smoking with UC

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gibson
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/10/2007 2:34 PM (GMT -6)   
diagnosed 7 years ago with UC when I quit smoking.
 
Tried traditional medicine for a full 3 years (worst 3 years of my life) with symptoms only getting worse by the day. To the point where I couldn't even leave the house any more due to the urgency of going to the bathroom. Would pass blood up to 20 times just in the morning. Was hospitalized a couple times. I couldn't go anywhere that I hadn't mapped out the toilet locations. Had several accidents while waiting for a stall. Was sick all the time, had to carry a change of clothes with me all the time when I was brave enough to leave the house. Could barely work. Had doctors running experiments with meds that did a sum total of nothing.
 
Finally, 4 years ago, with my wife expecting our first child, I decided to start smoking again as a test. Well, what do you know? Took about a month to totally reverse my condition until I was completely symptom free. For the past 4 years, I haven't taken any meds for colitis and eat whatever I want. Sure I'd like to quit but I have to remember how bad it is living with UC, with a grocery list of meds to take, or diets so complicated that you can never eat out, or with company of fear that there will be nothing to eat...starving because you know if you eat that piece of cheese, it's coming out in a heartbeat.
 
Social norms are making it very difficult to smoke though so I sure hope that someone figures out what's in cigs that cause the remission (research pointing to carbon monoxide). However, if it is the carbon monoxide, it's too bad because such a product will never reach the public. How much money is there to be made by a pharmaceutical company selling a readily available gas (CO) that causes 100% remission...very little! That's the way things work.
 
And as anyone like me knows, when you smoke, you're treated like a monster regardless of the reason for the habit, and it's a waste of saliva to try to explain the exception of the condition.
 
If anyone hears of progress in a medication that can rival the results I get with cigs, I'm all ears. But anytime I ask my doc about the results of trials, the response is usually: 9/20 patients experienced a reduction of 50% of symptoms. And that's positive! How many of you want to feel only 50% better? So you're passing blood 10 times instead of 20 in a morning. Wow, killer improvement.

cap'n colitis
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 12/10/2007 2:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Gibson - wow if that's not the definition of a good news/bad news scenario, I don't know what is.
 
One thing though, is it the CO for sure that's benefitting the colitis? I'm wondering if it might be possibly nicotine? Nicotine is a stimulant and for many people causes colitis problems, but maybe with you its beneficial? The nicotene that you are getting from smoking doesn't seem to be giving you problems at least. Have you ever tried nicotene gum as an experiment? If you get results, you might be able to avoid the harmful effects and negative stigma of smoking?
 
Just a thought...
Male - Age 39
Diagnosed in 1988
Moderate Pan Colitis 10 years ago, but mild and fairly controlled since then
40mg Pred 30mg Pred 25mg Pred 20mg 15mg Pred
100mg Azathioprene
1600mg Asacol
Calcium Supp
Fish Oil Supp (or Flax Seed)
20mg Omeprazole
 
 
 
 


Jjc2007
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 194
   Posted 12/10/2007 2:56 PM (GMT -6)   
I always knew there was a connection to smoking.

However, I was diagnosed at age 15 and had never smoked. My dad did but my didn't. And my dad quite AFTER I was diagnosed. I started smoking at 20 years old, to lose some weight and basically I was fatalistic anyway, since there was NO CURE for my UC. I had spent over a month in the hospital while stlll in high school. I constantly had flares from 15 through 30 something. The smoking did not make a positive difference for me. However, when I quit smoking at age 35, I had one of the worst flares ever that last for months. Then ten years later I started smoking again. Again, no real positive change like total remission. However I quit again five years ago. Instead of cold turkey, I did is more casunally. I still had a flare but much more mild.
I don't want to smoke again but if they could ever bottle the reason smoking can help.....>wOW
diagnosed with UC in 1962
regualr meds:
Asulfadine (500mg tablets, 6 daily)
Folic Acid
Zantac as needed
open heart surgery in 2005 for removal of aortic root aneurysm


tjf
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3238
   Posted 12/10/2007 3:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I had my first flare after I quit smoking (didn't know it was a flare at the time). Started back and it was gone. I quit for good almost 4 years ago. No matter how much it helps my UC I just can't go back. My grandmother, a lifelong smoker, died of emphazema (sp??) last year and it was not a good way to go.
Tabitha (Tab)

100mg Azathioprine, 2 Fibercon, Colazal-9 a day, Acidopholis Pearls, Nexium

http://www.healingwell.com/donate
Co-Moderator UC Forum


tjf
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3238
   Posted 12/10/2007 3:06 PM (GMT -6)   
By the way....I forgot to welcome you! Glad to have you here!!
Tabitha (Tab)

100mg Azathioprine, 2 Fibercon, Colazal-9 a day, Acidopholis Pearls, Nexium

http://www.healingwell.com/donate
Co-Moderator UC Forum


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 12/10/2007 4:55 PM (GMT -6)   
The carbon monoxide released via the nicotine from smoking has anti-inflammatory effects in the colon only (for crohns it's actually a trigger and can wreak havoc with causing flares in the small intestines) go figure...I have crohns-colitis and do much better while smoking compared to not.

Research backs the above info up regarding benefits of carbon monoxide via smoking and UC, as well as the negative effects for CD (for CD it's one KNOWN trigger).

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


kazygirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 955
   Posted 12/10/2007 8:16 PM (GMT -6)   
nicotine is beneficial to UC but not crohns. i have spent the last week having a cigarette here and there after not smoking and my symptoms are definitely getting better.
whether i can attribute this to the cigarettes or not i dont know.

but every single doctor i have spoken to says that smoking is good for UC'ers. and i dont mean "good" as in smoking is good, because every single one of those same doctors said that they do NOT recommend taking up smoking because it is bad for you.

so its really a no win situation. one doc said nicotine patches have actually helped his patients. as well as the gum. for those who dont smoke he said the gum is best because you just chew a piece here and there, not like a smoker who is trying to quit and has to chew lots.

i am at the point (after a year+ long flare) that i figure if a cigarette here and there will make me not so symptomatic, then i will go ahead and have a cigarette here and there. but i am unique in the fact that i can smoke and stop at will. not everyone is like that, so there in the problem arises for others of becoming addicted to smoking.

its a tough situation isnt it....
steph - 31 year old female - diagnosed UC in 2000
started as proctitis and now is pancolitis..this year long flare is now severe on left side only to splenic flexure. 
50mg prednisone 1x day with breakfast 5 weeks now.. will taper next week by 10mg every 5 days.
2x 500mg mesalazine 2x morning & night - colifoam enima 1x at night - 1/2 endone every 6 hours for pain
now taking calcium supps for pred side effects - got lots of those!
50mg imuran 1x day 8pm to have a baby - VSL#3 didnt work - Aloe Elite didnt work - Budesonide didnt work
ive lost 40+lbs and my legs look like sticks ... ewww
 
 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 12/10/2007 10:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Nothing's written in stone that's for sure...I have crohns (crohns-colitis specifically) and smoking for me is better than not smoking...I only smoke about 6/day compared to a pack a day before I quit for 3 yrs...very individualistic IBD is.

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


princesscolon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 12/10/2007 10:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Ok, just my opinion... no matter how good my UC got, I wouldn't smoke, even if I would go into remission for life.  I just lost my Mom to Emphysema, I wouldn't wish that amount of suffering on anyone.

Adrienne,27
Diagnosed with Left-sided Ulcerative Colitis 1995 at 15
Tried: Prednisone, Rowasa & Hydrocortisone Enemas, Proctofoam, Sulfasalazine, Asacol, Probiotics, Fish Oil, Canasa, Enotcourt, Colazol, Proctocort, Anamantle...
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Proctitis with rectal fistula in 2004, put on Remicade
2007:Increased Remicade dosage-660mg every 6 weeks,diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis & Fibromyalgia
Current meds: Remicade 660mgs every 6 wks, Lomotil, Tramadol, Darvocet, Clorazepate, new meds I am about to start: Prograf, Cymbalta, Lyrica


Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4034
   Posted 12/10/2007 11:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I smoke and I feel like it somewhat worsens my UC symptoms, as it often makes me have the urge to go after having a cigarette. I know it's supposed to help though...wonder if it is only helpful for some and why that is?
23 years old
Diagnosed with UC March 2007
Current inflamation in the rectum
Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day
Rowasa (generic) - as needed for flares
Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri 1/day; Chewable multivitamin; Metamucil; Viactiv (Calcium and Vit. D) for Osteopenia; flaxseed


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 12/10/2007 11:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Like I said, it's very individualistic with IBD, I have crohns and smoking is suppose to cause flares in the small intestines, but for me it doesn't (knocking on wood it stays that way, afterall, when I first got sick with crohns it was affecting my TI (small intestines, colon, rectom and anus).

Princesscolon, you do have a good point, afterall we all know smoking in general is bad for us, keeping in mind not everyone who smokes gets emphazima and/or cancer but of course the risk of either of those will increase for smokers but it's not definite that it will happen to every smoker either.

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


gibson
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/11/2007 7:27 AM (GMT -6)   
I understand everybody's point of view on this because I have to agonize with it everyday. If there was a med that actually seemed to be doing something positive, then I'd quit smoking immediately. I just find that going back to traditional medicine puts my case back in the hands of doctors who have too many patients, very few NEW ideas, and no time to properly follow my progress. I prefer to be my own doctor as much as possible.
 
Not wanting to try smoking is understandable. It's a terrible habit. But I guess you have to reach rock bottom first and then you're willing to try anything. In my case, quality of life is everything. Will definitely take the risk of smoking induced health problems VS the guarantee of a limited quality of life with active UC.  
 
I tried the gum with no success. Quit smoking for a week while chewing. Took about three days for normalcy to dissapear, symptoms started to reappear.
 
Will do another (scientific) experiment with the patch soon. But, I don't think it will work (that's it, the study is already biased!).
 
Seriously though, could someone tell me 1 med they are on that has induced lasting remission (not prednisone)?

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 12/11/2007 9:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Many people do have success with their maintenance drugs (once they kick in which can take 6 months or so) like asacol, imuran, ect...If you smoke a little it's better than smoking alot even with the fact that smoking at all is harmful in the case of UC you can look at it like a little is better than none (smoking that is)...I don't plan to go back to a pack a day, 6/day works for me.

:)


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


julee70
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 12/11/2007 10:35 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm pretty sure that some recent studies showed that cutting back on smoking didn't actually cut back on the long term bad effects of smoking. That is, if you smoked 50% of the cigarettes, you didn't benefit from a 50% less chance of getting cancer. But I totally understand the trade off between smoking a little and suffering with UC a lot. It's not a good choice!

Weren't there UC studies with nicotine patches that showed the benefits of nicotine to UC? I once had a doctor ask me if I smoked and when I said only a couple per week, he said, "That's not enough to do any good." It was pretty funny.
-------
UC for the last ten years
Current Meds: 6MP
Past Meds: You name it; I've tried it.


TheLori
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 277
   Posted 12/11/2007 11:00 AM (GMT -6)   
my GI said that smoking can actually reduce UC symptoms..I quit smoking 10 yrs ago and wont go back, no way.
Lori
37/F
UC diagnosed 1991
Asacal, zoloft,levoxyl, prednisone 60,50,40,30, 25,20,15,10,5, 0!!!!!!!!


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 12/11/2007 11:21 AM (GMT -6)   
MY GP said smoking under 10 a day was comparable to standing on the street waiting for the light to change so you can cross, with the same poisons from vehical emissions and pollution in general.

Smoking is not the only cause of cancers and other health issues.

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


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30373
   Posted 12/11/2007 1:11 PM (GMT -6)   
We all risk something in order to feel as good as we can...the irony of reality. I see people ride bikes and run along busy streets..and I'm sure they'd believe smoking is bad for their health. I want to puke even thinking about how healthy that can be.

No, I'm not a smoker...but I was in my teens, albeit light. I have no idea what can eventually come of that..especially since I have asthma and my mom died of lung cancer.

quincy
*Heather*Status:mini flare June 23* 6asacol daily+ Salofalk (tapered every 4th night)
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~vitamins/minerals 
~Probiotic 2 (Natural Factors Protec) + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) at bedtime
~Natural Factors Multi Digestive Enzymes with supper
~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 !!!


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 12/11/2007 2:18 PM (GMT -6)   

Yup, smoking is bad for you, no doubt about it...but what isn't..."dryer sheets", make-up, perfume...here, read these links....

 

http://www.newstarget.com/002693.html

 

http://www.oxymega.com/cancer.html

 

 

:)



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


Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4034
   Posted 12/11/2007 6:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, I'll definitely be re-thinking my use of dryer sheets and scented laundry detergent. I don't wear make-up, so I don't have to worry about that one. And, yeah, I always kind of cringe when I see runners jogging alongside busy streets...and you gotta love people that drink tons of sugary soda every day and eat fast food all the time, but think it's okay to put down smokers b/c they are so unhealthy. I know smoking is unhealthy and I want to quit, but, yeah, there are lots of habits and products we use that are unhealthy.
23 years old
Diagnosed with UC March 2007
Current inflamation in the rectum
Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day
Rowasa (generic) - as needed for flares
Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri 1/day; Chewable multivitamin; Metamucil; Viactiv (Calcium and Vit. D) for Osteopenia; flaxseed

Post Edited (Sara14) : 12/11/2007 10:08:42 PM (GMT-7)


Sideshowbob
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 698
   Posted 12/11/2007 8:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I think you have to weigh your options. If smoking causes you less ill effects and a better quality of life it may be worth it for you. Personally smoking is a huge crap shoot in my opinion...but so are all our meds. I quit smoking 9 years ago, got UC three years ago. I HATE smoking. Everything about it. It robbed me of my breath, and now smoke free im stronger, faster, and feel better. But when i am in a middle of a terrible flare, if i was told a pack of day of smokes and 6 shots of whiskey would rid me of all symptoms......i would probably go for it. Because those bad flares are so very very painful and bad.
35 year old Male, Husband, Father of the best three kids in the universe.
First Flare was February 2005. Diagnosed June 2005-left-sided Colitis, suspect it has since spread. Started 4000 mg Oral Salofalk June 2005-stopped January 2007. Remission until November 2006. Been in a flare to various degrees since November 2006 to February 2007. Currently in remission.
Presently on 0 mg Prednisone-down from 60 mg!
Weekly 4000 mg Salofalk enemas.
Daily 4000 mg Salofalk oral.
Started Omeprazole 20 mg February 2007.
Co-Moderator-UC Forum


SDM
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 12/15/2007 10:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I just came home today from the hospital after having surgery. I didn't smoke for about 48 hours (before/after surgery) and by tonight I'm starting to have symptoms of a flare again... mad The same thing happened when i tried to quit a couple of months ago. So I know smoking helps my colitis and, personally, I'm sticking with my habit. I also smoke less than 10 cigarettes per day and, yes, I also struggle with really knowing what exactly is the most damaging to the body: flaring, popping higher quantities of prescription drugs or smoking. There is no denying that smoking is bad for us. Can't help but agree though, many of the "socially acceptable" harms people expose themselves to on a daily basis (air pollution, growth hormones in non-organic meat, fast food, refined sugar, pesticides, cleaning products, obesity, etc., etc., etc) are getting off easy as long as smoking is around to take the bum rap. Smoking is one of many manmade/self-inflicted evils.
Sandra, age 34
 
Diagnosed December 2006 with UC (proctitis)
Currently in flare since Aug'07
Asacol (800mg x 2) increased to 800mg x 4 due to current flare
Salofalk suppositories as needed  nightly due to symptoms
Multivitamin
Vitamins E, C, B complex, magnesium
Omega 3/6 supplements (500mg x 2)
Probiotics
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


kazygirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 955
   Posted 12/16/2007 5:30 AM (GMT -6)   
well look at prednisone... been on it only weeks and i got mad side effects, bone pain, shakes, sweats, mood swings (and the list goes on) and others who have been on it have bone problems and so many other major health issues that are horrible.

with smoking you can "possibly" get lung cancer / emphysema / etc...
(of course depending on how much one smokes)

we get bad side effects from everything even our own medicine.

so like the medicine leaflet says.. "All medicines have risks and benefits. You/your doctor has weighed the risks of you using this medicine against the benefits...."

same with anything!
steph - 31 year old female - diagnosed UC in 2000
started as proctitis and now is pancolitis..this year long flare is now severe on left side only to splenic flexure.
last 4 days have been fabulous with no UC symptoms at all = remission (yey!) 
tapering pred = now on 20mg prednisone 1x day with breakfast
1000mg mesalazine 2x day - 1/2 endone every 6 12 hours for pain (weaning)
calicim, inner health plus (probiotic), fentalyn patch for pain and to wean off oxycodone
VSL#3 didnt work - Aloe Elite didnt work - Budesonide didnt work
ive lost 40+lbs and my legs look like sticks ... ewww
 
 


UCinNC
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 528
   Posted 12/22/2007 9:08 PM (GMT -6)   
it is the carbon monoxide and not the nicotene. I say this because my GI told me that studies have been conducted where UC-ers are given nicotene patches, and the patch doesn't have the same benefits of the cigs. bummer. I asked my GI if I should start smoking (this was when I thought Imuran was going to fail me), but he was against that strategy.
29/Female/NC
Pancolitis dx 3/07
12 Asacol/day
150mg Imuran/day (steroid dependent)
Various vitamins, a probiotic and fish oil.


jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 12/22/2007 9:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I quit smoking in 1995. In 2000, I developed post-infectious reactive airway disease - just a fancy way of saying asthma. When I walked out of the doctor's office after that diagnosis, I put my head on the steerint wheel of my car and cried in gratitude that I had stopped smoking. I was feeling so bad, I couldn't even imagine smoking ever again.

In 2001 I was diagnosed with UC. By this time the asthma had cleared up, but I've never even considered starting to smoke again. My lungs start going into spasms when I even think about it. I'm not really afraid of cancer. I watched an uncle, my sister-in-law and my father all die gasping for breath from emphysema. I'll just take my meds and have surgery if necessary. Not being able to breathe scares me more than bleeding from my butt.
Judy
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Intolerant to Asacol and rectal mesalamine preparations.
On Prednisone then Entocort 2001-2006 with only short periods off. 
Current meds are Colazal, Azathioprine and Remicade.
In remission since April, 2006. Remicade has been my wonder drug.
 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 12/23/2007 12:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes well I'm an odd-ball because I have crohns (crohns-colitis, where CD is affecting the colon) and I do much better smoking than not, my colon and rectom surgeon told me never to quit smoking, I did anyways and my flare went from bad to much worse with 30+ BM's a day, I started again and along with natural products that I was taking I improved.

Nothing's written in stone and there isn't one thing that works for everyone, smoking will not necessarily help every UCer or hurt every CDer.

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

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