I thought it was the best survey I have taken to date... we will get some good data from that one!
Since when I quit nicotine an undiagnosed Ulcerative Colitis flare I was working on got bad enough to send me to the ER I thought it focused too much on lungs and heart (of course it would given who it's from) and not all the possibilities.
Because I went down to 5mg and 0mg then up to 18mg after starting at 11mg I have a feeling I threw the results out of whack as far as successful quits with ecigs go. There really wasn't anywhere to explain that I went up to more nicotine than I started with because zero nicotine was giving me health problems and not because I was having nicotine cravings (but I tried where it allowed additional comments).
Well that is interesting! So when you went back up, your issues seemed to abate? Could it have been a function of time (healing time) as well?
Myk's experience is actually rather common among those with ulcerative colitis (UC). It's been recognized for many years that smoking has a protective effect in UC, delaying its development and improving its symptoms, and that quitting smoking often results in a more severe disease course than in those who had never smoked. Some gastroenterologists prescribe nicotine patches for UC patients and there is even a published study (see below) in which it was recommended to UC patients who weren't responding to usual treatment that they resume smoking.
Note, though, that the opposite is true about Crohn's disease, that is, smoking worsens symptoms and disease progress in CD.
J Crohns Colitis. 2012 Aug;6(7):756-62.
Low-dose smoking resumption in ex-smokers with refractory ulcerative colitis.
Calabrese E, Yanai H, Shuster D, Rubin DT, Hanauer SB.
Section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
Abstract at Pubmed
BACKGROUND AND AIM: Ulcerative colitis (UC) is primarily a disease of non-smokers. Ex-smokers may have a more refractory disease course and anecdotal evidence in non-controlled clinical trials have suggested that smoking resumption, or the administration of nicotine, may ameliorate signs and symptoms of UC in ex-smokers. We report outcomes of ex-smokers with refractory UC who resumed low-dose cigarette smoking. METHODS: 17 ex-smokers with refractory UC were identified. Clinical remission was defined as a disease activity index score of 0. RESULTS: Two out of 17 patients refused the recommendation to resume smoking. Of the 15 patients who resumed smoking, the mean daily number of cigarettes was 8.6. Fourteen out of those 15 patients who resumed smoking were able to maintain prolonged clinical remission off steroids. One out of the 15 patients failed to improve and required oral steroids. Another patient was compelled to quit smoking since he became addicted. His disease flared after maintaining a prolonged remission of 3 years and he eventually underwent surgery. Three out of these 15 patients switched from cigarettes smoking to nicotine compounds and continued to maintain remission. CONCLUSION: Resumption of low dose smoking in a selected group of ex-smokers with refractory UC may ameliorate signs and symptoms. Quality of life, medication side effects, and smoking risk factors should all be considered and discussed with patients. Smokers should be meticulously followed for compliance with "low-dose" regimen and all associated smoking risks.
I'm on expensive pills for rest of my life too.
I wouldn't say the lack of nicotine caused the flare, I was working on it for months before I went back to ecigs (I think fear was part of the driving force). But lack of nicotine sure made it worse as I cut down. It stayed bad the whole summer while I stayed at 5mg/0mg waiting for tests and diagnoses, which I'm sure was also helped along by stress.
Since I'm on meds I can't credit nicotine with keeping things in unofficial remission, but since the lack of nicotine is known to make UC worse, and did with me, and I have no heart issues nicotine would be bad for, I'm keeping nicotine in the mix.
If they changed me back to a Crohn's diagnosis I'd have no problem removing nicotine again.