Dr. Stephen Hanauer – Gastroenterologist – Chicago, IL

Dr. Stephen Hanauer

what type of doctor: Gastroenterologist

Colonoscopies: this doctor may/may not perform colonoscopies

Doctor’s office Address:
Center for Advanced Medicine
5758 S. Maryland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

http://www.uchospitals.edu/physicians/stephen-hanauer.html

Doctor’s office phone number (773) 702-1466

Comments about doctor:

This is one of the few doctors who makes you feel better just by his attitude. I have visited him the first time in early March of 2011 and have to say my Outlook just changed by talking to him. A very professional, down-to-earth, and open attitude have helped me cope with the issues I am dealing with. The office staff was very friendly, even though the wait time was a little longer than what I would like to see.
In the conversation with him, we have discussed the current status and where we go from here. One of the most surprising results out of the visit was the fact that he told me to start smoking 3-5 cigarettes per day, as there are no smokers with ulcerative colitis out there (at least I have not found any yet either). I started right after the visit and within one week my movements went from 20-25 per day down to around 6-8 right now and I am feeling better than I have ever before. The other advice he had was the fact that I should eat whatever I feel like. Food has no impact on the ulcers itself, some items might go through a little quicker than other, but I needed to put on some weight again, as I have lost around 50lbs over the last 2 months. So now I am consuming Pizza, ice cream, fast food, and all the things I cut out in fear of getting worse. No food I have tried to this point seems to have an adverse affect on my condition, in fact, I love my life again and my family life is back as well.
Dr. Hanauer accepts all regular insurance. I have a follow up MRI in about a week to check out some UC related liver issues and make sure nothing else is messed up.
From my point of view, if you are in the Chicago area, I would not recommend another doctor, but Dr. Hanauer.

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21 Responses to Dr. Stephen Hanauer – Gastroenterologist – Chicago, IL

  1. anonymous March 28, 2011 at 7:44 am #

    So let me get this straight…he told you to start smoking 3-5 cigs a day? So instead of being sick with UC you will die of lung cancer instead? Seems a little suspicious…just saying. I have read the literature on nicotine being a good treatment for your UC (and used to use it as an excuse to continue to smoke myself lol) but don’t you think you could do the nicotine patch or gum instead? This would eliminate all the other harmful things you are inhaling along with the nicotine but would still give you the benefits of the nicotine. And as far as the comment that there are no smokers out there who have UC…I smoked for 11 years all the while having flare ups with my UC so I think that that statement is untrue. And the eating what you want…..don’t get me started! This just all sounds a little suspicious. On the other hand I am happy that your outlook improved as well as your family life and I wish you the best of luck!

    • Mia Pintwes April 22, 2011 at 5:32 am #

      Let me tell you, there is some truth to having 3-5 cigarettes a day for UC and Crohns. All though I recommend 2 a day however, there is a cigarette you can buy that does not put anything in your lungs. It’s not really a cigarette, you are still getting the nicotine but nothing in your lungs. I’ve had Crohn’s and UC for all of my adult life. Smoked but now am down to a few. It helps, but you are right suggesting the patch, but there is something about smoking that reduces stress as well. Just think a moment, the medications they put you on cause cancer, liver, brain, kidney and lymphoma..along with many other diseases and organ damage.I just had a recent scare with the medication they had me on, all my lymph nodes swelled up and they thought it might be cancerous…thank God it’s not. Research, research on your own, also look into homeopathic and naturalized medicine. Acupuncture has worked for me in the past. I’ve heard good things about his Dr. hopefully it’s true.

    • Richard October 30, 2015 at 9:26 am #

      “I smoked for 11 years all the while having flare ups with my UC so I think that that statement is untrue.” Surely you’re aware that ulcerative colitis affects people dirferently, right? Not everyone will have the exact same experience with UC that you had. Your sarcastic reply to the original poster (“So instead of being sick with UC you will die of lung cancer instead?”) is a ridiculous oversimplification. For some people, even with the latest medications, ulcerative colitis is crippling, debilitating, and leads to a low quality of life. I would have taken no exception to your post if you weren’t sarcastic and misrepresentative in your post, but you took the tone

      We are looking at some kind of nicotine therapy for my daughter, who has had to drop out of school and has been hospitalized due to her UC THREE TIMES in the last year. In two of those interventions, she might have DIED without the additional medical interventions. You can scoff at someone for using smoking or nicotine all you want, but you have no idea what options the original poster went through before resorting to smoking. And you have know idea what his/her quality of life was before and after smoking.

      Sure, we all know that smoking has harmful side effects. But ulcerative colitis in some people renders them completely incapable of living a normal life, as it has my daughter. And it’s a myth that every smoker dies of either cancer or lung disease. Their risk of these diseases goes up the more they smoke, but smokers die of non-smoking related ailments and accidents all the time, every day. And four cigarettes a day carries a much lower overall health impact than two packs a day.

      I would just advise everyone to be a little less judgmental of someone choosing a less common treatment of UC. And I would advise everyone to recognize 1.) that we don’t know what hell another person has had to go through to get to the point they’re at and 2.) that the effects of ulcerative colitis covers a huge spectrum and no two people will necessarily have the same experience with the disease.

  2. Bhatt January 23, 2012 at 3:15 am #

    I am suffering for last three years and having flare up now. I smoked for more than 20 years and left in 2004. I have strong urge for smoking now a days. Shall I start smoking to get rid of this UC? Please advise.

  3. Lucy July 28, 2012 at 1:39 am #

    I have been suffering from UC for the last 32 years and found a definite connection between smoking and falre ups. When I stopped smoking, my UC got worse. Last May I had a flare up and ended up on Steroids for three months. This May I started another flare up again and decided to try Nicotine patches. I can say that after four weeks of using them,there is a marked improvement in my symptoms and hopefully I can avoid the prednisolone for a while longer! Nicotine patches are a much safer and more sociable way of getting the nicotine, which appears to be the stuff that helps! I believe it doesn’t work for everyone, but isn’t it worth a try before the nasty drugs?
    Hope this helps

    Lucy from an Olympic frenzied London!

    • Steve Humphreys September 3, 2013 at 6:11 am #

      I know I’ve come on to this thread way after they started but I did a search on ‘cigarettes’ ‘ulcerative colitis’ and came here!

      I have some – possibly bad – new re: smoking. I feel like I’m writing a spoiler to a film review!
      The point is…. patches, gums, e-cigarettes give you nicotine. They don’t give you tar (the nasty stuff in cigs). My personal issue is that I might be breaking a placebo effect in yourself (placebos are very valuable and can ‘cure’ things via the mind, unless spoiled by someone like me – making me feel a bit guilty right now….).

      Part of the cyanide in the tar of cigarette smoke seems to be the active ingredient which reacts with something to push the U/C into remission. Doctors don’t quite know why though.

      It dawned on me that my colitis started really ramping up when they banned smoking in pubs in the UK. I used to ‘social smoke’ (alcohol induced) and I also had second hand smoke when not drinking. Since the ban the problems came to the fore.

      My current issue is that I’m not very disciplined in making myself smoke. I don’t like the smell and I’ve never become addicted to it (that probably crushes the souls of regular smokers wanting to give up – sorry!)

      Anyway – incase this posting goes no-where I’ll stop typing….

  4. Bruce September 20, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    I was diagnosed with UC in 1996 and have suffered with it since.

    I was a pack a day smoker up until 1996 and it was when I quit smoking that I first got sick. It took me 4 years to figure out the connection on my own and since 2000 I am back to smoking a pack a day.

    I couldn’t care less what anyone says about the dangers of smoking. If I smoke less than 16 cigarettes per day, within 3 days I will have a flare-up and it usually takes about 3-4 weeks for this to subside, ONLY after I get back to at least a pack a day.

    For anyone reading this who has UC, I will be very happy to talk with you about my personal experience. For anyone here who feels like telling me all about the dangers of smoking, don’t waste your time. If you haven’t gone through what I’ve gone through you just wouldn’t understand.

    By the way, I have tried the patches, gums and even the “smokeless” e-cigarettes and in my opinion (yes, this is only my opinion but based upon my personal experience) it is NOT only nicotine that keeps my UC symptoms away. None of these other options keep me symptom free or even have any positive effect on my UC. It is only smoking (regular cigarettes, not pot) that has any effect and when I smoke a pack a day I am COMPLETELY symptom free.

    I found this website/blog and I am writing here to let others know about my own experience. If this isn’t something you agree with then that’s fine but if you suffer from UC like I do and you would like to communicate with me about this, please feel free to let me know.

    UC is very nasty and if I can help even one person free themselves from the symptoms that I’ve gone through then I’ll be glad to have helped.

    I live in Vancouver, Canada.

    • Andrew Moya August 10, 2013 at 11:07 am #

      Half a pack a day smoker here. Diagnosed with Ulcerative Proctitus in 2011. GI Doc had me cortenema and rowasa enemas 4 daily apriso 3.2 grams daily. Couldn’t figure out how to work (sole supporter of my family) and take 4 enemas a day so I only did 2. Symptom free for a year then it returned used the rest of the prior meds, symptom free for year and then returned. What I wasn’t putting together was the fact that I became symptomatic only when I quit smoking for more than 2 weeks. Finally google UC and smoking and low and behold several of us are in the same boat. Became symptomatic again 10 days ago after I quit smoking for 2 weeks. After colonoscopy and new scripts for asacol, cortenema, rowas, and the suppositories that start with a C I just went ahead and restarted smoking and poof firm poos less urgency well on my way to remission. Say what you want about smoking but it looks like I will balance the risk of high does anti inflammatories and steroids against smoking. As I’m only 40 years old it is a mental battle. This is the first time I really don’t want to smoke mainly because I know I have to for remissions sake. Arggh but at least I know something that absolutely works.

    • R Kennedy March 25, 2017 at 3:23 am #

      Same here, two surgery’s large and small removed, taking cholestyramine twice a day to hold my shit together, I quit smoking and I was back in the Dr’s office Houston Tx You will like this Dr Butts told me nicotine quelled coitus He prescribed the patch, I got no relief I started back on the cigs and NO UC???

  5. Guilly December 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    I was diagnosed with Severe Ulcerative Colitis in 2008, when I started my second pregnancy. It was devastating to me and my family. I refused to take any meds because it could affect my daughter and ended up hospitalized with IV steroids and fluids. To make the situation worse, I was also diagnosed with placenta previa and was hospitalized for the rest of the pregnancy. Not only was I bleeding rectally, the equivalent of a glass of blood daily, but I was also bleeding vaginally if I stood up. Had IV iron. After I gave birth I went to Chicago and Dr. Hanauer gave me peace of mind. The disease that got me on disability and almost broke up my family and got me into deep depression, Dr. Hanauer gave me hope. He adjusted my meds and told me to eat everything. Obviously greasy and fatty foods should be avoided or reduced the amounts. I also started smoking 5 cigarettes a day no more and no less. Anything higher than 5 cigarettes will increase the toxicity levels in your body. My life has taken a turn for the better. I feel 100% better. Stress will give me flare ups. Good luck to everyone.
    I live in Miami, Fl.

  6. dominick August 23, 2013 at 4:58 am #

    i have ulcerative colitis im on prednisone lialda and just started humira can i start smoking i had this problem in the late 80s i found out that smoking would help and i startet smoking i stopped smoking about 8 months ago and guess what the problem is back but since im on all this meds can i start smoking

    • Adam
      Adam August 23, 2013 at 5:00 am #

      Hey Dominick, You should pose that question to your doctor the next time you see him/her. Are you seeing Dr. Hanauer in Chicago?

  7. lisa October 21, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    I have UC. and every time I quite smoking I have a very bad uc flare that lands me in the hospital for 10 days.

    I was a two pack a day smoker. I have thoroughly researched the pros and cons of smoking and not smoking with UC flares. I am at a crossroads. I would smoke if I could, but 3-5 cigs a day for this addict? I’d be back to 2 packs in days. I wish they could continue to research this preventative in pill form?

  8. Barry November 26, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

    Had just tapered off the dreaded prendisone and was taking enemas and Pentasa, Dr wanted me to go back on it, Not that it worked anyway, I wasn’t going back on it, would rather start a hard drug habit, It would have made me less crazy:-). Had a history of smoking but when I quit 3 years ago the symptoms crept up on me and within a year and a half it was bad. Still took another year to get diagnosed. I made the connection and started smoking two weeks ago. Since then no blood , no mucus. Every day I feel a little bit better. I took my two year old out on the weekend, I live in the tropic north of Australia and due to dehydration would rarely venture out. I feel like I am getting my life back and will take quality over quantity any day. Soon as they find a cure I will quit.

  9. Steve November 27, 2014 at 4:28 am #

    Barry – you mention ‘dreaded prednisone’ (prednisolone) – is the ‘dread’ related to bad side effects?

    I’ve had to go on pred loads of times as my remissions have been ver short recently. My only symptoms are mood swings (10% depressive / 90% ‘artificial happiness’) however I was very worried about the ‘poison’ side of this drug, that being bone wastage (osteoporosis). I had a dexa scan 3 weeks ago and was delighted to fid out that I’m in the 50% who don’t get effected. Of cartourse there are other risks with pred but irreversible bone damage is the big one.

    I stated smoking between 3 and 8 cigs per data few remissions back in an attempt to get back to the days of not suffering. So far the results are very subtle – and might be physiological. I’m going to continue smoking until I’ve covered a year- incase it’s something that needs to build up’.

    Here’s something to think about:
    The specialist I was referred to told me that more than half the people that are referred to him as new Colitis sufferers are those who had recently given up smoking,

    He mentioned this because I told him I was experimenting with smoking – to which he made no ‘health lecture’ and simply quoted what Ive said above. Almost a “I can’t recommend you do this because of my position but if I say nothing negative you’ll get the message”.

    And they still don’t know the exact reason for the predicament that smoking is “good” for some people

  10. Mike Robinson May 12, 2016 at 5:53 pm #

    Hi, am working my way through a 5 month flare. On 50mg pred, asacol and managing. I am getting less urgent bowel movement but a long way from good. Little progress, but generally coping. I have a colonoscopy next week so hopefully more more information, better diagnosis and better drugs.

    I am doing the usual diet stuff, SCD, probiotics, GI tract support supplements, but really looking for next as I am not seeing progress.

    Should I start smoking? Have have not smoked for 30 years. I am not worried about any of the smoking health risks.

    What have I got to loose? Funnily enough the oddest question is what do I ask for in a pack of cigarettes? Brand? Mild? Length? Funny!

    Thanks

    Mike

  11. Rosemary July 2, 2016 at 5:47 pm #

    Dr Hanauer is now at Northwestern Memorial Hospital downtown Chicago. He is head of the Gastroenterology Center.

    He has been my gastro doc for 12 years. He used a special protocol that I believe he devised involving an anti rejection drug – can’t recall the name. He saved me when i showed up at U of C Hospital (my husband was his patient) half bleeding to death. I was at another hospital and they wanted to do emergency surgery to remove my colon at 6 AM in the morning – it was that bad. I locked myself in the bathroom and called my husband – he was able to get hold of Dr. Hanauer who agreed to accept me as his patient.
    To transfer from one hospital to another is a HUGE deal and you have to have a doc agree to accept you on the receiving end.
    Bottom line – I took his special drug (began with a C…….) and I was home in 5 days. You can see he is a god to me. Also my husband.

  12. Rosemary July 2, 2016 at 5:57 pm #

    Here is the “C” drug that saved me. Only took it for about 10 days- powerful stuff.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciclosporin

  13. Paul Murphy February 18, 2017 at 8:24 am #

    It would seem that most of the smoking comments are very dated. Are there any more recent tests or studies that have been initiated or completed on smoking and colitas. I have been off the smokes for 7 years interesting enough I have suffered with mild colitas for 6. I don’t want to restart but after regimes if Pentasa, Remicade, Entyvio and now Humira and Imuran. All the while taking mezavant, and prednisone with varying degrees of poor success or none I am looking at going back to the smokes. Rather than 6 or 8 smokes a day would a quiete cigar in the evening provide the same results?
    It is a shame that the ridicule of smoking prevents more research into nicotine as a potential cure or at least help for UC. Some of the potential side effects of the drugs noted above are no more risky that having a smoking habit in my mind, for what that worth to anyone.

    Regards
    Paul

    • Thomas Bohm August 15, 2017 at 10:41 am #

      I think it is up to each individual to determine if it works. Since Dr. Hanauer told me to start smoking and he brought me into remission, I did not have a single flare up in over 7 years. I eat everything I want, go to the bathroom once a day and will never go back again. Yes, smoking has side effects, but drugs like 6-MP, Ciclosporin and theere like aren’t any better for you. I take my chances….good luck.

  14. Judy November 7, 2018 at 4:39 pm #

    Did I ever enjoy reading the above posts on smoking and UC. I was diagnosed with UC in May, 2018 at 55 years of age. It has been a life changer, and unfortunately not in a positive way. So, I agree with many, do not judge until you are in our position. If 3-5 cigs a day can keep the symptoms at bay, and not having to go on all that medication. I am on Remicade currently, and I am terrified of it.
    I am in the Chicago area, I will do some research on Dr. Hanauer.

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