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.