I was first diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2007 & this was later changed to a diagnosis of Crohn's in more recent times. I am also now going through the process of diagnosis of what is believed to be GPA\Wegeners. I also have 2 discs that are degenerating so we have 3 chronic diseases
I am very interested in the people who have smoked and who quit. The medical profession has known, for quite some time, that cessation of smoking the cold turkey way, can trigger the immune system into starting a god few diseases and they now do not recommend to stop smoking this way. I have heard many stories, from those who quit this way, I have noticed that 2 of my close friends suffered from polymyalgia rheumatica & it made me wonder if this was just too much to be a coincidence ?
I used to smoke, around 10 a day as the norm but this could easily be doubled when I went to a pub or club. I smoked for around 15 years and then I would smoke socially or basically this meant that I never bought my own lol. I then quit, I have always had that hard side to me where I am able to quickly adjust to not doing something that has become an habit. I never ever thought about the correlation with smoking and then being very ill with the inflammatory bowel disease, when I quit. It wasn't very long after I quit that I started to get the many symptoms of IBD but I never thought there could be any link in between the two.
My IBD specialist had told me that they definitely do see a correlation between smokers and non smokers and it is a question that they ask on their leaflets, when you first attend a clinic. My specialist had told me that they knew that nicotine does help with the bowel, that nicotine smoothes the lining of the bowel and that people who had quit smoking were more susceptible to IBD. He went as far as to tell me that they knew that nicotine helped but that they could not be seen to encourage smoking for very understandable reason. I have been asking the many people that I see in the clinics, if they ever smoked and how they felt their disease was, after they quit. I have been pretty shocked at just how many develop the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease and when they quit the cold turkey method. I felt it would be remiss of me if I did not share this with you.
I have never returned to smoking as that would be extremely silly and especially as we are on some dangerous immunosuppressive drugs BUT I did try patches and gum, both never helped as I was never able to get the dosage right and the gum made me habe uncontrollable hiccups
I now use a vape device. I can honestly say that I have had nearly all of the gastrointestinal stuff go away. I do still get some flare but it is at a minimum and I certainly am now not feeling the urge to run to the nearest loo. The specialists know I use this device and I was even allowed to continue with this when I was hospitalised in June 2015. When I have had times where I accidently leave my vape device at home, I find I start to get the gurgling and feelings of needing the loo but, thankfully, I don't pass blood or mucus.
I am writing this more to ask about people who used to smoke and then have given up and to ask if anyone else has had disease diagnosed after this. I have now found out that the gastrointestinal specialist have actively triallled nicotine patches but, for those who have never smoked, they felt queasy and their heart felt like it was racing & so it is not for everyone. I still have the symptoms of vasculitis but find that the IBD has been relatively well controlled. Of course, we could deduce that the disease is being controlled by the steroids and immunosuppressive drugs but I really do believe that I benefit from using the vape device.
If anyone else has had any experiences lime mine then I would like to hear it. Thanks in advance