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12-01-2013, 11:34 AM   #1
kpike78
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
UC and smoking

Hi all,

My husband was diagnosed with UC 20 years ago. A few years back he had a nasty flareup and nothing was helping. Finally he picked up smoking. It was a rough patch for us, because I HATE smoking. But the cigarettes completely took away the flareup, and eventually I accepted it. Afterall I was so happy to see him healthy again. His last colonoscopy came back completely clean.

A few months ago he started using electronic cigarettes. We are so happy with them - no smell, no carcinogens, no tobacco fingers. Things seemed to be going well.... but sadly another really bad flareup has started and it is getting pretty unbearable for him. He has made a number of other changes as well that are causing major stress, so its hard to say if switching to the e cigarettes is the driving factor.

Has anyone else had experience with electronic cigarettes and UC?
12-01-2013, 01:28 PM   #2
grt73
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Hi kpike,
Strangely I have some suspicions regarding smoking and uc and Crohn's, I am a long term sufferer with Crohn's yet only got diagnosed a year ago. I smoked on and off for the last 15 years. I gave up 3 months before my worst Crohn's experience happened. I almost swear smoking helps in certain ways although it makes no sense and your doc will tell you your mad. in the time inbetween me giving up and me being realty ill I used electronic doggies and have to say I think they contributed to my illness. To the point now if I see one it makes me feel rough! There is so much unknown with uc and Crohn's, what works with one may not with another. The same applies to drinking I think. I would live to say crack on and start smoking again but which is the worse of the two evils? Either way good luck
12-01-2013, 04:42 PM   #3
kpike78
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
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Thanks grt73 - I have no doubt the cigarettes work, despite what the doctors try to tell us! As for the electronic ones, we hope they just have a lower dose of nicotine than regular ones. It would be a shame to find out it is one of the other substances that helps the colitis, and not the nicotine.

And you're right - there is still so much we don't know.
12-04-2013, 09:13 PM   #4
FullM3lt
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Carbon monoxide has a bad reputation, but it has anti-inflammatory properties, especially in the colon.

Here's a quick article on the subject

Carbon Monoxide: Poison Gas or Anti-Inflammatory Drug?
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12-07-2013, 08:07 AM   #5
barelyalive
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So stopped smoking at the end of September. Been on the patch since. Added vaping e-cigs to help - esp as a poop trigger. I began extreme flare about a month ago, constant urgency, pain in rectum, bleeding and mucus, going 10-20 times per day, stopped going to the gym. Thursday, at my breaking point, I bought a pack of American Spirits (Marlboro Light is my cig, but I have a strange feeling they are exceptionally addictive). Had four cigarettes Thursday. Three Friday morning and presto - after 3 BMs I miraculously felt the beautiful sensation of emptiness. Pain in rectum subsided as did constant urgency...I even went to the GYM!!! Coincidence??? Is there anything else that can give this type of relief? If my wife and daughter find out - they are going to crucify me!
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12-07-2013, 09:31 AM   #6
Kev
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Here is my 2 cents worth. At one point, the only way I could get my bleeding under control (I was losing approx. 1 litre every 2 - 3 days).. I had been hospitalized again due to blood loss and pain... while in there, some old timers told me that... if I started to smoke, it would stop (I have/had both Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis.. not typical case) the bleeding. I didn't believe it.. so I started approaching doctors, asking them, to see if there was any truth to it. I mean, I didn't smoke, and to take the word of some older patients over something like this, that would be crazy. And, I'm not that crazy. Close, but not quite. Finally, some doctors reluctantly... very reluctantly.. admitted that years ago... if someone presented with UC, the standard treatment was to tell them to smoke 6 - 8 cigarettes a day. Problem solved. Upon hearing that from a couple of 'real' doctors, I donned my best johnny shirt, grabbed some cash , left the hospital, crossed a busy street to a local store, bought a package... opened a lit up. That first hit almost knocked me down. But, I got through it.. and periodically smoked several more that day and the next morning. Within 24 hours of starting, my bleeding stopped. And my pain levels plummeted. Didn't make all of the pain go away, but it was like the difference between night and day. And this was the first time my bleeding had stopped in almost 3 months.
In that time frame, with the bleeding, the pain, the constant bouts of diarrhea, I lost 77 pounds. I looked like a walking, talking skeleton. I have a photo of me from then. It still scares me... as in involuntary shivers... if I dig it out and look at it. Which I try not to do.

Smoking helps immensely. I don't know the mechanics of it. Then I found LDN, and all of my troubles seemed to go away. After being on it for a year, I tried quitting smoking. Why? Well, although effective, it is a killer. I quit cold turkey, went on NRT therapy ,and within 3 days I started bleeding... mildly, but enough that I got scared, and lit up again.

A couple of months back, I tried quitting again. (Why? Tobacco kills) But this time I tried a different approach. I started a very slow taper... gradually reducing until I was down to just 6 cigarettes a day... then I switched to NRT patches again... and gradually tapered off of them... I've been off all tobacco/nicotine products for over 2 months now, and I'm rock solid.

The way I see it... if tobacco lets you keep your colon, that is your call, and you shouldn't have to defend your choices in coping/dealing with this disease in any way that you can.
Except maybe to yourself. It's a tough call to make. Keep your colon, but maybe get cancer... Thing is... if you look at some of the side effects of your 'traditional' meds, it maybe becomes a moot point.
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12-07-2013, 02:09 PM   #7
2thFairy
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I would have been able to keep my colon if I had continued smoking, but after seeing my Dad suffer with emphysema and my husband nearly die with status asthmaticus, I just didn't want to smoke cigarettes anymore. I quit cigarettes and yet another uncontrolled flare. Out came the colon and all is well with my world.

HOWEVER, this must be a personal choice and one that only you can make. Cigarette smoking definitely can benefit those with UC, but it is yet another risk to your health and those around you. I will never try to convince someone to start smoking or to stop smoking in connection with UC.

To smoke or not to smoke... it sucks no matter which way you look at it!
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12-07-2013, 10:09 PM   #8
kpike78
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
Thank you SO much for sharing your stories! At this point my husband is trying to ride it out - he hates the thought of smoking again. It's such a bummer that the vaping doesn't seem to work, we thought we had found a miracle cure. Interesting about carbon monoxide... maybe its the chemical cocktail that really does the trick.
12-08-2013, 01:15 AM   #9
Boltmannz
 
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Hi my 2 Pacific Pesos worth. I smoked for over 40 years. Within 3 months of giving it up I showed major signs of crohns. I firmly believe it is related to nerves and think lowering stress levels is the key to remission. I have now been smoke free for 6+years. In May I started taking magnesium daily and I have improved beyond recognition. My specialist asked me when did I notice the symptoms first I answered 3months after I stopped smoking he just laughed and poo pooed the idea.

Best of luck.
12-08-2013, 09:28 PM   #10
barelyalive
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Hi my 2 Pacific Pesos worth. I smoked for over 40 years. Within 3 months of giving it up I showed major signs of crohns. I firmly believe it is related to nerves and think lowering stress levels is the key to remission. I have now been smoke free for 6+years. In May I started taking magnesium daily and I have improved beyond recognition. My specialist asked me when did I notice the symptoms first I answered 3months after I stopped smoking he just laughed and poo pooed the idea.

Best of luck.
Well I went out and bought a bottle of magnesium today. Hope it works for me. I had two cigarettes this morning - I had four painful bm's - but was then done for the day - I went the next 5 hours without a cigarette or bm, but then out of nowhere felt some urgency and let out about a tablespoon of blood. Had a cigarette after that, ate some mango and pineapple and bloated up like a whale.
01-12-2014, 05:49 AM   #11
Knerve
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: newyork, Washington
A few months ago he started using electronic cigarettes. We are so happy with them - no smell, no carcinogens, no tobacco fingers. Things seemed to be going well.... but sadly another really bad flareup has started and it is getting pretty unbearable for him. He has made a number of other changes as well that are causing major stress, so its hard to say if switching to the e cigarettes is the driving factor.

Has anyone else had experience with electronic cigarettes and UC?
i also start this electronic cigarette. so i am trying to make a habit with this device. because i wanna far away from real cigarette which may harm my whole life.
01-12-2014, 06:27 AM   #12
Samboi
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I have to admit - since I kicked the habit 5 years ago - my CD has been the worst it's ever been.
My previous GI did not mind me smoking.
I could never go back to it though.
It took me ten years to finally free myself of that addiction.
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01-12-2014, 09:33 AM   #13
Donjh
 
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pretty interesting subject and thanks for sharing your stories
01-15-2014, 08:17 PM   #14
kpike78
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
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If you are planning to try electronic cigarettes, be sure to get ones that actually have nicotine in them! The cheap ones at the gas stations do not contain nicotine and will leave you frustrated. My husband buys them online.

And as an update, his UC has gone from a full blown attack to "up and down". He is drinking aloe gel by the buckets which is likely what is helping him. Knock on wood he has not gone back to regular cigarettes - he may actually hate them as much as I do.
02-01-2014, 12:15 AM   #15
FrancisK7
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Cannabis will provide instantaneous relief when inhaled and treat the disease over long term if ingested as part of a daily regimen. It has its downsides (the high, mainly, is the biggest problem to deal with because unlike recreational users, it's an unwanted side effect) but there are ways around them.

Like FullM3lt said it's the carbon monoxide that is a byproduct of combustion that helps fight the inflammation with cigarette. I thought it was the nicotine too but upon further research it turns out it is not. Patches will do nothing apparently.
02-01-2014, 04:29 PM   #16
grt73
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This is such an interesting thread, I have always known deep down that smoking a ciggie or having a joint whilst flaring always seemed to help calm it down. Seems crazy when there are so many other downsides to smoking.
Never realised the carbon monoxide helps inflammation. I stopped smoking as I said in a previous reply but do work in London and spend a lot of time sitting in traffic, from now the window is gonna be open and I'm gonna be breathing in the not so fresh air
I am gonna ask my consultant if there is a cannabis drug that doesn't make me wasted as I truly believe it has benefits.
Does anyone already take such a thing? It increases appetite, helps inflammation, helps natural sleep and the list goes on. Are we mental substituting it for something like azathioprine?
02-08-2014, 01:43 PM   #17
vonfunk
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There are two theories regarding cigarettes and UC. The first being the nicotine, the other one regards hydrogen cyanide. The theory behind that one is that UC patients tend to have a higher incidence of excessive hydrogen sulfide present in the bowels, which contributes to the irritation, causing or prolonging flare-ups. The hydrogen cyanide present in cigarettes mixes with the hydrogen sulfide in the large intestine creating a different non-toxic and relatively harmless chemical.
This explains why nicotine replacement therapies (e-cigarette,the patch etc) and vaporisation do not have the same effect. Unfortunately because smoking kills and hydrogen cyanide is poison, studying such things would lend credence and possibly encourage the use of something that does cause cancer. However most doctors will state that it is not studied as the smoking/cancer situation will knowingly cause harm to a patient during the study, as such goes against the Hippocratic oath.
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02-26-2014, 01:08 AM   #18
goldwingman
 
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Hi all,

My husband was diagnosed with UC 20 years ago. A few years back he had a nasty flareup and nothing was helping. Finally he picked up smoking. It was a rough patch for us, because I HATE smoking. But the cigarettes completely took away the flareup, and eventually I accepted it. Afterall I was so happy to see him healthy again. His last colonoscopy came back completely clean.

A few months ago he started using electronic cigarettes. We are so happy with them - no smell, no carcinogens, no tobacco fingers. Things seemed to be going well.... but sadly another really bad flareup has started and it is getting pretty unbearable for him. He has made a number of other changes as well that are causing major stress, so its hard to say if switching to the e cigarettes is the driving factor.

Has anyone else had experience with electronic cigarettes and UC?
I Was a Smoker for 45 Years i tried to stop but could Not ,I Had to have my Gall Bladder Out open cut they had me on a Morphine pump with a Ketamine infushion and the Ketamine reset my Brain Receptor,s and am Now 3 Years Smoke Free ,Plus the money pays for my mob phone and still have money left over ask your GP for Help STOP NOW .
03-10-2014, 04:28 PM   #19
DaveR
 
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I'm having a flare up now and am trying smoking to see if it kicks the UC back into remission. I smoked for 25 years, quit and was diagnosed with Mild Indeterminite Colitis 5 months later. We'll see what happens...
03-13-2014, 06:39 AM   #20
barelyalive
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There are two theories regarding cigarettes and UC. The first being the nicotine, the other one regards hydrogen cyanide. The theory behind that one is that UC patients tend to have a higher incidence of excessive hydrogen sulfide present in the bowels, which contributes to the irritation, causing or prolonging flare-ups. The hydrogen cyanide present in cigarettes mixes with the hydrogen sulfide in the large intestine creating a different non-toxic and relatively harmless chemical.
This explains why nicotine replacement therapies (e-cigarette,the patch etc) and vaporisation do not have the same effect. Unfortunately because smoking kills and hydrogen cyanide is poison, studying such things would lend credence and possibly encourage the use of something that does cause cancer. However most doctors will state that it is not studied as the smoking/cancer situation will knowingly cause harm to a patient during the study, as such goes against the Hippocratic oath.

I also consider this thought, the side effects of Humira and Remicade are probably just as undesirable as those of smoking, so I'd rather smoke and not completely shut down my immune system and get cancer anyway - as Humira has proven to cause.
03-13-2014, 09:12 AM   #21
FrancisK7
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That sounds more like rationalizing than justification to be honest with you. Humira is not cancerous, it just diminishes the ability of your body to fight one off.

Smoking is so damaging that if you need to find a reason for smoking it should be because you feel like it, but telling yourself the side effects of biologicals are similar to smoking is lying to yourself.

You might as well start a cannabinoid therapy and drop both the cigarettes AND biologicals, which is a win-win situation, and with actual fewer side effects and risks.
03-14-2014, 06:13 AM   #22
barelyalive
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That sounds more like rationalizing than justification to be honest with you. Humira is not cancerous, it just diminishes the ability of your body to fight one off.

Smoking is so damaging that if you need to find a reason for smoking it should be because you feel like it, but telling yourself the side effects of biologicals are similar to smoking is lying to yourself.

You might as well start a cannabinoid therapy and drop both the cigarettes AND biologicals, which is a win-win situation, and with actual fewer side effects and risks.
I am going to a new GI in two weeks who is actually in our states MM program/so hopefully I will be able to try cannabinoid therapy - however should I be afforded the opportunity - I was thinking of vaping it rather than smoking it or eating it - may I ask what is in your opinion the best method...
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