting smoking for 47 days! That is great!

Have you talked to your doctor? If the enemas helped you in the past, why not try them again? You can get this flare under control without going back to smoking!!! I suggest you do NOT go to another nicotine replacement device, i.e. gum patches, nicoderm, etc. It will just get you addicted to cigarettes again. I smoked for 6 years, quit last May and haven't touched one since. Please go to your doctor and see what other options you have. Life as a non-smoker is so much better than being a smoker, I'm sure you and your family will agree. Good luck and i hope you feel better soon.
25 years old; diagnosed March 2007

Asacol, 4 tabs, 3xday; Rowasa nightly; Viactiv; multivitamin; sublingual allergy drops; Ortho Tri-Cyclen

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2865
   Posted 2/18/2010 2:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Best thing you ever did was quit smoking.  My husband has COPD, lung cancer and just diagnosed with congestive heart failure and certainly 50 years of smoking contributed to all!  Deal with UC best you can but don't go back to smoking!!
Senior - diagnosed with proctosigmoiditis - 6/2008 Cannot tolerate mesalamines including rectal meds, etc. 
Prednisone for about 5 months - tried 6 MP with no help. 
No prescriptions now except for Cortifoam about once a week.  Now treating only with Imodium and Pepto Bismal and below....
Probiotic Align, Prilosec for GERD, Gas-X, vitamins, Calcium/D
Tylenol for knees and arthritis.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 2/19/2010 7:03 AM (GMT -7)   

Hey all,

Thanks for the responses.  I appreciate all the well wishing, and shared experiences.  I actually decided to start on the patch yesterday and was met with immediate relief.  When my gastro gets back from vacay next week, I plan to talk with him about how to wean myself off of nicotine altogether.

Literally, symptoms were GONE just hours after I started on the patch.  I had a nice solid normal bowel movement this morning and then sang hallelujah!!

I do realize that it's not realistic to stay on the patch long term but I hope that this link between nicotine and colitis will lead to more positive research in the treatment of the disease.

Torontofirefighter, asacol 800mg 3 pills 2xdaily, Salofalk enemas while flaring

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 142
   Posted 2/19/2010 7:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Interesting story...Last January, I went gluten free because that was what we thought was the problem. I know know I was in mild flare and that the sudden bowel movements weren't accidental gluten. At that time I quit smoking and went on the patch for 12 weeks! I felt wonderful..The best I ever felt. We chalked it up to being gluten free. I was not eating out at all because I didn't want to risk it. about the time I stoped the patches I started having symptoms and chalked it up to being glutened, because I had started to try eating at other places. Over the next eight weeks I was so miserable and sick, that I just couldn't resist smoking and besides it made me feel better. By that point I was already in heavyduty flare and was sent to a GI who finally did a scope and biopsy. I am working on getting good and solid with my colon (and as educatated) and I wll try again in the comming weeks.

Good luck with stay quit. It's hard when you feel so crappy now to worry about how you will feel later in life. At the rate I am going I could be dead before then and who wants to feel crappy with what ever time they have left.
Left sided UC Pancolitis : Diagnosed 7/09
Currently on Pred 40mg, Lailda 2.4 once a day Asacol 2 pills 3 times a day, Canasa 1000 mg sup at night before bed.
Supplements: Bromelain 1 times a day, Tummeric 1 times a day, Good Belly probiotics 1 time a day. Multi, Vit D, B-complex. Soluable Fiber supplement.. 
Maybe? in remission

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