Friday, October 23, 2009

Chewing gum and smoking

I used to love chewing gum before I got Ulcerative Colitis. I used to chew loads at work, just to stop me going to the snack machine and getting god knows how much chocolate or crisps out each day.

Six months before I first got UC, I used to just chew all day long. Thinking back, I wonder if this is what caused my UC to start. I recently read that stated that chewing gum can cause irritation to the stomach and intestinal walls which can can cause ulcers. Who knows..maybe gum was my trigger!

.... and finally to smoking ... Did any of you used to smoke and gave it up? Did you ever wonder if this may of have contributed to your UC? I gave up 9 years ago, just before we started trying for a baby. I don't regret giving up for one moment...just thinking about the cash I save now alone was worth it...but I do have to wonder that if I still smoked, would I have UC now?

So while doing a quick goggle search today on UC and chewing gum, I came across the following link...interesting reading, but I'm not sure if I want to put nicotine via nicotine gum into my system. Take a read...

I can't help but think that cigarettes and gum where my down fall. So why am I writing about this now...well I started chewing gum again...and a got a pain in my gut after about 15 I think it's time to stop again.


  1. I wouldn't stress about the cigarettes causing your UC or being your down fall. While cigarettes seem to be cause/aggravate a lot of illnesses the statistics shows that smokers are LESS likely to get UC and smokers with UC do better than non-smokers. (Although that doesn't say anything about causation, it could just be that people who are less inclined to smoke also have lifestyles or genetics that are more prone to causing UC.) In fact the article you posted was looking at the fact that symptoms improve with smoking and worsen with removal of a nicotine source. Of course, I wouldn't say that's a reason to start smoking in any sense... So many variables, it boggles my mind. Interesting about the gum though. I used to chew gum a lot myself and gave it up after I started developing some TMJ issues.

  2. I have used UC as an excuse to maintain a (maximum of) 1 cig a day smoking habit. No idea if it helps... but it's good to have a hobby.

  3. I was first diagnosed with Proctitis months after I quit smoking while I was pregnant. Two years later I was smoking again. I managed my illness fairly well until I quit smoking again. Two months later I had the worst flare I had ever had. I think that was my first UC flair. I saw my gp who gave me stronger meds. It was another 1.5 years before I had another flare and this one involved my entire colon and resulted in the new diagnosis of UC.

    I am sure that there is a connection between nicotine and UC. Nicotine seems to have a protective effect in this situation.

    If I had continued to smoke I might not have become so sick. That is not reason to keep smoking though. I want to keep my lungs and my colon.

  4. I actually think that chewing gum was my downfall. I just wonder though about the cigarettes...but I'm not starting them up again. I'd only have to stop them again at some stage and although it was relatively easy to give them up, I did have cravings for nearly 7 years. I'm going to mention the chewing gum theory to my doctor next time and see what she says.

  5. Gum chewing!? Wow... I never ever even considered that being a trigger.

  6. One of my friends w/UC has an internist that has put her on the nicotine patch. The nicotine apparently helps w/colitis. She has done really well since being on it. I asked my doc about it, and he said yes, they think that it helps, but then you are dealing w/being addicted to nicotine. hmmmmm there are bad enough days I consider it though. I also read that the MMR vaccine may have something to do with GI issues. I got my shot at the beginning of senior year, and was diagnosed w/UC by the end. Lots of theories, just wish it was all more clear. Let us know what your doc says about the chewing gum!

  7. Got to wait until Feb to see my Doc in Oz. Can't wait to get back home..even if it's only for 2 weeks. Normally the thougth of flying sets me into a flare up a week before, so I'm hoping that this time I can control my stress and have this damn current flare-up under control.