Sunday, May 8, 2011

Nicotine gum - a possible lead to remission?

So I used to be a smoker way back in 2000 and quit to start trying for a baby. Quitting was relatively easy for me as I fell pregnant very quickly, so restarting smoking was not an option.

I wasn't what you'd call a heavy smoker, but would have between 5 - 10, 1mg cigarettes a day with 10 being a night on the town fuelled with beer and champagne. (Oh for those days pre kids and a mortgage...oops I digress)

All up I'd say it really took me about 7 years to really get over the addition. Often when people smoked I'd want one, but I never allowed myself to give me, so me starting nicorette gum to try to get my UC into remission comes as a bit of a surprise and was not a decision I took lightly.

I actually read a couple of articles last year about the possible benefits of nicotine and Ulcerative Colitis, but the thought of restarting smoking was not something I was willing to consider.

The nicotine thing sat in the back burner of my mind until this week, when after a "little accident" on my first week back to work, the sudden idea of giving nicorette gum a go came to me.

So on Friday 6th May, I started my trial with just 1 piece of 4mg gum. From then, my daily dosage will then be 2 x 4mg nicotine gum (once about 1 hr after breakfast and once in the afternoon) for the next 3 weeks. After that I'm not sure. I do intend to reduce the mg as I do release this can not be used for ongoing maintenance without varies other side affects kicking in.

The scary thing is that this might actually work. In just over 2 days I have seen a change, but be warned I have seen changes before with other things I have tried, only to see them fail within a week. This one I am a bit more confident about, but we'll see....I'm for ever the optimistic pessimist.

I'm not advocating anyone use nicorette gum to see if they can get their UC under control, I just want to share what I am doing. It may or may not help me in the longer time to gain remission, but I have to give it a go just in case. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, please read the health warning below as you need to be aware of possible side effects if you do decide to try it.

If anyone has tried this approach whether successful or not, please let me know.

P.S. Just rejoined the workforce this week after a 2 year that was a hard week. Oh to win the lottery!

How do I use NICORETTE® Gum?

As per -

NICORETTE® Gum is not an ordinary gum so you should not chew it constantly. To make sure you get the most from your NICORETTE® Gum, use the NICORETTE®chewing technique.

1. Chew gum slowly until taste becomes strong 2. Rest gum between gum and cheek 3. Chew gum again when taste fades

Health effects of nicotine

As per Wiki -

Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor; it constricts arteries, making it harder for the heart to pump blood through the body. Repeated nicotine exposure contributes to accelerated coronary artery disease, acute cardiac ischemic events, andhypertension Additionally, studies have shown that nicotine exposure contributes to stroke, peptic ulcer disease, and oesophageal reflux. Further, nicotine may cause wounds to heal more slowly and may be associated with reproductive toxicity. Moreover, nicotine can cause the body to release its stores of fat and cholesterol into the blood.

Nicotine replacement therapies, such as nicotine gum, that were used for long periods of time may be associated with an increased risk of contracting oral cancer among people who have a specific gene mutation in their mouth, according to a study done at University of London.

Muscle control

Two unpleasant symptoms which affect some new users, and existing users who make excessive use of nicotine gum, are hiccups and a perceived constriction of the throat muscles, as accidental swallowing of saliva containing high amounts of nicotine may cause irritation.

Gum disease

Prolonged nicotine chewing gum use may also cause gum disease. Nicotine constricts blood vessels, including those of the gums, which has led to speculation that long-term use of nicotine gum may contribute to risk for gum disease. However, one clinical study has found no connection between 15 weeks of nicotine gum use and oral health.