Does Smoking Really Help Ulcerative Colitis?

OK, has been a while since I posted an update.

I have had a few bad weeks, especially since my current GI doctor prescribed Imuran. I started to have uncontrollable movements and felt like I am falling apart. I decided to stop the Imuran last weekend and felt an immediate improvement. Last Monday I went to see Dr. Hanauer at the University of Chicago. This guy is the bomb. Extremely positive and has experience that is out of the box. So, after reviewing my case, he flat told me to start smoking 3-5 cigarettes per day and I will be in remission faster than I have ever been. Yes, I am fully aware of all the side effects, but truth is, I started last Monday with 20-25 movements per day, and today I am down to 5!!!!! I am more willing to cut off a few years at the end if I have the quality of life until I get there. I also cut down on the Prednisone from 60mg/day to 30mg/day right now and can’t say I ever felt better in months.  I have my family back and my normal life, can go to work again and don’t have to be afraid to soil myself several times per day. I am discussing the use of Humira with him next week and sure hope to stop taking that as well, too. GO SMOKE!!!!

-UC Man


Dr. Hanauer’s doctor review

Tags: smoking

467 Responses to “Does Smoking Really Help Ulcerative Colitis?”

  1. TCAugust 16, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    I am a 61 year old female with UC. it did not manifest itself completely until 10 years after I quit smoking, at age 40. I had been having mild symptoms for those 10 years but always attributed it to bad food or hemorrhoids. Finally I was so sick and lost over 25 lbs. Time to see the Dr. I was treated with lots of prednisone which in the process created many more physcial problems for me. Finally my GI told me I needed to have the surgery and remove my colon. I wasn’t ready mentally for that and started doing more research into alternatives to surgery. To my surprise I found that nicotine may help. I first tried the gum, then the patches and neither of those put me into remission. Finally I picked up a cigarette. I began smoking and within a week I was in remission. I have not had an attack, AT ALL, in over six years. My husbands brother had colon cancer and a colostomy. As much as my husband hates smoking he said he’d buy my cigarettes for as long as they worked so I wouldn’t have to have the surgery. My GI, PC, Rheumetologist and Gyno physicians all know I smoke and why. Every one of them have agreed the quality of life is so much more important than the quantity. Anyone with UC understands the quality of life diminishes when you are experiencing flare-ups. My only regret is that this is not made public because of the stigmatism associated with smoking. I was tired of explaining why I smoke and therefore do not explain it any longer. However the negative comments and disgusted looks continue. Oh well, I’m sure if these people were in my shoes they may be smoking as well. Someday we’ll find a treatment and call all quit but until then…if you got ‘em, smoke ‘em!

    • jamieJune 12, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

      Just as you, I also had to discover the link between cigarettes and uc by myself. At the age of 21, I quit smoking when I became pregnant. I was fine until after delivery. Once I was back home with new baby I became very ill. Spinning head, headaches, bloody stools. It took quite some time to get a diagnosis, as they kept insisting it was due to delivery. To make a long story short, I battled with this disease for 3 years until I became pregnant again. My symptoms went into remission when I became pregnant again. As before, after delivery I became ill again. It had gotten so bad, I didn’t care anymore. I began smoking out of frustration and self pity and because it had always been a stress soother in the past. Shortly after smoking again all the symptoms went away and I was able to get off all medications. I had felt so great for the first time in years. I was determined to live a healthier lifestyle. I quit smoking again. Within only a few days I was sick again. This vicious cycle continued a total of 3 more times over a course of 3 more years before the light came on. In the past 11 years since I made the connection and have been an active smoker I’ve had 3 flareups, each very mild and only lasting a few days. All were linked to extremely stressful moments in my life. I was able to recognize the onset and ward it off before it became a full flare. I also find it hard to explain that I don’t want to smoke but I do it for my health. Lol. Nobody gets it. Quality out weighs quantity for me at this point in my life. I have 3 beautiful children that need their mommy and I am quite certain had I not began smoking again I’d be right where I was before… In the fetal position, crying in pain, scared for my life.

    • DavidJuly 17, 2014 at 9:58 am #

      I’m thinking about smoking or using the patch. Witch gives better results?

      • Graham from England
        graham leeJuly 18, 2014 at 5:34 am #


        I’ve tried patches and gum, they only offer around 20% of the benefits of smoking 5-10 per day. For me nicotine replacement only slows the progression of a flare and will not stop it.

  2. greg boothAugust 16, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    Has anyone told you about Anatabloc? It is a nutraceutical has an anti-inflammatory called anatabine in it that is also in tobacco. Some animal studies have shown it can ameliorate certain colon problems. My doctor told me about it.

  3. Leif SmithAugust 17, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    Research on “anatabine” and “inflammation” will turn up a lot of things that may contribute to this discussion.

  4. Graham from England
    Graham leeAugust 23, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    Well it’s been almost 2 years off cigarettes since taking EVOO but I now admit and realise with a heavy heart that it is exactly like Dr Harts original findings “a preventative effect”. I say “preventative” because this amazing oil kept my UC away for over a year but the crucial thing is that my colon was extremely healthy from smoking.

    I am convinced my UC is aggressive as usually 3 weeks after stopping smoking would be my limit. The problem now is that I cannot reverse my flare, I have changed my diet to a very healthy (easy to follow) diet and am increasingly dependant on a low dose Asacol suppository.

    Don’t get me wrong, I believe EVOO is powerful and maybe everyone with UC should have a tablespoon at least twice a day, (1st and last thing on an empty stomach). There are many good things we can do to help ourselves and the simple ones are the best, let’s face it a strict diet is way too difficult for many of us.

    I recently suffered a minor stroke, the blood loss got very bad as I ran out of meds and though I’m still to have my heart tests I am sure the bleeding had something to do with it, maybe the added stress of the flare. The good news is my blood, arteries, ECG and blood pressure were all very good “keep doing whatever it is you are doing” they said. However, I must stop the heavy blood loss at all costs and so have decided to smoke the 4 or 5 a day. I realise its a gamble as there could be a heart problem but a calculated risk I would say. It’s been almost a week now and I am feeling much better though obviously gutted for starting again.

    Oh well back to being a social leper… Until my colon recovers.

    • TaraAugust 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

      Now that you know how well the EVOO works for you, it’s just a matter of getting over your flare up and then perhaps you can get off the cigarettes again for quite a while before resuming. I know it is hard for someone who has smoked for years and worked hard to quit, but at least you have this to fall back upon when you need to. I found Asacol useless, myself. It never seemed to do a thing for my colitis, yet I know it has helped a number of people. Don’t feel down in the dumps about this, Graham. Remember, you are only doing what you need to do to recover. You have an obligation to yourself and your loved ones to be healthy, even if that means low dose smoking.

  5. Graham from England
    Graham leeAugust 24, 2013 at 2:04 am #

    Thanks Tara and great to hear from someone who agrees with this point of view. I hope you are doing well and still getting great support from your family. I will ease off the volume of oil slightly as its a double laxative and a couple of months should Heal things nicely. With all I’ve learned here there is no reason why I shouldn’t have an even better start than previously…

  6. julieOctober 12, 2013 at 3:47 am #

    Hi im really new to this to cut a long story short . stopped smoking 10 weeks ago started bleeding and loose stools 6 visits to the toilet every day. had colonoscopy, diagnosed with uc. wondered if it was the stopping smoking so decided to start, 3 days ago smoked 4 fags carried on smoking, blood has stopped and yesterday i never had my bowels open at all its just amazing ive gone from all those toilet visits and loads of blood to nothing, i really dont want to smoke but when i weigh it up id rather smoke than go through all that. ive decided to smoke for two weeks and then stop and see what happens if it starts again i will know its the fags, has this happend to many people

  7. Graham from England
    graham leeOctober 12, 2013 at 7:36 am #

    It’s no coincidence I’m afraid, though at least (like many) you have discovered this form of exit from UC, if you so choose.

    I have stopped many times while trying different things to stop the inevitable flare. When you do this again I advise you to keep a daily bowel movement diary. Contrary to popular UC belief, you should notice that once you quit you will get bloating and the motions will slow or almost stop. This happens before the eventual increase in BM’s and blood etc that we all sadly recognise.

    If you can keep your smoking to 3-4 a day it could be a good period to “flirt” with UC and see what natural remedies help you or not. Probiotics, olive oil, demulcent foods. You could also cut sugar, alcohol, trans fats, unnecessary additives, dairy, refined carbs, this list goes on!

    The best remission keeper I have found is Extra Virgin oilve oil. I substituted cigarettes for a large spoon of EVOO morning, noon and last thing at night (on an empty stomach). This took my previous non smoking, UC free record of 6 weeks to 14 months! Unfortunately, I have had a flare since and am now half way through a 3 month smoke, getting ready to go smoke free again. I am even more confident this time as I’ve learned lots here to add to my armory. Below is a link with great EVOO information and sourcing advice. If you are in the UK by any chance, M+S Italian, “fruity oil with a peppery finish” is great.

    Real remission is hard to acheive so if you get there, naturally, please stay vigilant. The “UC lion” is very hard to put back in its cage.

    Good luck!

  8. TaraOctober 12, 2013 at 9:01 am #


    I’ve been wondering how you are doing and had it on my agenda to send you a message asking how you are since you had to resume smoking. I will be most curious as to your quitting again and whether your EVOO keeps you there…hopefully at least as long as it did last time. I wish I could say that 4 or 5 worked for me. Even when I smoke 6, I constantly seem at the verge of a flare up, with a tad bit of mucous and even some small amount of blood on occasion, although no discomfort, but it was enough to get me scared and then I press myself to smoke a little more. Seven seems to be my magic number for zero signs of UC. I was really hoping 4 would do because I still utterly dislike smoking and it’s highly inconvenient with my limited time and all. I’m fearing winter, too, because I only smoke outside and I’m rather skinny, so I freeze so easily. I am still taking all my supplements, as well. Anyway, at least in spite of all the inconveniences, I am UC free at present. Just keep us posted as to how you are. This whole thread, and largely you, have been the turning point to what I consider a healthier, happier life in spite of (and even because of) the smoking.

  9. Graham from England
    graham leeOctober 12, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    Hi Tara!

    Good to hear from you and really pleased you are well. I agree, 7 does seem about right. When I think about it, the lower number of 4 – 5 was when it got tricky after cutting down from being well, not smoking my way out of a flare. I suggested 3-4 to Julie because of what she commented.

    It’s been 7 weeks smoking 5 cigarettes and slowly increasing to 10 (will power). However, this is the first week with no blood or pink at all, heaven! I recently missed 2 oil doses in 24hrs and the blood, mucas arrived. A set back but this is the time when we learn the most. This convinced me the healing job may look done but not to rush it. I have lost a few of the hard gained lbs since smoking but I’m not panicking and making a daily protein drink to combat this. If it helps you, I gained over a stone when I started the oil and quit before. I hope the healthy way can totally work for us both some day. I’m having various oils tested by an expert, she hopes to find the Evoo components that work and those that don’t. Better UC oil is coming!

    I have been discharged from the stroke clinic a healthy man. Body inflammation, blood pressure, arteries and heart all great. After smoking for 25 years and a terrible diet/ lifestyle, I must put this down to the oil and 6 months on a good diet. They said it was most likely an IBD drug reaction. It is mega embarrassing having to explain why I am smoking, some people just don’t believe it could help or by that much. You know what that’s like!

    • TaraOctober 14, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

      Thank you for sending me a message, Graham. I didn’t see your message because instead of coming into my email inbox it went to my junk mail! I periodically have to check it because of such things. I am so glad you are doing well and am always happy to see a post from you. I think my very low weight has more to do with my natural body type than being unwell, as I feel pretty decent right now, aside from the stresses of family life, esp. having an autistic son. But thank God I am managing well thanks to the cigarettes and supplements. I still am too chicken to cut down now that I seemed to find my magic number. Hope we keep hearing from you often. Bless you!

      • Graham from England
        graham leeOctober 15, 2013 at 12:16 am #

        Very nice of you to say that Tara and I’m really pleased things are manageable for you now. I do perhaps sense some guilt, though there shouldn’t be. Your family are lucky to have you caring for them.

        Some people smoke because they are addicted, some just want to look cool and some simply enjoy it. We do it in order to live normal lives and I’m sure even the highest being would approve in this situation. So no more heavy handed anti smoking police please!

  10. Julie ReedOctober 12, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    Hi everyone. I have been encouraged by reading everything on this site. I posted a comment the other day, but not sure where it is. I’ve been in a 5 year flare up and I’m sick of it. I was on remicade and it worked sort of ok until the insurance cut me off and now I’m flaring up again. I started on the SCD 5 days ago and then read about smoking. I got really excited. I’m a former smoker (quit 10 years ago) but as all of you know, this disease can make you desperate to try anything. I started smoking about 5 cigs a day about 3 days ago. I haven’t seen any positive changes yet. How long should I give smoking a chance before I quit again? I’m also taking Vit. D drops and need to buy some more probiotics. That’s about it. Any info will be most appreciated!! thanks!!

    • LeroyJune 8, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

      I was diagnosed with uc some 16 yrs ago… back then bactrin along with flaggle was about all there was to offer,,,, forgot predisone in my case I refused… I was chronic, bleeding heavy..toooo much stress and anxiety..btw 25 yrs with anxiety, long story short im medication free for 15 yrs now, a pack or more a day of cigs done away with uc,for those with chronic uc and heavy bleeding you already know quality of life is cleary decreased….some people may choose to rely on meds only…for me and many others it dident work to well….smoking like many other drugs can have long term side effects yrs down the road…my drs don’t believe in my choice to treat my uc…they simply tell me im very lucky and my situation is not of the norms…they have no explanation to 15 yrs med free and still in remission…make your own conclusion….now my 19 yr old son has it…drs have him so confused on what meds to use…for now he is on predisone…noting else has worked for him….btw he just started to smoke and the bleeding has stopped and he feels normal again..hmmm…what do you make of this

  11. TaraOctober 12, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    Hi Julie,
    I am not sure that you were able to read my comments on this lengthy thread, but I will reiterate a little of what I wrote because it may be helpful, esp. in light of the fact that so many see positive results from their smoking within days. For me it was quite different. I was never a smoker and quite honestly hated the idea of it, but I was desperate and in the midst of a severe flare up and on meds that weren’t helping. I was truly on the toilet all the time and was in agony physically, barely able to function. I also had developed an associated fat cell infection so walking was unbelievably painful and difficult as my ankle and leg were swollen and I could barely bend my knee. It’s called Erythema Nodosum. Anyway, to make along story short, I was in bad shape. I was desperate for relief and to stay out of the hospital and had read smoking helps so many, so I tried it. I started with 4 cigarettes a day and felt no improvement after a week. Then I went up to 5 and after about a week of that I started to see some mild improvement. I then continued to smoke between 5 and 6 a day and by the 3rd week I knew I was starting to get better. By week 5 I was almost in remission. It took another 2 weeks or so for me to consider myself in remission. Sometimes after that there was a mild bit of mucous and even a touch of blood, but no pain whatsoever anymore. I usually smoke about 7, and have been doing this for several months (I think it’s been about 7 months since I started and I am without symptoms of UC. So you see, it took me longer than many and I couldn’t fix the problem with the 4 a day I’d hoped for, but I was also in very rough shape. If I were you, I’d give it some time, perhaps a month and you may have to work on fine tuning the amount that you need to get you and keep you in remission. I feel pretty confident it will work, though. Do let us know. I hope this info helps you

  12. Julie ReedOctober 12, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    That encourages me sooooo much! I’m excited to keep on smokin’ now. I think I will try 7 a day as well. I’ve heard (and I’m sure you have too) that people who have never smoked before often don’t respond to it that well, so I’m glad you finally got a response. I can’t afford to be in the bathroom. I have two kids and I’m studying to be a teacher– finishing within a year. Can you imagine being a teacher and running to the bathroom all day? I haven’t had time to read all the previous posts, so I appreciate your writing this out again. one more queston…. do you think that since you are in remission, you will be able to cut back on the smokes? I’m hoping that’s the case for me anyways! thanks a ton!

  13. TaraOctober 12, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    I’m so glad this has helped, Julie. I have four kids and one is autistic and relies upon me for his sole care, so I can definitely relate to not having the “convenience” of being sick, much less the desire to go through the unimaginable suffering it causes physically. I guess I could try to cut back but I’m a chicken after that last flare up. Maybe I will in time, but I’m not emotionally ready to. Yes, I also heard that previous non-smokers don’t derive the benefits that former smokers do, but I hoped and prayed it would work for me and it did. I didn’t know where else I would turn if it didn’t. I, personally, think that this claim is made simply because there are less studies made when it comes to non-smokers and that is just the politically correct assumption to make thanks to the war on tobacco. I also read a lot on a site called Forces International that clears up many of misconceptions about smoking and it’s exaggerated dangers and this made me feel less horrified by my decision. My husband just about freaked when he heard I was going to do this, but now, seeing how it’s helped me, it’s definitely in favor of it. It feels funny encouraging someone to resume smoking who has stopped, but compared to the miseries of UC and the truly dangerous and often ineffective drugs that are prescribed to treat it, I can do so with a clear conscience. Go for it and best wishes to you!

  14. Julie ReedOctober 12, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    Thank you Tara– I have an autistic child too!! what a coincidence. I worry about him too and I hope I can live a long enough life to make sure he’s ok. Like I said, I’ve been in a flare up for 5 years now (aside for the short time I was on Remicade which helped a little) and there is no feeling worse than being trapped at home with this disease, having to make sure there is a bathroom everywhere you go “just in case.” My problem is that we don’t have insurance. I’m trying to be a teacher, so I can get a job, so I can get insurance, so I can get the help I need. But if I have colitis, I can’t work, so I won’t have insurance! what a vicious cycle this is. That’s why I was so excited when I found this smoking remedy because it’s weird enough to be believable. Now the only debate is..should I try taking dangerous drugs to help my colon when I do have insurance again? or just keep smoking because it works. Guess I’ll wait and worry about that later! One problem at a time! Best wishes and God bless!!

  15. Cassandra BookerOctober 12, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    Well I’ve been on the nicotine patch for close to 40 days and my flare ups have started again. I will be showing my dr this blog to see if maybe she wants me to test this theory. I wanted to quit for good and maybe quitting is something that in my case may be doing more harm than good

    • rebeccaNovember 24, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

      Hi, im 17 with uc, diagnosed at 15 but had uc since 14years old. In and out of hospital, was on azathioprin which I had an allergic reaction to, pentasa and also tried puri nethol(chemotherapy) which all never controlled my uc. I have it mainly on my left side but all the way through my intestines aswell. I started smoking a year ago and all symptoms cleared up, when I tried to stop smoking in march this year I ended up in hospital again. I have since started smoking. Up to 10 daily. I was wondering if nicotine patches work as well as smoking tobacco does? Thanks

  16. TaraOctober 13, 2013 at 2:53 am #

    Wow, Julie, that really is a coincidence. My son is 15 and goes to public school because with his serious problems I couldn’t home school him anymore, but two of the other three I home school, as well, The third is too young still, so I guess that makes me kind of a teacher, as well. As for me, I have absolutely no faith in the medical industry or their drugs. I truly believe cigarettes (if you’re not chain smoking) are a better option than most pharmaceuticals. Remicade, as I’m sure you know, carries a risk of cancer, too, as do many of the other drugs, along with a slew of other dangers. Of course the decision will be entirely yours to make when the time comes. Being on Big Pharma’s concoctions is more socially acceptable these days than smoking, so one has to recognize that, too, when making this decision. But you’ll have time to weigh it all out and do what’s best for you. In the meantime use those cigarettes to get that flare up under control. I do believe they will work with the right number and a little time. Keep us posted and blessings to you, too.

  17. Julie ReedOctober 13, 2013 at 7:22 am #

    I agree about drugs Tara — I hate them. thanks so much for the support and I will post here if I have any success with the cigs!

    • TaraOctober 14, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

      Best wishes, Julie. Please research low-dose smoking. I am convinced the risks are fewer than being on Remicade. Doctors prescribe all sorts of dangerous drugs, including to children. I know because my autistic boy was on many of them. They didn’t help him and the side effects were disastrous, so that Remicade is prescribed to children is no valid argument as I see it. It is just further proof how irresponsible the medical system can be. As I wrote to Todd, I have personally know life-long smokers and have heard of many who did not get lung cancer. The claims that cigarettes definitely cause cancer are not accurate. In no way, mind you, am I implying that smoking is healthy, although if one wants to try for a slightly more healthy manner of smoking, one could go with either organic tobacco and roll your own or buy an all natural cigarette, like American Spirits. That way, at least you get fewer additives. I have done so much research months ago and believe it or not, in countries like Japan and many European countries, the lung cancer death rate is not high. Cancer risks increase with pollutants like carbon monoxide from living in high traffic areas and other unhealthy life-styles and eating habits. The statistics are available on the internet, but you really have to delve into it to find it. It is startling how much nonsense we are fed and believe whatever the mainstream dishes out.

    • TaraOctober 14, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      I just wanted to add something I forgot to say about these other countries and their low rates of lung cancer compared to the US. I’m specifically talking about countries that have a higher rate of smoking. That’s an important point to make in mentioning that their lung cancer rate is lower than ours.

      • Julie ReedOctober 14, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

        ok thanks Tara. I’m currently smoking 7 per day. We shall see if it works. At this point, I’m willing to try just to try to have a normal life again. Thanks for all the info.

        • TaraOctober 15, 2013 at 11:01 am #

          Please do keep us informed as to when it starts to help. I say “when” because I am confident it will. This is an illness that can drive us to total desperation.

          • Julie ReedOctober 16, 2013 at 5:50 am #

            I will Tara. Thank You for the encouragement and support! I told my Mom about you. She was a little upset with me about the smoking. ha!

        • TaraOctober 16, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

          I couldn’t find a reply option to the correct comment you made. I just had to tell you that I was telling my mom about you, too, yesterday! She’s read this thread even prior to my starting to smoke and she was all for it for me, unlike my husband where it took a heck of a lot of convincing and we even argued about it, something we almost never do. Maybe your mom might look at some of the info posted. Most of it is pretty insightful. Perhaps it will help her understand your decision better.

          • Julie ReedOctober 16, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

            Yes– when I told her your story, she was more ok about it. She has discovered a product called “juice plus” that claims to do miraculous things for the body. It’s pure veg and fruit supplement. she knows someone whose colitis it helped. I’m skeptical but will try it because I need those nutrients anyway. My email is Maybe you could email me because I was going to ask you some more questions about your colitis and son that have nothing to do with smoking that’s on this thread :)

  18. Todd McCulloughOctober 13, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    I think that people are under the false impression that cigarettes are not a drug and are a healthy holistic alternative. Cigarettes are a drug and are as full of harmful chemicals as Remicade and other drugs.
    There have been children that have come into the clinic to have Remicade infused while I’ve been in there getting the same, are some of you suggesting that they should start smoking?
    I’m not even sure that smoking has helped me out all that much. What I do know is that I’m somewhat hesitant to go full steam ahead with it. My 34 year old wife had one breast removed because of breast cancer, and unfortunately something spread to her brain. So I have been to plenty of cancer groups with her and I can assure you that smoking has plenty of ill side effects.
    Remicade can potentially cause cancer, smoking definitely causes cancer.
    I’m all for people smoking if it helps them, but there appears to be some naïveté that it won’t harm you or others around you.

    • TaraOctober 14, 2013 at 2:43 pm #


      I don’t think anyone here thinks smoking is healthy, but that it definitely cause lung cancer is truly debatable. I have personally known life long smokers who never got lung cancer and have heard of many. We all know there are risks associated with smoking, but we are talking about moderate smoking here and with the research I’ve done I have learned that moderate smoking poses limited risk.

  19. Julie ReedOctober 13, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    Todd– I’m at the point that I just don’t know what to do anymore. I have to begin working soon and can’t with this disease. I hate this disease. (sigh) It just really sucks to have to make these choices. So, what is your story? What do you do and are you in complete remission? I did Remicade for almost a year and it never fully put me in remission. Aside from having my stupid colon removed, which I might opt for someday, I don’t know what else to try.

  20. Todd McCulloughOctober 13, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    This link is my story from last year which includes smoking.

    That’s everything. I appear to be better off than all other UC patients when I get Remicade. The others complain about constant flare ups even though they are on Remicade.

    I haven’t had any kind of bowel problem since 2009.

    I don’t know what to attribute it to. Remicade? Being vegetarian? Cooking non processed foods.

    I was starting to get bad auto-immune arthritis again over the course of the last year. A Doc’s blog that I follow wrote, that if you have auto-immune related arthritis, you should avoid dairy.

    Coincidentally over the last year I had started eating cheese again. So I stopped. Oddly enough it made a big difference. Only a swollen knuckle, knee or wrist here and there now. And even that appears to be related to when I fall off the wagon and eat some dairy at a party or some thing.

    My wife smoked regularly and has cancer. My dad smoked since he was 16 and only now seems to be paying for it at 68 with early onset COPD. Who knows.

    My system that I have been building on over the last year is to live like it’s the year 1900. Eat from scratch and consume things like alcohol and cigarettes like they are hard to come by. Meaning if I lived in a rural setting in Canada ( where I am from) how often would I be able to afford this and that or how often would it be available in my town.

    I feel like the golden generation and generations previous to them lived longer and healthier. So I intend to adopt some of their habits.

    To give you an idea of my thinking and to relate it to smoking, I read online that a heavy smoker 100 years ago consumed about 100 cigarettes a year. And they didn’t inhale, or at least many didn’t because filters weren’t invented until the 30’s. Compare that to the 60’s and later when a heavy smoker was inhaling all the cigarettes they smoked and consumed roughly 3600 a year.

    I personally think we all need to make lifestyle changes, and not just choose either Remicade or cigarettes.

    I want off Remicade but I won’t stop until my body rejects it.

    I hope I just made a point and didn’t completely contradict my blog post!

    • Mark KernNovember 25, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

      why remicade your u c mild to moderate or moderate to severe ? my doc wants me to try humira .my uc is mild to severe and nothing is working..40 mgs prednisone 150 mgs imuran 1600 mgs times three a day for 10 months .the only thing has stopped is the diarrhea. is remicade newer than humira or better.. have to make decision soon..worried about more side affects also

  21. Todd McCulloughOctober 13, 2013 at 9:15 am # is the doctor’s blog I mentioned. He’s got his own chronic health problems apparently so I think he’s on a similar search as many here. Holistic and science combinations.

  22. Julie ReedOctober 13, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    Ok Todd..thanks for the information. I’m going to read your post/link today and study over it. It’s all so freakin’ confusing and frustrating. Seems like everyone has to do different things to go into remission. Add to that, neither my husband nor I are great cooks. Guess I will need to learn if that’s what it takes. Aaah! Thanks for the post and I’ll check in soon!

  23. GemmaOctober 14, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    Oh no was reading Grahams post about the bloating and constipation once you stop. I stopped on 28th August but have kept on taking the nicotine, I have been doing really good but the last few weeks have been really bloated and maybe a bit constipated, like I would normally go in the mornings but now I can get up and not need to go until after dinner which is weird for me. I thought maybe the bloating was the die off of the bad bacteria and the change in movements was my body trying to find it’s own rythmn. Also had a freaky thought what if I’ve been misdiagnosed as having UC but I have crohns, and smoking makes crohns worse. I’ve never had bleeding with my uc which is making me think it could be crohns (no ulcers to bleed?), but then I guess if it was crohns all that time I was smoking I would of had a massive flare.

  24. Graham from England
    graham leeOctober 14, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    Hi Gemma,

    As far as I know, smoking only helps colitis, anyone?

    I always found quitting easier by just stopping entirely at once (Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking). Though this was my most successful route for quitting, it became very apparent there would be the inevitable, and imminent arrival of a colitis flare. The bloating started and the regular morning BM I expected after the coffee/cigarette combo would disappear. Having said that, I still do not believe that merely quitting more slowly will change or improve the eventual outcome. If it’s not too late, I recommend getting things moving pretty quickly, though naturally. I have read that pharmaceutical laxatives can make the colon lazy.

    I saw this short study today, it’s finding about what causes a colitis relapse were surprisingly interesting. Could be worth a read given your current status.

  25. GemmaOctober 22, 2013 at 5:23 am #

    Thanks Graham

    Yes I think smoking makes crohns worse from what Ive read online. Ive been back smoking 1 or 2 a day and I know its probably too little to help but Ive been feeling better. I find smoking very stress relieving too!

    Interesting link you posted above, I watched a movie called forks over knives about cutting animal protein out the diet and the positive effects on health, just google forks over knives and also The China Study.

  26. hankNovember 1, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    Hey everyone, I’m a 19 year old guy with ulcerative colitis.

    I was at a club last year with a smoking room, I was in that room for about half an hour. The day after I was in remission, but then got flared up again.

    That should mean that smoking helps my UC, right? But the thing is, I have tried to smoke after that but never felt any progress. Mabye I haven’t give it enough time?

    Also worth mentioning, I wasn’t a smoker before i got diagnosed with UC.

    Sorry for my bad english, I’m from Sweden :D


    • TaraNovember 5, 2013 at 5:13 am #

      Hello Hank,

      I’d consider it unlikely to be a connection between a few hours of second hand smoke and a day of remission, esp. if you say you’ve tried smoking in the past and have not found it helpful. I wonder how long you tried, though, and how many cigarettes you were smoking at the time. I was not a smoker prior to my colitis and now (because of my colitis) I smoke 7 a day which seems to keep it in perfect remission. I’ve been doing this about 8 months and it took approx. a month or 2 for me to really feel healed. I am 45 and you are only 19, so it’s a little scary for you to start a smoking habit at your young age. Still, if it’s something that will save you countless years of misery from the UC, and esp. if you have enough will power to limit your cigarettes and not just fall into chain-smoking, than you might give it a go. Reading this thread will definitely show you how effective it is in most cases. Best of luck to you.

  27. Drew TaylorNovember 7, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    Hi, I’ve got UC, But I’ve had a total colectomy and an J pouch, Does smoking still hold any benefit for me?

    • TaraNovember 11, 2013 at 8:20 am #

      Didn’t the surgery cure your colitis…I thought it was supposed to. Why, then, would you need to smoke?

  28. CassandraNovember 11, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    I have been back and forth with smoking and not smoking for a year since i’ve been diagnosed. I’ve always been a smoker, but i am not really seeing any changes in my flareups. I am not sure if i am ready to go on medication because I am not going to the bathroom often. However, when i do go, i notice the blood and the mucus. I dont meant to be too graphic. Somedays are good and i would try to track what i did the night before. Usually it would be red wine and a few cigarettes and my first bowel movement would be bloodless. But i am told by my dr that alcohol makes flareups worse. I am not experiencing pain nor am i experiencing frequent bowel movements. I am back on the nicotine patch and trying to wait until afterwork where my bowel movement is the most productive. During the day i will have some small passing of bloody mucus. I dont know if i am ready to see the dr for medicine yet, but so far in a nutshell, smoking has not really helped me as much as i thought it would.

  29. Wong Fei HungNovember 24, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    I started to smoke cigs but I dont have UC or anything just really bad diarrea that I just said w.e. I felt like my stomach was not absorbing any nutrients but once I started to smoke cigs cuz one day I had no more weed so I bought a pack of cigs to smoke out of boredom. After smoking like for 2 weeks I notice my stool was more like a log and my stomach stopped bloating and I felt more better. Ive been smoking ever since only cigs no more weed cuz it just makes me into a unproductive piece of shit and I got anxiety and paranoia from it. Smoking cigs made me more calm alert and stress free. I just stumbled upon this website while searching for some correlation between my improved bowel movement and here is my 1 cent. I also have heard that nicotine also removes fluoride from your pineal gland which is a very important gland but fluoride from toothpaste and our water have been destroying it. Look up nicotine and pineal gland on google. No wonder the elites are all anti smoking and they are somehow pushing the weed agenda through the media to dumb down and make the population more passive. I study sociology so this kind of making sense not to be a conspiracy tard but they are some truth to this. My asthma also went away after smoking which is wonderful because I can stay outside in the winter more. Ive been smoking for 2 years on cigs, dont smoke weed for 2 years and only drink a beer socially no hard liquor. I feel way more healthier and I have not gotten sick since forever. Just my opinion and experience. Fluoride is one of the most dangerous chemical in our society and i heard the Nazis gave it to the jews to pacify them so that they can willingly just go into the gas chambers. The govt does not want you to revolt, they want you to be passive and controlled and I feel like the weed agenda is being pushed through celebrities like wiz khalifa and on tv shows. It may still be illegal federally but it is socially engineered to make people use it. Have a good day. One more thing once I started smoking cigs I started having more dreams than ever before, I do not know if its the pineal gland working again from detoxing from the fluoride but the pineal gland releases melatonin and serotonin. The pineal gland is a gland that supposedly keeps a human connected spiritually to the universe. I dont know but that’s just my guess.

  30. Wong Fei HungNovember 24, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    Did you know that 60% of people that get lung cancer are non smokers? People that live the longest into their 80’s and beyond were all heavy smokers starting from their teens. dont believe me? google it. No wonder the govt is so anti smoking. propaganda

    • TaraNovember 25, 2013 at 5:52 am #

      Yes, I have read this as well. Some very good information on this whole subject is available through the site Forces International. They show many studies that are not publicized regarding smoking, and that there are in fact many hidden benefits of it. It’s a good starting point in researching the topic more thoroughly. I have looked at data showing and comparing lung cancer and smoking rates though out the years in other countries, too, and it’s fascinating to see how the statistics do not correspond with the claims made regarding smoking. I found your discussion about fluoride quite interesting. I have read of the dangers of fluoride and that’s what inspired me to get a good water filtration system and avoid fluoridated toothpaste. Studies have shown that ingesting fluoride in particular, have no benefits in protecting our teeth (as we do in drinking fluoridated water). I’m with you totally, about the dumbing down of our society. People like us are considered insane conspiracy theorists, but the evidence that it’s more than a theory is all around us, and available to those who truly seek answers beyond what the mainstream feeds us.

  31. rebeccaNovember 24, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    Hi, im 17 with uc, diagnosed at 15 but had uc since 14years old. In and out of hospital, was on azathioprin which I had an allergic reaction to, pentasa and also tried puri nethol(chemotherapy) which all never controlled my uc. I have it mainly on my left side but all the way through my intestines aswell. I started smoking a year ago and all symptoms cleared up, when I tried to stop smoking in march this year I ended up in hospital again. I have since started smoking. Up to 10 daily. I was wondering if nicotine patches work as well as smoking tobacco does? Thanks

    • TaraNovember 25, 2013 at 5:36 am #

      Hi. I have read that the reason the patch and nicotine gum don’t work as well is because the nicotine is absorbed into our bodies through a different and less effective route than it is through smoking. Nicotine gum never worked that well for me. It alleviated my symptoms only for a brief time, but I never tried the patch for fear of how it would make me feel throughout the day. I wish I could give you a link to the info stated above but I lost it somewhere along the way in my huge amount of research. As I recall, it was second hand information from a person whose German gastroenterogist gave him a scientific explanation as to why other means of receiving nicotine were less effective in controlling his colitis than the cigarettes were. Apparently that is even why the e-cigs don’t seem to work as well. Perhaps, if you research the ways in which nicotine is absorbed into the body, you can find the info yourself.

      • Wong Fei HungNovember 25, 2013 at 7:25 am #

        It’s not nicotine but carbon monoxide. You have to smoke it for it to work.

      • Wong Fei HungNovember 25, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

        Tara, this is for you. read the pdf especially ch 5 and ch 4.

    • Andrew (Ireland)November 25, 2013 at 11:33 am #

      Hi Rebecca,

      From my experience nicotine patches and gum don’t work very well as they don’t seem to contain enough nicotine and are missing carbon monoxide or whatever else is in cigarette smoke. I’m currently using snus as a means of stopping smoking and for me this has been the best nicotine replacement so far. I’ve done it before & stayed in remission for 6 weeks before mild symptoms returned. This never happened with patches or gum. For some of us, nicotine is a big help but not enough on its own.


    • Andrew (Ireland)November 29, 2013 at 11:20 am #

      Hi Rebecca,

      Here’s a bit more info on UC and nicotine therapy:

    • JaimeJanuary 10, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

      Hey Tara,

      I smoked cigs (about a pack a day) for 15 years. During that time I was diagnosed with UC, so it didnt come on after quitting which happens to many ppl. I decided to quit–2 years ago this month actually–and Ive been sick ever since. 4 months after I quit, I started getting sick and a month later I was in the hospital. I was pumped full of steroids and Remicade which of course got me into remission. Few months later–back into a flare. Then back to the hospital. Remicade again, remission again. Few more months–flare again. I knew when I quit smoking that there was a strong possiblity that Id be sick but I didnt think I wouldnt be able to stay in remission without smoking. (I didnt have a flare in 10 years while being a smoker) Despite all the flares, I forced myself not to resume smoking. Over the past few weeks, I broke down and decided to use the nicotine patches. I started with just the lowest (level 3–7mg) patch and increased from there. I had read a study that showed patients acheived remission at around 30-34 mg a day with the patches, so after 2 weeks I reached the 30mg level. I didnt notice any difference in my symptoms or in my BM’s. I did notice the weird dreams, feeling hyper, headachy feelings that typically come on when using those patches. I had high hopes for the patches, but I think it really is the mix of chemicals in the cig smoke that actually calms down your immune system and brings on remission.

  32. MaxNovember 25, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    Wong Fei Hung

    you are simply great! All you wrote is absolutely true.

    Nothing to add.

  33. CassandraNovember 26, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    The reason i am trying to quit smoking is due to the fact that BOTH of my grandparents died from lung cancer. I am not sure if that puts me at a higher risk so i am off and on between the patches and cigarettes. I want to do whatever it takes to go into remission with the UC. I dread going to the restroom some days. Hopefully smoking isnt the only way to stop the flare-ups, because i dont want to put myself in the casket faster due to my family history

  34. JanDecember 22, 2013 at 3:58 am #

    I stopped smoking in June 2012 and the UC started about 3 months later. I don’t get the runs with mine though. I get chronic constipation instead and all the usual suspects, extreme pain, bloating, mucus, blood and horrific lower back/hip pain that keeps me awake most of the night. I just finished a course of prednisilone and I take Pentasa, senna and laxido every day. I’ve been off the steroids for 2 days and my symptoms are returning already, bloating, wind and the back pain is returning with a vengeance. I would start smoking in a heartbeat if I knew for sure it would take this away but stopping smoking was so hard for me and my kids would be devastated if I started again but the thought of having to take steroids is giving me nightmares. I am so confused…….

  35. Graham from England
    graham leeDecember 22, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    Hi Jan,

    I’m certain your symptoms would dissappear if you resume smoking as a last resort. When UC’ers stop smoking, the constipation is the route of all evil as far as I’m concerned.

    I’m about to quit for the 8th or 9th time. I don’t want to smoke but uncontrollable colitis forces many of us to use the alternative. After a relentless flare it took a week back on cigarettes to see an improvement and 6-7 weeks to be clear of all symptoms. It will probably be a 4 month smoke by the time I quit but I believe this will help extend the next remission period. My best without cigarettes or meds is 18 months. I quit with a healthy colon and kept everything moving through with EVOO. It wasn’t a permanent solution as I still had the eventual flare but I was very happy with 18 months free of both!

    Don’t feel bad if you have to force yourself to smoke once more to heal yourself properly. The side effects from the meds and a flare can be pretty damaging too.

  36. Graham from England
    graham leeDecember 22, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    By the way Jan, the Evoo has a low dose anti inflammatory called oleocanthal which also stopped my long standing lower back pain. I have also confirmed this solution as it returned when I accidentally took ordinary olive oil for a while, as did the UC.

    I don’t believe there are short cuts here so for me at least, smoking brings real and proper healing and then we must try, try again.

  37. JanDecember 22, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    I am going to the Drs tomorrow , who is also a smoker so am going to have a chat with him about this. I absolutely loved smoking and stopping was really hard for me and I know if I start again I may never stop. I won’t make any hasty decisions as I really need to think about what’s best not just for me but for my family.

  38. JanDecember 25, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    I know it’s Christmas but looking for some info from you guys. I stopped the prednisilone a week ago and my symptoms are returning already, is this normal? Also I’ve got a fever and feel like I’ve been hit with a bus, can this be the colitis? Am still new to this and am not sure what am experiencing here. Spoke to GP regarding smoking and at first he was totally against it but while I was there he googled it and ended up saying it was strong evidence it helped but as a Dr he couldn’t tell me to start smoking again. Am a bit mixed up but swaying towards the smokes each day as more symptoms present themselves.

  39. drewDecember 30, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    Jan, Im not new to this and feeling like Ive been hit by a bus too. Maybe its that time of year. I have smoked off an on and it has always put me in remission. The unfortunate thing for me is that I am a workout nut, and smoking ruins my workouts. Of course UC ruins everything else. SO Im damned if I do, damned if I dont. Over the years (maybe 20?) I have read alot and everyone that goes on Pred comes off eventually goes back into a flare. Long term steroid use isnt much fun either. You (like me and everyone else here) are trying to balance out our lives. My philosophy is that I will go as long as I can without smoking, because its bad for you. But there is a quality of life in the midterm between smoking and not flaring that modern medicine refuses to try and figure out. (We can put a man on the moon, we can drop a missile from a drone over 1000 miles away into a woodchucks butt hole, but they cant tell me WHY cigarette smoking puts me in remission? Please… someone is pulling my leg.)
    SO ultimately its your choice to smoke or not to smoke. I would say why not?

    • lailaJanuary 2, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

      I love your post back in dec drew, I know I’ve come along abit late, I’ve only just found the site.
      I’ve been working my way through all the comments.
      Why is it they don’t know?, where does all the funding for colitis go?, the hospital staff’s Christmas party?.
      I had uc for years before anyone noticed, in fact I’m lucky me and my son are here. I had a really bad flare when I was 16 weeks pregnant with him, I was trapped in the bathroom all day every day, bleeding, sweating, shaking, flu like symptoms. and the pain was like labour with no drugs. And even though I was in that state and my hb had dropped to 8.0. The doctors and midwife still had no idea what was wrong with me. Actually, they let me get on with it, gave me an iron transfusion and sent me on my way.
      Hey anyone think it’s interesting how iron can make your uc even worse?.
      There are so many clues to solving the uc mystery, why are we the only one asking questions.
      Because the doctors don’t give a damn, because they don’t know how painful it can be, only we know.

  40. JanDecember 31, 2013 at 2:48 am #

    Thank you Drew, I took really ill just after writing that post last week and it turns out I was having a bad reaction to the Pentasa, I was getting strange bruises, chest pains and generally felt really unwell so I stopped the meds n started smoking again and within 2 days I felt better than I have in months!!!!!! It makes no sense at all and I can’t quite get my head round it tbh. Smoking stinks but if it works then I’m going to keep on smoking until the Drs can come up with something better. I don’t work out much but with 3 kids I don’t get much time to sit around but I have a healthy and active lifestyle and the UC was really bringing me down, I’m not prepared to give in to it anymore and I absolutely hate taking meds that have dangerous side effects like the ones used for UC sufferers. It’s totally nuts that I quit smoking coz it’s bad for your health n ended up ill because of it. Wishing you all a healthy and happy New Year

  41. GemmaDecember 31, 2013 at 3:42 am #

    I was speakng to a doctor at a christmas party and he specializes in respiratory medicine so I thought I’d ask him about the smoking and uc connection, he said that smoking helps a number of autoimmune conditions and its because smoking dampens the immune system, then I got the lecture about how bad smoking is… A lightbulb went off because I guess if the hospital can give us meds that crash the immune system because its overacting then maybe smoking is just taking th edge off it and calming it down. Another thought, why are our immune systems constantly going off? Is something setting it off first (a real bug) then it just starts attackng itself, or does it just attack itself regardless? Iam back on the smoking after flaring 3 months after stopping but Iam trying gluten free now, maybe gluten sets it off like in coeliac? I made pizza last night with GF pizza bases but the pasta sauce I used as topping was too oily and Iam in hell today, godammit…

  42. JanDecember 31, 2013 at 11:53 am #


  43. RichJanuary 3, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

    Found these posts very interesting especially regarding the EVOO and smoking. I’ve seen a colon specialist and Liver specialist who believes I maybe in early stages of PSC. Both let slip that they never get smokers with these disorders. I didn’t think much of it at the time but I feel like I’ve now been through every med going and really feeling by bones and muscle ache, which I’m sure is the constant medication I’m on. I’ve just been on Prednisone and 6-MP (mercaptopurine) which didn’t work and I spent pretty much the whole of New Year’s Eve on the toilet and in hot and cold shivers through the night. I’m just on Prednisone now which seems to be the only med that works for me but I still do go to the toilet 5-7 times a day. Which I wouldn’t call remission, but defiantly better than every couple of hours like I was before.
    So I stumbled across this website this week and found it brilliant. I use to smoke 10 years ago and never had any problems. My plan is now to find that elusive remission through self-remedy and this SCD. So yesterday I borough myself some cigarettes, EVOO, Probiotics and Omega 3 tables to take with my Prednisone as it now tapers down. I struggled today and yesterday to remember to smoke only managing 3 yesterday and 1 so far today. I took 2 table spoons of the M&S EVOO yesterday (one in the morning and one before bed), and one this morning. I’m taking the Probiotics, Omega 3 and a Multivitamin table in the morning with the EVOO and a banana. Then in the evening about an hour before bed EVOO, Probiotics again whilst try to smoke the 5-7 cigarettes a day. Thinking about also adding L-Glutamine to this as there been some very good comments about it on here and people at the gym I go to have always raved about its recovery power as an Amino (any recommendations?).
    I will keep you posted on how I get on with this especially with the smoking as would like to cut this out after the Prednisone which finishes in 7 weeks. One quick question on this do you know if it has to be cigarettes and can it be just tobacco say just through a pipe?

  44. Graham from England
    graham leeJanuary 4, 2014 at 4:53 am #

    Hi Rich,

    I’ve just stopped smoking after 4 months back on them in order to reverse a flare. It took 2 months to stop all symptoms and 2 more to be 100% healed plus get Christmas (stress) out of the way. Now back to 3 x EVOO per day instead of 2.

    I like the sound of what you are doing Rich and all those meds sound a nightmare! You have the M+S Oil and the nicotine must be smoked. Not sure why but patches, gum etc are all less effective. I’ve tried em all.

    I think smoking is a great way to get healed as long as it is temporary and there is a plan in place for when we quit. I’ve noticed it much easier to stop this time following nearly 2 years off and only 4 months back on. It’s almost like I never started and only very slight bloating.

    Good luck, you’ll be fine!

  45. sheryl kolkaJanuary 12, 2014 at 6:22 am #

    I’m so happy I found this site, as I read it I basked, I’ll be 42 in March, I’ve smoked almost 30 years and in 1995 I developed bowel issues while pregnant with my daughter (I quit through whole pregnancy), I startedcsmoking when my daughter was 3 weeks old and started feeling better and doctor shamed me for it, said in my head.. Finally in 2008 I quit smoking for over 3 months and became sicker than ever, and a colonoscopy showed Ulcerative colitis/ Pancolitis and nothing helped me get in remission, out of stress I started smoking again and weighing a few weeks I was off all meds and in remission. Over the years I’ve made several attempts to quit smoking some for weeks and some a few months and EVERY time I would flare up, my mind is boggled.. I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t… ='( both my parents had cancer and heart disease so I really want to quit, but I can’t live my life and work my job when I’m in pain and in bathroom bleeding 10-20 Times a day… I’m scared to death..I don’t want a colostomy, and I’m not candidate for J pouch… what can I do??

    • Graham from England
      graham leeJanuary 13, 2014 at 7:07 am #

      Hi Sheryl,

      There is hope and I thought exactly as you did for YEARS! This is the best solution I have found by miles, (link below) it is still being developed and 100% natural.

      It will work for much longer if you start with a healed colon so you may need to smoke for a couple of months if you are currently bleeding.

      This post was very early days and Adam will be posting EVOO 2 any day now so more up to date information coming.

  46. BrendanJanuary 13, 2014 at 11:34 pm #


    I’ve personally dealt with ulcerative colitis every time I quit smoking but it really became severe after quitting for a year.

    One thing I would like to add is that I don’t have to smoke tobacco to get relief. Snus and other smokeless forms work fine it just takes longer for the colitis to go fully into remission.

    Currently I use nasal snuff as it is easier to titrate like smoking. This way I can manage the levels of tobacco alkaloids smoother.

    Nicotine only products like gums and e cigs never worked. I believe it is the mix of ant-inflammatory alkaloids, like anatabine and anabasine, along with the nicotine that works best. I get best results from a snuff I use that has nicotiana rustica blended in. This form of tobacco is supposed to be higher in nicotine and minor alkaloids. I really believe that this species of tobacco may be even more effective and for those that smoke they may be able to smoke less to get the same effect. BTW I also was a seven a day smoker.

    For the person who asked about pipe smoking I say give it a shot it seemed to help me just buy quality brands that have high strength tobacco. Rope and plug tobacco will definitely help.

    Carbon monoxide may play a role but I don’t think it is crucial for everyone. Nicotine and anatabine have both been documented to be powerful anti- inflammatorysepsis and beneficial for a variety of autoimmune disorders. With snus being considered very safe and documented in Sweden Because it is pasturized I think there should be a real effort to inform people about medical tobacco uses as it could stop so much suffering for little to no risk.

    Smokeless forms are vastly safer and even if they aren’t as good as smoking they are sure better than nothing. Pipe smoking is also a possibility since you get new/more of some alkaloids through combustion like beta- carbolines (a type of reversible maoi.) Nicotine alone seems to be very ineffective. It seems like medicinal herbs are more effective as a whole as opposed to isolated alkaloid.

    I hope this helps.

    • Andrew (Ireland)July 3, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

      Hi Brendan,

      Do you know if there is a brand of snus that contains nicotiana rustica or antabines? I’ve been off cigarettes and using snus for 4 weeks (along with EVOO + GAPS diet) and blood has reappeared in the stool in the last few days. Snus worked before for me but only for 6-8 weeks before symptoms started to reappear. I use about 8 portions a day of the “General” brand, should I be using more than this or a different brand?


  47. CassandraJanuary 14, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    I have another appointment for my second colonoscopy on 1/20. I dont have the pain of UC but i do see alot of mucous and blood in my stool. Its so annoying and now i am taking all these OTC vitamins that are said to minimize the symptoms. LIke i said before i am not going to the bathroom often but when i do, its annoying. I have been on the nicotine patch for the past 14 days so i know that nicotine isnt helping. I really hope there is something that i can do before i am placed on medication.

  48. sheryl kolkaJanuary 18, 2014 at 9:34 am #

    The nicotine patches never helped at a. Only smoking worked.. It’s been such a struggle and it all feels really cruel to me.. I’m going to read up on the EVOO, but I admit that I normally consume it every day mostly, it is a staple in my house.. but maybe not consuming it the proper way?? I’ve been smoking 4-7 a day, and still in remission, but afraid to ever try to quit again..

  49. Graham from England
    Graham leeJanuary 18, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    Hi Sheryl,

    In my experience taking Evoo with food does not work and it has to be as directed. This also seems to be confirmed by some advice for taking Oregano oil by the lady who wrote Listen To Your Gut. I only read about her oregano oil the other day but the conclusions are the same. On an empty stomach and also the very best oregano oil is too strong, just like i found with EVOO.

    I posted an up to date and more concise EVOO post a couple of days ago… .

  50. Aysha AL BastakiFebruary 28, 2014 at 11:49 pm #

    Its true I started smoking just becouse im fed up with my flare that even my usual medication cant get it under co trol…I immediately fwet better from 8 bm per day to 3 normal with minimum blood… inflammation is bad and smoking is bad…what to do I hope someday they discover some medication with nicotinic without the bad side effects of it…

    • RichardMarch 1, 2014 at 8:53 am #

      Hi Aysha I’ve been smoking since the beginning of the year whilst taking EVOO and L-Glutamine in the morning and in the evening before bed. Personally I find this really helps. Still trying to discover which is the key one as still have bad movements. I’ve found if u identifying key foods and take them out of diet this has really help such as sugar being the main one for me, as well as bread and nuts.

  51. JoeMarch 1, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

    Hey guys I came across this forum while trying to find a cure for UC because right now I have just about had enough of the ups and downs of this disease as I am just 23 years old and trying to make it in the game of soccer which requires a lot of traveling and training, but I just can’t seem to get up most days cos I feel that fatigued from the uc and medications that don’t seem to work.

    My question is that if I am previously not a smoker will smoking help elevate my symptoms like it does for ex-smokers? Because I am I’m my last hopes and if this is one way to help control the disease I am willing to take up smoking… And most of my friends are smokers too so over the years I have breathed in a lot of second hand smoke, so it won’t be a problem for me to start smoking if it indeed will help.

    Help with my question will greatly be appreciated!!

    Thanks, Joe

    • Graham from England
      Graham leeMarch 2, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

      Joe, Tara may be the best person to advise you here though weve not heard from her in a while. She was never a smoker but found remission for her and her family by taking up the habit, 5 a day minimum. No one can tell someone to start smoking obviously but the clues are there to make an informed choice. Doctors regularly hand out drugs with their serious side effects and yet never officially recommend cigarettes. I had a bad drug reaction last year and told my doctor I would no longer be taking meds but instead smoke my way to remission then quit. She told me she could not fault one thing I was doing and I found this extremely supportive, this also relieved of a certain amount of guilt.

      For obvious reasons, smoking should only be a short term solution and perhaps we should have an alternative plan in place even before we start. I smoked through my 30’s with UC and could get up and down the pitch as well as anyone. You are a young man and I know what I would do in your shoes but there is also a saying, “live for today and ruin tomorrow”. You choose..

  52. Graham from England
    Graham leeMarch 2, 2014 at 3:51 am #

    I had a flare last year that I could not get out of without resorting to meds so I smoked for almost 4 months. As expected my colon healed perfectly, no blood at all after a couple of months but continued for insurance. Usually when I quit I there would be serious problems within a few weeks, its now been 2 months on just EVOO and all is good. This is the 2nd successful departure from cigarettes using the oil. Things seem even better this time which I think is due to a better quality oil and having ditched the terrible diet well over a year ago.

  53. sheryl kolkaMarch 2, 2014 at 7:25 am #

    Just a quick update, I’m still “maintenance smoking about 5 a day, and still in remission, but on Tuesday morning I’m having an endoscope to have biopsies taken, GI specialist fears esophageal spasms could be my berretts caused cancer… I’m scared to death… prayers needed.. He also told me that John Hopkins University is still researching the whole smoking thing and believe that carbon monoxide might be the biggest factor in this all. He fully supports smoking, even in non previous smokers to achieve remission…..

  54. JacobMarch 26, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    Are ecigs supposed to work as well? Or should I pick up the real thing. Im honestly willing to give anything a try

    • JeremyMarch 27, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

      Ecigs / patches / gum / etc.. will not work. Cigarettes will clear it right up. It worked for me within a week, but I still feel like I’m making a deal with the devil.

      • Graham from England
        graham leeMarch 27, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

        Nicotine replacements will often have some benefit and may slow a flare but only cigarettes will reverse one. Six a day for 2 weeks got me out of trouble and stayed with it for 4 months for true and total healing.

  55. CindyApril 27, 2014 at 6:07 am #

    Hello Everyone, Just wanted to share in this and let you know what has worked for me regarding smoking cigarettes. It all started when I quit smoking 3years ago. I had no idea I had colitis, then looking back over my life I realized where colitis had been rearing it’s ugly head and I was oblivious, I was a smoker my whole life and it was the one thing that kept my colitis in check. One year after quitting smoking I was a mess, bleeding… know the drill…. After hours and hours of research I was so adamant about not taking “potent meds” , I changed my diet drastically, (although that helped quite a bit) I still was in much pain and still bleeding. I kept reading about people who started smoking again…..I tried nicotine patches with very little success. reluctantly I started smoking cigarettes last June, (two years after quitting) within 24 hours I could feel a change in my body, by the 4th day, I had this overall feeling that said “I’m back”……I was up off of my fanny participating in my life! It’s been almost a year and 7-8 cigarettes a day seems to be the magic number. Recently I tried “vaping” (e-cigarettes) with nicotine, hoping it would get me off the cigarettes……but nope…..after only 5 days I could feel a flare coming on. So it’s back to cigarettes if I want to continue living a “flare” free life. I also take 2 Salofalk tabs in the morning and in the evening. So happy we have this place where we can connect and share what does and doesn’t work……..wishing you all a “flare” free life. Be well.

  56. RobJune 6, 2014 at 7:12 am #

    I came across this website last year and was amazed by the results fellow UCers have had by smoking… Well a few months ago I started the habit as I was sick of being on meds and immediately felt a relief as everything started clearing withing a week and by 2 weeks I felt completely heald.

    Though the last two weeks I have noticed my UC symptoms coming back as I have been getting mucus stools and even blood now while having around 5-6 bm a day again where as when I started smoking it went down to 3 normal stools a day.

    Has anyone on here experienced the same thing? I was thinking it may be due to not smoking strong enough cigs maybe? But I’m really not sure, and becoming quite scared again as I don’t want another flare!

    Any help will be greatly appreciated


  57. Graham from England
    graham leeJune 7, 2014 at 3:21 am #

    Hello Rob,

    How many are you smoking per day? In my opinion the regularity of the cigarettes is more important than strength, 5 – 6 for maintenance.

    Have you considered other factors that may have unbalanced your system such as diet, stress or medications? A couple of spoons of EVOO a day won’t do you any harm either..

  58. JacJune 7, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    Hi to you all – I have been a smoker for years, upto 10 a day. Stopped smoking in March this year, which was not a problem quitting, but did notice initially that BM were not regular, therefore leading to have a bad tummy, smelly gas, and during the time constipation. Didn’t want to have a flare up due to not being able to go to the toilet so decided to try having a cigarette to see the effect, hey presto BM back and regular. So in my head, smoking definitely helps.

    • Graham from England
      graham leeJune 8, 2014 at 1:01 am #

      Exactly the same scenario for me every single time until I tried the oil. I know I go on about it but I’m still amazed it actually worked…

      • JacJune 8, 2014 at 6:52 am #

        Thanks Graham, but I don’t think I could stomach EVOO, although am taking ‘Apple Cider Vinegar’, as recommended. I have been fine with this. Maybe the day will come and I will have to try the oil, but won’t venture there just yet. Going to give ‘no smoking’ another go – watch this space – thanks for all the advise on this site.

  59. Graham from England
    graham leeJune 8, 2014 at 7:58 am #

    Many feel that way about trying the oil, maybe they should change the name to Extra Virgin Olive Juice. It is also part of our ancestral diet and kept the Romans going pretty well. Sad maybe but I actually look forward to taking it!

  60. JacJune 8, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    Thanks Graham, we will see, who knows, that’s why I tried the apple cider vinegar, desperation makes us do all sorts lol

  61. KristinaJune 20, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    I’ve been on the nicotine replacement patch for 2 years at 21mg. It helps keep me in remission. My Doctor agrees to just keep me on it because it works. Every time I try to go off of it I have a major flare. I don’t smoke.

  62. Graham from England
    graham leeJune 23, 2014 at 5:38 am #

    Well, all good things must come to an end….

    My 2nd longest drug free, flare free remission appears to have ended this morning with some blood on the paper.

    I was shocked and obviously very sad but 6 months is still a great achievement in my view. Work is busy and more stressful at this time of the year, the diet/sleep also slid a little.

    Back on the cigarettes for short while….

  63. GemmaJune 23, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    Hi Graham, sorry to hear your news about the flare up but you’ll get that sucker under control in no time with the cigs, then you can have another shot at beating that 6 month record! Im currently in my third month after quitting again and I think this time ive done it by following a gluten and dairy free diet 90% of the time and Ive been taking vsl3, I love that stuff and I was definitley getting die off symptoms at the start with it so I knew it was doing something. But as you say the stress and lack of sleep can cause us to flare and its so annoying because they are the things that are really hard to control sometimes. Ive been stressed recently too and only been getting 4/5 hour sleeps at night so have been taking Sleep Aid tablets for about 3 weeks now, I hate taking stuff like that but Im so scared about flaring. I hope you feel better soon, Im sure you will with the good ol’ cigs, we only live once and we gotta step up and do what we gotta do.

  64. Graham from England
    graham leeJune 24, 2014 at 1:04 am #

    Hi Gemma,

    That’s really good progress without cigarettes! I haven’t tried wheat and diary exclusion yet, it could well be aggravating things slightly. I did hear many gluten free products are full of sugar which I try to avoid. The other problem is the weight loss, unless I can replace an excluded food with something else then I am reluctant to do so.

    It was only blood on tissue and none since yesterday so maybe I shouldn’t panic but this usually that means a downward spiral. Maybe time for a Probiotic.

    Well said though, we only live once and we have to just get on with it.

  65. Michael Hurst
    Michael HurstJune 24, 2014 at 8:20 am #

    Have any of you all tried Bupropion (Zyban) as a substitute for cigarettes when quitting? I used Bupropion along with fecal transplants after my case made it to the brink of surgery and I am still symptom-free 3 years later. The addition of Bupropion to my treatment regiment at the time appeared to be what tipped things in my favor. Maybe since Bupropion is prescribed to help quit smoking it has some of the same anti-inflammatory effects. I discuss my experience and some supporting research here:

  66. MichaelJune 25, 2014 at 3:06 am #

    Hi this is a link to a really interesting article p20 on hydrogen sulphide causing colitis and how a high protein diet and foods with sulphur may be best avoided
    The guy who wrote it is one of the top medical researchers of UC

    • Graham from England
      graham leeJuly 1, 2014 at 2:01 am #

      Hi Richard,

      There are quite a few links that support that conclusion and sulphur compounds (VSC’s) have long been a puzzle for me. I originally learned of the sulphur problem in relation to my gum disease and mouth odour problems which I am sure became noticeable around the same time as my UC.

      It is also a bizarre coincidence or not that both of my long drug/smoke free remissions came to an end after using a powerful mouthwash for only a couple of weeks. I was sure it was this the 1st time and when it happened again I contacted the company in question. They have responded well but any conclusions will obviously take time, though they have not come across this before (why would they)?

      If this is correct then the puzzle is why a product that kills VSC’s could make things worse and not better as one would expect.

      I am reluctant to stop eating many of the sulphur foods and amino proteins at the moment as most are associated with good diet and health, ie eggs, garlic, fish, saukeraut and same vegetables to name but a few.

      Idea’s anyone?

  67. MichaelJuly 1, 2014 at 6:36 am #

    I think a lot of things point to sulphur reducing bacteria and their bye products hydrogen sulphide which causes damage.
    Cigarette smoke contains hydrogen cyanide which neutralises hydrogen sulphide.
    People with diets high in meat, dairy and alcohol, all beers ciders wines etc have very high sulphur levels, seem to have a higher rate of relapse.
    There was that study on dairy fats increasing b wadsworthia bacteria because you produce more bile to digest it, and those sulphur reducing bacteria feed on bile.
    IBD was relatively unheard of in Asia and Africa but has rapidly increased post war in places like Japan where they have changed from a traditional low meat diet to a more western diet.
    5ASA drugs predominantly neutralise hydrogen sulphide gas.
    Pepto Bismal works well for colitis and again takes hydrogen sulphide out of the body.
    Sulphur also causes serious allergic reactions in a lot of people.

    I don’t think it’s the whole picture but could be a big bit of the problem.
    I think probiotics work by crowding out these bad bacteria and antibiotics by killing them off on a temporary basis.

    There are some good books by Dr Hiromi Shinya, he invented the colonoscope and questioned all of his patients on diet and basically linked Meat and standard western diet to the poor state of the colons he saw.

    All interesting stuff , by the way I have been using Normafibe and think it has a really positive effect. It is similar to Metamucil mild laxative and bulking agent but does not ferment in the bowel so their are less side effects of bloating and gas I would definitely recommend it.

  68. JaimeJuly 18, 2014 at 8:56 am #

    I’m not sure if I should consider you guys lucky or what, but smoking cigs did not take me out of flare. I was a 15 year smoker when I quit 2 years ago. Went into the worst flare of my life a few months later, and have been in flare about 85% of the time of the last 2 years. So I decided to pick up smoking again because I read here and in other forums that smoking would help get me back into remission. During the 15 years that I was a regular smoker, 1 pack a day, I rarely had flares, so I also believed the smoking would be helpful. I started smoking about half a pack a day and quickly went right back to my pack a day habit over the course of 2 months. I was in a flare when I started smoking again. I did not notice any difference in symptoms even at 1 pack a day. I am glad it’s worked for so many people, but don’t be discouraged if you notice that smoking is not the right option for you, and don’t continue to smoke if you don’t have to. I quit again after those 2 months of smoking–symptoms have remained the same.

  69. Jim MSeptember 2, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

    I was diagnosed with colitis 23 years ago, three weeks after I quit smoking.

    I wasn’t able to keep off the cigarettes, and never put two and two together until I tried to quite again a couple of times. My first bout landed me in the hospital. The second and third were not as bad because my will-power wasn’t as good those times.

    Now I use a vaporizer to help me quit (and it works like a charm) but I still have to smoke two or three cigarettes a day, or the attacks get so bad I can’t go to work or even leave the house. Apparently it isn’t the nicotine that keeps the colitis in check, but something else in the smoke.

    And it does keep it in check, completely.
    It’s not a perfect solution, but I was able to go from a couple of packs a day to 2-3 packs per month, and my colitis is under control.

  70. JulieSeptember 3, 2014 at 4:08 am #

    Jim M– that’s great news. I’m glad to know just 2 or 3 a day is all you need. I have a self-discipline problem when I am smoking. I tend to smoke upwards of 1/2 to a pack in 24 hours. I really need to cut back although I am so grateful it works because I couldn’t leave the house otherwise!

  71. CarlosSeptember 24, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

    After reading this thread I decided to start smoking again (started on 9-22) after over 30 years of not smoking and living with UC . I decided it was worth a try especially since my symptoms began after quitting smoking 30 years ago. I have seen gradual improvement over the last 2 years without drugs and only supplements but seem to be stuck at 5-10 trips to the restroom every day. ( I was at about 20 trips 2 years ago) I am going to stay on my supplements if my finances allow it while I experiment with smoking. I have not really seen any improvement yet ( I know some here say it can take 5 weeks) and am working my way up to 3 unfiltered “roll your own” cigs per day. They are really strong BUT are much less expensive than buying them in a pack. I went with the American Spirit Organic 100% Additive-Free Natural Tobacco with rolling papers inside. This definitely goes against all my deep seated notions of health BUT as many of you have said here quality of life is so important. I just hope I begin to enjoy smoking a little more…. it sure makes me dizzy! I will report back on my progress…. I am hoping for the best. It would be so awesome to get rid of this terrible disease even if for just a while.

  72. greg boothSeptember 25, 2014 at 10:31 am #

    The substance in tobacco that probably ameliorates your Crohn’s is anatabine. Until recently, it was available in the nutraceutical Anatabloc, which is now under FDA review. My doctor (also my friend) has told me of Crohn’s cases that “blow up” when someone quits smoking, but he has suggested Anatabloc to a number of patients. Hopefully, it will be back on the market soon. You might also search UrbanDiva/Anatabloc Diaries; a blogger with Crohn’s who swears by Anatabloc.

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