Ulcerative colitis and smoking

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Hi, I have recently been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in May this year after a really bad flare up which I ended up being hospitalised for 8 days with. I have recently given up smoking to try for a baby, and within a few weeks of giving up smoking cold turkey , I started getting loose stools, at first i didnt do aything about it and used over the counter drugs to help control it. I left it for 6 weeks and it got progressively worse where i was going up to 20 times a day with blood and mucus and eneed up in hospital.

I am now slowly recovering and taking predisolone and Octasa, i have started using an E-Gigarette to releive stress mainly but have read that smokking real cigarettes can really help. With this information and the fact that i am still wanting to smoke, i am wondering if i should just give in to temptation and start smoking again, with hope that this will also help my UC get better?

I am 90% sure that me giving up smoking is what has bought my UC to develop. 

Does anyone have any advise? so confused about what to do?

We are still wanting to getting back to trying for a baby which is also a reason i should not start smoking again. 


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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Sorry you have been diagnosed with this horrible disease.

    i have recently started smoking after 15yrs and in a major flare of UC which has now moved to UC. 

    I have stopped goin as much to the toilet (30/40 times a day) now go in the morning for a while and maybe 9/10 throughout the day. I dont have a particular diet except stay off foods that give you wind and fatty greazy spicy foods. Along with coffee that's a nono.

    i'd say it doesn't help , well maybe mentally but if you trying for a baby its a no goer.

    stay on the meds and let them work and find what works for you. Im still trying to find the right ones.

    Mucus , runs, bloating , constipation and blood i still have so the cigs aren't the anwser but we are all individuals and our body reacts differently to someone else's .

     So stick at the meds and try and relax.

    Stay on this forum and get support from your partner.

    Remember you are not alone and i do hope you can get it sorted quickly and go into remmision.


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    • Posted

      Hi Rymbo,

      Thank you for your reply and your kind words. i do know in my head that you are right and that starting smoking again is not the answer but just a quick fix.

      And as you said , we are trying for a baby so smoking is a no go. Just feel so stressed and would really love a cigarette right now, so i guess i am trying to talk myself into thinking it would help my UC. 

      Im sorry to hear that you are currently going through a flare-up , i hope you get it under control with meds soon. 

      Keep your chin up and once again thank you for your message its nioce to know we are not alone in this. 

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  • Posted

    I wouldn't start smoking again Sharlotte especially if you're trying for a baby. I think its the nicotine that maybe helps with uc ,so perhaps the e-cig is the way to go. I am a smoker & currently flaring with colitis so its not helping me! but i have read nicotine can help, so its up to you hun, but it does sound like going cold turkey with the smoking may have triggered your current flare.... xx

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    • Posted

      Hi Looloo43,

      Thanks for your reply too, im sorry to hear you are currently having a flare-up. It is interesting to know tho that smokers are still having flares,as from what i read on some forums they made it sound like a cure almost!!

      Im sure it did start my current flare, but I am hopeful that i can get this under control with meds and hopefully go into remission soon. 

      Just need to battle against these cravings!!!

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  • Posted

    HI Sharlotte , i too gave up the ciggs and found i had UC , please dont start smoking again , the smoking only hides it , some people would wear a nicotine patch and say it helps, but if u start smoking again it will only lead to other illness and your UC will still be there . I went onto 8 steriods a day for about 1o days , i dont run too the toilet as much and the bleeding isnt to bad , you will get there without smoking the first flare-up is the worst ive been told. chin up 

    Carole x

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    • Posted

      Hi Carole,

      Thank you for your message, I have heard that the first flare can often be the worst and i really hope it is as this has been horendous and a horrible 3 months !!

      I know that smoking isnt the miracle cure, but i think i was trying to talk myself into it as i am still craving a cigarette.

      I know i need to be strong  and not go back to it. I keep thinking of trying for a baby which also is not easy for us and we are awaiting IVF treament so i need to give myself the best possible chance and be as heathy as i can be for IVF.

      I just need to do it without the cigarettes.

      Really thank you for your help to all , as i was slowly starting to talk myself into it, and now have had a complete turnaround !! 

      This is the first forum i have joined since being diagnosed with UC and its nice not to feel alone.

      Thank you x

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    • Posted

      HI again Sharlotte,

      You are never alone remember that, we are all going thru the same thing.

      Its been 3 months now since ive stopped smoking , it is very hard i know try the patches they kept me off the ciggs.

      i hope you are successful with your IVF treatment and your UC treatment , take care 


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  • Posted

    Hi Sharlotte,

    Similar happened to me. I gave up smoking in April 2014 and in June 2014 I was hopitalised with camplyabactor (food poisoning).

    Since this I have had many test and diagnosed with UC. Then a histology report suggested i might not have UC.

    I'm currently in flare and have been for about 2 months. I'm on steroids and pentasa. I've been taking pentasa since I left hospital.

    They now presume I have UC but awaiting further tests.

    I've never been asked if I ever smoked and although I read it can be a factor I would think the hospital would have discussed it with me had it been a major factor.

    There is no chance I would start smoking again as I don't think it will help long term if you start smoking again.

    Your better off without them. Stick to e-cig like me. x

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply Carrie ,

      Sounds like you went through a terrible time too. I have really had a massive change of heart after all your replies and I am going to try my best not to go back to smoking.

      I think I knew deep down its admit the answer.

      Just trying anything to make this better.

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  • Posted

    Ex Smokers are at a higher risk of developing UC. No one really knows why, there's a theory that smoking somehow effects the lining of the colon and stopping causes a reaction.

    I'm an ex smoker and developed UC three years after quitting. Unfortunately nicotine patches have very little succes according to studies and it's thought that it's a combination of different chemicals in ciggarettes that help with UC.

    From my experience yes smoking calms UC for those who used to smoke, I started smoking two a day after a large flare put me in hospital and it worked faster than any medicine I've taken, I could literally feel my stomach shrinking as the swelling went down.

    However I don't want to smoke, smoking itself even makes me feels nauseous so it wasn't sonething I wanted to do long term. I only smoked for a few weeks and now I use Paelo diet which helps, it isn't as good as smoking but I manage to live a normal life.

    So TL:DR - Yes smoking helps keep UC at bay for those who developed it after quitting but it comes with lots of health risks itself so it's personal choice only you can make.

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    • Posted

      Hi Tony,

      Thanks for your reply , I have heard that it is all the other chemicals in a real cigarette that help, rather than just the nicotine. But to be honest I think as we are trying for a baby aswell it's best for me to have neither.

      I think if we weren't I may have given in by now. But because of this I am trying my hardest and using the most will power to not start again.

      What is the Paeol diet? Going to do some research now.

      This is another thing I have found very confusing about UC.

      So many people telling it's not diet controlled and then so many people telling me it is?????

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  • Posted

    I believe you I just recently gave up smoking and I'm seeing signs of a flare and it's scaring me to death because they get so bad for me and I hurt all over and can't move.but going through the change smoking was making my heart really race and had to quit

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