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

**Also, some recent research study on Smoking and IBD, titled:

Impact of Cigarette Smoking on the Gastrointestinal Tract Inflammation: Opposing Effects in Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis  (full study available here:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5797634/ )



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538 thoughts on “Does Smoking Really Help Ulcerative Colitis?”

  1. I’ve been wondering the same thing – does smoking help? I’m pretty amazed that you actually had a doctor tell you to start smoking. I’ve been considering going back to smoking myself but my husband is VERY against it. Please keep us updated as to how you’re feeling and how the smoking is helping!!!

    1. I was diagnosed with UC in May of 1993. I picked up “smoking” as a habit there after. I remained in remission for some 18 years. I had a small “flare-up” October 2011 after I quit smoking. Resumed smoking. Recovered quite well after a short duration of Prednisone. Again, stopped smoking in October of this year. Had yet another “flare-up.” This flare-up required a 3 day hospitalization. During that long, somewhat unheard of period of remission, I was not on any medication, no diet resictions or change of life style; just a “pack-a-day” smoker. I resumed smoking after my release from the hospital. Despite now being on meds, I’ve reached clinical remission by all accounts within 3-4 days having (1) BM per day without incident. Speaking for myself, I strongly believe there is a strong link between smoking and remission. If only we could understand what this link is can we find new treatment protocol to reap the associated benefits without the risks that accompany smoking.

    2. Been smoking for 6 years after being diagnosed with UC at age 29, started out 4-5 per day now i’m at half a pack per day. Told the pharmacist to shove it when they wanted $360 for a months worth of pills with huge side effects. No major flare-ups since. I was a 20-25 times per day person, still have some urgency with about 1 bad day a week 4-5 times, no blood though. I just watch what i do and where i go.

      1. Maybe you need just a couple more a day to achieve full remission. I smoke about 6 and have almost no signs of colitis anymore except a slight detection of mucous in my stool, but there’s no more pain, no urgency, no blood. However if you feel the 4 or 5 you smoke is adequate to keep you comfortable, then all the power to you. I agree, though, it is so nice not to have to spend money at the pharmacy or depend on GI visits and endless procedures and trials of this and that med and the horrid side effects just to find they turn out to be useless. I’d rather take my health into my own hands. I recommend you look at the website Forces International which is a pro-tobacco freedom website that points out how skewed the anti-smoking propaganda is and it helps me feel more at ease with my low-dose smoking.

        1. I am what you would call a smoker in denial. Some days i wear patches for a few days and other times if i feel like smoking i smoke. Funny thing is after reading these comments, i was on the smallest dose of patches and was having a major flare up. Blood in my stool almost to the point where it was scaring me. I wasnt going often during the day but whenever i did go it was scary. So i decided to start smoking again because i figured maybe the patches werent giving me enough nicotine. And to my surprise this actually works. I used to smoke 6-8 cigarattes a day. Now i am trying to keep my smoking down enought to even miss a few days. But honestly, i feel much better and i have no blood in my stool at all. And this is after trying it out for two days.

      2. I’m sorry…I re-read your post and realized you said you were smoking half a pack a day (which is more than I smoke) and still have some occasional urgency. It’s funny how some people can put their colitis in remission with only 2 or 3 cigarettes a day and others need more. Finding the magic number is the trick, I guess.

      3. I was a non-smoker and I was on Prednisone and that stopped working. 6MP didn’t help, along with Rowasa that that didn’t help. Then I went on Remecade in 2011. I came out of remission the last half of 2012. The GI doc prescribed Rowasa again in January ’13. So I started doing the Rowasa but I started smoking 2-3 cigarettes per day at the same time. I was back in remission within two weeks. I didn’t even finish the 3 month supply of Rowasa but I would smoke intermittently, about 2 cigarettes 3x per week. Now I find out that I developed resistance to the Remecade and the doc says that I should be really sick by now but I’m in full remission. He wanted to know what I was doing different and I told him about the smoking but he doesn’t believe it. I’ve gained 15 pounds since the beginning of the year, so I guess the cigarettes must be helping. I’m in my late 40’s and I figure if the cigarettes don’t kill me then the Remecade will, so why not give it a try?

        1. A few cigarettes a day will definitely not kill you…esp. when you’re in you late 40’s. Even chain smokers smoke 30 to 40 years often before developing severe lung problems. I cannot believe that any GI would be in such a state of denial over the benefits of smoking for UC! It appears to be common knowledge in our circles and particularly in the medical community. I personally think he knows it full and well but refuses to admit it to you because he’s been affected by the perverse mass indoctrination of the war on tobacco, which practically equates the evils of tobacco with heroin. To be in favor of it’s use for any reason seems to be socially unacceptable. Actually in saying that, I have to admit that I have found more support in my use of it than I had initially thought I would. Perhaps you can permanently say goodbye to your GI,his prescription pad, and his state of denial thanks to your very light cigarette use.

    3. this smoking is helpful, try it limited to 3-4 cigarettes a day …. and make sure take one cigarette in one hour …….and also use always light cigarattes like marlburo light etc

      1. Actually, I think 3 or 4 won’t be enough to get colitis in remission for most people. And how can you only smoke that if you’re smoking as much as 1 every hour? Or did I misunderstand the comment? Also, I avoided the lights because I wanted to make sure I got the full dose of nicotine. Lights have less nicotine.

  2. I’ve heard it can help I’m just really not onboard. Also on e you start you can’t stop, so you have to be a smoker forever. However I do know that a few hits of MJ can stop me from going into a flare up almost immediately. Also the antioxidants in it help reverse most of the damage done by the smoke. Call me a hippy but it works!!

    1. I’ve heard this from a lot of people, and I’m considering it myself. Honestly, it sounds so much better than prednisone…

      1. i’m smoking one cigarette aday and it i’m without almost all symptoms, now i can not be 100% sure it’s cause of the smoking but i really really do think it is playing a key role in me being in remisson without the use of prednisone

  3. Yes, smoking helps me. I was not a smoker. I suffered a serious flare 7 months ago. I was scheduled for surgery to have my colon removed. I was really sick and none of the drugs were working. I read a Mayo Clinic study that said smoking helped. I figured I really had nothing to lose (but my colon) so I tried smoking. It worked for me. I can smoke 1/2 cigarette in the moring, one or two at night and I have been experiencing a happy remission. The trick is to not smoke too much. My doctor said that I should have the surgery and not smoke. Easy for him to say. He also said that the patch might work.

    In addition to adding the cigarettes I am also on the SCD diet. I have had this disease
    for 40 years and I think it is useful to use whatever tools you can to stay symptom free.

    1. I have never been a smoker and hate cigarette smoke from others, but I
      wondered what brand you smoke? I have had U.C. for 33 years and am
      70 yrs. old now. Maybe if I smoked only two cigarettes a day (only
      when I flare badly), it might help as it has you…..I’m not sure
      I want to do this, but I would try it once. It’s a funny thing that
      doctors recommend this, but my doctor has a fit when anyone smokes
      in his waiting room. Looks like I should get some benefit from the
      smoke of others….Oh well!

      1. Hi! I was just diagnosed with UC in my 40’s…I am not a smoker. I have started smoke an occasion cigarette while having a flare and noticed an immediate difference. ONe night when having a flare I happened to be out in a cigarette smoke filled establishment…I noticed that I got better in ndays and didn’t need a hospital, so I put one and one together…the second hand smoke helped me for some reason.

        I do not anyone should start smoking full-time, but an occasional cigarette does a world a good for me. Sometimes I just breathe in the smoke from the cigarette without inhaling and find that this works too!

        I am so glad to hear from someone in their 70’s….UC doesn’t have to be an early death wish for anyone.

  4. I cannot believe what I am reading. I quit smoking 10 years ago! I know if I started I would be a pack a day smoker again. I have no intention of starting….but when faced with surgery and willing to try ANYTHING I understand why anyone would start. It’s got to be that calming feeling when u light up… I prefer to nap at least once a week I try to have an afternoon nap to turn the brain completely off…and homemade chicken soup! That’s my secret! ( and Remicade, can’t forget that). Please let us know how u all are doing.

  5. I find this really interesting! I was a smoker when I got diagnosed and my consultant went through a lot of meds to get me well and all the time asked was I smoking and I always answered yes I was but very little. Eventually I started cutting down because I noticed the more I smoked the worse my UC symptoms were. I eventually gave up and the UC meds really kicked in and started working for me and it has never been as bad as it was then and I have never smoked daily since. So for me cigarettes made my colitis worse not better I don’t know if it has anything to do with the fact that I was a smoker when I was diagnosed. I have heard of people correlating giving up smoking with being diagnosed with UC. I just don’t know I guess the saying – different strokes for different folks – is true!

    1. I quit smoking for three years And suffered from severe UC the entire time. I spent weeks in the hospital and months out of work. my doctor suggested I go back to s,owing and the UC was in complete remission within three weeks. several years later, I quit again and was bleeding within days. this has happened to me three times. I agree with the writer who said she would rather have quality of life for many years than live with UC.

      1. I have had UC and UP for about 30 years and think that smoking has something to do with flare ups. In 2005, I stopped smoking and had a major flare within months. I started taking meds and resumed smoking then and remained symptom free for about 7 years. Last year, I stopped smoking again and wouldn’t you know, I had flare ups again about a year later. So, the only two times in my life that I have had major flare ups and bleeding is after I have quit smoking. I am beginning to think that there is a link and although I don’t really want to smoke, I don’t want to have UP and UC either.

        1. May 01, 2013
          First-thank you for this blog.I started smoking 3 days ago after reading this blog!
          Here’s my story, I quit smoking over 20 years ago just before I got pregnant and was diagnosed with UC. I was very ill and hospitalized for 3 weeks. I believed my uc was tied to hormonal issues and I did not associate it with smoking. Now I believe both are factors. I have been on Asacol for 20 years. During flare-up all the traditionally drugs are used- steroids, rowasa, increased Asacol.
          Recently the flare up has not been reacting to the drugs and I have been eating very little soft food. My stomach and back have never felt this swollen. I am tired at work and literally cannot eat. As a last resort, after reading this blog, I bought a pack 3 dags ago. I am smoking one in the morning and one when I get home from work. Though I was dizzy and almost sick when I smoked the first one, I feel crazy, at 56 yrs old to smoke 2 cigarettes a day but honestly I believe it is helping me. Time will tell. I am almost afraid to tell my doctor, but I will.

          1. I started smoking 1 month ago after never having smoked…it was a desperate measure. I was taking sulfasalazine and using nicotine gum and was in remission for 2 years. Well, I came out of remission and things got so bad after a few months that I was having to run back and forth to the bathroom probably 30 times or more in a day (too many times to count). I was also miserably sick and developed Erythema Nodosum (a fairly uncommon fat cell infection in my legs sometimes associated with UC) and it was so painful I could barely walk. Being a mother of 4 made me desperate for remission so I could properly take care of my children. I hate medication and I have no faith in it, seeing how it repeatedly fails to do what it’s supposed to and usually has so many horrible side effects that its not worth it. Smoking seemed like the better option than prednisone or any of the other dreadful drugs that one has to often be on long term. Not only did I do all the research on it that I could, but I also looked at the other side of the story about smoking in general and learned a lot of the hype is fabricated. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming it’s healthy, but I firmly believe its healthier than uncontrolled UC and most of the drugs that are given to treat it, especially if one is limiting the cigarettes and not chain smoking. Yul Brenner (who died of lung cancer) chain smoked 48 years before he got it and and died 10 years after he quit. I’m already 45 so I think my risk, smoking 6 cigarettes a day (I only smoke outside away from my children) is pretty low. Anyway, the first week was not encouraging. I was still sick and miserable and now I was dealing with being sick from the cigarettes, too. I get the most out of each one and smoke it to the butt as I want to get all the nicotine and toxins my body will require for remission. After 2 weeks I was noticably improved. After 3 weeks the improvement was even greater and now, at 4 weeks, I feel like a new person. I still have some mild bleeding but I’m going to the bathroom about twice a day, little urgency and the terrible nausea and cramps are gone. My leg condition started improving after about the 3rd week of smoking and now that, too, is nearly gone. I believe it is only a matter of time before I achieve full remission with no more bleeding. I do take a variety of other supplements so that I can eventually see if only 3 or 4 cigarettes a day will keep me in remission. I have taken these supplements for several months prior to smoking and they did not help on their own. I take Boswellia, Curcumin, probiotics, olive oil, L-glutimine, omega-3, and charcoal capsules. If I can avoid pharmaceuticals, I will absolutely do so. As for the dizziness caused by the cigarettes, I still get that, but to me its worth it. So many meds cause unpleasant side effects and even up the risk of cancer, that its a small price to pay. It’s ironic, though, how so many smokers try so hard to quit, and here I am trying so hard to smoke!

          2. Hi. After reading these posts I started smoking again after quitting for two months and am now flaring horribly and prednisone not working at all. Will keep you posted if I go into remission. Desperate! Thanks!!!

  6. Hi UC Man,

    I go to Dr. Hanauer at the University of Chicago also. I was having a bad flare(uc proctitus) and went to see him. I had quit smoking for 6 yrs, but he told me the same thing. While it does help, I just can’t stand it anymore, smoking that is. he gave me a compounded drug, suppository, to take for 2 months and that has helped a lot. Its a combo of asacol & hydrocortisone. He told me if I wasn’t 100% back to normal in 2 months to start smoking 3-5 ciggies a day. I also take Lialdia. So yes i do believe it helps as every time I quit smoking in the past I had a bad flare, prednesone used to cure me but not anymore.

    1. Susan – can you elaborate a bit more on exactly what Dr. Hanauer told you in regards to smoking again? I’m just curious because although I have found published articles by him stating that resuming smoking may be the quickest and best therapy for UC even if you quit years ago I have also heard an interview of his with the CHrons and Colitis foundation where he says smoking MAY help in VERY rare exceptions. I’m wondering if he said that just because of how controversial it is. Because if it’s VERY rare exceptions than what are the chances 3 or 4 of those rare exceptions all would post on this website?

  7. I’ve heard about this, but would never be willing to try it. I’ve heard it can help, but once you start if you decide to stop it can CA– USE flare ups. I know they say if you are a smoker not to quit either. I’d just rather not start and have to deal with it not working at some point and stuck being an addict. Plus my risk of leukemia, lymphoma, skin cancer, and colon cancer are high, so I don’t want to deal with risking LUNG cancer.

    So it gets better with some people and worse with others. I’d rather not risk it.

  8. Wow. I’ve read some of the studies too, but they always seem to end with “DON’T SMOKE!”. What about nicotine gum? I had a really bad flare-up after I stopped smoking, but I had also just moved overseas and didn’t know what it was at the time. Then again, I have “Crohn’s colitis” and I’ve read that while some with UC find smoking ciggies beneficial, it makes Crohn’s worse. My wife would probably kill me if I started the cigs again, so I guess I’m more on the same page as Olivia for now… :)

  9. I am currently 2 weeks into a self imposed study using nicotine patches on myself to see I it helps my UC after a four year struggle. I’ll try anything before the “s” word is even mentioned as the only option. Studies are interesting and the way I look at it, the nicotine cannot be any worse than taking drugs made to combat cancer and transplants which we are expected to do without batting an eyelid. First impressions is good, but it’s early days, and the good news is no nasty side effects. Unlike pred, it’s taken me 4 years to get back to feeling normal after it made me grow an extra head, or so I felt, and if patches help me can pred for a while, it has to be a good thing!

    (also, the effects of pred on bones was made very clear just recently when I cracked a rib with a persistent cough! No one can convince me that nicotine patches is any worse than bone density issues at 32)

    I’ll keep posting my progress incase it helps others,

    Katherine

  10. I need to take back what I said. Human beings aren’t perfect. I despise the idea of smoking cigarettes but also feel in the case of medical marijuana it’s OK because it’s helping people. If somehow (and I find it hard to believe) that smoking cigarettes helps someone, then… begrudgingly I can’t fault someone for wanting to use it. I still think there are much safer alternatives and wish the doctor would recommend those over smoking.

  11. I was diagnosed in 1985 with UC, started smoking a year later…all symptoms went away and for 24 years(no meds either). Until the fall of 2009, I quit smoking to be a healthier person. Well all hell broke loose. I think I will smoke as the last resort, which is(hopefull not) the next chapter of my life. Been on the SCD for 5 months…love it! and started taking Boswellia 2 months ago.

  12. Well, week 2 and still smoking and remission feels sooooo good. I am eating everything again, Pizza, deep fried, steak, fast food, salads, fruit….no special diet, just whatever I feel like. Smoking has been a huge improvement for me and I am almost of the Prednisone. I know smoking has been targeted for all the bad impact it has on your health, but the medications I used, the lost time with my family, the depression, the constant fear of leaving the house, the hunt for the next restroom, really do not measure up to that impact, at least for me. I am back in the game and being banned 25ft away from public buildings is an easy sacrifice for the quality of life I have gained over the last few weeks.
    It is everybody’s personal decision, but I will be a smoker for life and will enjoy every second of it.

    1. Hey UC Man, any updates on how you are doing? I was also wondering if Dr. Hanauer just flat out told you to start smoking once he found out you were an ex-smoker? Or if he recommended it based on a few other things as well. And did he express any worry that while the smoking may help your UC that you are now risking the development of Chrons?

      I’m super curious by all this. I’m an ex-smoker as well and like Dr. Hanauer says in his published article that I posted below – I’m in that cateogory of ex-smokers who aren’t responding all that great to the medicines. So I’m considering sparking up. Even though I quit a long time ago (12 years).

    2. Good stuff!

      And you’re absolutely right… all these pharmaceutical drugs are no walk in the park, either. Even compared to smoking. Without doubt, smoking is still smoking, and you can’t deny that it has its killer effects, but have a close look at the fineprint of long-term usage of most any of the UC medications (especially Imuran), and tell me you’re willing to live your life in wait of those to show up.

      The situation has now become a 50/50 split for me. Risk the smokes, or risk the meds. With smoking, I’ll be back to eating/drinking/doing what I please. With the meds, I’ll still have to watch what I eat/drink/do (at least for me). So, like you, I’ll keep my 25 feet from public buildings… at least for a few years.

  13. I have to wonder if you have seen anyone die of lung cancer? I had to watch my grandmother die of it at age 59 and I hope you don’t have to EVER go through that. I’ll tell you that I would rather have the inconvenience of UC (and believe me I have been through it ALL! the depression, the humiliation, the lost time with friends and family) than the pain of having lung cancer and the lost YEARS that you will have (remember she died when she was 59). My mother and father are both smokers and they suffer from bronchitis, sinusitis constantly. And the time that you take out of your life to go outside and smoke is almost comparable to the time you spend in the toilet, because take it from an ex-smoker, you will gradually increase from 3-5 cigs to 10-15 or maybe even 20-25 cigs a day, which according to you is how many times a day you are in the bathroom. I do wish you to be a healthy person but I just think there are many other alternative ways of achieving this!

    1. This is not a shouting match, whatsoever; however, when the pharmaceutical drugs just don’t work, with most of them having various cancers and other long-term, and often grave side-effects themselves, one must pick a path in life and come to terms with it.

      In my opinion, and this is my opinion only, you can live to be 100 years old being a full-time smoker, or you can die young at 59 like your Grandmother. You can live to be 100 years old taking the UC meds and a non-smoker, or those meds can also take your life while you’re still young. Or even just the disease itself can cause severe complications and take your life.

      You know all this already being a fellow UC sufferer, so I do not mean to “lecture” of any sorts, and insist that is not my intentions.

      I am an ex-smoker (smoked for 10 years, quit, and was diagnosed with left-sided UC within a year). To think that smoking allowed me to live a normal life through my 20’s (I am 31 now; diagnosed almost 2 years ago; quit at 29’ish years old) is amazing to me. Since my diagnosis, my life has become boring, predictable, basically non-existent. Travel is out of the question. Eating out with friends just isn’t what it used to be. No coffee, beer, etc., is quite difficult for me (well, giving up the beer wasn’t all that difficult. It was habit as I’d have a beer or two watching a hockey game, and that’s really it; coffee on the other hand, I’m still fighting that every single morning). While I understand these are the sacrifices I’ve had to make, it doesn’t mean I have to like them.

      Getting back to the subject matter… for me, finding out that smoking can rid me of all the symptoms that comes with UC makes me giddy like a 5 year old on Christmas morning. Do I want to smoke? Absolutely NOT. I hate everything about it. I hate smelling like it. I hate that it has every promise of killing me with every drag I take. But the thing for me is, UC is right now… right this second. It’s happening as we speak. If I can sacrifice a few years off the top due to smoking 2-5 cigarettes a day, to live a normal life UC symptom-free, then I’m game. I’m all for it. To me, my current quality of life means more to me than my undetermined life 30-50 years from now. And let’s all of us pray that there will be a cure for this disease long, long before that many more years passes by. We should all be so lucky.

      Going back to smoking was not an easy decision for me. I lay in bed with an onset of depression that I’ve never experienced before in my lifetime. I quit smoking for the health benefits; ironic that I’m now smoking again for, well, the health benefits.

      And in all honesty, I was never a heavy smoker, anyways. I will easily stick to 2-5 smokes per day. I don’t worry about that.

    2. I too was a smoker and after several attempts finally successfully quit. Within several months I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. At first, it was mild and I could for the most part go through my daily activities. Then the flare up worsened. I have been unable to return to work since the end of October. I have basically been house bond, unable to travel more than a mile or two from my home. I was making trips to the bathroom 30 or more times a day. I am on incredibly high doses of prednisone (initially 40 mg a day). I followed all of my doctor’s requests and faithfully took my medications. After being hospitalized on January 6, 2012, for several days in part because of losing a lot of blood from this disease, (I had to have four units of blood), and being unresponsive to treatment my prednisone was upped to 60 mg a day. I was also (prior to my hospitalization) prescribed 50 mg of Azathioprine daily. The Azathioprine continued. However, I was taken off the Lialda I had previously been prescribed while I was in the hospital.

      I read about the benefits of returning to smoking back in October and November of 2011. I kept hoping for remission. But I too finally decided that the risk of smoking controlled amounts of cigarettes is the lesser evil. As many of us have experienced, I have no energy, cannot sleep, and was suffering from the other numerous side effects from the prednisone, not to mention the alarming possible side effects from 50 mg of Azathioprine daily that could be in my future. Plus the debilitating complications and side effects from this disease. Of course, I know the risks and side effects of smoking. And I have watched several people die from various types of cancer including, lung, brain, and colon cancer. However, the Azathioprine places me at a fairly high risk of getting two types cancer, one a fast moving form of lymphoma. I have blown up to the size of a small whale from the high doses of Prednisone, but the weight gain is the least of my concerns. I have also had to take a bath because I could not stand in the shower. I am single (although in a wonderful long-term relationship) and I have two grown children. However, I am not comfortably in a place to have others support me or care for me. There have been days and days when I cannot even wash the dishes. I have no social life. I cannot comfortably go out, and other then my children and the man I have been involved with for years do not want company at my house. Between being unable to really clean it as yet, and the horrors of having anyone else use my bathroom while suffering this flare up, I am not comfortable (again my decision as an adult), having people visit me. I want to state that I have a wonderful support system and the people I have chosen to tell about my illness are amazingly supportive, but I do not have the energy and lack the ability to have them comfortably visit me at home.

      My research has indicated that often UC is more severe for former smokers. I have spent a great deal of time researching this before I finally gave in to returning to smoking. For those of you who developed this horrible illness as adolescents or in your twenties, I cannot even imagine the difficulty and hardships as a youth trying to fit in with your peers that you went through. I have nothing but a wealth of admiration for anyone that young, (and even younger), struggling with this horrible illness. But as an adult, I believe that returning to smoking is not open for an argument. It is a personal decision and a life choice. I was thrilled to finally give up a bad habit that cost me a lot of money and had me smelling like an ashtray. Nevertheless, this disease, for those of us with severe cases that do not respond to typical treatments, allows no quality of life, or at least that is my opinion. I started smoking a week after being discharged from the hospital after I learned my blood levels were again dropping and I was only moderately better, (down to 15 or 20 trips to the bathroom, lots of blood and no solid BMs). It was almost immediate that my symptoms were reduced to going to the bathroom 3 – 8 times a day, with solid formed BMs and very little blood. My blood count went back up to normal within three days (I had previously been asked to have it checked three or so times a week). I am hoping that as I am weaned of prednisone, (which has to be done gradually to avoid other horrible side effects) and its horrendous and possible life threatening side effects, I will have the energy to return to my daily life and my work. I decided to discontinue the Azathioprine today and see if there is any effect. My doctor wants me to hold off on discontinuing the Azathioprine, but I am sick of the drug induced weakness and the effects on my autoimmune system, remember that both of these drugs suppress your immune system. If I have problems I will just go back to taking the Azathioprine, but I am betting that I will continue to get better. I tried the SCD, and had little to no relief of my symptoms, and I had followed it for two months. My doctor is not supportive of my smoking but he is also not lecturing me about it. I would guess that for those of us who are former smokers the decision to return to smoking controlled amounts of cigarettes maybe easier than for individuals who have never smoked.

      As with any treatment the best advice is to weigh the pros and cons and discuss your options with your doctor. I understand those who express concern for the decision to smoke but it is a life choice. As for those of us who are adults who decide to smoke, we should be allowed to make an informed decision without being harassed by others. I have read decision of others that I am not comfortable making for myself, but it is not my choice or right to tell other adults what is best for them. We are all different and respond differently to treatments and the possible side effects of medications. There is an old saying about advice, wise men don’t need it and fools won’t heed it. So even if you think that those of us who decide to smoke are foolish, please try to respect our opinion and life choices. This should not be a point for an argument.

      1. Thanks for sharing. I had the same experience and even used the same drugs. I found that I was intolerant to Lialda / Asacol/ Sulfasalazine type durgs. They made my symptoms much worse. That was the sickest I have ever been when I was trying each different formulation one after the other. Azathiaprine and prednisone kept me close to remission for about a year, but I eventually decided to start smoking again, which fixed me right up. I dislike going back to smoking so I try to limit it. I only smoke on the weekends now and have found that I can lead a perfectly normal life with this scenario. I am not in total remission but close enough. No more blood and reduced frequency and urgency during the week. I’m still taking the azathiaprine, not sure why, just don’t want to give up completely on the hope of medication working. I tapered off of prednisone as quickly as possible and that was fine.

  14. Dear anonymous, I understand what you are saying about lung cancer but if you have truly suffered with UC then you should have some empathy for all these UC sufferers who will try anything to cure this horrible disease. One of my friends has had UC now for a few years and the pain and suffering she has had to endure has been immense. To go from one treatment to another for each to fail is so disheartening to see. It’s not just running to the toilet every two seconds it’s the bleeding the pain and not being able to lead a normal life. How my friend copes I will never know as if it were me in her shoes I’d be long gone by now. Now she is a none smoker and as like yourself believes smoking will do more harm than good but has been in two minds whether to start, bearing in mind she has never smoked in her life. At the moment she is trialing patches and this seems to be stabilising her condition. It is early days but it looks promising. It would be interesting to see or hear if patches work just as well as smoking because if they are effective then this would be the better treatment to smoking. However, if it was proved that smoking was far more successful then people in desperation would take up the habit. Good look to all UC sufferers, my heart goes out to you all.

    1. Yes, Sam, I have truly suffered through UC and believe me I have empathy for those who have it! It is insulting that you should imply otherwise! I have been diagnosed with UC for 17 (!) years. I have been so sick that I could not stand up to take a shower so I had to bathe and then would not be able to get out of the bath by myself and would have to have my mother help me out. My first child was born alive at 5 months and died a short while after because of the severeness of my disease made my body go into premature labor. There was one point in my life where I didn’t have any stool anymore it was just pure blood in the bowl when I went to the bathroom. I have had COUNTLESS accidents where I have lost control of my bowels (the one that always sticks out in my mind is the last day of my junior year of high school where I was too embarrassed to ask to go to the bathroom again that I lost control and pooped my pants in front of all my classmates and had to run out of the classroom with diarrhea pouring out of my shorts, down my legs and onto the floor. I later came back to the classroom to collect my things and saw a puddle of diarrhea on the floor that no one had cleaned up and tried to step on it to hide it) I have had severe pain and continue to have paralyzing pain where I have to lay down on my bed waiting for the pain killers to kick in while my 6 year old is asking why I can’t come downstairs and play with him. I have countless other stories and while I feel for your friend (Lord knows I do)I am quite certain that smoking is probably the most ignorant way to “treat” this disease and believe me I have gone through my fair share of medicines trying to control it. But the one thing that being sick for over half of my short life (I am only 32) has taught me is that you have to persevere! You have to keep looking for that med that is going to control it or at least dampen the effects, not look for ways to mask the symptoms and cause other damage to your body! People who think that this is a good treatment should read up on the effects of smoking and visit someone who has COPD or emphysema or who, God forbid, is dying of lung cancer. Good luck to your friend :)

  15. Also, if anyone doubts Dr. Hanauer’s credentials look below:

    Dr. Hanauer has authored hundreds of peer-reviewed journal articles, books and book chapters, abstracts, monographs, and editorials. He also designed and maintains a 6,000-patient database for the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Registry. Dr. Hanauer is Editor-in-Chief of Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology & Hepatology and serves on the editorial boards of numerous journals, including the American Journal of Gastroenterology, American Journal of Medicine, and Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. He is the outgoing chairman of the International Organization for Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

  16. Hi Tara.

    I’m about 12 weeks in now and I am in remission. Blood results as normal
    As they have ever been and I’m healthier than ever. My doctor supports me using the patches and I’ve managed to drop the dose back a bit, and as of yesterday I am now tapering steroids off 10mg by 1. That’s a huge step for me as I’ve been stuck on them 4 years! I urge anyone struggling to try it out!

    Katherine

    1. Wow! That is incredible news and I’m so happy for you, seems like you have the magic pill for your case. I’m going to start today. I guess just follow the directions on the box–do you recommend any certain patch or amount?

      I’m currently on a series of Remicade doses, have been in a flair up sine last November and now down to 10mg steroids for about the last 2 monhts –stared at 40mg. But symptoms not under control at all.
      Thanks,
      Tara
      Also please feel free to write me at tara1008@yahoo.com

    2. Katherine, just found this site today. My 24 yr. old son has been suffering the last 2 years, he is now on Remicade. He’s not in a flare up but not feeling well and they are thinking he may need to come off Remicade. Doctors are talking about removing his colon. Just wondering if you are also on Remicade and doing the patch. He did smoke in high school and the 2nd doctor we went to said there was a correlation of quitting and UC. Thanks Worried Mom

      1. Hi Pam,

        As a mother I really feel for you and your son. I was diagnosed with UC in September 2012 and have fought the last seven months of the UC battle (20 BMs per day). Then I was also diagnosed with C-Diff infection and took two different anti-biotics to get rid of that, but didn’t work. Specifically for the C-Diff infection my doctor suggested a ‘Fecal Transplant’. It eliminated the C-Diff infection within a week and it almost eliminated all of the UC symptoms in two weeks. The doctor was amazed that it relieved my UC symptoms too. If you haven’t looked up ‘Fecal Transplant’ as an option to treat UC, you should look into this. Most GI doctors are familiar with this process. Many people treat themselves at home with great success. I wish your son better days ahead.

        Glory

  17. Hi Tara,

    I started low, on 7mg patches. I like niquitin, not for any other reason than the doses were the same as on the study I looked at. Apply at night, this beats off a few dizzy side effects.
    These are only temporary, but expect weird dreams, also temporary, which is a shame cos I actually enjoyed some of them!!!! I gradually stepped up and found 28 mg to work to complete remission. I am
    Now stepping back, and am on 21mg. I have started to reduce steroids, very slowly, so my body cam adapt after so long on them. I’m now on 9mg and plan to drop over 2 weeks or so. The patches are easy. It says apply on arms, but I go below the equator to fend off questions as I am a teacher. Showering and bathing doesn’t seem to shift them, I’ve not been swimming. I will drop the patches to 14mg eventually, but I’d rather kill the steroids as they do more damage long term.
    If I can help anymore, just let me know
    Best of luck!
    Katherine

  18. I (diagnosed Jan 2010, 3 months after quitting smoking) and I am following Katherine´s path, I am also using nicotine patches. I started with 4th June, used lozenges for a week, then 10mg patch for a week, now on 3rd day of 15mg patch. From all the studies I have read (reams of them) I believe optimum results were achieved with higher doses (22-25 mg)over 4-6 weeks so I will build up, probably step up again after a week of 15mg. I sense small changes, although might just be wishful thinking!!) but at least I am not suffering side effects as I did on prednisolone, azathioprine and mercaptorine which all but wiped me out. Meanwhile steroid weight is coming off and I have everything crossed for all of us.

    Best wishes,
    Brenda

  19. Hi bren,

    That’s good news. I stayed in each level about 2 weeks and then 6 weeks at least on 28mg before I dare drop off a little. I am now reducing steroids successfully for the first time in 4 years and all
    Is going well. Try eBay for patches. I can get 21mg patches for approx £8, sometimes cheaper. I wish you all the best, I can’t believe that this is not a standard treatment when it’s clear it works well, even tho it would never be licensed, most UC drugs aren’t licensed either!
    Keep me posted, good luck with the continuation of your trial
    Best wishes
    Katherine

  20. Hi Katherine,
    How are you doing? Still good I hope!

    I took your advice and bought 3 packs 21mg patches on ebay for under 8 each. Thanks for that tip. I will go up to 21mg on Wednesday after the courier (my son) arrives with them on Tuesday night.

    I have also added back in Salofalk (mesalazine) enemas as I read somewhere that the nicotine in conjunction with them is good and I got through to 7am this morning – thats good for me!

    I was thinking, you are taking much more colitis medication than me – apart from the enemas I only take 4g oral pentasa daily so wondering if improvement will be slower for me thats why I added in the enemas again. Time will tell and I know Im probably being impatient – I think I will probably need to get on the higher doses as I am carrying a lot of extra weight from steroids and logically would think the heavier one is the higher the nicotine dose that will be required. But have no way of knowing if Im thinking up the right path or not………. Think the blood is getting less …….but still very tired and listless but then again its quite hot here. I think you are amazing carrying on working – I would not be able to go out to work – I can just about manage to do some part time stuff in the house!!

    Thanks again, onward and upwards
    Brenda x

  21. We need a site for Crohn’s like this, I’d really like to read about other peoples experiences with some of the things I’m going through!

    As for the smoking, I don’t know how different UC is from Crohn’s but when ever I’m even near a person smoking my stomach goes crazy! Personally I try to stay away as much as possible but hey, what ever helps, right.

  22. As to my experience with UC and smoking – I was diagnosed 9 years prior to beginning a smoking habit. I was using primarily sulfur medications (Azulfidine) with some benefit. My flare-ups were for several months followed by remission for about the same time.
    I started smoking a pack-a-day. My remission period increased to 3-4 years, so few flare-ups. After 12 years of smoking, I quit. My remission periods are now for 1-2 years. After 19 years being smoke-free, I have no desire to start the habit again. I maintain a healthy diet, exercise often and use only mesalamine-based medications only.
    Note, the New England Journal of Medicine publsihed the link between smoking and UC ~ 20 years ago. see http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199403243301202#t=articleDiscussion

    1. Hi Pete,

      Why only mesalamine based and what is your diet? I am desperate not to smoke again but I am so, so sick.

      Thanks,

      Caron

  23. Hi everyone, im a 26 male lad from the uk, i was a smoker of 10 years i quit 2 years ago, i’d never even heard of UC, got diagnosed and hospitalized in April with severe left sided UC, doctor tried to remove my bowel (dont think so mate!) after 3 weeks of IV i was let out, they put me on 40mg Pred, 12 asacol, 50mg Azathioprine. Since the Aza kicked in ive been like normal, down to 10mg pred, i had an Endoscopy on tuesday (results were good) but ever since then i’m back to square one, i dont know what to do! should i increase my pred’s? i dont think i can go back to smoking again (quiting was hell) and i get uncontrollable mood swings with the steroids as is, if i go back to hospital there going to remove my bowel, this is all to stressfull.

  24. Jason,

    Try nicotine patches, see my posts on nicotine and UC. I am still in remission now after so long doing up and down pred, and finding myself back at square 1! My doc supports it too, and it’s more beneficial than smoking itself, but with the same effects!

    Katherine

  25. I have been a smoker for about 8 years, I started at 15 smoked on and off as a teen, and now I’m 23 and smoke about a 1/2..And when i smoke it makes me have to go to the bathroom..why is that? Am I smoking tooo much?

  26. I am 27 was diagnosed with UC about 8 months ago! and it was my first flare up I was in hospital for 2 weeks, antibiotics didnt want to work had a blood transfusion! I had quit smoking when I found out I was pregnant in 2009 and 2010 my son was born, still continued not to smoke , than 8 months later after I had baby I got really sick And found out it was UC the worst flare up my doc had seen! Turns out he said the patch may work , well heard the patch can make you feel sick with lots of side effects!! than I heard about smoking can help and the that people who quit smoking can get this disease, so After contemplating back and forth with pain and the lialda I was taken was making me sick and hair falling out!! i went to smoking again, but nt around my baby! soon enough I felt a huge improvement in eating and restrooms visit!! it was a miracle !! so I no longer take the meds and I feel like I never Ihad this!!! I feel great and I went back to work and no longer afraid to go to family events or out or eat!!, they say that something in nicotine coat the intestines. and

  27. Hi, my name is Gil and have been diagnosed with pancolitis five years ago. I am being followed by one of the best gastroenterologist in Canada. He told me that he couldn’t, as a professional, prescribe to me or direct me to smoke, however, he did tell me that studies has clearly demonstrated that smoking 2 to 5 cigarettes a day will help reduce the gravity of the flare ups as well as lowering their re occurances. He further stated that the patch does not work as it is not the nicotine of the cigarette that helps but another substance that they have yet to identify. Well I have never been a smoker and my wife hates it soo much…so I am now a “closet smoker” smoking when she is not home my 2 to five cigs a day. Well I can tell you that I haven’t had any flare ups since 1.5 years which is about when I began smoking those cigs.

    1. Hey Gil,
      That’s fantastic news for you! congrats.
      Just in-case you’re new here to the site, this particular post I believe has received the very most comments of all time, and there are over 600 stories here.
      I can tell you that my second GI doc in Palo Alto told me something similar, although he did not push at all for it. I suspect he had read some studies or something like that but did not have actual patients of his who had tested the theory….
      either way, that’s great that you are a success story here in terms of keeping the UC asleep. keep it up!

      1. I think nicotine influences nerve transmission in the vagus nerve and the vagus nerve has a role in regulating inflammation.

        UC sufferers can have vagal nerve damage – 35% in the following link
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8362220

        Google vagus nerve and uc and there is lots of information about the role of the vg in reducing TNFa.

        I have also read that eating the right fats (animal fats, coconut oil, no refined oils an low PUFA plus good Omega 3/6 ratio) may give protection from the harmful effects of smoking but I can’t remember where. I have changed to these fats (and a high fat/low carb diet) in the last few years and I am almost certain that eating the wrong fats has a huge role in many forms of chronic disease.

        I am a non smoker and have made huge progress in controlling uc and completely eliminating some other autoimmune conditions with diet but I am now beginning to wonder if damage to the vagal nerve could be one of the reasons why uc is so much more resistant to improvement using diet changes than other auto immune disease.

        I had a very long second stage labour which can be a risk for vagal nerve damage although the uc did not start until some years later.

    2. So glad you wrote what you did. My doctor told me years ago not to quit. Off the record, of course. He also said the patch, gum, etc. would not work, but I am reading here that people are having some success with it, so…. ? But he said it was the smoking only that would help. I quit shortly after he warned me not to quit when I had a bad case of bronchitis and guess what – I was so, so sick. After about five months I couldn’t take it anymore, began smoking and went into remission. The only times I had problems while I smoked was when I had too much dairy or red meat (both of which I am trying cut out altogether now). Again, I started back years ago – maybe five – got super scared about possibly having emphysema, etc. and quit again. Within days (and this is only a few weeks ago) I got very, very sick again and here I am contemplating smoking again. Here is the thing though… I am not a 2-5 smokes a day person. I get hooked quickly and go up to a pack a day so I really don’t want to go there again. I also have a friend who died just days ago from COPD. Very scary.

      Finally, I was told that if I don’t get this bleeding under control I would be subject to colon cancer somewhat quickly. That scares me, of course. I feel doomed if I smoke, doomed if I don’t. When my child was first born and I wasn’t smoking (I became sick with UC during pregnancy as I had quit smoking when I found out) I was on meds – but I had such an unresponsive reaction that I am not even considering it again. I also don’t have health insurance and can’t afford anything at present.

      I’m a single mother, not working, scared and overwhelmed at this point.

      I appreciate this board/thread so much. I appreciate this website. Having been in remission for so long I have not needed “support” in this area and generally never even think about it. But here I am now. So, thank you.

      Sincerely,

      Caron

  28. Greetings fellow UC’ers from realivemovement ,I’m 33 started smoking cigs early teens , Quit smoking about two years ago,then stared getting mouthfuls of constant canker sores.My first bad flare was when I got divorced right around 10 years ago.Officially Diagnosed 10/5/11 and with that said I’m sittin on the toilet as I type having the worst flare I’ve ever had ,I just started prednisone and hoping it’s gonna kick in.Even through all this, Personally my body feels better than it ever has since I quit nicotine. Through every flare up in the past when I was undiagnosed and smoking ,Xanax always helped me. Just last week I was prescribed some low mill Xanax ,helped my nerves & worries ,but was giving me headaches so I stoped, when I stoped my flare got worse so I started again specially since now that I’m on Prednisone , I just have always seem to have dependcy on something to calm my nerves , my thoughts and worries just take over specially during these flares, but I just don’t feel like I could or have that desire to take nicotine again . I was such a heavy smoker.To me it’s like grabbing a wolf by the ears eventually I will have to let go. Now trying some THC I would totally consider as long as I could obtain it legally instead of this prednisone.

  29. I was diagnosed with UC 30 years ago, when I was in my 20’s. My doctors and I discovered I am highly allergic to sulfa drugs and many other drugs. After suffering for 2 years my doctors suggested I smoke. I am a professional musician and singer, so I was not a smoker prior to being diagnosed with UC. However, I was desperate so I started smoking. It saved my life! I went into remission fairly quickly and have stayed that way for 30 years.

    I smoke about 1/2 pack a day, sometimes less.

    I quit two times in the last 10 years thinking it was better for me to quit and hoping my UC was gone. It wasn’t. It returned within a couple of months and I resumed smoking. It was then I came to the conclusion sometimes there are no good choices in life. I can choose not to smoke and suffer with UC or smoke, have a good quality of life, long career and no chronic illness.

    I sincerely wish I did not have to smoke but when I was sick I was very, very sick. I would not have been able to work, travel and experience life in the same way. I pray to God every day I’ve made the right choice.

  30. I was diagnosed with UC at age 19 having experienced symptoms from age 15. I took all medications under the sun. I started smoking age 22 and smoked very lightly (2-5 cigarettes a day) for the last 10 years. I gave up twice in the last year. The first time I went without cigarettes for 5 weeks and the UC returned. I gave in, resumed the light smoking and it went away. I am gave up smoking again. Eight weeks down the line and I have a terrible flare-up of UC the worst in ten years. I felt it returning but I tried to ignore it. I started smoking 3-5 cigarettes a day in the past few days and will post results.

  31. Started smoking when I was 12 and at the age of 32 I quit. A year later I was diagnosed with UC! I was hospitalized because I lost so much blood and had a blood transfusion. Ive been through every type of medication and prednisone seemed to work well but as everyone knows you cant stay on it and when I was weaned off I had the worst pain ever I couldnt even hardly walk. I was at my wit end and one day decided to start smoking and within 24 hours all my symptoms were gone the bleeding, the going to the bathroom all the time, the pain from cramping and I couldnt believe it. I guess you could say I had to pick my poison from the warnings of medicine or the warnings of cigerettes.

    1. Hey Lisa, I noticed you wrote that when weaning off prednisone that you had “the worst pain ever”. I was the same.. like being in labour for 2 weeks and they offered me morphine which I did not take. I only got that pain after steroids and when weaning off at 10 mg.. never had it even in the worst flare up before prednisone. It felt as if it was the decrease in steroids causing it as oppose to the colitis causing it if that makes sense. Two trips to the osteopath and some visceral manipulation made it all better. Just wondered if u had that pain before steroids and felt the same as me about it.

  32. Approx four days after a 5-a-day cigarette (small roll your owns) and the bleeding has almost stopped. Gone from about 10 toilet trips a day to 3. I have steriod medication to hand and Asacol tablets but I have not used them yet. I am going to continue smoking until the symptoms have gone and then cut down to 3 cigarettes. I aim to be at just 1 cigarette a day. I have quit them without help everytime but I am loath to try stopping them altogether when I know I can go from being a healthy 33 year old to a very ill woman in such a short space of time. I am not saying that smoking is the answer to all this, merely posting my results as to how I have used it and why.

    1. Hi, i gave up smoking 4 years ago(i only smoked 5-7 a day), then was diagnosed 6 months after. I struggled with prednisolone, Asacol tablets and Asacol supositories for 2 years. Then a horrible unfortunate event happened and i reached for the ciggies as i had previously reached for the booze and had depression i felt i could smoke without hurting my kids. My UC disappeared!(Even tho i was as stressed as hell, lost 2 stone because of it.) I then gave smoking up when i got my strength back and within 1 month, wham, UC returned as bad as ever! I’m now back on all medication and did put 2+2 together, i amconsidering smoking, but don’t want to let my girls down, i might try patches after reading all the above comments.

  33. No Doubt , smok’n will suppress symptoms of UC it’s a drug like any other & it too has side effects. I think it just comes down to each individual’s physical reaction to whatever chemical is introduced not to just the colitis flair , but the whole body . Ulcerative Colitis is there any real balance? Consistent diet while in remission ? For some cases . Then again food mmmmmm in all it’s processed additives & addictiveness, side effect city! Where is our holy manna?!?!

  34. Same deal, more or less, for me… smoked from 18 years old to 28. Quit cold turkey (I have great discipline), and was diagnosed with UC within a year after quitting. Hit me like a ton of bricks.

    I have tried everything since: the diet, supplements (everything from Bee Propolis to Coconut Oils, and everything in between), exercise (I have always exercised, so that wasn’t new), and my daily medications as prescribed by my GI doctor (mesalamine 2.4g in the AM; prednisone only during flare). The only thing out of all that that actually seemed to have any effect is the prednisone. It does a great job of getting me out of a flare up, often within a day or two. But it’s a horrible drug.

    SO, I recently had a flare up which was pretty bad… again, I have been doing everything to the ‘T’ in terms of diet, exercise, sleep/rest, never missing my meds, etc., but even with all of that I stil managed to get a horrible flare up.

    Three days into the flare, I started coming across these smoking/nicotine articles and UC. Being an ex-smoker, it all added up and I went to the store and got some patches (as I didn’t want to jump right back on the ciggy train), and within half an hour my appetite had come back completely, and all instances of blood in my stool were gone completely. It was amazing. The problem for me is that apparently only 6% of people taking the patch have some of the more severe, adverse effects like diarrhea, and I just happen to be one of them. If I leave the patch off for a day, the frequent, relatively urgent, bathroom visits basically go away and I resume normal bathroom schedule. However, with the patch on the level of urgency immediately goes up, and the frequency goes up a visit or two (nothing really drastic, though, so it’s not the end of the world). Thing is, the bathroom visits are still there for me even with the patch, so I am considering just going back to 4-5 smokes per day to see what that does.

    It’s such a tough call. Obviously, smoking is no good for your health, but my UC is right now, and flare ups seem to be imminent for the distant future and carry absolutely no warning. I just think I need to live for right now and get my life back on track. I haven’t left the house really (other than work) since I’ve been diagnosed. I just liked the times when I could be spontaneous. Eat what I please if I’m out at a friends house instead of having to be so picky. My friends understand my condition, but they don’t understand the stress that comes with it.

  35. hi,everyone,same deal for me,quit smoking in 1996 and now with uc started smoking again,its just been a week about 3 to 5 smokes a day,still not feeling that much better?does it take longer to kick in if the smokes work?thanks

  36. I’m a lifetime non-smoker, and had never smoked a cigarette in my life. Now, at 27, I’m in my fourth year of UC and in the midst of a wretched-bad flare-up that’s made me really realize that no matter how good I am with diet and life habits and everything this isn’t going to go away. This past week I started smoking a cigarette a day and already my symptoms are improving. It’s something that I’m willing to try because, to me, the possibility of not spending half of my life in bed, unable to earn money to survive, barely able to take care of myself, in intolerable pain, with my career, passions, and relationships all in ruins far outweighs the risks of smoking (not that they aren’t to be taken seriously).

    I also study herbal medicine. Tobacco is a medicinal plant, and has been used as such for a very long time. Like many medicines, both herbal and prescription, it is toxic and can be a poison. All medicines have an appropriate time and place, and must be used and chosen with careful consideration. Reading over all of my herbal books and historical medicinal stuff about tobacco, it makes sense in a lot of ways that it works for UC. It increases mucous secretions, acts as a relaxant, and has been used historically for several different bowel ailments, especially those that involve spasming colon and/or ulcers. It is an immune suppressant. It’s true that it’s toxic and dangerous, but soooooo many drugs on the market also are, and their exact consequences are less measured and understood. Aside from drugs even, we live in a pretty toxic world. And when it comes right down to it, we’re all going to die someday, and it’s impossible to tell how or when. Given the choice between a life where I spend half the time unable to function, in miserable pain, feeling like I’m dead and may die of colon cancer anyway, and one where I smoke a couple of cigarettes a day, don’t have symptoms, and eventually die of lung cancer, I feel like it’s worth giving it a shot.

    1. emily,thanks for getting back to me,your right about all you said,its been a long year for me,and im gonna give smoking a try for at least 2 more weeks,having uc really sucks,but be strong,it helps,thanks again for the repy,rico.

  37. Curious if anyone’s had luck smoking during a flare and then getting off them and staying in remission for awhile? I’m a nonsmoker, usually, but I realized recently that I must have “accidentally” ended some flares that way when traveling abroad in the past and smoking a few while socializing (and/or just being around it more in certain countries where people still routinely smoked in public.) Am now giving very light smoking a whirl for a few days during current, stubborn flare. Don’t want to keep doing it indefinitely, so curious if perhaps a “taper” like we have to do with steroids would be better than cold turkey?

  38. Although I am a health nut and hate this topic with passion.. I give a tiny applaud to good ‘ol Tina Nicotina as I used to call it. Too bad smokes have all the chemicals in them tho. I’ve got to read the doc’s article on this because it is interesting the relationship. I do know that Nicotine stimulates a release in adrenaline which is what smokers are addicted to.. their own adrenaline. So I wonder if thats how it helps the colitis – same as steroids kind of. I think tapering makes sense for anyone quiting smoking so the body can adapt and not have to process a big shock.. patches are better and for anyone using patches.. get the higher dose and cut them so you get two weeks out of one package -saves money.

    In any case just like the drugs you don’t want that to be your permanent solution. Please try natural remideies and everything else first. You can watch my video for some ideas. Colitis does goet better. Best wishes all..

  39. I’ve always been just a social smoker. Went years without smoking. Now I was in a very bad flare for the past two weeks or so. I started smoking about 1-2 natural spirit cigs per day a few days ago. Today is the first day I feel almost UC free! I’ve only made 2 bathroom visits today and the last one had minimal blood!!! Too soon to say. I’m not on any meds. I’m also drinking fresh green juices for the most part of the day. I even drank sulfite free wine and ate Mexican food lastnight in celebration of passing a state exam! Minimal blood! No cramping!

    1. Just an update: I ate anything I wanted during Christmas and have been alternating with days of juicing fresh fruit and vegetables. I’ve been smoking 2-3 natural spirit cigs a day, and I’m almost in remission. Stools are formed, normal, no diarrhea with just a trace of blood on the toilet paper! I don’t know what to think except that it’s got to be the cigarettes! I’m going on a 10-14 day juice fast with my friend at the beginning of the year, I’m confident that the juicing will completely heal my colon and then I’ll transition to the SCD diet full of fresh vegetables and salads. I can’t believe this cigarette thing is working.. there’s hope!!

  40. I got my first flare 15 years ago when I quit smoking because I was pregnant with my first child.
    I spent the next 7 years going back and forth between smoking and not smoking and even though the smoking always put me in remission, I decided that I didn’t want to smoke for the rest of my life. It made me feel tired and took away my energy plus I didn’t want to set that example for my kids ( you can hide it, but they know you smoke ). So I quit for the final time in 2004 and went into an immediate flare. It was awful but I stuck it out and read everything I could and llearned what to eat and what not to eat, experimented with various natural remedies and finally found what works for me. I have been in remission for several years now and will never smoke again. Smoking definitely helps but please know, there are other ways.

  41. I’ve been a smoker since I was 16, when I got pregnant with my first child (at the age of 28) I quit, 3 months into my pregnancy I started having bad abdominal pains and diarrhea after about a week of frequent runs to the bathroom I started bleeding too, symptoms were just getting worse, I made an appointment with GI and was diagnosed with UC. The treatments they could offer were limited since I was pregnant, long story short…nothing worked I had to leave my job, I was bed bound and was affraid to be to far from a bathroom at any point during the day….at six months pregnant I was hospitalized, I was on bed rest and delivered my baby a month early…I beleived at the time that my ilness was caused by pregnancy, maybe it will improve now, but things got worse.
    I would try and brestfeed and had to stop to run to the bathroom….I would sit on the toilet crying in pain while my infant was screaming hungry, nice picture this was my life for three months, and then I lit that cigarette again, I don’t know why, maybe because my life has become bed bathroom, bathroom bed, I felt immediet improvment in energy level. within three days my UC went into remission. Sice then I tried to quit 2 more times with the same outcome, I went back to smoking because it was the only thing that worked for me.

  42. I am so happy I found this site thank you for starting this Adam. I am 35 and I was diagnosed with U.C. around 2002. I was sick for months having bleeding and cramps they did all kinds of test and the doctor told me that it was just I.B.S. (I had just quite smoking two years at the time). I almost collapsed at my University and I thought it was a bad case of food poisoning. So when I was admitted to the hospital they treated me for that, until they saw my potassium had dropped so much they scrambled to get some in an I.V. in me. I had an emergency colonooscopy and stayed in the hospital for almost 2 weeks. Since then I have been ill 3 times…and once was a huge case of food poisoning as I went to Mexico and though ahh I can eat whatever I like. I started to smoke again 2 years ago and found that when I was going to have a bad U.C. moment it did help. I quite cigarettes again and now I am on the Atkins diet and I feel so much better. I think people have to find what works for them in diet department. I can not tolerate a lot of fiber but I know I must eat some that will digest as Adam pointed out in one of his videos. I hate the steroid treatment because the symptoms are just crazy I was a roller-coaster of emotion and yes my face and ankles were balloons. My brother the year before they had to force me on prednisone was in a bad accident at work and his hand was caught in a machine, they used prednisone to help his hand have mobility again and it affected his bones. The bones on his hip started to die due to the amount of steroids in his system. He is okay now but they had to replace his bone in his hip so he could walk. After that ordeal I did not want to take steroids but as you know you have to. I still find smoking once in a blue moon will help inflammation but I try not to smoke at all these days. I am just so happy to have found this site. You do feel alone sometimes. Sorry for the typos but it is 2:00 am and I am finally feeling sleepy lol.

  43. Hi just found this site and it’s great.

    Just wanted to chime in on this. Smoking works it’s true, I had given up for about 5 years when my UC hit and I had a terrible 2 years of bad symptoms and side effects of the steroids I was on. I managed to get things back on track with the SCD diet and have now been in remission for three years so far though I have switched to the paleo diet for the last year.

    But before I got things sorted this way the only period of time that I was in good shape was when I relapsed into smoking for a little while. During my bad times my stomach would swell up so badly I looked pregnant but when I went back to smoking I actually felt my stomach shrink and all my symptoms disappeared and this happened almost immediately. Of course as soon as I quit again everything started up just like before.

    I hate the idea of smoking I have a very addictive personality and was a very heavy smoker(40 a day easy)and really don’t want to go back; but I know it works and will always keep patches/ciggies there as a backup should things go bad again. I just cannot go back to how things were and I’ll take another ten to twenty good years over forty to fifty bad ones.

    Good luck to everyone.

  44. Well, I was diagnosed out of the blue at 2 years ago with UC at the age of 49. Two doctors asked me if I smoked which I thought was odd. I asked both of them why and they both told me that smoking helps! My wife and I were shocked and we’ve discussed this on many occasions. I have tried every medication and have had two remicade treatments. I have been on steroids off an on for these two years and have been told I am steroid dependant. I am tired of pumping all these man-made medications into my body knowing that there are severe side effects, including cancer. All the stories of (trying) to live with UC are my stories and I can take this disease no more. I know there are so many people with worse off condtions which put UC into perspective. I also have Menieres Disease which really stinks. I am desperate for the UC to go into remission and stay there because it has disrupted my life terribly in soooooo many ways. I am haven’t smoked since I was 22 years old and I have given this a lot of thought. I am going to buy a pack of cigs today and give it a shot. I hate everything about smoking but this is a last resort. I don’t want to have my colon removed. I’ll keep everyone posted.

      1. Matt, I gotta say that this has been my worst flare in 2 1/2 years and the most discouraged I have felt, mostly due to the setbacks and slow improvement. I’ve been smoking 5 or 6 cigs a day since Jan 27 and that same weekend I started gluten free and pretty much the SCD diet, quite caffine too! Two weeks ago my doc increased my prednisone to 40 mg. I noticed a decrease in blood about a week after I started this stuff. Unfortunately, I think I developed proctitis and maybe a fissure (4th one) but I feel I’m finally feeling better/stronger and going less during the day. Last week my grandaughter shared the flu with all of us and that really set me back. Nothing worse than having UC with the flu! Thankfully, today, for the first time in weeks, I had formed stool! I am optimistic that I’m finally going into remission again but I really can’t say which of the above things I’ve been doing it can be attributed to, maybe all of them. I was scheduled for my 3rd remicade treatment tomorrow and I cancelled it. I have plans to see a surgeon still to discuss options and maybe see an all natural MD for other treatment. For now, I’ll continue to smoke to see what happens. I just can’t say for sure whether this is what has helped. Stay tuned.

  45. I stopped smoking in 2002, in 2003 I was diagnosed with UC. I started smoking again in 2004 and was symptom free. In the beginning of December 2011 I stopped smoking. About 2 weeks after I stopped smoking I flaired up. I been on prednisone and Lialda since my flair up which don’t seem to work. Now I’m considering to start smoking again just to seem if the flair up will go into remission.

  46. I have suffered with UC for a while. I was on prednisone which made me feel worse. I was an ex smoker when I was diagnosed. I went back to smoking and it has helped keep flare ups at bay.
    I am also a runner and tri athlete and really want to quit smoking but I try a couple times a year thinking it will be different and always get sick within a day. I am so healthy even though I smoke.
    I am a very good athlete and feel great. My wife and doctor both tell me not to change a thing. Keep doing exactly as I am. Even being a smoker I am probably healthier than most people.

    1. Hey Joe, i’m in the same boat! I’m a dancing and fitness instructor. I started smoking again about 3 months ago and have stopped all meds. I feel like I’m in complete remission but hate the fact that I’m a smoker. I’m wondering if the nicotine causes more acid in your stomach. I’ve been reading that the acid balance in your stomach can play a big role. What to do…I hate smoking but has helped tremendously so far.

  47. OK, everybody, I’ve been following this thread for months, and now it’s time to relay my own story.
    I gave up smoking about four years ago, and after about eighteen months, started developing bowel troubles. At first it was put down as IBS, internal piles, lactose intolerance, and suspected celiac disease. Eventually, the symptoms became so bad, with twelve or more visits to the loo each day, three or four during the night, terrible urgency, and profuse rectal bleeding. I was referred to Gastroenterology, and the ensuing colonoscopy resulted in the diagnosis of UC with the entire colon severely affected. I thought my world was at and end; how much longer would I be able to work? Could I ever stay in hotels again? Would I have to sleep in the spare room so as not to disturb my wife due to my getting up during the night all the time? How long would it be before I need a colostomy and bag? None of the medication I was prescribed seemed particularly effective, if at all. I carried on for a year in the hope that I would go into remission, or a miracle cure would come on to the market.
    After extensive research into the subject, ploughing through forums and discussions, I discovered that nicotine has long been known in the medical profession as an effective treatment for this condition, and that ex-smokers make up most of those affected with it in middle-age. (Indeed, one leading consultant in America actually advises such patients to smoke 3-5 cigarettes a day; this may well work but is impractical, for as any smoker or ex-smoker knows, those five will become twenty in no time). As I fell into this category, I gave a great deal of consideration into giving it a trial. I noticed that most of the trials into nicotine treatment involved patches, but my own logic (not guaranteed!) told me that there are other products that may produce a more efficient method of nicotine delivery. After much thought, I decided to conduct my own private trial using nicotine inhalators (not to be confused with electronic cigarettes), and so it was, last September, I began.
    Within a fortnight, the symptoms began to subside and decrease, so I carried on with the inhalators in hope; within a further fortnight, the symptoms had gone completely.
    Now, seven months later, I’m still in total remission, not one single drop of blood have I passed, and I cannot remember the last time I had to get up during the night. I am completely back to normal; it feels as though I never had the disorder.
    I went for a routine colonoscopy last month, and the results showed that the colon is completely normal, with no sign of inflammation or ulceration whatsoever. I no longer take any medication (by approval of both my consultant and GP) and will carry on with the inhalators ad infinitum.
    It may be that I am one of the lucky ones for whom the nicotine treatment worked 100%, but all I know is that it was the miracle which I was looking for. I’m not naïve enough to believe I’ve affected a life-long cure; indeed, I’ll probably suffer relapses in future, but as far as I’m concerned, the nicotine has given me a very lengthy and symptom-free period lasting months, and I’m over the moon about it. My GP prescribes the inhalators for me (I get through about three cartridges a day), as he, too, believes it is proving to be a most effective treatment for me.
    If anyone is considering this avenue, then I say at least discuss with your GP and/or consultant. What you do have to remember, however, is that you will become re-addicted to nicotine (I don’t crave cigarettes, but love to puff my inhalator), and also, very importantly, you may not see results immediately; remember it took many months for the UC to develop after quitting smoking, it may take some time for it to heal again.
    Well, that’s my story, I’m not trying to convert anyone, just relaying my findings and personal experience to you in the hope that it can help someone out there.

    1. That’s very interesting. I’m having my first flare up in three years and it’s depressed the hell out of me after being healthy for so long. I have been stressing over smoking again to see if it helps but it would be good to try inhalers first.

  48. Hi all, I started developing symptoms in 2006, was mis-diagnosed and then correctly diagnosed with UC in 2007. Symptoms have gradually worsened and last one year I have struggled to remain off prednisolone.
    I have never been a smoker in my life, mostly because I had acute asthma upto my teen years.
    However I have now decided to give smoking a try. Have been smoking 3 cigs a day for the last couple of days. It would be very helpful if anyone could guide me with 2 queries
    1) is nicotine patch expected to be as effective as smoking wrt UC. The reviews above are a bit contradictory in this aspect. I ask this because I assume nicotine patches wont affect lungs the way smoking would do. Asthma is a much lesser evil but dont want it to come back if it can be avoided. Though smoking does give me a excuse to take a break from staring at my screen at work (I am a trader at a investment bank) – which I guess is good de-stress anyways
    2) most of the reviews above mention a dramatic improvement in UC symptoms on starting/ resuming smoking. Should I go by that and quit smoking if I dont see any improvement in a week or two ? Or should I persist with it for a bit longer.

    I am aware of the cancer risks in later part of life due to smoking. But I guess so is the risk of colon cancer if UC persists. Anyways I am in a job where people retire at 40. So I am willing to let go of my life after 50-55 to improve quality of life now and avoid embarrasing situations.

    1. Hi Bob,

      I was diagnosed with UC 6 years ago shortly after giving up smoking. I went on to Pentasa and Predfoam for over 6 months and could not get into remission. I started smoking again out of sheer depression and my UC was completely gone after 4 days. I have since stopped and started a few times and each time its exactly the same – 4 days after I stop, the UC comes back, 4 days after I start I’m 100% symptom free. Doctors in Ireland are very reluctant to discuss any link to smoking and I find it so frustating, particularly since no drugs seem to work for me and even the SCD diet made no difference. I have tried nicotine patches and they did not help me at all. I have also tried switching to “snus” (a swedish tobacco product you absorb thru your gum) which definitely helped but the symptoms started to reappear after 3 weeks, although much less severe. I chatted to a snus user & UC sufferer on-line who said he still needs to smoke 4 cigarettes a day to remain in remission and thinks the UC is kept in remission thru a combination of nicotine and carbon monoxide (no idea where he got that info). I’ve been a smoker for over 25 yrs and I feel I’ve probably done serious damage to myself already but I would think very carefully about going down that road if I were you. Anyway, best of luck with whatever you decide.
      Cheers.

    2. I have discussed with my Dr. the link between smoking and U.C., I had smoked for about 10 yrs before giving cigarettes up when my symptoms began! I was originally diagnosed with Crohns Disease and later re-diagnosed with U.C.! My Dr. told me there have been many trials with tobacco products, they can not rule out the fact that people who smoke don’t get U.C.! They can’t prove or dis-prove this fact, so there is a link between the two! I have told my Dr. if I ever lose my insurance I will go back to smoking, I can’t live my life the way I did for the first 8yrs of my life, looking for every bathroom along the way! I would use the restroom 8-10 times a day and take 10 imodium! I also started off with prednisone for those first 4yrs and it didn’t give me much relief, plus I had all the side affects along with it! I am currently on I.V.’s every 4 months with a medication called Remicade, I also take 200 mg of Imuran a day! I am 90% back to my normal self! Hope this helps!

    3. I’ve had UC for 30 years now. Smoking has kept it in remission. It’s not the nicotine that does the trick it’s the carbon monoxide so trying the patch does absolutely nothing. Been there done that. You need to actually light up.

      1. Initially smoking helped a lot.. I was able to reduce the steroids dosage and finally stop it. I was near normal with 1 hard stool motion a day. But now a few weeks later I am having a sort of relapse. 7-8 motions a day, blood with motions. Although I am continuing to smoke 4-5 cigs. Should I increase my smoking ? Or should I assume smoking as a UC cure is not for me ? But it definitely helped at the beginning. I saw marked improvement from the very day I started to smoke.
        Or should I just continue with steroids a bit longer and give the cigs more time to work ?

    4. So sorry to here of your problems. I’ve had UC for 40 years. Once controlled, my relapses occurred only when I’d stop smoking. The worst relapse I ever had was following a month on nicotine patches. Scratch that. Cigarettes have gotten so expensive that I decided to try the electronic cigarettes last year. It was great for 6 months–then a relapse which meds wouldn’t control. Back to cigarettes. 2 weeks later I was back to perfect. Obviously, as long as I smoke I’m A-ok. Stop smoking–I relapse. A specialist here at the best clinic in the city said that he’d put some of his non-smoking patients on the patches, but they weren’t as good nor would they work as well as smoking. In my case where I’d tried the patches & they didn’t work I might as well make up my mind that I smoke for my health & regard cigarettes as expensive medication, because, for me, they are. So, I’m done with quitting smoking. I’d rather be healthy & smoke. And yes, I tell people if they comment on my smoking that I smoke for my health. If they still won’t shut up I tell them they’re ignorant & I won’t discuss it with them until they educate themselves on the benefits of cigarette smoking. UC is not the only disease that smoking actually helps.

    5. Hello fellow uc sufferers. I have had colitis for 25 years. Now only being 38 years old and having been through the hospital stays, embarrassing underwear accidents and other bloody pleasant ordeals, I have found that smoking is the only real cure for it. Yes, I’ve been on asacol for most of my life and agree that it’s a savior for staying in remission. However, no medication has helped more during a flare up than a good ol’ Marlboro Red. Yes, the consequences may outweigh the benefits for the average non-colitis afflicted person. But, as far as quality of life goes, I’ll take a cowboy killer over bloody diarrhea- soiled fruit of the looms anyday. Keep on puffin’ and may you all stay in remission forever. Blessed be.
      -Scott

    6. Hi everyone, I was diagnosed with UC when I was 16, and that was 12 years ago. I have had flares on and off since then and in order to get me back into remission I had to take a regiment of Prednisone. Often times I thought to myself I would rather live with the flare symptoms them go back onto the steroid game. I read an article that said nicotine intake helps relieve symptoms of UC. I am not a fan of cigarettes and have never been a smoker. I had a couple of friends who were into Cigars so I bought a couple and smoked one when flare symptoms were returning. The symptoms went away the next day! I have been smoking a cigar maybe once every two or three weeks, only when necessary or when I feel symptoms may be returning and I can say I have not had a flare in over a year. I would highly recommend cigars based on my personal experience. Good luck to you all!

      1. Hi Bosco. Please let me know if you are inhaling because generally one does not inhale a cigar. Do you still get the benefits if you just smoke it into your mouth like normal with a cigar?? Thank you. Desperate here.

  49. Thanks Andrew, your story about ‘snus’ clears my first Q quite well.
    Thanks Amy for sharing your experience.
    I really did take the plunge. I smoke 3-4 cigs a day now. I have managed to reduce prednisolone from 25mg (i was still having symptoms with that dose) when I wrote my last post to 10mg now. I am not sure it is completely attributable to smoking, but I really dont need to know. Nor do I believe this is a permanent cure, but a day without the symptoms is a day gained/lived.
    I am from India and no doctor here will formally prescribe smoking, although a few have informally agreed there is a empirical link.
    I think I will try to stop smoking and see if I am under remission, once I am able to stop the steroids (I havent been able to stop steroids since last August, going back 3 times after I started tapering steroids).

  50. Hi There,
    I’m German, living in Ireland since ’98, so forget my poor English.
    I feel like I have to write something, because I really liked your comments.
    I’m 46 and I left the cigarettes exactly 1 year ago. I have been on 20 a day
    for 20 years. As in Ireland the cost of smoking cigarettes is unreal, I decided
    to stop. And I did.
    The 10th of February 2012, after almost 1 year without cigarettes, I developed
    Ulcerative Colitis, never had this stuff before in my life, and you know what
    I’m talking about, pain, blood, more than 20 times to the toilette….etc.
    I had the whole package, hospital, colonoscopy, cure with, prednisolone pills,
    Prednisolone Rectal Foam, Asacolon, etc…

    Now, I have been told, that UC, now that I have got it it is for life.

    I know tobacco is bad for you, but, if I have to choose between, spending the rest
    of my life eating hundreds cortisone and Asacolon pills, and follow a special diet,

    I think I will go back to the cigarettes.

    1. Wow, German/Irish, I’d pay to hear that accent!

      Read my latest comment below yours… I was in the exact same situation as you and I decided to go back to smoking, and it fixed me right up. It’s very unfortunate, but it works.

  51. I haven’t given an update for almost two months now so thought I’d drop a line.

    I’ve been smoking 6-8 cigs a day since Jan 27 and am eating an “almost” :) gluten free diet. I started eating limited amounts of sugar and 2 cups of coffee in the morning. I try to eat an organic diet and no artifical sweetners at all. I’m continuing to wean off of the prednisone 1.5 mg every two weeks and am currently down to 37.5 a day. Things are going pretty well and it appears the UC has healed in the colon. The only problem I’m having is what I believe to be the proctitis and maybe a fissure (4th one). I had a consultation with a surgeon and this week I had blood work drawn – a $2000.00 test! He wants to make sure I don’t have Chrones, which was a shock to me. Overall, I feel strong and the only blood I see now is from the Proctitis.

  52. It works, I can also vouch for that.

    Here’s my story: I smoked from ages ~18-29, moderately (~15-20 cigs a day). At this time, I had not been diagnosed with UC and was just living the healthy life (minus the smoking, of course).

    My girlfriend and I decided to kick the cigarettes for the obvious health reasons, and I did just that, quite easily might I add. Well, about ~1-1.5 year(s) later, I woke up one Saturday morning with an excruciating pain in my left side, like I had never felt before in my life. Shortly thereafter I was diagnosed with left-sided UC.

    At this time, I hadn’t made it very far with any research as I still was in shock of what I was told I had/have. It wasn’t until about a year or so later that I came across articles on nicotine, more specifically, the nicotine patch. I gave those a try during a pretty bad flare-up, and within 1 hour of applying the patch my appetite came storming back, my BM’s lowered drastically, and I started to feel better. After riding the patch for a while, it was becoming more and more apparent that they weren’t going to be good enough as a long-term solution in that I was still having bouts of BM urgency, subtle weight loss, and so on. But things were definitely better than before!

    During that time, I started coming across articles of research on how UC is often referred to as “the ex-smoker’s disease”, so I frantically dug deeper. Everything found within those studies lined up perfectly for my case (rough amount of time after quitting smoking was the big one; seems to be ~1-3 years).

    So, after much debate (and I mean MUCH debate as I was so disappointed in the fact that I was even considering taking up smoking again; easily over a month of weighing out the pros/cons, reading articles, etc), I finally bought a pack, and boy did it feel weird.

    At this point I was still dealing with the big D, and frequent BM’s… my appetite was OK, and my weight was under control. So I started out smoking ~4-5 cigs a day for about 2-3 weeks, but that soon turned into ~5-10, and I stand at about ~10 a day now as I just don’t have time in a day to smoke any more than that, anyways.

    It’s been about 6 months since I started smoking again, and I am 100% back to normal. Seriously, my BM’s are freakishly regulated, not a single bout of D, and I probably go 2-3 times a day with ZERO urgency. I’m my old self again. On top of that, since being diagnosed I changed my entire diet, and I exercise like an Olympian.

    It sucks that smoking was the “cure” (I know it’s not a cure, but it sure feels like one), but hey, as was stated by UC Man in the article, there is no quality of life with UC, and those meds can/are the equivalent of smoking in regards to their cancer-causing agents and other side-effect producing characteristics. I want my quality of life NOW, and I seem to have found it. Last year, I wasn’t even able to step foot on the golf course because of my frequent, urgent BM’s, but this year, I’ve already been out 6 times! I can drink, eat, do whatever I want.

    Now, I’m not sure about the success of people who didn’t previously smoke before diagnosis, but if you’re desperate, look into it. It’s said that <5 cigs a day is all that is needed, and studies have shown that 15 cigs a day, from what I’ve read.

    It’s worth considering! Honestly, I have my life back!

    1. I also wanted to add that from probably the ages of ~17 or so, right through to about 6 months ago, I never got sick. Honestly, I started picking up on it around the time I went to college and noticed that as winter would come and go, I wouldn’t get so much as a sniffle. Time went on and this trend continued. They’ve (the Doctor’s) have given some correlation to UC being auto-immune/hyper-active immune system, so I believe that was my case. I couldn’t catch a cold if I licked a doorknob at work.

      So, after starting with the cigs, just before winter, I ended up catching my first cold in January (2012). I assume that the cigarettes had helped lower my immune system to a “normal” level, which warded off the auto-immune and has played a huge factor in my, now, symptom-free lifestyle.

        1. Batman,

          you would not like to listen to my German/Irish accent, it is quite funny, but they understand me
          at work, that s enough for me.

          As I said I had the first case of UC at 46, after 1 year that I quit smoking. I should be off Prednisolone (cortison or Steroids) in two weeks, and I will stop the prednisolone Rectal foam
          too. By the way, my UC was only on the left side of the colon, very bad at the far end. I was bleeding out 20-25 times a day for 2 weeks before the doc gave me the cure, with cramps and very bad pain
          at the lower end.

          Anyway, Doc told me that once I will be finished with Prednisolone, I have to be on anti inflammatory
          pills called Asacoln for life. You must be joking!!!!

          I m back on my beloved Camel Lights, no more 20 a day, but 6-7 a day, after ready thousands of positive articles about UC and cigarettes, I m back on them.

          If I have to choose between pills for life, flare ups , cortisone (that by the way destroys you hip bones, you retina, your kidneys, your liver) or fags, well, welcome back my bolved cigarettes, bye bye UC!!!

  53. Not a doctor-retired-was a general physician——-Only one comment had one patient with ulcerative colitis who we tried to replace smoking with nicotine patches -didn’t work at any dose—she went back to smoking 3 cigarettes per day (which she hated) GH

  54. Hi all .. I have now managed to reduce prednisolon to 2.5 mg a day .. and plan to get off at the end of this week. If nothing i feel it soothes nerves when things get stressful at work. There have been times when I felt the urge of a motion , smoking a stick relieved me … as I said one day without symptoms is 1 day gained … lets see how far I can go

    1. Hi BobB,

      I went back to cigarettes, 7-8 a day, I will be off prednisolon in 4 days, I stopped with asacolon, and my colon is back in perfect conditions. No pain, no blood, nothing at, all normal.

      But, there is a big but, that I have to add and be honest till the end. In my case, and I repeat in my case, stress is causing my UC,but why I m stressed out?…… so I went to a Shrink, and I m still going,to kill the ‘root cause’ of the stress and free my mind from it.

      Hopefully, in fews months my Mind will be fixed, I will have a different behavior at work (more tough with people that deserve it), my stress will lower, and, I probably will stop smoking without the fear of getting the UC again.

      Just a thought!
      Max

      1. Hi MaxT,
        You are absolutely correct. Stress surely aggravates UC. If I dont sleep properly for a couple of nights my symptoms aggravate.
        I have started smoking and reduced my steroids as I said last. For quite sometime I was really UC free ..1 hard stool motion in the morning.. However after completely stopping the prednisolone, I am seeing a resumption in sysmptoms .. not very bad ..but 5-6 motions ..and small amount of blood … not sure whether smoking is helping me right now … would I have been worse without it ?
        quite confused.

        1. Hi Bob,
          sorry for the late reply to your comment.

          I am completely out of UC now, doctors told me that I should have to take Asacolon for “life” and maybe twice a year go back on prednisolon etc…

          Well here is what I did:

          1- starting again with cigarettes, up to 10 a day
          2- loose weight (2 stones, reduces the load on the intestine)
          3- drink lots of water all day, as it softens the stools
          4- go to a shrink, and get stress reducer pills
          5- start to exercise, all day sitting in front of a pc is absolutely not good.
          5- change diet, fresh vegetables, white meat, fish, no bread etc.

          all this put me back in good shape and UC free.

          This worked for me,
          Max

  55. It just goes to show that life is all about trade-offs. If you don’t get hit by colon cancer, you risk lung cancer. But the question ultimately is: quality of life and which of the 2 risks seems the least risky.

  56. hey to everyone out there with uc. so i started up smoking again…and my symptoms seen to be getting worse…its only been two weeks and i’m smoking about 5ish smokes a day i would love to know how long it has taking any of you to notice a positive difference in your u.c????

    1. Before resorting to smoking (if you don’t already smoke), better to try other thing first: such as have all amalgam dental fillings and metallic crowns replaced with ceramics; change your diet; include DHEA and MSM supplements in diet, etc.

    2. Hi Jess
      as I said before, I m a 46 years old German guy living in Ireland, so bare with my poor English.
      That said, I m an IT engineer(stressful job with a psychopathic boss), not a doctor, my brother is a doctor at the hospital back in Germany (by the way he smokes too).
      You have got UC, like me, which is more or less the same thing as psoriasis, only that this one is internal, your immune system attacks your colon with no apparent reason.

      Your immune system gets mad and attach your intestine with no reason you get a bad inflammation pain
      blood etc… you know all that.

      It all starts from the mind, I mean your life style, your stress at home or at work or whatever.

      You have to undergo medical examination and you have to take medicines to put your UC in remission,
      basically you need to cure it with medicines, and you have to get them from your doctor.

      There is no known cure, cortisone (prednisolon), and things like asacolon will just put you intestine
      back to normal, but, it is only a patch, UC once you get it it stays with you.

      Cigarettes:

      nicotine patches don’t work, it is a combination of carbon monoxide and nicotine, from the cigarettes
      that increase the quantity of mucus in your intestine, improving the barrier layer, not only, it will lower the response of your immune system, so UC will stay in remission, if you smoke.

      On top of that you need to change your eating habits, (google it and you will find a full list of yes and no foods), you need to change life style and exercise, and if stress comes from work, punch your boss (joking).

      All that said, in my opinion, even cigarettes are not the solution, the UC problem comes from the mind (like psoriasis), there is something wrong in the lifestyle, work , family,or other stuff that stress your mind, and your body reacts attacking itself.

      In my case, I m going to a shrink, to find the root cause of my stress problems, I will go on with 10 cigs a day, my UC is almost completely disappeared, but, my goal, is to give up the cigarettes too when I will be ready.

      I hope this helps,
      Max

      1. Max, I have never read a more truthful opinion on uc, despite being a pharmacist with uc. It is definitely a mind problem and the gastroenterologists have proof of the type of personality that gets uc. Totally spot on. Therreal remission from cigarettes comes from the fact that it makes you smarter you use your brainmore it relaxes you so you don’t get stressed for all the rest that stress you. Believe. Me I even get stressed because I smoke sometime because I believe it reduces my athletic ability ….

  57. hi guys….i have tred all of the above..i have practiced yoga for the last year i do daily meditation and only work 3 days a week, i have spent over a year following a very strict diet and consuming a huge list of supplyments, i see my naturopath regulally and am studing to be one myself…………. alllll that said after nearly 2 years of suffering with uc and no relief from any thing this is why i am going to try smoking…i am desperate i want my life back :-(
    What i would like to know from anyone is the time frame it took after starting to smoke and seeing a change?
    Cheers jess.

    1. The long explanation didn’t work, so I try the short one Jess.

      Just try, instead of 5 cigs a day smoke 10-15 for a week, if things improve you know you are on the right path, if things get worse, cigarettes is not your solution to your UC problem.
      Max

  58. Ive never been a smoker (had a few here and there casually with friends and drinks). Im ready to try anything at this point, but I’m 11 weeks pregnant, so I’ll have to wait another 7 months to entertain the idea of trying cigarettes. Definitely an interesting link between cigarette and UC. Hope they do some more research on it.

    1. Hi AlyshaP,

      very, very wise decision, cigarettes and alcohol are very bad for your baby, I can only say wise decision, do not smoke now.

      Ciao
      Max

    2. Don’t try smoking if you’ve never been a smoker! I really do swear by accupuncture, when I have a very bad flare up I book in for a 3 session treatment over 2/3weeks and as long as I’m kind to my body and watch what I put in it after my tretment i can stay in remission for 6/8month with very little problems. It can be expensive, but so is smoking, patches, gum & medication! Its worth it.. try for yourself.. Its the only thing that helps me after every other thing I’ve tried. I have been a UC suffer for 7yrs, I was diagnosed after my first child.

  59. str8 up weed worked ! tried stuff like prednisone and it didnt work , but since i started smoking weed i am perfectly fine :D s

  60. INSTANT COFFEE (any brand)

    I don’t know you gens, but, for my UC instant coffee is lethal. I m doing trials with food and drinks, to create the yes/no list, and this one cause my intestine to go mad, so, no instant coffee.
    Any one with similar reactions?

    Max

    1. I don’t drink coffee simply because I don’t like the taste however a red bull will set me off! If I haven’t had a bm in a few days but desperately need (I may have had the bleeds in between tryin but no real relief) I’ll use red bull as my trigger. Depending how much I need it sometimes I’ll get cramping but otherwise it’s just my trigger. Strange thing is, it may be the healthiest bm I’ve had in some time time I.e. right consistency, no strain etc.
      I’m curious to hear more about the immune system link if you wouldn’t mind sharing please?
      I’m nearly 30, had my 1st experience with uc just under 10yrs ago and predisilone enimas at home for about a month (so long ago & I thought isolated I don’t remember) seemed to help.
      Feb this year I had a massive flare up that included a swollen ankle because hey, along with uncontrollable at times bm’s, arthritis can attack. I went on steroids for 6 weeks and asacol permananently which was also new to me. Things have been good however had another flare up about July so back on steroids. Finished those nearly 2 weeks ago & things haven’t been great including an arthritic attack in the shoulder/neck. To top it off I ran out of asacol for only 3 doses & hoping they’ll kick back in quick cos this is no way to live.
      I ask about the immune system as I seem to have a constant cold which I assumed was from air con at work but a friend said to me the other day “you’ve had a cold as long as I’ve known you”. Would be interested to hear how this may relate. There’s so many variables online when you search anything for uc I find: do eat this while another site says don’t. Do try this, don’t try this, and everything else in between. I don’t mean this to sound awful as it does as I’d never wish uc on anyone but its somewhat comforting to find others who understand.
      Thanks for any help/info you can give.

  61. Hi guys!

    I have severe UC for almost 3 years now and have tried a lot of things to get relief. Nicotine definitely helped me.

    I was first diagnosed with mild UC in dec 2010, with first symptoms starting in summer 2009. My UC has been getting worse over time, flaring up every 3 months on average. Initially I was just on asacol/pentasa refusing to take steroids and now I can’t get off Prednisone. Every time I taper down to 10 mg I’m in a flare again. Imuran (Azathioprine) and Remicade are last resort for me, so im trying every other alternative possible.

    I’ve tried many things. I’ve been on the SCD diet since the diagnosis, tried probiotics, supplements, homeopathy, yoga and no substantial relief. Even seeing a psychologist now. However, nicotine (in combination with steroids I think) has helped me come out of a really bad recent flare. I’ve experimented with gum and it works for me. I’ve been ramping up the dose slowly to avoid side effects. It cut down the BM’s from 10-15 a day to 5 in about two weeks. Prednisone alone stopped having the same effect the second time I got on it. I’ve also tried the patches, but did not see the same effect. I am not 100% in remission yet, so I am wondering about smoking and the carbon monoxide effect in addition to nicotine.

    I found lots of studies on nicotine, but there’s not much on smoking or more precisely on the effect of carbon monoxide. If anyone has any info on that, it would be much appreciated. I am strongly considering starting smoking. Want my life back!

  62. Here may be the answer for you smokers who want to stop but stay UC free, it 100% works for me (now 8 months).

    I stongly recomend 2 – 3 daily table spoons of extra virgin olive oil! I had an article passed to me by a family member and after being a UC sufferer for 10 years this has been by far the biggest breakthrough for me.

    Previously the only thing that ever noticeably reversed my symptoms was to resume smoking (at least 4-5 a day), after all it was giving up that started all this! Like many I am sure, I had become increasingly sadened by the lack of progress in treating UC and regularly frustrated by the Health Service revolving door. So I resorted to my own internet based understanding and mini trials.

    In very simple terms I will explain the understanding of my UC and maybe why the olive oil seems to be so beneficial. Whenever I gave up smoking, I almost imedietly felt bloated, suffered disgusting wind and within a few days would wake early with stomach pain. After 2 – 3 weeks the diarhea/blood would start and I would have to resume smoking so that I could continue my driving job. During this period I noticed that in the first few days I had stoped going to the toilet (2’s) regularly and once the flare up really kicked in I then couldnt stop going, there was obviously some weight loss too.

    I have read that smoking or nicotine produces mucas in the bowel, thus possibly coating, lining and lubricating the bowel. This would also explain why removing nicotine seems to stop the regular “motions” and block everything until the body finds its on way of dealing with this. My longest success (previous to this one) lasted 6 weeks and was achieved replacing cigarettes with 15mg nicotine patches. At six weeks the symptoms were too much to tolerate and so resumed smoking once again.

    It has now been 8 months without any nicotine at all and no medication, just 3 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil per day. 1 first thing, 1 in the afternoon and 1 before bed. I am almost completely normal, after all the previous attempts and the usual imediate problems, this level of progress was unthinkable to me.

    I am not suggesting this will cure me as I believe UC is always there and simply masked by smoking or other means of controling the symptoms. I beleive this because I had previously cut down at a rate of 1 cigarette per week to only 4, at this point I began to suffer the morning stomach pain only.

    If it also helps I have found that lactose free milk and a daily probiotic seem to help.

    I know I have wandered off here slightly but thats the short version of a long story which I sincerely hope will help others. I have felt so alone with this at times and am really excited that I may not have to smoke for the rest of my life to stop my UC!

  63. I m back on 8-10 cigarettes a day, and I have almost forgotten what UC is (since 2 months).

    I don’t want to go back to that Hell made of bleeding, air, mucus, prednisolon, Asacolon, Rectal foam,
    Stomach protector Pills etc … (and miles of toilette paper)

    I eat what I want, work normally, everything is back on track. If Paul McCartney has reached 69 smoking cigarettes and marijuana I think I can do the same.

    It is cheaper too, only Asacolon 80 pills are 85 euro in Ireland ($106)

  64. I have had ulcerative colitis for about a year now. Remarkably my condition was triggered by Accutane acne medication. I took alot of prednisone for about 4 months and went into remission were I only took asacol. I heard that smoking helps so I started smoking about 4 cigs a day. I recently ate some spicy and it appears that some of the symptoms are back (blood with stool, abdomen pain, loss of appetite and fatigue). I’ve noticed that the more I smoked the less aggravated the symptoms were and vice-verse.

  65. Hi, I’ve had UC for 3 years now ever since i gave up smoking, thankfully its not as bad as some cases I’ve read about but never the less still horrid, its mainly blood and mucas that is the problem and all the medication that they have put me on. I’m half way through another heavy course of prednisoline 40mg a day (8 tablets) and asacol (6 tablets a day) and the predfoam (steroid foam enamas) twice a day. but nothing has put it back into remission :( so when i see my GI doctor again which is aug 30th i am going to say that I’m going to start smoking again. i want to finnish this course of medication first so that i will know if it is the cigarets that are putting it back into remission. i will keep you all informed with my progress either way ………….. fingers crossed

  66. Are there any studies on smoking as a long term “cure” or is it just a temporary mask? Cigarettes have kept me in drug free remission for 5 years, but I have just had another diagnosis of mild uc & proctitis after switching to hand rolling tobacco and snus about 3 months ago. Now I’m worried I’m back on the slippery slope and smoking will no longer be my cure.

    I would also be interested in knowing if anyone has had any success with lactose & gluten free diet or with quercetin & l-glutamine. I’m really interested in the experience of smokers because it seems to me we have identical stories.

    Glad to hear you’re on the mend Max. I know how you feel about the cost of medicines & cigarettes in Irelhaveand! It’s crazy.

    1. Hi Andrew

      the only thing I know about tobacco and UC is:

      I didn’t even know the meaning of the word UC till I gave up the cigarettes, in April 2011. I was 45 in 2011. February 2012 I started to bleed, and for 2 months was Hell. you know the story.
      End of April 2012, I started again with cigarettes, change my diet, mainly no bread, lost 2 stones,and … everything went back on track.
      I googoled hundreds of articles about UC when I was sick, and they all lead to 3 main points:
      – stress or some kind of unhappy life
      – diet
      – cigarettes.

      That s all I know,
      Max

      1. Hi Max,

        Thanks for your reply. Yes I came to the same conclusion that all 3 play a part in exacerbating the condition but I’m still convinced it’s q bacteria or pathogen which is the main culprit. My belief is that inability to deal with stress weakens your gut and leaves it susceptible but is not the main cause. Western diet and processed food weakens your immune system and prevents it killing the pathogen but Something in cigarette smoke does seem to kill it. Perhaps the carbon monoxide or other chemical took over the role of killing certain bad germs and over time made that part of your immune system redundant. (just a guess, I have no medical background). I hate having to smoke, but like yourself, I don’t think it’s worse than a miserable existence and a cocktail of dangerous drugs. Here’s hoping the current research on bacteria yields a breakthrough. I hope the cigarettes are working for you. How many a day do you need to smoke?

        Btw, great website Adam, we really appreciate the effort you put in, thanks.

        Cheers
        Andrew

        1. Hi Andrew,

          I smoke around 10-12 cigarettes, lights, a day. Actually, if the price of cigarettes was not so unreal in Ireland, I would never have stopped. 300 euro a month in cigarettes was the only reason why I gave up.

          With the US and Russians bombing the atmosphere with thousands of nuclear bombs since the 50th’s, Chernobyl, air pollution, chemicals in agriculture, radio waves bombing around, mobiles, Wifis’s,and many more, I think cigarettes is the least of the evils.

          You have a point about western diet, food is too clean, and the gut bacteria have nothing to attack but sterile food from Tesco.

          UC does not exist in Africa, but, I don’t think because the food is more dirty, I think they have a simple and basic life and real worries, to live, while we are killed by stress.

          My brother is a doctor, one day he told me that UC is a kind of an internal psoriasis.

          Have a good day ( I will go out tu cut the grass)
          Max

          1. Hey Max and Andrew…I love your seemingly differing views. I just wanted to add a few simple points.

            I think one factor with smoking is that there are hundreds of chemicals in cigarette smoke—I’m being generous when I say hundreds. I could easily say thousands. Any one of those could somehow be affecting the pathogens that get to run wild in an unhealthy gut. It would be impossible to figure it out…I surely don’t have that kinda green to invest in research but it safe to say something in cigarette smoke does the trick, as patches do not work and I was never an inhaler when I smoked the little that I have. My symptoms never really improved with said smoking but I never really tried to find out either. Nothing against people who go that route but I can’t see doing harm to my body to fix a problem. In terms of bacteria and what causes it have either of you read Breaking the Vicious Cycle? The book explains bacteria relations and what happens to UC suffers as well as other illnesses. The idea in the book is that we perpetually feed bad bacteria which only worsens our gut issues…if we restore balance through the SCD diet, we can maintain being well. The raw vegan diet is a different thought altogether but the principles avoid wasting energy on heavy digestion, allowing the body to have more energy to keep itself in a state of wellness—which according to the principles of the diet, we have UC in the first place because the body is in a toxic state and it is trying to cleanse itself to avoid further disease. In other words, if we take the sources of the inflammation away—stress, processed foods, foods we can’t digest, etc…our guts return to a normal state and we can remain UC free. If you guys dislike smoking, you might want to look into information on the SCD diet or the raw diet.

            And second, I like your brother’s analogy that UC is like an internal psoriasis. In a way, it is very much like it. Our immune systems are attacking us no doubt. In other ways, it is not. For quite a few of us, the reasons we are being attacked is quite obvious. As Max said, it has something to do with our lives, be it stress, diet, etc and our bodies suffer. My only issue with the statement that UC is like psoriasis is I have never seen people force fed medications or the possibility of surgery for other illnesses short of digestive ones. If you have a heart attack, you are urged to change your ways and it helps anyone who adheres to getting healthier. While medications can help control things, it is never pushed like medications to help digestive illnesses…or psoriasis. The worst part is those UC meds have horrible side effects or end up never working because(according to the toxicity idea), the body just becomes more toxic…and you can’t suppress the immune system forever as it will adapt if you let up at all. But if you have UC…doctors like to say they have no idea what causes it even though the very same changes that would help a heart attack suffer would help a UC suffer. I guess my point is, and the evidence is on this site, many of us suffer first and learn to ask questions after we’ve been put down the path of medications that usually make things a lot worse. We may not have medical training but we definitely do more suffering than most do, as many illnesses may have complications but they rarely happen so often and are so life changing. In that way, comparing to another illness like psoriasis seems almost silly. They may have similar causes but the people affected lead very different lives.

    2. Hi Andrew, Well, as you know, there’s no cure yet. However, I’ve had UC for 40 years & the only time I relapse is when I quit smoking. Patches & electronic cigarettes didn’t work either. Only actually smoking. Anyway, I’d say 40 yrs. is pretty long term! As long as I smoke I’m healthy, have no symptoms & can eat anything I want whenever I want. Sure beats pain, bleeding,diets, etc. I’ll take the cigarettes over prednisone & other meds any day. Besides, they didn’t work anywhere near as well as smoking. And guess what? I never plan on stopping smoking again!! (I even have a note from my doc stating that I have to smoke due to UC & nicotine replacements do not work.) That’s in case I ever end up in a hospital they will have to have an attendant wheel me to where I can smoke-even it’s in the street-or be liable for my failing health! Good luck.

      1. Thanks Cheryl, apologies for the delay responding. I like your style lady!! I’m on organic hand rolling tobacco and life’s never been so good!

  67. My husband is in the process of quitting with Zyban. I would love to quit too but after learning about it actually helping I worry that my occasional symptoms will worsen. I take Apriso daily and Entecort for a flare up. I also control with a strict Paleo diet. I have been travelling/moving since the beginning of June so my diet has been difficult to maintain. I have been on and off the steroid. I can only imagine the predicament I would be in if I was not smoking. Decisions, decisions. Luckily my husband supports me either way. Now if he could just understand why I don’t want to eat if we have a long car ride :)

  68. Try E-cigs? All the nicotine and one of the horrible side effects from smoking. This is an old post so I guess you’ve made your decision already, but honestly I think E-cigs are the best thing that ever happened to my smoking habit. Really hope you’re feeling ok atm. :O) x

  69. well i decided not to wait until i had seen my doctor, I’m gradually coming off the prednisone (started 8 pills a day down to 2 at the moment) and my symptoms are returning, so today i started my own “medical experiment” and i started smoking again after giving the bad habit up for almost 3 years, i decided to start today after a bad couple of weeks bleeding and mucus, i hate smoking but its worth giving it a try to end the bleeding and constant bowl movements. i have had 3 self rolled cigarettes so for after today and i will keep you informed of my progress …………… ps its really not nice smoking again, all its done so far is made my feel kind of sick :(

    fingers crossed it gets better

    1. Hey UC…I know how you feel. I think we’ve all been there in some way or another. Try not to let it get you down too much, as that will just make things worse. Keep us updated on how things go and don’t be afraid to look for other answers you can try down the road if you don’t want to keep smoking.

  70. I was diagnosed 12 years ago. Only ever had the one bad episode in 2008 when I was hospitalized. I had smoked socially up until that point. I think smoking helps. But you have to consider that I developed uc when I was in my mid twenties and smoked more than I do now. So if it helps so much why did I get uc in the first place? That being said I get remicade every 6 weeks now and I haven’t really smoked much at all in 3 years. Recently I’ve had some here and there and I have noticed that it makes me regular. So I think if there is no other choice go for it, otherwise stick to the drugs you are on if they work and smoke when you know that your colon is inflamed. Imuran is garbage. All drugs are bad for you, and smoking is one of the worst, use it in moderation.

    1. I just wanted to add that I have been vegan since ’96 and exercise a hell of a lot more than the average person. Maybe that is one of the factors in me using salofalk and asacol for the first 8 years after getting symptoms. In 2008 I had really not exercised much for a year. Coincidentally I had a new GI too, who prescribed prednisone – a drug on par with smoking in my honest opinion – which I think exacerbated the whole thing. So I guess I am adding that you should eat right and start exercising, especially if you plan on smoking to keep uc in remission.

  71. Being diagnosed May ’12 with UC, was put on 30mg pred which worked great for 2 months, as i tried tapering down to 10mg, symptoms came flying back. Was put on Asacol but made things worse, tried Imuran and made everything worse, then GI tried 6MP but again made things worse. I’ve become steroid dependant and currently on 40mg pred which is just about controlling my symptoms..still waiting to get back to normal. GI is planning on introducing me to Infliximab (Remicade)..don’t really want to go down this route but looks like i’ve got no choice.

    Im now considering smoking (as i was a previous smoker, quit 7 months prior to being diagnosed with UC). I am going to advise my GI that I will start smoking, want to hear his reaction. Lets see how smoking goes!

    How i see it is that the drugs we are on have terrible side affects, infact all drugs do! So smoking is just the same, if it helps control symptoms then why not give it a go?

  72. Was just diagnosed with UC less than a week ago. Doc started me on Asacol – 4 pills 3 times a day. I quit smoking about two years ago. Considering starting to smoke only a few cigs a day? Would this help? Also, how long does it take for Asacol to work? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Mckenzie,
      Sorry to hear you have been diagnosed with UC! Plenty of info and help on the site that will help you get through it. I was put on Asacol but this med didnt work for me, made my symptoms worse so I had to come off it, I too was on 4 pills 3 times a day. I have now started smoking recently (as i was an ex smoker 9 months prior to being diagnosed). So i’m giving this a go and hopefully seeing some improvements soon..because i dont really want to be on meds everyday for the rest of my life.
      Asacol usually takes less than a few weeks to kick in, so you should see improvements soon. Are you an ex smoker? I spoke to my consultant about smoking and he said theres a link between the two and many people find it helps improve symptoms.

    2. Hi McKenzie, I quit smoking when i was 22. At age 37 I was diagnosed with UC and went through hell and back and then through hell again. I fianlly found a doctor who had a positive outlook and made me feel better right away. He told me that a lot of ex-smokers are diagnosed with UC and he recommended that I start again with 5-6 cigs a day. Asacol normally does not work well if you have a flare up. It help you stay in remission when you get there. And yes, I started smoking again and my symptoms got better within the first 2 days and now 3 years later I am in full remission and eat whatever I feel like. I still take Lialda, mercaptopurin, and a little immodioum here and there. But I am totally off steroids and cyclosporin.
      Good luck, it is a personal choice to start smoking but it sure worked for me faster than any medication out there

  73. wow!! i found a site for uc!!! and i still have no idea what it is.. i was diagnosed with it 4 years ago.. not one doctor has explained anthing to me about it. not what it can do how its triggered or anything. i am a smoker and i can say that it is not helping me to much right now. i just got put on asacol. and hope this helps. i gues im having a lapse? relapse? i have been very rough on my body for years… to much drinking, and eating the wrong food. though i have always been healthy, in the gym runnign and what not. but over these last 2 weeks i woudl say i was on a path of destruction and drinking just about everyday. can that cause symptoms to kick in to high gear? it started a week ago and shows no signs of giving up. i went to see a doctor the other day, i have to wait to get a referal out to get checked otu properly. im a bit shaken up about this seeing how i am just now finding out how bad this could be. and is of course. not be told what it is and how serious it is has made me not aware of how its triggered and what it can do. i can barely work everyday and goign to work pretending nothing is wrong has not been easy. i have avoided eatign durign the day thinking it woudl reduce going to the restroom. when i return home i get a bite to eat but have to stay close to the bathroom. not enjoying this and looking for advise to make it mellow down faster. being where i am at i dont evenhave anyone to talk to about this so im alone with nothing but a computer and a house fill of foods that apperently make it worse!!! i am now seeing i need to change my diet and of course quit drinking. the drinking part is not bad at all. but giving up the foods i eat daily and love is goignt o kill me.. haha. i love food.. but any advise from anyone woudl be great!!! i feel behind on this and its like it ust popped up on me out of nowhere. are there any sites besides here to talk to people as well??

    1. Yo Chris,

      What up buddy, hey, no worries, there’s plenty of people in the same boat as you, and you’re gonna get out of the hell hole that UC can throw at us.

      I sure as SHeeet ain’t no doctor, but for damn sure I think its fair to say that cutting out the drinking of alcohol (at least until you are all cleared up and taking normal craps again without any blood or other symptoms like cramping etc…) is a DANG GREAT IDEA!

      I think I was kinda like you and getting my drink on early and often (that was about 4 years ago) and it took me a year after my diagnosis to kick that and get my diet changes on, but its been a much smoother sail since then.

      HANG the FUCK in there, bird is on the way, and I’d definitely suggest you read some of the 1000 plus stories on here from other UC’ers.
      As for the smoking, this post has gots tons of comments from others with ideas on that whole thing, and you might find some similarities to your story within here too.

      take care and best of luck to you,
      -Adam

      1. thank you!! and i was just reading other posts just now!!! it was nto until today tht i realized how big an issue this is and being over in the mid east is not helping much. i have not had it looked at in so long i wish they would hurry up!!! how old were you when you were diagnosed of you dont mind me asking i may have read over it not sure. but im really glad to have found this site. thank you.. i hope to for sure becoem symptom free again!! im actually quite freaked out about this!! haha. shoudl have paid more attention before i guess haha.. look forward to what ican find here though!!!!

  74. After visiting this site, I thought it might be good to blog about my experience with UC so others could learn a little something from it.

    Keep in mind, I’m a patient not a doctor. Also, I am Canadian, and my medical experience could be very different from someone else’s. Currently for example my provincial government pays for the cost of my Remicade infusions. Very expensive drug.

    Hope it helps and gets you looking for the right information.

    Your doctor is the best starting point though.

    http://poorlyworded.blogspot.ca/2012/09/ulcerative-colitis-my-experience.html

  75. i have uc since 6 years and cigarte helped me alot but if you smoke too much it cause more problems as the article says best way is to have 5-6 cigarate a day and you will be damn good

  76. Hi Folks,

    And am 45 I have Uc for about 4 years ( since I quit smoking). I’ve had three hospital admissions with acute UC in 2 years, and the condition seems to me getting worse. I am going to try smoking again. anything is better than this hell. Occassionally I have a smoke of weed on its own, but this does not really help with the UC. I notice that if I have a few with tobacco it seems to have a benefical effect. I am in Ireland and our crap health system does not help at all. it’s comforting to find a place to share the experience, as it is alone

  77. Just to add, I’ve been on 25mg nicotine patches for a year and have been symptom free for all this time, I have had uc for 5 years and never achieved remission until the patch trial. My doc supports me, it’s worth a try if you haven’t tried it before lighting up. I still take all my meds, and just think of this as one more.

    Good luck to all!

    Katherine

    1. Hi Katherine,

      Were you a smoker prior to getting UC. I developed my condition shortlay after giving up smoking having been a fair;y heavy smoker for most of my life.

      25mgs seems strong do you use them daily and did you build up to this dose slowly. If so can you advise more as I might try and give it a go.

      Cheers

      Michael

  78. Hi,

    No, I was a non smoker. I gave patches a go as I tried everything else and was losing the will. I built up slowly, 7mg then 15 then 21 and now 25. I find this level works for me, as my colitis was acute. Less may work for you, you can see when you start the patches. My doctor says I’ve missed surgery by a whisker by doing this, so to me it’s worth every penny and it cannot be as bad as that,

    Katherine

  79. Hi everyone, stumbled across this site as I had heard that smokers are less likely to have UC, but wow after reading all ur posts I never realised just how much smoking helps and can really relate. I am considering quitting smoking (for the millionth time) as smokes here in Australia are ridiculously expensive (between $16-19for a pack of 20)I’m 29 an was diagnosed 6 years ago, after having mononucleosis- whether this had anything to do with me developing UC I dunno, but the UC came about 4 months after the mononucleosis (glandular fever). I find the comments about about UC being like psoriasis in the colon interesting , as I have that too, but neither condition occurs together strangely enough, and I’d much prefer psoriasis! I had been treated wih Acitretin – a drug similar to roaccutane about 12 months before i was diagnosed with UC. I have been in remission for 3.5 years after I spent a week in hospital facing the prospect of a colectomy and the pretty shit purse that goes with it. At 25 I wasn’t much keen on a colostomy. The flare up that had me hospitalised occurred after an Attempt to quit smoking. The gastro doc put me on azathioprine in hospital, as the sulfasalzine, prednisolone, pentasa granules (which make ur arse very itchy) didn’t do much for me. The azathioprine was awful so after 3 months I stopped taking it. Meanwhile during this ordeal I started smoking again and have been in remission since. I quit the smokes for about 3 months 2 years ago and didn’t really have and UC symptoms return. So, after reading all ur experiences with quitting and flare ups etc I’m not so keen now!

  80. I was just wondering how long it takes after starting smoking for you to notice an improvement in symptoms? Ive been smoking 4 cigarettes at night and nicotine gum during the day only for 2 days now but I had a really bad day today colitis wise and it really got me down because I was hoping things would get better straight away. I used to smoke 1995 – 2001 then dabbled up until 2005, then stopped completly and got my first flare 2007. I really hope this works its a small price to pay if it works.

    1. Gemma, please don’t lose heart just yet; when I started on the nicotine inhalators, it took a couple of weeks before kicking in, and about three months before I was completely symptom free. The way I looked at it was that it took a twelve-month after quitting smoking for my UC to present, so perhaps it would take almost that time again to heal. I too, expected immediate results, but the body has to heal in it’s own time.
      Please don’t despondent just yet.

      1. Hi Michael thanks for your comment it’s nice to know there are others out there who understand. I’ve been smoking/nic gum for one week now and haven’t really noticed a massive difference (only to my bank balance £8 for a pack of 20!) I am still going to the loo anything between 5 – 10 times a day but I am going to persevere for at least another week with the smoking. I just hate smoking I hate the smell of it, the cost, the damage to my lungs I am having all these internal conflicts doing it but I have to know if it’s going to work. I’ve been on the steroids once before and I don’t want to go back there. My mum and dad have been quite understanding which helps. If this doesn’t work I will try mega amounts of nicotine with the gum/inhalers but there are lots of conflicting stories about whether it’s the nicotine or the actual smoking that helps, I wish they would research it a bit more. I am also trying the olive oil from Graham’s post, 3 tablespoons a day.

  81. Hi All,

    I was diagnosed with UC at the age of 23. Went through 2 years of the most god awful pain, diets that don’t work and swallowing tons of Asacol, steroids did absolutely nothing. Picked up smoking again (former childhood habit) and within a week all symptoms disappeared. Fast forward 16 years to the present. I don’t like smoking AT ALL! Problem is each time I’ve quit, within a few weeks symptoms appear. These instances are the only times I’ve had the resemblance of a flair in all this time.

    Point being is that smoking works. It’s the only thing short of removing my colon that fixes the problem.

  82. Hi Marianne,

    Did you try the extra virgin olive oil yet, 3 times a day?

    If you have not seen my post on here “Olive Oil is helping my ulcerative colitis” the PLEASE read it. I thought that smoking was the best and only way of controling my colitis but I was wrong. I really resented having to smoke but I couldn’t go back to the worst time of my life with a full blown flare up and no end in sight.

    I saw a bizzare piece of research and dismissed it initially but I never say never and kept it to try at some point. Well 1 year later, I have not smoked at all and I am still very well, in fact better. I used to wake with an ache on what is the affected area of my bowel but even that dissappeared. This is not a cure but I am well and no longer poisoning myself, what do you have to lose?

    Be well…Graham

    1. Hi Graham, really interesting post. Did you start on olive oil before you quit smoking? If so, for how long?
      Thanks
      Andrew

      1. Hello Andrew,
        I started the EV Olive oil on the night of my last cigarette, 1 table spoon then off to bed. The next week was 4 a day (to give it every chance) but this actually made the stool softer and I went slightly more frequently. I also lost a few pounds in weight so soon established 3 per day was the correct ammount.
        I have had a recent blip but fortunately discovered I was taking plain olive oil and not extra virgin while at work, it really is that important to get the dose and quality correct.
        I hope that helps, be well!
        Graham

    2. Hi folks,

      I stopped smoking cigarettes and switched to snus about 5 weeks ago. At the same time I also started taking 3 x EVOO a day (as per Graham) along with a probiotic first thing in the morning. Everything went well so I ditched the snus last week and am now on EVOO + probiotic & no nicotine. Normally when I stop nicotine, I notice a difference after 2 days (bad gas), after 3 days about 5/6 BM’s per day, on day 4 the mucus and bleeding start. I’m on day 6 this time and no symptoms until this afternoon. There was fresh blood on the toilet paper and a slight discomfort in the gut but no gas, urgency, diarrhoea or mucus, which is something completely new for me. Should I up the EVOO or Probiotic dosage? I’m using Sainsbury’s Unfiltered Organic EVOO though it doesn’t have a strong peppery aftertaste,and the probiotic I use is Holland & Barrett Probio10 (10 billion per capsule & 10 different strains)+ half a cup of SCD yoghurt in the evening. Any advice anyone? I really don’t want to go back to nicotine if I can help it.
      Cheers
      Andrew

      1. Hi Andrew,
        Sorry, you have been off cigarettes for 5 weeks or days, I think you meant weeks? I tried organic myself but it was hard to find one with the crucial peppery burn and I did not feel the benefit so I ditched it. M&S Italian peppery is good, alternatively their Tuscan is more expensive but very good. I have been on 4 doses per day for some time now, on an empty stomach. I wrote to the UK major supermarkets recently and was politely responded to but not exactly inspired in their knowledge about dodgy oil and I still think most of it is.

        Probiotics never seem to work for me, there always seems to be a decline in symptoms and not the small improvement im looking for. Some say start gently but I think you are already doing this, some say try different brands. Despite being on the no list for some, I find Granny Smith apples good (after food), filtered water and also bananas. I still drink alcohol but its much better avoiding the carbonateds. Some of this may be obvious to some but let’s not take chances in sharing what is hopefully helpful information…

  83. hi got uc when i was 21, one year after given up cigaretts ,was put on 10mg predislone and 8 500mg slazprylin tablets a day ,tablets worked straight away was left on them for 2years not knowning the damage they would cause me lowered the dose gradually and stopped taking them went of milk was ok for 4 years has flared up again tryed steriods again not working never heard smoking would help, thinking of smoking again

  84. I was diagnosed with Pancolitis and am going on 5 plus years of a flare and so far haven’t found remission. Tried all the drugs and really only Prednisone works 100% of the time. Remicade provides only a short term relief even at the maximum dose. I usually bust through at about 2 weeks into the 6. I was also diagnosed with RA which has added Methrotrexate to my list of meds. I’ve found a lot of varied information on this website and have tried many things that have worked for others to no avail.

    I did see a specialist about two years into my disease from New York out of Mt. Sinai, Dr. Daniel Present who did discuss with me that he has had patients go into remission by returning to smoking but did indicate that it’s an obvious trade off but did in fact put it in writing on a list of possible alternative procedures (probably because he doesn’t take insurance). His exact wording was that he has had success with some patients returning to smoking 5 cigarettes a day. He is considered by many to be a leader in the field of Colitis research. He also said he would do anything to avoid surgery as many new treatments are on the horizon for IBD.

    Three years later we have moved into the colectomy discussion and I have decided to give smoking a try after 5 years and 5 days. It took a week for me to notice a change but over the last 24 hours I have finally had a much more moderated urgency and also a few movements that actually have some type of formation. I was down to half a pack a week when I did quit and it took about six months before I went down the UC rabbit hole. So if I am able to maintain with such a low amount the trade off might be worth it. It’s a hard thing but my hope is that I can get into remission and when new treatments come available I can find the thing that works for me. UC for me is the invisible jail because no matter what I do if I am further than 100 feet from a bathroom I am at risk.

    I am giving it two or three months and if I can’t see a significant difference in that time I will admit defeat and begin the surgery discussion. I will be glad to keep anyone apprised of my progression or lack thereof if you are interested.

  85. hi started smoking 5 weeks ago after not smoking for 12 years after 1 week uc all cleared up not taking any tablets only smoking 4-5 cigs a day might quit after xmass see what happens it really does work

    1. Hi Paraic, glad you’re in remission. It’s unfortunate you had to start smoking again, but hey, anything’s better than UC. Keep it to 4 or 5 a day if that works for you and consider switching to organic hand-rolling tobacco. I also eat as healthy as I can (organic fruit & veg, plenty of fish, cut out gluten, eat SCD yoghurt), a little exercise, and I’m good as new. Good luck!

  86. I quit smoking and a week later I thought I was going to die! I had the worst pain ,bathroom 20+ times a day! A wk. latter ER visit,was told I had stomach flu ! A wk. later back in the ER ! This Dr. said he thought it was colitis! Had a colonoscopy and this confirmed it ! Right now 4th wk. have been on prednisone a little over a wk. 60mg. A day . This has calmed down the colitis but it still hasn’t stopped completely . 5-6 times a daylight now , nothing solid. Trying to figure out want I can and can’t eat . I have been using a electronic cig. to stay off the real cigs , but I’m not sure it’s helping or not ! I do know that if I smoke some pot that it seems to calm my stomach down and relaxes me after a bout ! A this point ill take what ever relief I can get . Try it it might help you to !

  87. I quit smoking for 7 years at the age of 27. Five years later I came down with UC. Dealt with all
    the steroids, rowasa and some experimental drugs and none of them kept me to less than bearable pain and 10 to 15 bowel movements a day for two more years. Then I started smoking again. Two weeks after smoking I went into remission. I weined off all the drugs and was flare-up free. I didn’t make the connection with smoking until I quit again 3 years later. So I was smoke free for 7, smoked for 3 and quit again . 6 months after I quit my colitis came back. The treatment for UC
    hadn’t changed in that time. I put up with it for 5 or so months and started smoking again. And lo n’ behold , I went into remission again.
    Last year I tried to quit again by using the Elctronic cigarettes. I did great with them. Completely quit cigarettes within two weeks of starting the E cigs. But 9 months later my colitis came back. So, I’m back to smoking real cigarettes and all is good.
    I personally think it isn’t the nicotene that is the answer. Must be something else from the ciga-
    rette?

  88. I was diagnosed four years ago with ulcerative proctitis, and have had minimal flaring up until this last two weeks. When I had my first noticeable flare, it was during what I would call the healthiest point in my life. I ran several miles a day, weightlifted regularly and played sports at least an hour a day (basketball, soccer, etc). No fast food, no caffeine, no alcohol and a healthy diet in addition. Then I got hit with the symptoms, followed by the diagnosis and spent the better part of the following year depressed.

    I have never smoked anything in my life and find the prospect incredibly disturbing. However, with this recent flare and given the severity by comparison to those of the past, I am looking at the most plausible options. I don’t need to be barraged with obvious comments about smoking risks. I don’t have an addictive personality, so I’m not worried about the effects of chronic smokers. The patches however seem far more appealing. I have a decent income for my age (23) and am not too worried about costs. If there are some references on how to proceed with different nicotine regiments, I’m all for it! The articles above seem to relate mostly with former smokers observing success, but what about a lifelong non-smoker? References or personal experiences in this category would be much appreciated! Lastly, the discussions above and through articles I’ve skimmed, it seems most nicotine patch treatments accompany existing -(insert medication of any type I’d prefer to avoid)- dosages. What about those that go straight to these solutions(?)? I hesitate in referring to them as solutions as that implies a cure, for which there is no known (accepted) cure.

    I will be graduating in biochemistry within the year and know there are many long term effects associated with drugs, therefore I strongly prefer to avoid any/all medications. Smoking in my family has not produced any significant ramifications, so I consider it an option. Grandfather on mom’s side lived to 95, smoked all his life. Uncles on dad’s side, him and his father; no issues to speak of. I want to end this shenanigans before it gets out of my hands.

    My dad was diagnosed five years ago, did the same runaround referred to above with steroids being the final straw. He smoked from ~18 to 36, quit cold turkey and was diagnosed ten years later. When he is smoking, no flares. When he stops, they return within the month. Cigarettes ironically saved my parents marriage as the steroids had incredibly adverse effects. He also believes one of the drugs gave him an earlier onset of diabetes. His success is prompting me to the same. I’m just incredibly hesitant and if nicotine is linked to remission, as it appears is the case in many articles, studies and stories I’ve read, it will be the first attempt. Hoping cigarettes to be the worst case scenario. My flare is small fish compared to many above, but bad enough where I don’t want to see this progress any further. If somebody can sway me with a solid argument in any direction, please: do so.

    1. Hi Northwest Kid, I just posted my story tonight and read yours. My story may answer your question. It is not just the nicotine, it is something in a filtered cigarette. I tried everything to not start smoking again. I can tell you from what I’ve read, that if you are not a former smoker, taking up smoking may not help you. I wish you the best, UC is an awful disease.

  89. I have never posted on a website but I feel I just have to. I am 42 years old and I quit smoking in March of 2011 using the patch. About 4 months later my bowel movements starting changing, bloating, mucus and eventually blood. It progressed to painful stools 20 times a day. I scheduled an appointment with a GI Dr but could not get in until January of 2012 (by this time I was going about every 15 minutes, even at night and embarassing accidents). A colonoscopy showed pancolitis and severe. To make my very long story short, I’ve been on 40-60mg of prednisone for almost a year, asacol, anti-nausea meds, azathioprine, vicodin and finally remicade. I even tried the nicotine patch, it didn’t work. I contracted C-Diff (bad intestinal bacterial infection) and it is recurrent. I was hospitalized 5 times for an average of 4-5 days per stay. Nothing was helping and I was told that surgery was my only option. I had read about the effects of smoking on UC but I had no more cravings and was so proud to have quit for a year and a half. I hated the smell and felt so good besides the absolutely horrible colitis. I could not leave the house, not even attending my kids sporting events or go shopping. I was not living at all. I needed to be within seconds of a bathroom. I was scheduled to see a specialist at a large hospital in November of 2012. Before this appointment, I bought a pack of cigarettes. I had to try it, I was so sick. Within 3 weeks I was having 2 somewhat normal bowel movements in the morning and a sporatic one during the day. I still went to see the specialist, was honest and told him I started smoking. He knew it worked. He said he does not condone smoking but that the only thing that will work is a filtered cigarette. He told me if I choose to smoke to control my symptoms to keep it under 6 a day. It is my personal choice to continue smoking or have the surgery. I am off of asacol and finally off that awful prednisone. I do still have remicade treatments every 6 weeks and on maintenace antibiotics to try to control the C-Diff infection. So for me, smoking did put me into remission. Obviously, smoking is bad for you, that is why I quit in the first place but I can’t live how I had been over the past year. I hate smoking but I do not want my colon removed. Smoking did work for me!

    1. Hello Michelle. I respect your decision to smoke. It goes to show the magnitude of this disease for people, including myself, having returned to “smoking” to have some resemblance of what it feels like to be normal, enjoying life as opposed to just existing under the awful, horrible grip that only UC knows. UC has no mercy. I plan and will try smoking 3-5 cigarettes/day (1 pack very 4 days). I hope this is enough to keep the UC at bay. I hope this amount will also slow the inevitable, the repercussions of being a smoker down the road. I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get there? I wish you the best of luck and a healthy 2013.

  90. Has anyone NOT SMOKED during their lifetime, but became a SMOKER when diagnosed with UC? What were the results did you experience as a (new) smoker in terms of management of your UC? Did you STOP SMOKING only to find that your UC has returned?

    Additionally, as discussed previously, Nicotine patches and the electronic cigarette were unsuccessful for myself. These aides did not prevent a “flare-up” nor did they provide any help during an “active flare-up.”

    Any comments welcome. Again, looking for that new smoker. A lot can be learned from you.

    1. Hi Jimmy,
      If it helps… I tried many times to stop smoking (without producing a flare or using Meds) and it was usually 3 weeks before it got unbearable. This doubled to 6 weeks using Nicorette patches but nothing has worked as well as Extra Virgin Olive oil, now 15 months! Stoping smoking instantly makes me bloated and constipated until things go the other way and you can’t stop going, wind, blood, mucas etc..I think because we always end up going too much the last thing we UC’ers would consider using is a laxative but I believe this is where part of the solution is..

      1. Hello Graham. Thanks for the reply. I’m assuming you had stopped smoking? Your using “extra virgin olive oil.” Are you currently in a remission? What is the main purpose or what effects have been achieved by taking the olive oil? Are you taking UC medications along with the olive oil?

        I’m also not doing to well with the smoking either. I mentioned I wanted to reduce to 3 – 5 cigarettes per day, I’m far from that goal; still a pack-a-day. This requires extreme discipline which I obviously lack. I feel guilty as hell that I smoke. I’m angry as hell at UC!

        Still looking for that NON-SMOKER who started smoking when diagnosed with UC – see previous post from me. You hold part of the puzzle which I don’t have. I need to find you!

        1. Jimmy, I have stopped and where previously only for 3 – 6 weeks before getting ill i’m now 15 months without cigarettes and very healthy (also without drugs). Please read my post under “diet” then “alternative medicine”. For years I was desperate to be armed with a replacement for nicotine before giving up cigarettes but my GP would only refer me with a full blown episode. My post should provide the information of how this solution appeared and that it has worked for me ever since. The EVOO replaces the cigarettes, its not difficult and totally natural. The realisation of finding something that works better than cigarettes is incredible, ive had the best year of my life! I hope it works for you.
          Graham

          1. Thanks Graham for the fast reply. EVOO has replaced smoking and has been successful in keeping your UC under control. I have a boat load of questions for you. I’ll need some time to prepare them. What a success story. I hope to follow suite, cautiously of course. Thank you for all your input you’ve provided to me and others afflicted with such a “horrible” disease.

          2. Hello Graham. I read your much larger post last night that dealt specifically with EVOO. You reported a “flare” on 11-22-12 which may have been contributed from alcohol and/or bad diet. During this flare did you resort back to smoking? Also, during this recent flare did you see seek medical attention and given “such wonderful” UC meds? Lastly, if none of the above, by increasing your daily intake of EVOO halt the progression UC? Have you reached “clinical” remission by just using EVOO alone?

            You have questioned diet. I do believe, us UC’ers, have some sort of sensitivity to processed foods and processed sugars providing the catalyst, setting the stage, at the cellular level turning the “ON” switch so that UC can manifest itself.

            I’m still obsessed with the “smoking” thing. Why is the medical community not studying this link, with full passion, the benefits of smoking in relation to improvement and management of UC? Here lies the “smoking” gun so to speak. I guess it’s much easier to dispense “medication” as a quick fix as opposed to finding the root of the problem. The side effects, in my opinion, of UC related drugs are far worse then that of cigarette smoke, again if you were to pick the lesser of the evil. That’s pretty sad. More frustrating is that little to no progress has been made when I was diagnosed with UC in 1993. One would think 20 years later there would be some advancements made, but NO — only new medication; new names, but the same crap.

            Smoking does suck, but is the only viable option with regards to successful management and long-term remission. Where does one draw the line?? Take care.

        2. Hi Jimmy,

          Check out previous posts from folks who only started smoking after UC diagnosis- Adria (Mar 26, 2011),
          Gil (Sept 11, 2011), Virginia (Oct 26, 2011), Heather (Oct 30, 2011), BobB (Apr 4, 2012). Might answer some of your questions.

          Cheers
          Andrew

  91. Hi Jimmy,
    There will be a post in the venting room shortly explaining my recent flare up. I was mistakingly taking plain Olive oil for around 6 weeks and not extra virgin. I did see the doctor and now have a referal but I will cancel as the EVOO has brought me back to full health. The EVOO is even better than I thought, not only keeping me well after cigarettes but actually reversing a flare, very impressive. So no need for cigarettes or drugs either. Maybe I should see the specialist just to share this news.

    No drug company will ever promote this solution as there is zero to be made from it. By the way, my friend (who works at a drug company) informed me over 10 years ago of some research they were doing with patches for colitis though thats all I know..
    Like you I would have expected a magic pill by now and was always going to just smoke reluctantly until that day came. Maybe it was the apparent lack of a solution that led me to look for myself and find my own miracle? After each flare we learn a little and I agree with your sentiments that a more primative – natural diet can only be a good thing. Like you I also beleived that smoking as opposed to drugs was a “no brainer”, though now its EVOO as opposed to smoking that is the “no brainer”.

    Best wishes, Graham

    1. Hello Graham. Thanks for the return. I’m glad your able to bring this thing under control without meds., but EVOO alone. That’s astonishing and almost unheard of. I know, speaking for myself, once UC gets it’s foot in the door, it’s “game-on.” UC doesn’t fight fair. Here are a couple questions.

      Does the EVOO need to be “organic cold pressed” or it doesn’t matter as long as it’s EVOO? Your daily intake, symptom free/remission, should be (3) tablespoons (5ml/day)? In the event, you believe that a “flare” may occur, increase to (4) tablespoons (8ml/day)?

      First thing, when you wake-up, is to take the EVOO on an empty stomach. How would you address coffee? I can not function without a cup or two of “joe” in the a.m. Take the coffee and EVOO together?

      Now the truth to the test, the active “smoker.” Here lies the scary part. In my case, and others, once smoking is stopped the inevitable occurs – the ugly head of UC comes to visit. How long should one be taking the EVOO before the great “leap-of-faith,” that is to stop smoking and wish for the best?

      It will be hard to gauge the effectiveness of just EVOO only when your taking so called “maintenance” drugs. I take Lialda (4 tablets per day) and Rowasa enemas nightly – fun. I’m also tapering down Prednisone – currently on 15 mg./per day. What’s your take on this? Begin the EVOO therapy or wait?

      From my point of view, the best maintenance drug is “smoking.” Maintenance drugs are ineffective when one stops smoking. Maybe it would be better to get off all meds. and just try EVOO only?

      I’m ready to step-up to the plate. I will be another test subject on the effects of EVOO and UC. I hope all goes well and that I experience the same benefits as you my friend. I will be holding off until I hear from you. More questions to follow.

    2. Hi all! I am a 35 yr old male who at the age of 21 was diagnosed with uc! When I was diagnosed doctors and consultants told me that this disease would have a profound affect upon my lifestyle . After spending 3 weeks hospitilised making 40 plus trips to the bathroom passing nothing but pure blood I thought my life was over THAT WAS AT 21. I was prescribed asacol and reluctantly took it as I am not the type of person to take any medication even for a n headache.TO GET TO THE POINt I smoke 30 cigarettes a day never ever had a relapse in 14 years but 6 days ago I quit using patches AND GUESS what YIp I’m dashing to the bathroom. Cigarettes CERTAINLY HELP THE SYMPTOMS OF THIS HORRIBLE DISEASE even though the implications of smokeing itself have fatal consequences you really do have to weigh up the pro’s and cons. I myself am still goin to try and persist with not smokeing but be assured if uc symptoms continue I will have no hesitation returning to lighting up and run the risk of the health implications smokeing can cause because up until the past 6 days my life as been as normal and out goin as anybody else without uc

  92. Hi everyone, this has been so amazing to discover all of the other people out there who have been treating them selves with smoking. I was diagnosed in 1994 with UC, 3 months after stopping smoking also had lots of large mouth ulcers. Tried the medications and colorectal foams got the headaches and the mood swings to the point of psychosis. Started back on the cigarettes.The GI specialist basically told me that smoking suppressed the ulceration. Relief from the smoking was within 24 hours the blood and mucous gone. Since that time 18 years ago I have stopped smoking at least 6 times always with a return of the symptoms of UC within a few weeks. So I would then start smoking again. However I am now 52 and don’t want to keep smoking to treat myself ( I smoke 20+ a day) also although I didn’t have the blood and mucous I would still be at the toilet up to 6 times a day even when I smoke, diarrhoea, urgency and gas, during those years I did notice an improvement in my symptoms when I tried the Paleo diet. I am so happy to have discovered this site THANK YOU ADAM!! I downloaded your e-books and started the diet right away, immediate results bowel motions down to 1-2 a day normal formed poo. I also bought the Breaking the Vicious Cycle book and it made so much sense about the bacteria, the enviroment in the bowel as well as the simple sugars we can absorb. I have so much more energy, have lost weight and my blood sugars( I also have type 2 diabetes) are down to normal levels without the medications. I am determined to find another way to treat my body than to keep smoking I no longer choose to accept that I am a victim of this disease and that the only way I had found for treating it was to keep smoking for the rest of my life, thank you for the hope that I can do this another way. Graham I will be starting the EVOO tonight thanks for the tip!! I have started exercising again and feel so much better, next step in the plan is to reduce and ultimately give up the smoking. I love to sing and the smoking is affecting the breathing too much as well as the other physical damage it is doing to my body. Looking forward to the rest of my life I feel so much more positive now that I have discovered how to manage the symptoms in a healthier way, will keep you posted on the results. Love to all and good luck on finding the best way to treat your bodies to achieve it’s full potential. Elle

  93. Being a former smoker, stopped smoking in March 2011 and was diagnosed in early 2012 with UC, I wanted to show you some of the stuff that I’ve found about smoking and UC. I’ve not started smoking again but I can tell you it creeps in to my mind every time I’m having a “crappy” day.

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

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2502541/pdf/annrcse01600-0011.pdf

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ibd.3780040413/pdf

    http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/13/6134.asp

    http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/pdf/v17/i22/2740.pdf

    Enjoy reading,

    Stefan

    1. Stefan. Thank you for taking the time to research and post the links for all of us. Very interesting, yet provides little hope for smokers that are considering quitting. The studies provide an excellent reminder of things to come once smoking has stopped. In my case, my relapse rate is 100% every time I made the attempt to stop smoking, only to find myself back on the cigs to induce remission. This only leads to more frustration and guilt associated with smoking. I do wonder by having UC that it may actually cost me my life one day? (when you look at the big picture of things.)

      I’ve always had a suspicion that carbon monoxide (CO) plays a role as a beneficial by-product of smoking in term’s of management of one’s UC. Smokers tend to be more hypoxic for obvious reasons when compared to a non-smoker. The level of CO in one’s body, whatever it may be, may be holding the body’s immune system in check so that inflammation targeting the Colon can not occur. This explains why the nicotine patch and E-cigarette were unsuccessful preventing any subsequent flare-ups.

      In terms of Graham’s success with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) I wonder if the oleic acid in the EVOO is directly targeting interleukin (IL-12) when metabolized, either ceasing or at best holding chronic inflammation in check? Graham does not smoke, but enjoys the benefits of EVOO without the use of UC meds.

      It’s hard to live for today, when tomorrow is all that’s on your mind; easier said then done. Today, I have a monster in my closet – it’s UC! I’d like to keep him there. I hope that EVOO will work for me and that smoking will be a thing of the past. Thanks again.

  94. Hi Jimmy,
    I would suggest the purer the better but the minimum is extra virgin, this link has good information on the subject http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=132 . I may have misled in a previous post as a tablespoon is more like 10 ml not 5 and my recent flare confirms EVOO 10ml/tablespoon 3 times a day IS the minimum requirement for this to work well.

    It is best on an empty stomach though I cant really say why and though coffee and other foods/drink may aggravate UC generally, I have always eaten/drunk what I wanted including 6 – 7 coffees per day.

    Now I know how you feel, I “lept” many times with some dubious alternative to smoking only for the undoubted let down and as you probably read, I wrongly had little faith for my last time with EVOO. Please have faith, I would not be here wasting my time trying to promote this solution unless it was 100%, I want everyone to have the wellbeing I have. So my friend, preferably when you are quite well, have your last cigarette 1 evening and take the 1st tablespoon before you go to bed. I would probably go with 4 per day for a few days and revert to 3 if you are going more often or if the stool is too soft.

    I am excited for you, good luck!

    Graham

  95. Sorry Jimmy I missed a question..Im no doctor but in my experience, I would ditch the meds, get clear of symptoms by smoking only (always worked for me) and then swap smoking for EVOO.

    1. Hello Graham. Thanks for answering my questions; more to come later. I’m prepping the battlefield for the introduction of EVOO in lieu of smoking. To be honest, it’s hard to stop smoking, especially when viewed as a safety net in terms of management of UC – you know it works.

      I’ll be seeing my GI doctor next week. I would like to encourage him to take me off all meds. I can not wait to hear his response, this should be interesting? I’ll let you know the outcome.

      I will advise when my begin this “last ditch” endeavor to replace smoking with EVOO. I do know that I will need to stop smoking, preferably now. I do believe that I’m in the pre-COPD “window” period; kinda that point of no return where smoking needs to be addressed now.

      I will be in touch as always. Thank you for all your assistance. Your a good man.

    2. Hello Graham. Tomorrow represents D-Day – stop smoking that is. I will be using the Nicotine patch (21mg) to help get me over the hump and hopefully assist me through the Nicotine withdrawal. It has come to that point for obvious health reasons.

      I work a profession, and more often then not, you have to perform at a level of an athlete. The demands are taxing on the cardiovascular system. You realize just how important “healthy” lungs are in order to meet those demands. As of late, I’ve been falling short and noticing a decline in my ability to meet those demands when placed upon me.

      I began EVOO therapy yesterday. Organic, cold-pressed EVOO. Not bad I guess; taste wise, but that’s the least of my worries. 4 tbsp per day is the intake. I hope this therapy provides the protection that cigarette smoking has afforded me for several years. I guess this represents a last ditch effort, what other options are there?

      Again, thank you my “new” friend. I will keep you posted (and others) the effectiveness of EVOO as a potential treatment for Ulcerative Colitis – God I hate that word.

      1. If it helps…I stopped smoking many times while experimenting to help my UC and I found Allen Carrs “easy way to stop smoking” the best. I used it every time and only ever started again because of heavy UC symptoms and no substitute (until now).

        Jimmy, giving up is a big enough challenge by itself and it is possible that EVOO may not be 100% for you. However you know that it has worked for me and even the slightest hope of a miracle for UC is something to grasp with both hands. Just think, when I started I thought it wouldn’t work at all but I never say never, gave it a go and haven’t looked back since!
        Stick with the course, don’t miss one and in a month you should feel great and free. Good luck and we appreciate the feedback!
        Graham

  96. My UC came on 8 years ago after a complete overhaul and launch into a healthy lifestyle, which included quitting smoking. I’ve smoked on/off since then and can definitely tell that smoking helps calm my UC. I’ve been having trouble recently and just started the SCD diet, as I’m sure my eating over the holidays has a lot to do with it. But also, my husband recently quit smoking so I have not been having any cigarrettes (I was having 1 a day or every couple of days). I figured I would try the patch today, and I stuck on a 14mg nicotine patch. I do believe it helped my colon, but it made me light headed, sweaty palms, and very nauseous–I vomited. So while I will definitely continue with the patch, I would caution people to cut it up and try it a little bit at a time so you don’t get sick.

  97. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in May 2012. Final, definitive grade 4 diagnoses did not come until October 2012 because of a parasite that went undetected for almost a year. My struggle with IBD and Colitis has been intense. I am currently on Remicade and am about to receive my fourth dose on January 9th. Also currently on prednisone 20mg a day because I hate the side effects so much and refuse to go up, Asacol tablets, Fennergen for my nausea, Hydrocodone for painful flare-ups and I sometimes use enemas that are supposed to help with my urgency. I had a small stint with 6mp, but became EXTREMELY sick from this drug. My father, who is an ear nose and throat doctor read a medical journal that entailed a study about nicotine use and ulcerative colitis. I was very against this method, because I did not want chemicals in my body that could harm me. He first put a 21mg patch on me (currently 5’2 and 109 pound female) that made me so sick! He then decided it would be a better idea to start small and build my way up from 7mg patches. After using the 7mg for a while and still seeing no improvements, I stopped the nicotine treatments all together.

    After reading all of these responses to this post, I am very surprised at the positive outcomes! I do not want to smoke regular cigarettes and I find that I am quite forgetful with the patches. Also, having to build up the dosages weekly seems so tedious and would take forever. I recently went out and purchased an E cigarette. I was wondering if anyone else was also using the e cigarettes? Which still contain nicotine but is just vapor. I hope this starts helping me, anything that brings me relief from this disease is a God send. Thanks!

    1. Hello Brooke. I understand your position about putting harmful chemicals in your body. Nicotine would be the least of my worries when compared to Remicade, Prednisone, 6mp and Asacol. It is unfortunate that treatment protocol is very limited with UC.

      With regards to nicotine patches and/or the E-Cigarette, such aides were ineffective in terms of relief of symptoms during an active flare, frankly they did nothing for me, the UC took it’s course from bad to worse until I had to succumb to the “medication.”

      Sadly for me, smoking is the only way I was able to deal with this disease. I remained in remission, incident free for nearly 19 years. My flares occur when I stop smoking. My last flare occurred (2) months after I had stopped smoking. I felt great, but that was only short lived. Frustrating at best- it’s vicious cycle I would like to break.

      I hope you recover and kick this thing into remission. If I could be of any assistance down road, don’t hesitate to ask.

  98. I get UC-like flare ups sometimes (but don’t have UC) but I have been diagnosed with MS for over a decade, and I only get the worst of the symptoms (paralysis, among other things) when I quit or cut down smoking. I’ve been reading a lot about this odd effect for many years, and it seems that there are a lot of diseases that for some sufferers are relieved by smoking. The three big ones that I see mentioned over and over again are UC (and IBD etc), schizophrenia (and other related illnesses), and MS (and other conditions similar to MS). It doesn’t seem to be the nicotine that’s helping (NRT like patches don’t seem to provide remission from symptoms), but there is some research that shows the carbon monoxide in smokes could be acting as an anti-inflammatory. Some people think that it could be related to the MAOIs found in tobacco, or maybe a combination of CO and MOAIs and maybe other things. For anyone who is interested, here’s a page that has a list of links to respectable sources to either the research or reporting of the research on carbon monoxide: http://www.forces.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=363&t=1429

    Wishing everyone well, and I hope we find a way to get through all our various troubles.

    Jay

    1. Jay. Thanks for the interesting links. Wasn’t aware of the connection of cigarette smoking and MS. It appears that cigarette smoking has a systemic influence upon (other) auto-immune disorders. MS is a horrific disease and I wish you the best of health.

      Graham, if your out there, I’m still smoking. However, I do use EVOO therapy daily. I really don’t have to much faith vested in EVOO as a substitute for smoking. I’m still a pack-a-day smoker. It’s extremely difficult to smoke 3-5 cigarettes/day. I still intend to stop smoking, but mentally not ready in fear of another relapse. I keep you posted.

  99. I stopped smoking again for the first time in about 9 years and within one week I started getting colitis again, I don’t know what type I have, I have an appointment wednesday. About 10 years ago I stopped smoking too and also had colitis but it also turns out I had a fibroid and when they went to operate they discoevered that I had bad endrometriose so I had decided my problems was from that and that the diagnosis was wrong, but now that I have stopped smoking again I realize I must have had both ! I will try to manage on asacole as I did before but if that doesn’t work it looks like I will go back to smoking. I have an electronic cigarette now to puff away on at difficult moments in the evening, I don’t use it much but for thoes asking it hasn’t helped with the colitis.

  100. Hi,

    I just wanted to share my story as I was a smoker, quit, diagnosed, started smoking and will never stop now.

    I was 21 when I gave up smoking, at 22 I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I felt my life was over. In hospital all the time, on the loo forever, bleeding, anaemic, all the usual things. Was on all different meds while they tried to get it under control including steroids.

    The way my body seemed to work was that I was constantly constipated, yet going to the toilet 30 times a day. Sounds wrong doesn’t it. It was always blood and mucus. They kept taking me in and flushing me out with the evil 4 litres of laxitives ( tasted awful) but the standard stuff wasn’t working. Within days they would x-ray me and I would be blocked up again. Nothing was working.

    When I was 24 I started having the odd social cigerette and noticed I was having to rush to the toilet but not just for passing blood. I spoke to my consultant about this and he told me there is a link with the carbon monoxide and nicotine reducing inflammation in the bowel and that smoking does tend to help uc but not Crohns.

    I am on infliximab and smoke about 5 a day and it keeps me in remission.

    I tend to find the first cigerette of the day is the one that helps me get through the day, it clears me out in the morning so I know I should be ok without cramps or the embarrassing situation of going to a more public toilet and having to go.

    I also find having a cig after eating helps to get things moving.

    I still find now, after 7 years of smoking again that I really struggle to go to the toilet without having a cigerette. They are the things that keep me well. Ironic I know.

    The way I look at this is that life is for living and not just existing which is what I was doing. I just have to hope that if I am unfortunate enough to be struck with another god awful illness such as lung cancer that maybe by the time it strikes they will be on track for a cure.

    It’s bad enough that the drugs we take to keep things at bay can increase cancer risks. Why not add an extra thing to the list if it means you can live your life like a normal person.

    I will say now, if you are on things like 6MP or infliximab, keep an eye on funny moles and growths. I am now getting my 2nd Basel cell carsonoma treated, (a form of skin cancer but not malignant), this can be another side effect of the meds.

    I feel awful smoking as my husband is a non smoker but I’m lucky that he understands this illness and knows how it helps me. I hope everyone else is so lucky.

    I hope this post helps some of you.

  101. Hi you all,

    I have a smoking question.

    I started smoking again 4 days ago to see whether my condition would change. Every time I smoke a cigarette and after 3-4 smokes I get the urgency to go to the toilette and I have to run. I’ve noticed in just those few days that my stools are little bit more compact but still have to go many times a day. But the urgency with smoking is that normal in the beginning or what?

    Don’t like smoking again at all and I only smoke 5 cigarettes a day. The taste is awful and the feeling is not god at all, I brush my teeth and wash with soap after each time :-)

    1. Hi Stefan,

      I still get that urgency even now when I have a cigerette. You may still go a lot during the day but you may find that you clear out more after a cig. It reduces inflammation in the bowel. I sometimes find I can’t go at all, light up a cig and after about 2-3 drags I’m running to the toilet. Once you are in remission you may find, if your disease is anything like mine, that its hard to go to the toilet without having a cigerette. If you can’t stand cigs try menthols. That’s what I smoke, I can’t stand normal cigs.

      I know it may sound odd but now I’m in remission I tend to use my cigarettes to plan when I want to go to the toilet. I rarely go without one.

      I hope this helps.

    2. Hi Stefan,
      Could you please give me an update on your progress? I too have just started my own smoking trial yesterday and am experiencing the same thing. Thanks :-)

  102. I am a former smoker. I smoked a pack a day for 19 years beginning at age 16. A few months after quitting I developed UC. It wasn’t too shocking as my Dad and Grandmother both suffered from the disease. It wasn’t until later that I learned that there was a link between the smoking and the UC. I have been smoke free for almost two years and consider it one of the greatest accomplishments of my life, but living with moderate to severe UC is driving me crazy. The 5-ASA drugs that successfully treated my family members just make my symptoms worse. Imuran helps get me close to remission, but nothing has kept me there stably with no flares and I worry about the side effects of the biologicals. I am seriously considering beginning smoking again, but don’t want to negate all of my hard work as I know that I will not be able to stick to three – five a day. If I smoke it has always been a pack a day or nothing. My loving wife who was so proud of me for quitting smoking has been pushing me to take it back up for months now. So…. do I chose living UC free as a smoker or stay the course? I used the patches to quit and have tried them again since but they do not help with the UC symptoms.

    1. Hi Jeremy,
      This is my first post on here. My husband and I gave up smoking 5 months ago, took on a healthier lifestyle, excluding all junk food, softdrink and started running 3-5 Kms everyday as well as going to the gym 4 days a week. I had never felt healthier until 2 weeks ago my colitis returned without warning. I saw my GP the next day, gave me a script for prednisolone which I reluctantly filled but wanted to stop this flare before the bleeding really got going. All the horrible side effects of the pred have returned but this time round I have also had terrible mood swings and a feeling of depression sweeping over me so I have already started tapering the pred. Yesterday I came across this post and knowing too well the cocktail of drugs I will have to take after seeing the GI at the end of next week and the 30 bathroom visits i will have to make I went out lastnight and bought a pack of smokes. Before lighting one up I discussed the idea with my husband and my children and after seeing the state I have been in the past two weeks they decided to support me on my smoking trial. So after crying through my first cigarette this morning and forcing another four smokes down over the course of the day it seems all my hard work has gone to waste :(
      The taste of the cigarettes disgust me and I am so incredibly disappointed with myself and extremely worried that it will entice my husband to take it up again also, although he assures me he won’t..
      I will continue to smoke 5 cigs a day, and im sure ill even start to enjoy having a ciggie again and see if it works as it has done in the past. Wish me luck !!

      1. Thanks Jo JO for your reply to my comment. Our stories are very similar. While it sucks that any of us are going through this it is good to know that we are not alone.
        I always thought I would be so much healthier if I quit smoking, but in a lot of ways that turned out not to be the case. Let me know how your trial goes. I would hate to start again and then be a smoker and still suffer from UC.

  103. Hi Jo Jo
    I’ve now smoked for 2 weeks and I’m trying to keep it down to 5 or 6 a day. During this time the inflammation has gone down and there is no blood at all. My stools are little more compact than before but I still have the urgency after few smokes. In order to finish one cigarette I have to go before I smoke to the WC. At the same time I have been experiencing some stomach pain and decided to go the doctor, I thought maybe that I had got ulcer due to the stress I’m having finishing my master thesis. They took some blood and stool samples and I am expecting answers tomorrow. Still have to go 10 times a day but these trips are more “enjoyable” since there’s actually something coming down. The urgency is still there but I’m hoping in few weeks I will get better. Will try cigarettes for few months and if I’m not better then I will stop and revert to medicine.

    1. Hi Stefan, Thanks for your update.. Aplogies for the delay in writing back but Ive been a little busy getting on with life this week. After just one week of smoking I have noticed a huge improvement. I do have the urgency in the morning but can pretty much go the whole day without a trip to the toilet! I am sticking to 6 cigarettes a day which is a little hard but have made a pact with myself to not smoke at night when my husband is home. I saw my GI yesterday, told him I had started smoking again and that I have stopped all meds. Not at any stage did he tell me to smoke but did say if it works for you and you can keep your smoking to a minimum then I totally understand why you would go back to smoking. I am booked in for a colonoscopy at the end of the month so hopefully that doesnt come back with anything too sinister and then my GI will prescribe some meds from there. In the meantime Im sticking to smoking and getting on with life :)
      P.S I asked the GI about Anatabloc and anatabine and he had never heard of it. I do live in Australia so it may not even be sole here?

  104. Hello Adam,
    Smoking for the last 10 years gave me a life so this subject will always be of interest, particularly why it works so well. If anatabine is it then fantastic, I may need a future boost to my present amazing solution, EVOO.

    You seem to be very informed about this so I wonder if you are able to share your thoughts on my question? An increasing number of us here have realised drugs are often the problem, not the solution and so are looking for the alternatives. Anatabine is said to occur naturally in green tomatoes, peppers and potato, do you think introducing these to ones diet would be beneficial?

    1. Hi Graham, I’m not that familiar with that compound but what I can tell you is all o the veggies you mentioned are in the “nightshade” vegetable family and it is usually best to avoid nightshades because of their often inflammatory qualities. This is especially true of people with colitis. Please read up on nightshade veggies and you will see. I never eat them any more. Thanks!

  105. Graham First I am so happy to have dicovered anatabine. For centuries my family has been negatively impacted by tobacco. The story of how the scientist discovered anatabine in tobacco is that he was trying to make smoking less toxic. So they came up with a stop smoking product and after a time began to realize that people were experiencing all kinds of benefits. The product was not called Anatabloc at the time.

    So anatabine in Anatabloc has nothing to do with green tomatoes, peppers and potato or even tobacco. They figured out how to snythesize it. You would have to eat enormous quantities to get
    1 mg of anatabine which is what is in one Anatabloc.

    I will tell you that I am 62 and have been on Anatabloc for about 7 months. I feel twenty years younger. My exercise recovery is amazing.

    I tell you what go read the 144 testimonials on http://www.gnc.com under Anatabloc

    I just want you all to know you do not have to smoke to get anatabine.

    Again I have written a huge summary for my family and friends which I am willing to share with anyone. I have already sent out a few.

    One other thing so when you are on Anatabloc—I take 8-10 day. So I have anatabine in my blood.
    So when I smoke a cigarette I do not get the same boost of anatabine when smoking…… Which is good because there really is no desire to smoke….. For me that is great news….

    My only interest in all this is helping people. Regards.

  106. I am really intrigued by this Anatabloc talk – I am newly diagnosed and on my 3rd week of Prednisone. I am also doing a gut repair supplement and diet protocol – I am not interested in taking tons of drugs if I can help it! When my doctor received my biopsy results from my colonoscopy he called in a prescription for Asacol – which would be $300/month out of pocket. I am getting pretty good results from the probiotic and other things I’m doing, but Anatabloc makes a lot of sense and the testimonials are pretty convincing. I ran out in the rain tonight to GNC to give it a shot – in my haste, I did not buy the unsweetened one and didn’t realize that was an option. I’ve already opened the bottle – I will see what happens but I am hoping the little bit of fake sugars don’t mess with me too badly. Wish me luck!

  107. I would recommend doing more research on Anatabloc. They appear to have an excellent marketing department that is well know for discreetly advertising/ hijacking various forums. Honest reviews of the product are out there and the reviews of this very expensive dietary supplement are mixed. Judge for yourself. Try to search out the honest reviews.

  108. I was also wondering and increasingly so when my no meds enquiry reached a dead end.

    Maybe you would have to eat enormous quantities of green tomatoes, peppers and potato to reach the Anatabine levels in tobacco/Anatabloc. Surely there would be some benefit in eating some (maybe not the potato though), and especially as only 4 or 5 cigarettes per day is enough to work on UC.

    If that was the case here then its a reminder of what some will do in big business. You only have to look at the UK food market right now where processed beef is up to 100% horse meat (beef imported from France, Ireland and Poland). Even my own precious EVOO is having purity problems. Drug and processed food markets are so distorted and this is particularly sad for the unwell amongst us. Where there is a choice, I will go for the natural one.

  109. Jeremy, you make excellent points and I appreciate them. For better or for worse I will update here what my experience is – I saw that a lot of the articles seemed more investment hype than anything, but then there were some testimonials by established bloggers on other topics that peaked my interest. I will be the first to admit that, especially being newly diagnosed, I am so eager to find relief I am probably very susceptible to anything that anyone claims – something to definitely be aware of. I may need to institute a 48 hour wait time before rushing out to buy any more miracle cures…haha. We will see what happens with me on this one!

    1. Caroline you are certainly not alone. We are all going through it. I can’t tell you how many remedies and diets I have tried since I was diagnosed two years ago. It is so frustrating when you do not respond well to the standard meds. It can leave you feeling hopeless at times and willing to try anything. Let’s hope they find a real cure soon.

  110. So, my Anatabloc experiment was cut short. I noticed within a couple of days of taking it that I was getting some pretty bad headaches, which is not normal for me. I attribute it to the artificial sweeteners that were in it – they do make a version without them, but I am feeling like I am healing well focusing on a whole foods Paleo diet and am going to stick to that and my Prednisone taper for now. The good news is that GNC took the return and gave me my money back! Still might work for others, but that was my experience. Hope everyone is feeling good today.

  111. So the chose is simple.

    You can smoke 5 – 7 cigarettes a day costing $ 1.75 to $ $ 2.45 day to get the anatabine necessary to halt UC. Each cigarette puts about 2 hours of anatabine into your bloodstream.

    Or you can melt 6 to 10 (dependent on you weight) mint (or unflavored on website) flavored under your tongue to get the anatabine necessary to halt UC. Each mint is 1mg of anatabine and lasts 12 hours in your bloodstream. Cost for this is $ 1.58 to $ 2.60.

    That is the facts. You can call the 1-800 number and talk witr real physicians about anatabine.

  112. If any of you reading this have still not tried Extra Virgin Olive Oil, please do. It healed me completely in a matter of weeks. It’s also very affordable and GOOD for you unlike any of the western drugs including cigarettes. Give it a try. You may be happy you did.

  113. Saw this and thought it was relevant to share…. ……Italian Olive Oil Producer Bellucci Premium Comments on Extra Virgin Olive Oil’s Use as a Treatment for Colitis
    PRWeb – 7 hrs ago….Email0Share0
    Share0Print……Bellucci Premium comments on an article published by The Olive Oil Times that discusses the use of extra virgin olive oil as a Colitis treatment.

    Bohemia, NY (PRWEB) February 19, 2013

    On February 19, Bellucci Premium issues a response to a recent study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry whose findings indicate that extra virgin olive oil may help relieve the symptoms of colitis, a digestive disease.
    The Olive Oil Times reports in a recent article that Spanish researchers at the University of Seville have “observed a positive effect of extra virgin olive oil on colitis,” a painful inflammatory condition in the large intestine which can cause serious gastrointestinal disturbance.

    “Ulcerative colitis is a form of colitis that affects the lining of the large intestine and its presence increases the risk of colon cancer. The cause of it is unknown but may be related to the immune system.”

    The study examined the effects of extra virgin olive oil on laboratory animals with severe chronic colitis, says The Olive Oil Times. Researchers determined the level of intestinal inflammation and evaluated a series of metrics known as the Disease Activity Index (DAI), which measures various symptoms associated with the disease. According to The Olive Oil Times article, the findings indicate that the extra virgin olive oil “had a significant positive effect on several proteins involved in the disease with less histological signs of damage compared to a standard diet.”

    The research team concluded that extra virgin olive oil could potentially be used as a viable treatment for chronic colitis, but also as a “functional food” for sufferers of the disease, reports The Olive Oil Times.

    Natalie Sexenian, Marketing Manager for Bellucci Premium, comments on the findings, saying that olive oil seems to be on a winning streak within the research community. “At this point we know all about the benefits of extra virgin olive oil for heart health, since it can help with both cholesterol and blood pressure issues. It is also being touted as a cancer preventative, and may even improve cognitive functioning. We’re thrilled to learn it can help people with digestive problems, as well.” Sexenian adds that Bellucci recommends a daily two-tablespoon intake of extra virgin olive oil to maximize its health benefits.

    Bellucci Premium Toscano extra virgin olive oil uses olives that are grown on the beautiful landscapes of Tuscany, and maintained by 3rd and 4th generation farmers. Bellucci offers three different types of oil, including an organic option, that offers a mild peppery flavor and fruity undertones that will satisfy any palate. The third type of oil Bellucci offers is the world’s finest Italian extra virgin olive oil, grown only by Italian growers in many different regions of Italy.

  114. Wes/Micheal
    I really appreciate your endorsement on EVOO and the article in The Olive Oil Times. There are an increasing number of these coming through and so EVOO momentum is growing, hopefully I have done a small bit here. I was fortunate enough to see some very early research pointing to EVOO, (it obviously worked) but was surprised that no one seemed to “pick up the ball and run with it”. I managed to contact Dr A. Hart and thank him personally for changing my life but got a very limited response. He said they were now looking elsewhere for a solution, ie EVOO dead end. Perhaps some of the research is being carried out with inferior oil, it is said to be is 50 – 69% fake in the US! The FDA attitude is to ignore the quality issue as long as it safe to eat!

    It is suggested you cant make real EVOO 500ml under £4. A fairly cheap mass produced oil has been so good for me but a new “doubtful” bottle (same as before but discounted) may have given me trouble for a week. It had a strong oil taste compared to the expensive one I tried (£9) and so will not go cheap ever again. Many producers blend real EVOO with other oils or subsequent press/refined oils which are seriously lacking the vital ingredients we need to get the health benefits. This is fine for taste on food and some argue more palatable but the EVOO content we are looking for should be a strong taste. Pepperiness, bitterness and a cough inducing burn on the throat are all signs of quality, especially the last one, if it doesn’t burn then bin it. EVOO also deteriorates over months and not years.

    Please don’t be put off by this as the rewards are there, its even better than smoking was for me!

    Thank you for the warning on nightshades, I’ve had a look and now see the inflammation problem. This may explain how curry (with alcohol obviously) is the only combination that gives me some trouble the next day (paprika).

    1. Another test from The Olive Oil Council..
      Place a small quantity of the oil in a glass bowl and refrigerate it for a few days.
      If it becomes crystalline, the chances are good that it is a true extra-virgin olive oil.
      If it forms a block, it is most likely chemically refined oil that has had some first-pressed oil added to it.

      http://curezone.com/cleanse/liver/oliveoil.asp

  115. I have lymphocytic colitis, which not surprisingly, I was diagnosed with after quitting smoking (I’m posting here because not enough people have my specific condition to warrant a forum). I’m the youngest male patient my doctor has ever diagnosed (I’m 31), and I have been dealing with flare-ups for my entire life… except when I was smoking regularly, though I didn’t figure that out until recently. Anyways, I quit smoking in February 2012, and within a few months I experienced a flare up so bad that it started to affect my work. 5-10 urgent movements every day, horrible pain, etc.. In June, the pain got so bad that the doctors prescribed me Buscopan and booked me in for a colonoscopy. The doctors assistant told me that this may be due to the fact that I had recently quit smoking. I decided to have a smoke to try and relax… and halfway through that smoke, the pain was almost gone. After my next smoke a few hours later, the pain was completely gone, and I’ve only had minor bouts of aches and pains in my descending colon since then, which have almost completely subsided. I’m back to running my company, playing with my kid, and having a few regular non-urgent BMs every day. I know how crazy it sounds, but thank you smoking for giving me my quality of life back.

  116. This morning, I had my first medical check-up in since 2005. My doctor asked me if I smoked and I told him every time I quit smoking, my UC symptoms returned and when I started smoking again, my UC would go into remission. The Doctor I saw today is well known in my city for being anti-smoking… he’s dropped patients that have refused to stop smoking or have re-started smoking. You can’t imagine my shock when he said that with UC (and only about UC) he has had to rethink his stand on smoking. However, he suggested that I try nicotine gum, or a nicotine patch instead of smoking. Any thoughts?

    1. My doctor told me the gum, etc. would not work – just the actual smoking. That said, there are a couple of people on this thread who said the gum and/or patch worked for them. I would smoke in a heartbeat, but I’m just so afraid of emphysema. With a recent emphysema scare I quit and became sick again after being in remission for so many years. Smoking does work for most people. If you do decide to smoke, go Japanese and add tons of green tea and other antioxidants. Eat a healthy GREEN diet and so forth. I see some on here who are smoking and are therefore better and eating whatever they wish. I wouldn’t do that. We do need to be wise about the areas we can control. Bless you!

  117. Smoking has put me in remission. I swear by it. I do hate smoking though. I wanted to know if anyone has given up 6MP whilst starting smoking again? I want to get off it and Mezzavant. Sick of the side affects.

    1. Started smoking 2 months ago and got better in a heartbeat. Went to the doctor on Monday and told him that I had not taken any medicine for 2 months but was much better. He wanted me to take Mezzavant for a week, 4 1200mg tablets a day, and also Pentasa. Got sick the day after with joint pains and can’t move my neck and I’m walking around like I’m a zombie. Called the doctor and he wanted me to stop taking Mezzavant. It’s my third day feeling awful, hope I get better soon or as soon this medicine is flushed out of the system.

  118. Hi, I was diagnosed with uc when i was 15 and been struggling with treatments and the symptoms. It got to the point where I would recieve remicade infusions every six weeks until I was 18. When I went away to college I became extremely stressed and my symptoms were slowly coming back. I read some articles online about how I could remain in remission through nicotine. I decided to start smoking and so far it’s working! However I have made some rules for myself to mantain my overall health
    So here it is:
    1. I limit 3 cigs a day
    2. I only buy organic cigarettes (american spirit) that dont contain additives or chemicals. Sometimes my girlfriend complains about the smell so I also get patches or smoke e-cigs which have the same benefits but no smell.
    3. I follow a low residue diet, avoid spicy food, fast foods and junk.
    4. I drink lots of tea and water
    5. I stay active
    I’ve been following this for about 2 years now and I’ve been in remission.

  119. I am 36 and was diagnosed in 2005 about there. It was terrible; i could not stand up without having to go to the washroom. Originally accused of having anal sex by a walking in clinic Dr. I was ashamed and did not bring it up again until I found myself in the hospital dehydrated and unable to stop going to the washroom.

    Both my conditions UC and Fibromyalgia (diagnoses in 1996) were in remission for several years with the odd little flare up, but as many here have stated; quit smoking (almost two years ago) and I have been sick; my Fibromyalgia as well.
    “Sick and tired of being sick and tired”
    My work is suffering lately as I am missing so much work. Customer service close to others in a cubicle setting does not help this type of condition. (if you know what I mean! No one else should be suffering from my escapes).
    I am beginning to regret the day that I decided to make life changes to be “Healthier” diet, exercise, quit smoking.
    I have now had to find a new Dr. as my current one sucks. I am hoping this new one will help me get better. If she can’t, at least she is open to referring me to other specialists etc.
    I don’t want to give up on my “Healthier” living. I have lost 50 pounds and I finally look awesome! I have so much more work to do on myself to be healthier.
    My partner is a caring man but he does not seem to really understand me at times. People at work now treat me a little differently as I have missed so much work as well. So many goals… and now… I feel lost and out of control. Like all of us we have probably all said it at one point or another “Why ME!”

  120. OLIVE OIL,

    I have been regularly using Olive Oil since I was born, 45 years ago. Olive oil on Salads, on Pizza s, Olive Oil to cook, Olive Oil on rice instead of butter, basically Olive Oil everywhere in my food, except on cakes and fruit….. This EVOO thing, or all this talking about it it is really nonsense.

    At 44 I gave up smoking cigarettes, 6 months after, I got UC, 4 months of pain and medicaments … Started up with cigarettes and UC disappeared.

    In the meantime my Olive Oil intake has never changed…. so, your theory on Olive Oil or EVOO (word that I cannot stand) is simply nonsense.

    Smoke and you will be fine.

  121. Max,
    I have to object to your comments, there are too many people with great story’s about you know what for there not to be a significant benefit. https://ihaveuc.com/olive-oil-is-helping-my-ulcerative-colitis/comment-page-2/#comment-115511

    I only posted in November and we have already learned about good real oil, some of how it is helping plus many endorsements. Many natural solutions for UC seem to only make small changes but this is big. I was cynical but was desperate to escape a UC enforced prison of smoking and it paid off! I was convinced smoking was the only option because it was incredible for my UC, I may not even have a colon right now if it wasn’t for smoking shortly after my diagnosis all those years ago. I will always view cigarettes like an old friend as they gave me life throughout my youth, there could always be a sting in the tail of course….

    It may not work for everyone and plain olive oil certainly won’t, I can’t stress that enough, no good at all. Dr A Hart’s findings were misleading as they only reffered to olive oil, fortunately I began this all with the best I could buy, it must have been real. Obtaining the correct stuff won’t be easy in the US so unless you have experienced the cough inducing throat burn of real oil then please keep an open mind. I don’t wish to offend anyone here Max, my time is precious but I am pushing this to help people, constantly reminded of the dark places UC has taken us all to. The phrase EVOO is used by me over and over to enforce the point that plain, virgin or any other type of olive oil is not viable and will not work.

    I agree with your last comment with a slight change if ok? Smoke and your UC will be fine.

    Best wishes

  122. I’m 35 years old, got diagnosed with uc ( pancolitis) 3 years ago .
    I was a smoker since I was 13 and quit at 27.
    I started smoking 3 months after my visit to hospital and am symptom free since then. When I went to see my doctor he was surprised that I had no flare ups in 6 months , I told him that I smoke now and he said that’s what’s keeping me in remission.
    I don’t drink coffee, wine , beer , eat apples or beans .
    I’m on 1.5 g Salofalk per day

  123. Smoking/UC…
    An incredible gift of long remission but a curse if we end up as a smoking statistic?
    We take our chances but I consider myself very lucky to have used it for over 10 years and lived well throughout. Now 18 months without cigarettes and I honestly don’t miss them. However, I am desperate to avoid going back, real Evoo is working great but I am only 90% well and experiencing an increased sensetivity to certain foods, carbonated drinks and viral infection. I am currently learning fast in order to get the 10% I need, anything to avoid medication, anything.

    Following my personal experience here, I believe that while smoking protects us from “SYMPTOMS” it does almost nothing to truly prevent the real causes and triggers of UC, you know you still have it right? If I had my time again I would still have smoked to gain maximum remission but would have worked hard on controlling stress, a good diet/gut health, probiotics, some Evoo and exercise. Basically the natural things that many UC’ers do now to minimise both the triggers and symptoms. Its no good shuting the stable door once the horse has bolted…

    Would this cure us, perhaps not but with some future UC developements, maybe enough to provide a “road map” to staying UC free? This could mean safely stopping smoking and keeping our colons forever! For years I needed a “UC” parachute before jumping out of the “smoking” plane. Real Evoo with the previously mentioned preparations I am sure would be the best and safest prevention/maintenance therapy.

    Good luck everyone..

    1. I’m not fully understanding your views of smoking just covering up symptoms as opposed to supplements and lifestyle changes being a cure. If either are effective in achieving remission, we can always say we will have the disease, esp. if we stop or lapse in the therapeutic measures we take to control it, and it comes back. If a smoker can receive endless years of remission just through smoking, and there is absolutely no sign of UC, why can’t they consider themselves cured?

      1. Tara,

        Tara, (in response to both comments today)

        Firstly, Well done to you for going against the grain and getting your life back! Controversial maybe but I believe anyone seriously contemplating colon removal should try temporary smoking 1st, a 2nd from last resort perhaps. We may even have a realistic solution in 10 years time, instead of the current choices of smoking, heavy duty meds or colon removal. We’d all prefer the natural route but this seems a more realistic possibility for the majority of UC’ers when starting with a happy colon, after smoking? Even EVOO struggles to totally reverse a bad flare though it is a great maintenance therapy.

        Just a word on the “olive oil” Tara, just checking you have read up on this and not just using plain oil. Real Evoo let me escape from smoking completely (18 months) and I’ve only taken Asacol for 10 days during this period. I also continued to (in my view) make the condition worse with bad diet, lifestyle, poor oil etc until some symptoms appeared. This hopefully brings me to answer your last comment, smoking hides UC so well that we can still do all the things many UC’ers cannot.. Continuing the western ways of damaging ourselves but without knowing, we are still causing further damage surely? Every time I quit the UC seemed to kick in more aggressively which may back this theory. If smoking controls it we are still entirely dependant on a drug, if we can achieve this with diet and all the other natural things we know about then we really have something resembling a cure or prevention. Not much in it but a clear and preferential distinction in my view.

        Best of luck!

        1. Thank you, Graham. You are undoubtedly right that a natural method of curing colitis (or putting it into remission) is absolutely preferable. I am using an organic extra virgin olive oil as part of my regimen twice a day (total 2 tablespoons). Yes, we are bombarded with toxins in our present day society and I have made many life style changes to improve what I could. When I think about all the antibiotics I took growing up, I realize that this could be a large contributing factor. Our diets are terrible for the most part. In America all the convenience food is loaded with chemicals and even the “natural” foods are largely tainted with pesticides and GMOs. I live in the backwoods of Kentucky and organic food is not readily available to me…so I have to buy it as I am able. It’s scary, how hard it is to protect oneself and one’s children from the onslaught of health hazards. I know I have added one to my life by smoking, but as little as I trust the medical industry, I feel smoking is the safer option. I know there are people who think me paranoid, but I strongly feel most of the pharmaceuticals are useless poisons. I’ve repeatedly seen how ineffective they are or how they become ineffective within a short time. I don’t want to give Big Pharma my business if I can avoid it. I will look into EVOO as I do hope I can eventually succeed in reducing the cigarettes to the bare minimum or even eliminating them entirely, if that is ever possible. Thank you for your helpful commentaries on the subject.

          1. Tara,
            Sounds like you have done the research, if and when you decide to quit you will probably need 3 or 4 tablespoons per day. Good luck with the secret smoking until then….

  124. My doctor suggested that I try using Nicotine Patches or gum to control a flare, but I can’t imagine actually SMOKING CIGARETTES again!
    Like many others here, my story is the same. I quit smoking after 14 years and within the year was diagnosed with UC.
    I never ever want to smoke again, but I would be willing to add some kind of nicotine therapy.

    I’m currently in a flare (triggered by stress) and while the patch makes me incredibly ill (last flare I had to rip it off within hours!) I am considering nicotine lozenges or gum.

    I wouldn’t want the health complications of taking smoke into my lungs on a daily basis ever again.
    A number of studies have shown nicotine to be helpful in the remission of UC. They are using transdermal methods. No need to actually *smoke* cigarettes!
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2014383/

  125. Carolyn,
    I stopped quite a few times over the years and made it regularly 3 weeks without symptoms or nicotine. The patches extended this fairly symptom free period to 6 weeks which showed me they have a benefit but nothing like actually smoking. I guess they could reverse very mild symptoms but I know a big drug company were looking at patches 10+ years ago and the lack of a product suggests no significant benefit (to me anyway).
    I have just read the link and it seems to say also that it can help a flare but only in conjunction with something else. The enema route sounds promising..

    1. Oh yes, I am not meaning that nicotine patch/gum therapy would be the sole treatment method.
      I’m treating my current (and relatively new) flare with nightly enemas (Salofalk) and Asacol, instead of the prednisone route. I’m considering adding a few nicotine lozenges to speed things along.

      I did reverse my last flare with the enemas and increased dosage of Asacol…it just takes longer than prednisone does, but avoiding that is worth it to me.

  126. I posted a while back and wasn’t sure if I should start smoking again or not.
    I did decide to start smoking again. Before I did I tried various forms of nicotine for a week at a time. I tried patches, gum, and snus. None of these worked. It has got to be something else in cigarettes besides nicotine, or something in addition to nicotine that blocks the symptoms of UC. Medical Marijuana is very readily available in my area and I would like to try that, but is not an option as my company will not allow it.
    Graham, I also tried high quality EVOO. Unfortunately it did not work for me. I know that it was high quality. We have an amazing specialty shop here in Denver CO that sells just EVOO and Balsamic Vinegars. Here is a link to there page and I do believe that they ship internationally. http://www.evoomarketplace.com.
    I really wanted some form of Nicotine or Olive oil to work but it did not.
    Within a week of starting smoking I was much improved. Within four weeks I was in complete remission. But I could tell I was starting to get hooked again.
    I quit smoking. I decided that I would rather cope with the UC than be a smoker. Maybe in a few years I will take another month off from the disease.

  127. Jeremy,
    We’re you in a flare when you started EVOO, this was an amazing remission keeper for me? Some including me have reversed flares though I’m only back up to 90% after dropping my guard! I go on a bit but the throat burn is crucial and always try another oil before giving up on it completely.

    Interesting you say total remission after a month, because if mine does not recover 100% I am prepared to try exactly that (without oil in case I am getting slightly immune to it). I would keep up the new healthy diet and stress work now i appreciate some of what drove me here. This would be better than the heavy duty meds I think, how many a day are you on?

    Don’t think I would need Alan car’s easy way to stop smoking book this time but can definitely endorse it to anyone…

  128. Yep, I was in a flare. I guarantee it was some of the best EVOO available in the states. Check out their website. They provide an analysis of all of the oils components such as polyphenols, free fatty acids, oleic acid, etc…
    I found that 10 cigarettes a day was plenty. I started struggling more and more to limit myself to that. That’s when I decided to quit again, which hasn’t been too hard this time around. My blood pressure also increased dramatically when I was smoking. Another good reason to quit again.

  129. Hello ALL,

    Been on EVOO for 1 month + loads of meds for over 20 months, had seen some progress but still not out of flare…

    had my 1 smoke last night and will be having 3 cigs a day to see what happens for the next 15 days…

    Also got some different EVOO to try too..

  130. Hello all i stumbled on this site today while researching colitis and crohns. Thought i might ask for some advice. I havnt been diagnosed yet but im in the process. Basically, iv always had some form of digestive issues but they were never that bad till i first got pregnant and quit smoking. I didnt know what it was so i assumed it was from the pregnancy. anyways, i smoked again on and off again after i had my first child so never thought much of it. I quit again for my second child and my symptoms got worse. My first thought that it was food allergies as i left the movies one day and didnt make it home to the toilet :( i had buttered popcorn and realised it was dairy and since giving up dairy i do alot better.

    recently i gave up smoking again (5 weeks ago) and im barely eating because of the symptoms. I have bad bloating, red oiley skin, pimples, lower back pain, head aches, fatigue, diareah, blood in stool and alot of mucous. Dairy makes me nauseous but bread or gluten makes me badly bloated. I am enjoying not smoking but im getting deppressed aot due to not being able to eat aswell. I saw a gastro doctor a few years ago and had to wait 2 years on public system for colonoscopy (smoked in the mean time), the only result i got was that i had proctitis. So now they want me to do another colonoscopy as that one is a few years old now but i feel like im going around in circles as i can wait again and not smoke and be in pain, or i can smoke, or i can pay nearly $1000 to get it done very soon but im worried they wont find anything else again. Im stuck between a rock and a hard place lol. i think i am capable of smoking only a few a day to cope with the pain but im worried about the smoking damage as well lol. im 28 and i do feel better other than the gut stuff without smoking. I spoke to an online doctor who suggested UC aswell but again said i needed another colonoscopy. If i do have UC, how do i live without smoking to make it feel better? im living on milkless porriage and noodles lol ive tried gluten, yeast and dairy free breads but they all hurt. Im also confused because some things hurt within 30 mins of eating so can that still be UC? iv also had allergy tests done for casien, lactose, and yeast but they were all negative. I dont have many issues if i saty away from dairy and soy and bread when i smoke but EVERYTHING hurts one way or another when i dont smoke.

    I dont want to use the excuse of smoking if there are other options but i also dont want to be on medications. Im already on ritalin for adhd.
    anyways, any ideas or advise is greatly appreciated. thanks

  131. oh i also forgot i get heart burn within a few minutes of eating something lol (when i dont smoke and if its the wrong foods).
    thanks

  132. Kushla,

    Many of us here have been there and you have at least found a good site with a wealth of information. It is the ex smokers disease and the food sensitivity gets worse with the symptoms

    I had also wasted time with tests where nothing was found (because I had resumed smoking). In my case and many others UC starts near the end of your colon as proctitis (your lower left side) and then spreads along if the disease continues out of control.

    I have dabbled for a long time to get away from cigarettes without incurring the instant bloating and flare. I have also done this without the help of the UK National Health Service, they would not help untill I was in front of them bleeding! The good news is, it is entirely possible to remain well and live a normal life without cigarettes or regular medication. I stopped 18 months ago, I would only ever go back (temporarily) if I lost control of any future flare and could not find my way out.

    Though it seems like hard work, learning about and discovering the many natural ways to help are truly amazing. Medication has its place but I feel we have a long way to go with our colons. For this reason I prefer to have meds as a last resort and know how my diet, stress, exercise and supplements are helping or otherwise. Prevention rather than just attacking the symtoms if you like.

    I have just replied on another post (link below)where you will find a “plan” for a smoker and I’m sure it will help you like it did for me.

    https://ihaveuc.com/losing-my-life-over-colitis/

  133. As I’ve written, smoking seems to be doing the trick for me, as far as getting me out of the flare up (one of the worst I’ve had yet). I failed to write about how difficult a decision it really was and what added to it is my husband’s massive aversion to cigarettes. We both always had this aversion and agreed we found smoking to be a filthy, stinking habit and stupid waste of money. I’ve almost been guilty of having an immediate negative opinion of people who smoked. Very judgemental, I know. It was hard to tell my husband what I intended to do. He argued with me about it and begged me to find some other way, but I had him read the literature on it, showing him this site, as well, and told him I was running out of time to find something to put me in remission and that I would soon end up in the hospital if I didn’t act quickly. So he acquiesced and now, that he sees how much better I am, he has a brand new attitude about it, although he’s not actually gone as far as saying, “Thank God for tobacco.” He’s trying to figure out where I can smoke during the winter when it gets cold as I’m always on the back porch doing it. I won’t expose my children to the smoke and I tell them to keep away from mommy’s horrible disgusting cigarettes. I’ve tried to explain to the older ones why I am doing this, so they hopefully will understand that it is no different than if I were on a prescription drug for my UC. It’s been a challenge to manage my own extreme dislike for smoking yet believing fully that I have to be doing this.

  134. Hi Tara You do not have to smoke to get the benefit of antabine. It is available in pill form. Works eveb better thaqn smoking.

  135. Hi and thanks for the pointer. I am interested but a quick search on google didn’t give me much info on antabine for UC. I’d like to pursue my research on it. There would have to be some info that I find convincing enough in order for me to take the step of throwing in the towel with the smoking, which really has worked for me, and replacing it with a supplement I know nothing about. I see it acts as an anti-inflammatory, however so do my supplements, Boswellia and Curcuminoid and they were not effective on their own. As far as nicotine, I got a fair dose with the nicotine gum I chewed. Anyway, more info would be enormously appreciated. Thanks!

  136. Tara

    Best thing to do is google urbandomesticdiva anatabloc. She has Crohns and writes about experience.

    Then google this Beneficial Nutritional Effects of Anatabine in an Animal Model of Ulcerative Colitis.

    One does not have to smoke to get benefit of anatabine. Hope this helps.

    Regards
    Adam

  137. Hi all,
    Funny I have had UC since 2008, mid forties I developed it, I found out that I had the symptoms once before but never related it to UC. I had 4 weeks off work after I stopped smoking when I hit 40, I quit on my birthday and some 4 months later developed terrible bloating and diarrhoea, went to the doctor and they said it was viral, rest and eat well…..I did that for over a month but got fed up and started smoking again. It was strange, I could eat anything I liked, I didnt feel ill…..I just the had those toilet issues that we all know about. Anyway a few days went by and the problem disappeared, I returned to work and had no further problems. The doctor must have been right…it was just a virus.

    I stopped smoking again when my mum turned 75, it was September and I was 45. It got round to xmas and all of a sudden the bloating came back, the diarrhoea, this time mucus and blood….I went to the GP and he said virus….rest and it will sort itself out. I went back after 3 days and saw a different GP and told him this was no virus. He dis a physical examination and immediately referred me to a Consultant. I was lucky and had private healthcare so was seen the following week. He examined me and stated “you poor man”!!!! There was considerable ulceration to the bowel.

    I then went onto a 9 month regime of drugs that followed the usual route I suspect, steroids in the form of Prednisone in ever increasing quantities, then onto a combination of both Prednisone and Ciclosporin and also Mesalazine……….after 9 months there had been no change whatsoever….it was looking grim.

    The consultant had told me that the UC was like a supertanker….it took a lot to make it turn but once it started it would improve. After 9 months it had not shown any deflection of its straight on route. I was due to see the consultant for my latest appointment in about 2 weeks, I had not smoked since the previous September, I was sat in a pub and thought “what the hell” and had a cigar, I had started smoking again….not cigarettes but cigars (the Brits here Hamlet), nothing special.

    3 days later my symptoms were going the 15 times a day explosions were down to 5 or so…..a week later, solids appeared……..by 10 days…….I was back to normal……….4 years later I have not had one incident of UC.

    When I saw the consultant and told him what had happened, I was almost embarrassed to say I had started smoking again….he said there was not a proven link smoking and UC….he did tell me that it was his intention on this appointment if nothing had changed he was going to recommend surgery as he was poisoning me with the use of all the toxic drugs!

    Following this appointment I had a full Ileoscopy ( I had three colonoscopy prior to this but he did not go further due to the extreme inflammation), he took biopsies throughout and my whole intestine was clear, pink and clean and mucus free. I will just point out that I had the Ileoscopy with no sedation whatsoever as I was driving home afterwards and didnt realise I was supposed to have someone to take me home!!! I am quite proud of that!

    Anyway to follow us, the consultant has kept me on a maintenance dose of 100mg of Azathioprine and 1000mg Mesalazine granules twice a day, that is all…..I believe he was concerned that the smoking was not the only thing that changed it, I was in such a state before I am prepared to put up with the medication…just in case! He disputed the impact of smoking…….I know my body…….I know how I felt for 9 months, I know what I had to cope with………I know that smoking made the difference to ME, it was so fast it was unbelievable…….I would call it a miracle drug…….but it worked for me, I had smoked in different quantities over my life since 15 years old and perhaps the stopping of smoking quickly reacted and caused the UC, who knows……

    I will say, I know how you feel with UC, I know how I feel now and to me I will keep smoking, I am always aware of my body and fear the return of UC, I also realise that I am risking my life by smoking but to me it is a fair risk…quality of life now against possible lung problems later or a greater chance of cancer……..

    I have not written on any website before especially as in the above detail, I have a work colleague who has just had an operation due to his UC……made me think……..

    A final comment, people take bowels as just a normal bodily functon, when they dont work as they should do…..boy do they disrupt your life and boy shouldnt everyone who has a normally functioning bowel be grateful for what they have!!!

    I do not know how this will help anyone……but it is just my story so far…….50 years old and trying to enjoy life to the full……

    1. Simon, I think if you keep the amount of cigars under control your risk of cancer will be lower than your risk of developing cancer from either having UC or taking the cancer causing drugs that are prescribed for UC, not to mention the slew of other dangerous conditions that can occur with UC or from those drugs. I, personally, believe smoking is the safer option. I have suffered miserably with my UC and as I stated in my various posts on this thread, never smoked before but took it up in desperation and now here I am after 5 weeks later with my UC symptoms almost entirely gone. It’s been a miracle for me. I will keep smoking unless I find something truly promising to try, that can do the same thing. I’d rather have the inconvenience, risks, and unpleasant side effects a few times a day(for me that’s brief dizziness and weakness) of smoking than the all-day-long miseries of colitis. I can live my life again.

  138. SEROTONIN,

    UC – SEROTONIN, as they say, the intestine is the 2nd brain. It is kind of true, because serotonin is mostly generated in the intestine. It is popularly thought to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness (Wikipedia).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serotonin

    Smoke until your serotonin levels are in balance again, (4-6 months), than you can give up cigarettes and your UC will be gone.

    Oilve oil, special diets etc… remind me of the middle age witches and their weird potions.

    We are in 2013, google Serotonin and how to get it back high and life will be good again.

    Max

    1. That’s interesting…however I believe there was a lot of wisdom in some of what the “Middle Age witches” used as remedies. Many of the so-called witches were nothing more than knowledgeable herbalists. The use of natural remedies is nothing to thumb one’s nose at(not claiming you’re doing that, although your comment implied it). If one claims that natural cures and treatments are mostly ineffective, try looking at the rate of pharmaceutical failure. It’s amazing how many drugs fail to work or work, but only for a limited time. Then top it off with the grave dangers of their side effects. Yes, herbs, vitamins and the like can potentially be dangerous, but statistically they are a far cry from what the pharmaceutical companies have to offer in regard to dangers. And if low serotonin levels are the issue, there are certainly natural remedies for upping Serotonin. Definitely not with Prozac or the likes of such a drug. I’d chain smoke 3 packs a day before taking that stuff. I seriously doubt, though, that upping one’s serotonin alone will cure colitis…but without doing the research, I’ll refrain from making any pat statements about the accuracy of this notion.

    1. Very interesting. Thank you, Graham. I see a number of studies about ex-smokers, but so few about people like me, who took up “low dose smoking” in order to rid themselves of colitis symptoms. This seems to work well, too. It’s the most effective thing I’ve discovered so far and unlike so many of the drugs, it seems to keep colitis in remission so long as one continues to do so. If I get the nerve someday, I might attempt the other methods (like you) in order to quit or reduce smoking to just a cigarette or two a day. I still utterly dislike it, even after 6 1/2 weeks of doing it.

  139. Hi Tara,

    It was a doctor on Twitter who posted that link, he also said “as doctors we do not advocate smoking but some patients try this approach”.

    How about quiting for Evoo etc before you get used to smoking? After 6+ weeks you are obviously feeling well, I’m sure you are getting some Vit D with the sun so now may be a good time…You could be a pioneer with your own unique success story to post!

    Where do you live, someone may be able to suggest an oil for you?

    @realslimshakey

    1. Graham, honestly I’ll tell you why I can’t yet…because I’m scared. I have just gotten through one of the worst flares I’ve had in all my years of having UC and I just can’t bring myself to risk going back there yet. I know what you say makes sense, but I simply can’t do it yet. I am taking vitamin D, just started again a few days ago as a matter of fact. I live in Kentucky.

  140. I understand, I suppose it was easy for me being well for 10 years and only desperate for an alternative solution to smoking, Very different to being ill for so long desperately wanting a solution to be well again.

    Well if you feel brave or even reckless in the next few months you could try missing cigarettes from the last third of the day and switch to a bed time dose of Evoo…

  141. “Barrier” creating foods that are nutritional… We could be on to something here, I always found lactose free milk much better at protecting from flare beginnings. Was this because (as I imagined) just limiting the sugar reaction or as I now suspect a more efficient barrier. I know that sounds like the same thing but this is extremely intriguing to me at least.. Don’t some of the foods we swear by have “barrier” properties, yoghurt, oily fish, eggs?

  142. Thanks Tara,
    Yes I suppose as a non smoker having to smoke to achieve the results – in my case a life long smoker…going back to it and stating as the reason for smoking is my health…is strange but true and often met with cynical responses! Who cares!!!

    Interesting on the Serotonin, I am a little depressed or was and I have been on Serotonin for about 2 years, I shall investigate and see how I can naturally boost my levels. If I am on drugs I dont bother or worry really…I know I should but if they make me feel better I take them.

    I shall delve into the stories and tales throughout this website, comforting to know so many people suffer the same.

    Simon

    1. Simon, check out 5-hpt for naturally boosting serotonin. You have to be careful with it, however, because if you are on any SSRI’s you could potentially get Serotonin Syndrome from too much of it, so be sure to research that, as well before starting it, if you decide to. I just have such an aversion to Prozac (and the likes) because of the experiences I’ve had with not only my ex-husband on it and how it did more harm than good eventually, but also what it do to my son who has severe OCD. He eventually became almost violent while on it (something he never tended toward) so I hold the Prozac responsible for that. I’ve read so much about the potentially dangerous side effects that I’m wary of it, along with numerous other pharmaceuticals. There are many natural supplements that can achieve the same benefits as these, but with much lower incidents of dangerous side effects. Best wishes to you.

  143. Yet again, just my opinion but we really should work on the reasons why we are here. We may be able to reduce cigarette dependency and prevent other complications. It sure is great to be well with UC but let’s not bury our heads in the sand.

    Bev’s post has had some great information over the last few days, it help us understand what is going on and how to help ourselves. Bacteroides and their by products (fatty acids) lacking in the small/large intestine. https://ihaveuc.com/human-strain-in-my-probiotic-what/comment-page-1/#comment-131131

    1. True, Graham, but even you, with all you are doing to heal your colitis, have still had to rely on Asacol to get things back under control. For those of us who refuse to use pharmaceuticals, there aren’t too many natural options to heal us. I’m sure there there are some who have achieved full recovery through natural means, but its rare. It’s also tricky to find out which way may work. Please don’t take this wrong, but you haven’t figured it out either, although you’ve definitely gone farther to take your health into your own hands than most have.

  144. This is definitely good info to read. I was diagnosed with UC 10 years ago. My first flare up occurred after I tried to quit smoking. All of my major flares occurred when I have tried to quit. My question is has anyone out there had any success with the new E-cigs.

    1. I know this may be vague Steven but I remember seeing a post on the Colitis UK site where a gentle man was trying the e-cigs and posting the results on his own blog…..you might try joining and posting the question there he may see it….sorry I can’t seen to remember the name….:(

      Be Well,

      Cindy

  145. Tara,
    Hope you and the family are well… You are right I’ve not figured it all out yet either. I/we may be going over old ground here but I look back at my smoking days fondly for staying colitis free but now with some regret for adding to the inevitable problem by eating a UC unfriendly diet. Though it does seem natural for us to ignore our diets when we are well, whatever condition we may or may not have.

    1. It’s easy to forget you have an illness when all symptoms subside and it’s easy to ignore one’s health when one feels well, but by making a conscious effort one can do it. It helps that I want to feed my children healthy food and keep all junk out of this home…makes it that much easier for me to avoid a lousy diet. Whether the motivation to eat well is illness or one’s family, it can be done with a little effort. Now, with the smoking, I have extra motivation to work on living an otherwise healthy life-style. I think in time I’ll look into smoking organic tobacco like American Spirits (they’re costly, though) or rolling my own with a filter…you can even get organic filters and cigarette paper. I know this doesn’t keep out all the toxins and nicotine itself is a toxin, which is what helps, but at least I can keep out some of the other nasty additives. Right now, though, I’ll just carry on with my 6 Pall Malls a day.

  146. I am hoping they announce a e-cig with anatabine next week. There has not been one yet. This would be a killer product.

    google urbandomesticdiva anatabloc. She has Crohns and writes about experience.

    Then google this Beneficial Nutritional Effects of Anatabine in an Animal Model of Ulcerative Colitis.

    As mentioned one does not have to smoke to get benefit of anatabine.

    Regards
    Adam

    1. Everything I read about this Anatabine always seems to bring me back to this one study about mouse models and when I read the reviews on Anatabloc, they are highly mixed and the stuff is EXPENSIVE. I’d really have to see a lot more research on how it directly affects ulcerative colitis in humans in order to give it a go. I keep reading that studies indicate it appears to be a promising alternative to pharmaceuticals, but the evidence is extremely lacking compared to how smoking affects UC. Still, I will keep tracking the studies they make on it and if there’s enough good solid evidence that it works, I might eventually give it a go…if it can be found at a more reasonable price.

  147. Just reading through everyone’s comments about this topic and I see so many people using smoking as a way to control their UC. It does make me think that as a person who has smoked since he was 15 and have only ever had two instances of UC and that is when I stopped, how many other smokers are there in the world that would develop UC as soon as they stop smoking?

    There is an acknowledged acceptance that there is a link between smoking and UC yet little research has been carried out. The largest incidence is North America, Scandinavian Countries and the UK and it is increasing in these countries. How many research organisations exist in these countries? I suppose there is not enough money in it for the drug companies to develop an alternative to smoking.

    I am also amazed that my consultant stated to me that there was no link between smoking and UC, how can he say that when there is so much material written and this thread alone states how it does help!

  148. You know what else is interesting, Simon? UC used to be considered a disease primarily of women at a time when fewer women smoked than men. Since that has changed, the disease is slightly more common in males, but there is no major gender difference. In Japan, where many people smoke, but primarily men, it is still considered to largely be a disease affecting women. If that isn’t evidence itself! Check out the Forces International website. It’s got good information; an alternative to the radical anti-smoking propaganda that is rampant. Of course, you can take their information with a grain of salt too. Some of the info they sighted I backed up with my own bit of internet research and found it to be accurate.
    I would imagine that the pharmaceutical companies are trying to figure out a way to camp in on the profits using nicotine to find a drug as effective as smoking in treating colitis. I’m sure the medical industry does as much as possible to hide the benefits of smoking for people with UC or at least scaring them by loudly proclaiming it to be no good option due to the risk. That’s because they can’t profit from the sale of cigarettes…speaking for myself, I would rather keep my colitis under control independent of the drug companies and the prescription pad of by GI. And once they come up with that comparable drug that works as well as cigarettes, don’t think for a minute that it will be any less toxic.

  149. I’m sure quitting smoking has never been so popular, no wonder my GI is busy and my appointments keep getting cancelled. Though this inevitably means yet more suffering it should push the illness up the agenda and R&D to new levels, (hopefully not just by the drug companies). It still shocks me that doctors don’t advocate smoking, though I’m really referring to when patients are faced with the final solution that is surgery. Our own NHS may be moving from focusing on treatment toward prevention and this may be where the big UC breakthrough comes from. This may really get to the heart of what is causing the problem and know how for trigger removal.

    Interesting you mention the UK, some would say the Mediterranean diet is lacking here but many southern Europeans still smoke freely without the stigma so this could also be reducing instances of UC. Also not forgetting Dr A Harts research concluding that olive oil (Evoo) has a preventative effect.

    Knowing how smoking mainly improves and upholds the integrity of the colon mucas, this link seems to explain an even greater understanding of UC, to me at least. It’s quite short so well worth reading… 
    http://www.drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/Ulcerative_colitis_and_phosphatidylcholine_(PC)_in_the_gut

    1. Graham, I think removing the triggers is more complicated than just making dietary changes…I think the triggers can often start in childhood. We are so bombarded with many unavoidable toxins in our environment. Vaccines, for instance, could be one trigger that can possibly cause long range effects, another would be antibiotic usage (and I got plenty of those growing up). There are toxins in the air, chlorine in much of the water we consume,chemicals in almost every personal product and piece of clothing we put on. To avoid these things is nearly impossible. And the damage done to our systems in childhood is hard to rectify now. I think diet can help dramatically, don’t get me wrong, but I think that alone is not the sole trigger.

  150. Tara, did you read the link before responding? I agree with you entirely on the causes and I’m not saying diet is solely the solution. I think we will be able to naturally change the constant trigger situation once we have the full picture. A perfect storm has brought us here and an equally perfect “counter” storm will save us, I hope…

  151. No, I haven’t read your link yet…sorry. I just was responding to the comment, but if there was info in the link that made my statements redundant, I apologize for jumping the gun. I’m squeezing in some internet time before my kiddos get up and I have to start fixing them breakfast. I will read your link as soon as possible.

  152. I read the link. They said this Endragil 500 should be available in 2012. I looked it up but is still doesn’t seem to be on the market. Do you know anything about whether it’s being marketed or not yet?

  153. It does seem to have gone a bit quiet, Bev had a dig around and posted something on the “human strain in my probiotic what” link…. Maybe it’s soo good an existing drug manufacturer has bought it and locked it away until they have recovered enough cash on their present crop of pro symptom dependency drugs. Blimey, that even scared me! Probably the result of what hit me in a big chain garage/supermarket the other day, I did a 360 turn looking at all the “edibles” and actually, none of it was food, none. I’m starting to wonder what or who is the food here, are we just “food” for big food/drug companies to use and throw away? There seems to be no limit to how much we can be encouraged to poison ourselves and yet almost nothing about real health. Sorry for the rant and wandering off but I had to get that off my chest…

  154. Phew, just means I have paranoia too though! Sounds promising for all but particularly those of us who have benefited from smoking. I would bet that their understanding of how smoking helps UC is where this thinking came from. The best thing for me is that it replicates what occurs naturally and is not just treating inflammation or the complications from a flaring UC. We will still need our oils though, the bacteroides are missing or reduced and this solution will not fulfil this role.

  155. The fact that smoking seems to help UC is interesting. I think its also interesting how Zyban (Wellbutrin, Bupropion) has also been studied to treat Crohn’s Disease and may be a TNF-a inhibitor similar to Remicade. A Trial of Wellbutrin for Crohn’s Disease http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00126373 even though no results were ever published.

    I used Bupropion as part of my treatment using fecal transplants and the addition of it seemed to make a big difference. Maybe Nicotine and Bupropion are both anti-inflamatory drugs due to their impact on TNF-a?

    1. Hi. So I saw this blog on Tuesday and was having worst flare in 14 years. And put two and two together and realized I got sick in last month. I had suit smoking two months ago but had used e-cigarette with full nicotine. I was fine first month then got sick and it was when I had cut nicotine in half. I was on 100mg prednisone along with maintenance purinethol and getting worse. Plus losing my mind on the high dosage of steroids. So I started smoking regular cigarettes Tuesday and now 48 hours later I am 90% better. I dropped steroids to 40 mg today and am almost human again. Hopefully the drastic taper doesn’t hurt but rather that than the craziness of 100mg. Anyway I know I will be in full remission in next few days. I was able to eat again today. Thank you ALL for your posts! Saved my life! I was ready to hospitalize myself. Thank you!!!!!

      1. That is great KimC, I didnt realise that sharing information can help so much. I suffered for 9 months and just fell back into smoking by frustration….and then all medical people told me smoking had nothing to do with the remission (or in my case (fingers crossed) no relapse for over 3 years now).

      2. It’s so great to come here and share experiences with others who have benefitted from this controversial method of healing oneself! Cigarettes work so well to knock out the symptoms of UC, I am still amazed. I wish everyone suffering from severe UC and moving from one terrible medication to the next and unsuccessfully controlling their symptoms could find this thread. This was the thread that saved me. This was the thread my mom read to support me in my decision entirely. My husband, well, it took his seeing the results before he could give it his full support. I read so much about cigarette smoking and colitis prior to embarking upon my own experiment with it and I remember reading that e-cigarettes don’t seem to be nearly as consistently effective as regular cigarettes, so I’m not surprised they didn’t do what the regular cigs are doing for you. So glad you are also feeling well again thanks to the old “cancer sticks” as they are so often called.

  156. It is interesting that you would have to smoke 6 cigarettes to equal 1 mg of anatabine which costs only 25 cents. They come 300 in bottle. Far cheaper to take pill than smoke. Plus no nicotine.

    If you search clinical trials anatabine you see four human studies now being done.

    One can read testimonials on GNC or Geek about IBS and Crohns.

    Also you can call physicians at 1-800-778-2031 extension 4 to discuss smoking and anatabine.

    1. I read on an Amazon review that the people who took only 2 lozenges of Anatabloc 3 times daily (for a total of 6 lozenges daily) did not fare as well as those who took more, leading me to believe it could likely take more. At only 6 a day(quite possibly not enough)it would cost me $50 for only 25 days and, again, a reviewer noted that those who rated it poorly took this amount or less. I pay less than 35 dollars for a carton of cigarettes (which contains 10 packs) and I will smoke less than 7 packs in 25 days. So you see, this is significantly lower in cost.
      I am definitely interested in studies made for those who have UC (less so for Crohns) as there are differences, for instance, in the fact that smoking doesn’t even seem to do much for Crohns but does help UC dramatically. And I’m sorry to say, I would have little interest in talking to any physician helping to push the product. I know how brainwashed they can be, esp. those who are getting kickbacks from a drug or supplement.
      Don’t think I’m being argumentative, please. I’m just stating some of my reasons I am skeptical in response to your post. Also, just curious…what is your own connection to this supplement? Do you use it for UC? Do you help sell it? Please enlighten us. I don’t know anything about your personal experiences and connection with UC or the supplement you are encouraging others to use.

      1. I tried the anatabine supplement from GNC back in February, and I did not notice any change other than terrible headaches. Not sure if that was from the anatabine or another ingredient, but I threw in the towel at that point. I also became concerned about the number of posters on various sites that were really pushing the product but very little testimony from people with our disease sharing their success. I mean, if it was that much of a miracle product wouldn’t we all be doing it? I’m a little skeptical when I feel like people are just trying too hard to create hype around something.

    1. I know you asked Graham this and not me, so hopefully you won’t find me intrusive by putting my 5 cents in. I got into full remission on 6 cigarettes a day and I was in an awful flare, close to needing hospitalization. Actually I think many others in my condition would have been hospitalized, but due to my circumstances I felt I could not leave my home (little children, and one son with autism. It would have been traumatic for them if I had to leave) It did take time to get better, though. The first week my improvement was just barely detectable, the next week it was noticeable. By 3 weeks of smoking I felt a lot better but still had some pain and bleeding and urgency. I’d say full remission came after 5 weeks of smoking 6 a day…some days I could only squeeze in 5, like when we were away from home a good portion of the day. I think Graham’s suggestion of 8 to 10 a day is likely to get a person into remission quicker. For me, on account of the dizziness I felt and having to limit it to outdoors, I couldn’t manage more than 6 cigarettes a day. Hope this info helps.

  157. Hi PC,
    Think you mean me.. I reduced by 1 cigarette per week to find this “magic number” out and 4 would result in a decline in my health, 5 or 6 was good for maintenance. If you are already unwell I would guess 8-10 should turn this around in a short period.

    1. Hi Graham, I have been smoking 6-8 a day, am a new smoker but still haven;t managed to get out of this flare I’ve had…

      been smoking now for 2 months (you have responded to my previous posts) but started gradually as i had never smoked before.

      will give 8-10 a day a try for the next few weeks and see what happens.

      I met a new doctor and has put me on salofalk supositries and enemas but i feal they are making me even worse.. having BM at least 8 times a day :-(

      keep u guys in the loop..

  158. This forum saved me! Id been in a 3 year long flare ranging from mild most of the time (3 or 4 bms a day but always with mucus and urgency) to more moderate blips that would last anything from 2 days to a month. After reading this forum I started smoking on and off at the end of last year (i couldnt bring myself to do it im an ex-smoker) and because I didnt notice results straight away I kept on stopping. Then January this year I felt the best i’ve felt in years and started on and off again, in March I started smoking everyday, 5 or 6 a day. Now Im down to 1 solid bm a day, no mucus or urgency. The positive changes in me physically (i have colour back in my face, i have energy) and mentally (happy!) are too endless to list here. I was at the hospital a few weeks ago and my doctor was very supportive of my decision to smoke, he just said try and keep it to a minimum. So grateful for this forum and glad its helping others too.

    1. I’m so delighted to read things like this. I’m trying to link people to this website from other sites on UC. I’ve already gotten a good deal of negative feedback, but if it just helps one or two open minded people, I’ll be thrilled.

  159. Long time smoker here. It does absolutely nothing for my UC. I’ve been having a terrible flare since February. I was a full time smoker when the flare started. I smoke on average from 6 to 10 cigs a day.

    1. What a shame. Obviously it doesn’t help everyone. Seems to for the vast majority,though. There are cases where it’s not finding the right number of cigarettes, but rather finding the right medicine or alternative treatment that works for you.

      1. Shawn,
        Have you ever quit cigarettes for a week or more and did the UC get worse or stay the same? We must keep trying different things to help ourselves. It may not feel like it but we are well off, there has never been so much information and help around.

        1. I do notice it’s a little worse the few times I’ve lowered my cigarette smoking also I was diagnosed with UC back in 2001 only months after quitting smoking so there definitely must be a correlation. I remember I started smoking again back in 2001 after my diagnosis and went into remission but it was also the first time I was given steroids and asacol so I figured the meds are what put me in remission. I’ve flared so much over the years while continuing to smoke so it doesn’t seem protective to me anymore though.

          1. When you have flared during your smoking have you noticed it may have been during a time when you smoked fewer…or did you ever try increasing the cigarettes just to see how it would affect the UC? If you smoke an average of 6 to 10 a day, that is considered light smoking. Here’s a strange question. Do you use lights instead of full strength cigarettes? I was afraid to use lights when I started smoking, thinking they may not deliver enough nicotine into my system to control my colitis, although they probably would have spared me the miserable light-headedness and weak feeling.

  160. Can I just point out that I have had the same results from smoking cigars and mini ones at that, I am not saying smoking cigars is much better than cigarettes but it is an option and I do not inhale as deeply as I used to smoke cigarettes.

    For non-smokers who want to try smoking as a route to stop the UC flare ups, then cigars may be an option, or as I was an ex-cigarette smoker, I didn’t want to start on them again.

    Obviously as Tara has stated either way you are smoking the old cancer sticks but hey ho…..life is a gamble and having UC is so life spoiling I know what I am happy with.

  161. Well said Tara/Simon,

    Ant, I desperately hope this works for you as it is a fairly big leap for it not to. Having said that it appears to work better than anything else so a very reasonable and calculated risk. It is almost impossible to tell whether the drugs are helping or otherwise in conjunction with the smoking. I think most people do one or the other. Maybe finding out exactly what the your drug does may tell you if you need it or not. My uneducated opinion would suggest any rectal anti-inflammatory would only help, if that’s what it is..

  162. Ive been smoking the lights and they have a lot less nicotine but the same amounts of carbon dioxide and hydrogen cyanide (i think) and i think its these things that help. A few folk have said its not the nicotine that helps but actual smoking. I think its a bit of both i did take nicotine for a while before i started the smoking and noticed a very slight improvement but nothing like what the smoking has done. I read on wikipedia its the hydrogen cyanide that helps, and im sure i read somewhere that smoking increases the protective film that lines the gut (cant remember the medical name its not the same as mucus), and that people with uc have less of this film so your poop touches your colon and sets off an immune reaction. The nicotine works by doing something to the nerves in the gut that control spasms and bms so helps in a different way. Dont know if all this is true just things ive read online.

  163. Hi folks,

    I stopped smoking cigarettes and switched to snus about 5 weeks ago. At the same time I also started taking 3 x EVOO a day (as per Graham) along with a probiotic first thing in the morning. Everything went well so I ditched the snus last week and am now on EVOO + probiotic & no nicotine. Normally when I stop nicotine, I notice a difference after 2 days (bad gas), after 3 days about 5/6 BM’s per day, on day 4 the mucus and bleeding start. I’m on day 6 this time and no symptoms until this afternoon. There was fresh blood on the toilet paper and a slight discomfort in the gut but no gas, urgency, diarrhoea or mucus, which is something completely new for me. Should I up the EVOO or Probiotic dosage? I’m using Sainsbury’s Unfiltered Organic EVOO though it doesn’t have a strong peppery aftertaste,and the probiotic I use is Holland & Barrett Probio10 (10 billion per capsule & 10 different strains)+ half a cup of SCD yoghurt in the evening. Any advice anyone? I really don’t want to go back to nicotine if I can help it.

    Cheers
    Andrew

  164. I’m going to chime in here as I’ve recently found out that I have ulcerative colitis. I have to say though that I think I must be fortunate as I don’t ever recall being in pain and my bowel movements are probably only 2 to 3 times a day. It’s only in the last year that I’ve noticed bleeding and at the start of this year the bleeding was excessive enough to see a doctor. This site is interesting because I gave up smoking almost 2 years ago and would never have thought there was a connection between ulcerative colitis and smoking but now I’m wondering. Interesting though that my father was diagnosed at the same age as me, 57, and he never smoked.

    When I say I gave up smoking what I actually did was give up cigarettes and switched to e-cigarettes so I’m still getting my nicotine. So with my UC being diagnosed while still taking nicotine I’m not so sure nicotine patches would be a help.

    I’ve been taking 8 Salofalk a day plus a Salofalk suppository. Today was my first follow-up and I’ve been led to believe I’ve got to take this now for life. I’m not sure I’ve ever really had what the rest of you call a “flare-up” so I find it surprising that I have to take so many drugs. This is upsetting as it’s been great having some extra money not smoking cigarettes only to find that I now have to take these drugs that cost double what my cigarette habit cost. I’ve no drug plan. I’m 58 next month so maybe I should just be thankful that I’ve only 7 years before a government subsidy will kick in.

    Anyway, I really wanted to share my views on using nicotine. I see a comment above from Gemma saying that is probably isn’t the nicotine in cigarettes that help but some of the other ingredients and with my experience I’m inclined to believe her.

    1. I’m going to add one other thing here which I thought was really weird. When I came out of my colonoscopy 4 weeks ago I was dreaming about a cigarette!!!!! I mentioned this to my friend (a smoker) who picked me up from the hospital and she said have a smoke (which hadn’t been my intention as I just thought the dream was weird). Anyway, yes I did have a cigarette followed by two more within the hour. I just thought it was strange how I so desired to smoke again. Fortunately, I’ve only had 1 more since then though. Of course, all this reading I’m doing tonight has got me tempted.

  165. Well…. after a couple of months of doing great with the smoking I am back to really loose stools in the morning. I dont quite have urgency but definitley a lot of achey pressure on the bowel when I have to go. I think its because I’ve been eating really badly the last couple of weeks I just thought to hell with it I am smoking so colitis can’t bother me, oh dear how wrong I was. I will be doing a lot more reading on here for diet tips…

    1. I have had a similar problem when I started cutting back on some of the supplements I was taking…really because of the inconvenience and to save money I had reduced my curcumin and boswellia as well as the charcoal tablets. Well, after a few days I noticed a slight increase in frequency and loose stool, even a touch of blood. Well, I upped my supplements to what I had taken before and things have improved a lot again, although my stools are still a little loose. It’s so easy to assume that the smoking will be all one needs, but I think we can’t neglect the other things we do to help ourselves or else we’ll pay! Graham had stated that, and he’s right…it’s easy to neglect oneself when you are feeling better. Get back on a good diet or whatever you were doing prior to the smoking that was helping you and you will probably be fine again in a few days or a few weeks.

  166. Hi Graham,

    I responded to your post a few times but they seem to be going astray. I hope this gets through. I’ve been off nicotine completely now for 12 days and had one day of bright red blood on the toilet paper and a couple of times where there were flecks in the stool but nothing too drastic. I upped the dosage of EVOO to 4 times a day and this seemed to help. I really can’t believe this is working. I know it’s early days but I’ve never managed to get beyond 4 days without nicotine before going into flare-up, and I’ve tried a number of times. Thank you for sharing your discovery.

    As a back-up, I’m taking a probiotic, a daily shot of cayenne pepper and turmeric and avoiding gluten, lactose and refined sugar. Fingers crossed, I have high hopes for this. I won’t do cartwheels round the neighbourhood just yet but I’m going to put it in the diary for next month!

    Cheers
    Andrew

  167. So right Tara, further proved by my most recent misfortune…I had a minor stroke last week and though the cause is still a bit of a mystery, all the tests relating to my arteries and blood were excellent. In light of each succesful test I was congratulated on my EVOO consumption, good recent diet and smoking cessation. I am not suggesting you all stop smoking but I may not be writing this now had I not taken action on all fronts over the last 2 years. So please, smoke the minimum and maintain the diet of a UC’er who doesn’t.

    In the week prior I had some dizzy spells and lost about a pint of blood, I should have acted sooner maybe but who knows…

  168. Thank God you’re alright, Graham! That is, are you? No complications or damage done I hope? Yes, you are certainly wise in what you suggest and healthy living is really the only ideal answer…in the meantime so many of us continue to treat the symptoms and not the illness which will have to do for the time being. I think our trials will teach us to be smart about what works and what doesn’t. And when we fail to be smart we are reminded in an unpleasant manner. Be well, Graham, and keep up the good advice and inspirations that have helped so many of us here.

    1. Im ok thanks Tara though tired and breathless which is very odd for me. Cant drive or work for 2 months and self employed but will manage fine. The long overdue break will be a huge benefit for me I have no doubt. Everything seems in great shape, only 2 heart tests left…

      Thats great Andrew! It works wonders for some of us though not quite as well for me these days. Having said that I have only just started to use a mild drug off and on, not bad for 20 months off cigarettes. You are doing the right thing, stay vigilant…

  169. This topic has me fascinated. I, too, was diagnose with UC withing 6 months of quitting smoking using the e-cig as my nicotine replacement. Still using e-cig 5 years later. Has not prevented a flare. My UC has progressed from proctitis to pancolitis…currently in the worst of my 5 flares (7 weeks now) I have an appointment with my GI next week at which I plan to ask for a Wellbutrin RX, but am now thinking of trying 1 morning and 1 evening cig in addition to that.

  170. I should add that there is no way that I will ever believe that the effects of minimal cigarette smoking will ever damage my body and psyche as this UC continues to do on a daily basis. I literally live in fear from it.

  171. Graham lee: Sorry to hear about your stroke – hope all is well or improving for you.

    I found this web site and thread while searching for help with my UC. I have read the entire thing… Has anyone tried smokeless tobacco such as “chew” or snuff? I may tip toe into this with some nicotine gum or patches to see if it helps me at all. I’d prefer not to smoke (I never have other than the occasional bumming of one from a friend many years ago) but will if it has a dramatic improvement and nothing else works.

  172. Graham, very sorry to hear of your difficulties. I hope things are not too bad. Do you have any idea of what brought it on? If it is of any help, read up on the benefits of cayenne pepper, it’s quite an amazing spice for your circulatory system. Might be worth a shot.

    Matthew, I’ve had some success with swedish snus but not with any other nicotine replacement. Normally I’m in flare up after 4 days without nicotine, but with snus I lasted about 5 weeks. With a combination of 5 cigarettes and 5 pieces of snus I lasted about 10 weeks. The symptoms reappeared but they were very mild (little bit of mucus and gas, and going to the bathroom a few extra times a day). I was terrified I was heading into a flare so I resumed smoking immediately. I’m sorry I didnt stick it out a bit longer with the snus to see what would happen. If the EVOO does not work out long term, I will go back on snus before I consider smoking again. Make sure you use the proper Swedish stuff and not the American one which seems to be pure rubbish. If you live in the EU, unfortunately you can no longer buy it online but have to travel to Sweden to buy it. Good luck, its worth a try.

    Cheers
    Andrew

    1. Thank you for the reply. I’m in the US and have never heard of swedish snus, so I’ll have to look into it a bit further. Can anyone tell me if the EVOO has to be taken straight up or can it be mixed in a protein shake or other? Will any cold pressed EVOO (that has the tingle) work OK? I’ve never had much success with oils in the past, but am willing to give it a try.

      I tried some nicotine gum… All it did was make my head spin a bit!

      Thanks all!

      1. Matthew,

        Take EVOO on its own, this seems to work best and on an empty stomach.

        Cold pressed is not actually the most efficient way to produce quality oil, mechanical crushing then a centrifuge to separate the oil makes the best oil. “Cold pressed” can be “sales label” wording to impress, though it can mean it’s from a small independent producer which can still be honest oil.

        Ignore sell by dates and only choose oil with a harvest date of no more than a year as it will have degraded significantly. If they don’t display it they don’t want you to know when the oil was produced and how old it is.

        Finally, make sure you get the throat burn!

  173. Well the smoking must work only on previous smokers who have stopped and then developed UC, I currently in a flare and previously a non-smoker started smoking nearly 3 months ago… gradually building up to arrounnd 10-12 a day… unfortunately i haven;t gotten out of my flare up, I also had to have an IRON IV yesterday as my ferritin had dropped to 2 :-( and was really drowsy…

    still on EVOO but have consulted with doc and looks like I’ll be trying remicade in about 10 days…

    its been 2 years in this damn flare and can;t get out of it… now i’m stuck smoking too.:-)

  174. out of curiosity, for the people who have managed to control their UC by smoking, what length of the intestine colon is affected..?

    I have the lower 35cm…

  175. Hi Ant,
    Mine is near the end, Sygmoid, proctitis and the smoking always worked as does EVOO with occasional 250mg Asacol suppository at present…

  176. Hi Ant, sorry to hear the smoking doesn’t appear to be working maybe you just have to give it more time seeing as you’ve been in the flare for so long. My experience is the longer the flare the longer it will take to reverse, you just have to keep the faith as they say. Probiotics and nicotine 40mg+ have helped me a lot too, but everyone is so different. I think we all have to re-write our own colitis instruction manuals as we are so different, I wish someone would just give me my instruction manual because this trial and error game gets so tiring. I was diagnosed with pancolitis in April 2008 so my whole colon is affected.

  177. Hi All,

    I’ve been following this thread for awhile now and wanted to thank you all for your wisdom and personal stories.
    I was diagnosed with UC about 7 years ago having a single flare up since then until February of this year. I quit smoking in January and was so proud of myself for doing so. My flare has been so bad that I decided to start smoking again. After 2 weeks, my flare is improving significantly! As much as I am relieved and in less pain, I can’t help but beat myself up for lighting up again, as I smoked for 15 years and never thought I’d be able to quit. My mom, who never got near me when I had a cig in my hand, supports smoking after witnessing me during my horrible flare up. She is the only person who knows I picked up cigs again, as my friends would not understand and consider me a failure for lighting up again. Has anyone experienced this? Are any of you beating yourselves up as well about smoking? Any advice or encouragement is appreciated. Again, thank you all for your stories.

    1. Hi Sher,
      Don’t beat yourself up no matter what anyone else may say. You are being wise and only trying to protect yourself from a much worse and potentially more dangerous situation by resuming smoking. I was not a smoker ever and took it up after loads of research, esp. after coming to this site and I am in remission after a horrible flare up where I was seriously headed for hospitalization. It took me 5 weeks to get into remission, but after 2 weeks I was already a new person. My husband was totally against smoking until he saw how it saved me. Now he has no objections whatsoever. Keep the smoking down to the absolute minimum (if you can) and you may be surprised at the support you get if you explain to people why you are doing it. If they don’t understand, then perhaps they just don’t want to, but this is your decision and no one has a right to stand in your way have allowing yourself some decent quality to your life. Let them read this site if they really want to know why you’re doing this. This may be a method that actually saves lives when nothing else works…and the drugs they offer are not exactly a safe or sure route to remission either.

  178. Sher, you’ve got to do whatever it takes. Smoking can’t be any worse than the drugs they prescribe us. It’s unfortunate but that’s just how it is. You’ve got to try EVOO once you’re in remission. I was sceptical but I’m a month off nicotine, still in remission and no drugs whatsoever. Yippeee!!

  179. I have had a battle with UC since I was 15 years old. By the time I was 18 was UC was completely out of control. No medicine would work, so I had an ileoanalanastomosis. They took out my entire large intestine, and created a pouch with some of my small intestine that was hooked up to the remaining 1/4 of my rectum. I started smoking when I was 17 years old, decided to quit (prior to surgury) when I was 18. I got really sick and could not take the symptoms of the UC, so I started back up. The symptoms were better right away. Now I am 29 and have had 3 kids. I quit smoking while pregnant each time and through breast-feeding. The symptoms got out of control each time. At the beginning of this year I had to have my tonsils taken out, and I decided it was a good time to quit smoking for good. I had to also have my gall bladder taken out because it wasn’t working and everyone told how good I would feel afterwards. I didn’t feel better. My symptoms were out of control. My husband and I would joke because every night before bed I would go to the bathroom, and like clock-work, 10 minutes later I would be up again. I was getting up about 3 times in the night to go to the bathroom. Needless to say, 2 weeks ago I started smoking again after quitting for 4 1/2 months, I feel better than I have in a long time and I am sleeping through the night. My words to people questioning this method of treatment is “Smoke On UC sufferers!”

  180. Thanks for commenting. What you wrote is really interesting. I found it especially interesting that your colitis wasn’t cleared up even after surgery! It’s claimed that is the only sure cure. Was the flare in your small intestines or in the last 4 inches of your colon? Before I knew about smoking I felt I’d go for surgery before taking drugs like Prednisone again. I knew there were a number of complications involved in getting the surgery, but I didn’t realize that UC could continue. I wish you’d opted to just smoke before you got the surgery, however, I can see for those determined to stop that just about anything is preferable. You certainly exhausted all your options and now, at least there is something that does work for you. No one can accuse you of not having really tried everything else possible other than laying down and dying…and when the colitis symptoms are bad enough that’s pretty much what a person feels like doing!

  181. So… I’m getting kinda desperate. My stomach is hurting the majority of the time, and is just really upset. It’s ruining my life, and still I only have to go to the bathroom maybe 3-4 times a day when it’s at its worst. So I can only imagine how awful it is for those with really bad UC… However, I mostly always feel like I have to go to the bathroom anyway, even though I don’t really have to, and I just can’t take it anymore, I’m desperate for a solution.

    Smoking 1 cig a day… How harmful is that really compared to the whole pack? I am kind of a health freak, and recent the idea of starting to smoke, even just 1 a day. Also, how benificial might it be? I have never smoked before, and my UC is rather mild I suppose, so maybe it helps more than for people with severe UC.

    Thank you for this thread! I do think I will hold the cigarettes for a bit, until I really get desperate, but I am growing closer to wanting to try each and every day.

  182. Chris, I hated the constant feeling of having to go to the bathroom all the time, even when there was nothing in me. My UC was so bad that usually at least something came out when I went, usually no more than a little blood and mucous but there was always at least something there to expel, even if I just had gone 3 minutes before. Our water bill went up from about an average of $40 a month to $130 or so during the worst of my flare. I was going numerous times every hour. I probably was on the toilet more than 100 times in a day, seriously…usually with nothing more to expel than some blood. Of course you NEVER want to get it to that point. Being a health freak, you are probably aware of all the helpful natural supplements, like Bozwellia, Curcumin, Omega 3, probiotics, olive oil, L-Glutimine, etc. I took them all and they were not controlling it. I think its rare to see great benefits from smoking 1 cig. a day, however, I have heard of people saying they feel better just after spending a day in a smokey environment, so who knows, esp. since it seems your colitis symptoms aren’t extremely severe. For me it took 6 a day. I began with 4 and built up to 6 and it took 5 weeks to get into remission, but after 2 weeks I noticed a difference. Actually after the first week there was no improvement and I feared it was not going to help me. My colitis symptoms are gone. I started about 4 months ago. I had a minor relapse (although it was really mild) when I started cutting back on some of the supplements to save money, but after I resumed I was perfect again in about a week.
    Regarding the safety of low dose smoking, my first suspicion that it was not as hazardous as its been made out to be was in being familiar with numerous cases of heavy smokers smoking sometimes 30 years or more before developing lung cancer, and sometimes not at all. For instance, I have an acquaintance whose father is 82 and he’s been smoking since age 11 and has perfect lungs. Her mother, on the flip-side, has never smoked and has had cancer twice. I also look at the example of Yul Brenner (who quit smoking after 40 some-odd years of smoking , mostly chain smoking) and didn’t develop the cancer until 10 years after he’d quit. These are not the isolated incidences they are made out to be. Please go to http://www.forces.org/evidence/carol/carol40.htm. The website is called Forces International and it is a pro- tobacco freedom website with gobs of info that is contrary to what you will find on the mainstream. I’ve done my own research to double check many of their statistics and found everything I was able to research to be accurate. It’s difficult to find the info because there is such a large scale war on tobacco that it is just not politically correct to post anything that either argues against the extreme dangers of smoking or reveals evidence of some benefits to it. There are numerous political reasons behind this as well, which I won’t get into, but if you do the research (and use that website as a starting point) you can see for yourself and will be very relieved, particularly with the prospect of having to take up smoking, ironically, for your health. If you do wind up having to smoke more than just a cigarette or 2 a day, the supplement Acetyl-L-Carnitine is very beneficial for good lung health and you can research that and add it to your daily intake to help protect your lungs. I hope this helps.

  183. Hi,

    I can’t find the EVOO thread but maybe someone can help me here. I’m almost 8 weeks on EVOO and off nicotine but have been starting to have problems over the past 10 days or so. The mucus and blood have started to appear and BM’s increased from 2-3 a day to 4-5 a day. Strangely enough there is no diarrhoea or urgency. I started using powdered Glutamine to try to help with the bleeding but don’t know how long I should be using it before I see an improvement. Wondering if anyone else has had similar problems. I’ll be heartbroken if I have to go back on cigarettes.

    On a different note, read this in today’s paper. It might have some implications for UC:
    http://www.herald.ie/news/university-hails-new-bowel-fight-discovery-29456737.html

  184. I was diagnosed with UC in 1993. Having this disease for 20 years has been a real life changer for me, very debilitating. However, I did pick up smoking for about 5 years during that time and it did make my UC go into complete remission. I was not aware what caused the UC to seemingly go away, but, after I quit smoking it returned. Because I didn’t know that the nicotine in the cigarettes was actually what caused the UC to go into remission, I never considered starting to smoke again. Recently however, I found that along with the prescribed Lialda DR 1.2 GM medication that I take every day, I was prescribed Hydrocodon as a pain killer for an unrelated problem. I noticed that the Hydrocodon (Acetaminoph 7.5-325) had an unexpected result. The pain killer (1 pill per day) took all the cramps and bloating away and cut down on my trips to the bathroom from 8-10 times a day (even with the Lialda) to 1 or 2 times and I am having normal movements (no blood). Because the Hydrcodon is an addictive drug, they only prescribe it to me one month (30 doses / pills) at a time. My GI says that it will not be a problem at that dose and it seems to make my life normal again. If you are thinking about starting smoking again, or electronic cigarettes, maybe the pain killer Hydrocodon or something similar can do what it did for me. You may want to ask your GI about it. Good luck to all, Brian

  185. Another alternative to Hydocodon would be any anti-depressant or anti-anxiety drug that is sometimes prescribed an anti-spasmodic for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS.) Part of my treatment approach which I credit for helping fecal transplants and Apriso (mesalamine) work was the addition of Silenor (6 mg dose of the anti-depressant Doxepin.) While this drug was prescribed to me for “sleep maintenance” I later learned it has also been prescribed for IBS as well.

    Instead of L-Glutamine by itself, I had good results drinking Muscle Milk which has high amounts of L-Glutamine as well as other essential amino acids too.

    Still another consider to try in place of cigarettes is Bupropion. There is a little research out there to suggest it is a TNF inhibitor and a few patient stories too. This also appeared to be very helpful for me in my experience. Since Bupropion (brand names Wellbutrin, Zyban) is prescribed to help people quit smoking maybe it somehow alters neurotransmitters in a similarly helpful way.

  186. Hi folks, sorry for the delay responding. I think its unlikely my doctor will prescribe painkillers or anti-depressants, he’ll just refer me back to a consultant who’ll put me back on pentasa or asacolon, neither of which work for me. I’m determined to do this naturally. I’ve upped the dose of glutamine and also started taking Lugols Iodine. The mucus seems to have subsided but the bleeding is still there. I feel like I’m 60-70% in remission. As a last line of defence I’ve ordered Ultimate Flora probiotics which I’ll try for a month. If theres no improvement I’ll have to consider going back to nicotine. Thanks for the advice.

  187. I’m sure you are right about your doctor, in my experience even well-meaning GI doctors ignored important aspects of Ulcerative Colitis like diet, the role of bacteria and the role of a patients state of mind. So if your GI doctor won’t prescribe what is effective for you then you will have to take responsibility for your own care and find another doctor that will prescribe things that will help you. In this case that would most likely be a psychiatrist or a general practitioner. If I had done what my GI doctor was willing to do I would have had surgery to remove my colon.

    The prescriptions for anti-depressants came from a psychiatrist not my GI doctor. However the anti-depressant drugs on top of the fecal transplants effectively CURED my Ulcerative Colitis and I have not taken any drugs prescribed for Ulcerative Colitis, pro-biotics and had to follow any restrictive diets. Fecal transplants can require some significant effort and coordination to make them work for Ulcerative Colitis, especially finding a suitable, healthy donor. However anti-depressant drugs like Bupropion and/or Doxepin are commonly prescribed by psychiatrists or General Practitioners and are Schedule 4 drugs in the United States which means that are not as highly regulated as painkillers like Hydrocodone and you are allowed to get up to 5 refills for those prescriptions too. They would be a relatively easy first step which stand a very good chance of helping. However if you are determined to take the all-natural route you could try Valerian root extract. In my experience I found it to be about as effective as 5 mg of Doxepin to limit diarrhea and muscle spasms.

    1. Hi Michael,

      Thanks for the advice on Valerian Root. I notice a few other folks here singing its praises too. I bought some 4 days ago and noticed a real improvement almost straight away. BM’s are down to 3 a day (although not quite solid), a lot less blood and no cramping. I’ve also switched back to my old brand of EVOO (DeCecco). Not sure which is causing the improvement but I’d guess its the Valerian. I’ll keep going the natural route until FMT’s become commonplace. Your own story with FMT gives me great hope.

      Cheers
      Andrew

  188. 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!

    1. 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.

      1. David,

        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.

  189. 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.

  190. 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.

    1. 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.

  191. 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…

  192. 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

  193. Julie,
    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.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/09/30/226844915/to-get-the-benefits-of-olive-oil-fresh-may-be-best

    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!

  194. Graham,

    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.

  195. 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!

    1. 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!

      1. 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!

  196. 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!!

    1. 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

  197. 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

  198. Tara,
    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!

  199. 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!

  200. 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!!

  201. 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

    1. 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

  202. 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.

  203. 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!

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. 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!

        2. 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.

          1. 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 jareeder1@yahoo.com 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 :)

  204. 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.

    1. Todd,

      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.

  205. 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.

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

    http://poorlyworded.blogspot.ca/2012/09/ulcerative-colitis-my-experience.html

    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 som