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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone.I would really like to hear opinions regarding whether or not I should just throw in the IBS towel and start smoking again.I am 98% certain that if I start smoking again, the monster that now lives inside me will be tamed again and I'll be able to have my life back.Story short form: My bowels had always been "Flaky", but once I was done in the morning I never, ever had to think or worry about them again for the rest of the day. I could eat pretty much what I wanted, when I wanted to. (Some lactose intolerance, some flatulence nothing too exciting or hard to deal with. Totally managable.) Then--one year ago today--I quit smoking and everything in my life changed.Within two weeks of quitting I had my first D attack in a public place and it's been downhill from there...you all know the drill. I now pretty much have no life left. I've tried pretty much everything one can try; I've had the full range of tests and scopings, two GIs and my GP all trying to say it was a coincidence that it all went haywire when I quit. It's officially IBS. Nothing has really helped, and I'm so terrified about what my bowels are going to do next I have no brain space for anything else. I'm exhausted and just ground down and hopeless. You know what I'm talking about.But everyone said: "give it a year." It's now been a year.So here's what I want to ask y'all: if you knew there was something you could do to make your IBS basically go away, but would kill you in many other ways, would you do it? Would you take the risk?I smoked for 16 years. I am currently long past the point of thinking smoking is attractive or seems inticing--as a matter of fact it's pretty gross: I just want my bowels under control again and my life back.Thoughts?Thanks for listening,Andrew
 

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hi!i dont know how similar my story is to yours but i too quit smoking end of last year and up till then also had morn and night 'spurts' but besides that could also eaat whatever i wanted, since i quit my stomach has gone crazy! and now im having a hard time getting back to uni as i feel sick much of the day and am worried ill have an episode if i go out! so maybe there is a connection- would be interesting to look into.i also dont want to start smoking again- i smoked for 10 yrs. hope im not damned if i do and damned if i dont...let me know if you hear of anything...
 

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I had IBS befor I quit smoking and I've been smoke free for 18 months. Nothing changed. Be patient. Try other things. Do research. There are meds, both OTC and script, there are supplements, vitamins, herbs, teas, foods, etc. In time you'll find something that works for you. Good luck and PLEASE don't go back to smoking!!
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm really surprised by the lack of response to my post, given the level of suffering I see in this community. sadnscared, I feel your pain...which is why I'm contemplating smoking again. If I were you I would just start again and quit after you graduated uni and see what happens then.Lizzy, thanks for your kind words but I'm afraid you've missed the point: I've done the meds, the fiber, the snake oil, the supplements, herbs, etc, etc. Any improvements are minimal and short-lived. Quitting smoking didn't change IBS for you, but it did for me, with a vengance. I no longer have a quality of life I especially wish to prolong; I really doesn't matter all that much to me how long I live in this state. If I die at 90 having seen mostly the inside of a bathroom and never beng free of the terror and anxiety, would it really be much of a victory over lung cancer? As a smoker dying at 60 I could have, say traveled--or even just gone to the grocery store--without the terror of the monster.So I ask you all again: if you knew smoking would end your IBS misery and let you have your life back would you do it? Or has smoking become so demonized that it can't even be part of the discussion anymore?Thanks for listening,Andrew
 

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You can't be sure that it will "cure" your IBS again. That's what I would say first. Second, ever heard of a "placebo response". Say you did start smoking, and you went into it (like you seem to already be) thinking it was your answer. Well the percentages that you'll actually feel better are much higher since your mind is believing it will be your answer. Mind-gut connection is VERY strong. The smoking might not have ANYTHING to do with your IBS improving; in fact it might be doing you a complete disservice, but in your mind you believe that's why you're doing better. You keep doing it until you're hooked up to an oxygen tank, and your life seems much harder than it initially was.Basically what I'm saying is, NO, I would not smoke cigs if I was you.Marijuana smoke is a little different because there have been some studies that have shown it to be beneficial; but this isn't what you're speaking of, you're talking about nicotine sticks.
 

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HI, I smoked for 25 years. Pack and a half a day. I quit 16 months ago. I was told also a few years ago that if I quit my IBS should get better. I did not beleive him cuase seems whatever you have is becuase I smoked. Bunch of ####. Anyway, I did not see ANY change in my IBS at all. NOw mine gets worse in the summer. It is bad all the time, so maybe just seems worse cause I would like to do more.I think maybe yours was giong to get worse no mater what. SMoking or not. IBS has allot of different ways to attack and most days are the same, yet some are worse and some are better.I think since you have concourded it and quit that maybe you should stay smoke free. It is suposed to be better for us ,but who knows. I still want one most of the time, but I know how darn hard it was to quit and I never want to go through that again.Good Luck in which ever way you chooseKat
 

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There is no sure thing that the two are related at all, so you could set yourself up for being not able to quit again for something that is in no way anything close to a sure bet. (My Dad quit for years and then started up again with cigars and he never was able to quit again even through several rounds of lung cancer that eventually killed him).There are lots of ways to control diarrhea, what have you tried?Typically, if anything, smoking tends to speed up the GI tract. Constipated people will use smoking to get things moving, and it can make diarrhea worse for some people.So I have low hopes it would be the one thing that would "cure" your IBS.K.
 

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Agree 100% with Kathleen.You don't "know" that this is what will/is help/helping your IBS.It might just be coincidence, or your brain making yourself believe it's helping. Kathleen had mentioned that even Drs are more prone to believe they have certain things they read about and treat... Oh, the power of the mind.Also, weren't psychiatrists up there on the list of the highest # of people who committed suicide? I'm almost positive they were one year, if not most of the time. Why? Because they sit there and listen to people talking about how depressed they are, how anxious they are, etc etc. and it becomes too much.Obviously this doesn't happen to everyone, but it's just an example.Please don't smoke! You've kicked the bad habit! Cigs just kill you slowly! Your body can recover from smoking if you quit soon enough. Yours probably has; don't ruin that, please!
 

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I know how you feel I smoked for over 10 years and I still think that if I could have a ciggie I will be fine. I think that it just helped me to calm down in certain situations and I don't have that now. That is what makes my bowels worse not the fact that I am not smoking. It is me. I am going to stick with it. This is my experience but I know that we are all different. It has been 17 months and I know how hard it is. Good luck and I hope it all works out.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, thank you all for your responses, but none of you actually answered my original question:
quote: if you knew there was something you could do to make your IBS basically go away, but would kill you in many other ways, would you do it? Would you take the risk?
So guess the answer is that cigarettes are far too loaded an issue to even get a reasoned response. I wonder, were I asking about a surgery or drug that had potentially deadly side-effects but would allow me to live my life again if this discussion would have gone differently.To those of you questioning whether or not quitting smoking was the beginning of my troubles let me say I've had a gastro-intestinal tract for 45 years. I've only needed this board in the last year. You have no more right nor information to diagnose the reasons for the onset of my symptoms, then I do yours. Respect my analysis of the situation. Give me the benefit of the doubt that I have ample evidence.As to cigarettes as placebo: Nicotine cannot both be a substance that merely functions by placebo *and* be one of the most powerful and addicting neurostimulators/toxins known. It acts VERY strongly on the enteric nervous system, just as it does the rest of the nervous system. To suggest that its effects are by placebo is both sadly naive and downright insulting--and utterly counter to the medical and scientific evidence.However: enough. None of us would be here if meds or herbs or snakeoil worked. I simply asked what you would risk to get your life back, not whether or not you thought cigarettes would work to give me back mine.Andrew
 

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Snakeoil works...which is why I am here.If you want to smoke, smoke. It killed my GI system, but obviously not yours. As far as what I would do (have done...may one day have to do, etc.), yeah I would go back to smoking, take way too big a load of calcium every meal, make a pact with the devil, bung myself up with immodium, etc. But I think I would try Mike's Tapes, first.Is that the answer you are looking for?Mark
 

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I've been smoke free for 4 years, (well 4 years in April) and when I quit I saw no difference in my bowels. But quitting smoking is an accomplishment, and not an easy one. Be proud of that and keep fighting to remain smoke free!
 

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quote:As to cigarettes as placebo: Nicotine cannot both be a substance that merely functions by placebo *and* be one of the most powerful and addicting neurostimulators/toxins known. It acts VERY strongly on the enteric nervous system, just as it does the rest of the nervous system. To suggest that its effects are by placebo is both sadly naive and downright insulting--and utterly counter to the medical and scientific evidence.
You're right: nicotine *has* strong effects. My stepdad used to smoke because it somehow mitigated the effects of the aneurysm he didn't know he had. However, *any* substance can be *both* active *and* placebo. Not saying yours is, just it's a bit of illogic that somethign can't be both. Someone--Claire I think?--pointed out that getting a cig calmed her down. I would also point out that it is *possible*--not saying it *is* this--that, since quitting smoking is stressful, and stress, while not *causing* IBS, can surely set it off, is it *possible,* do you think, that the initial stress 'upped' your IBS and then your concerns about where diarrhea would occur kept the cycle going? A question, not a diagnosis.As for the answer you want: No, I wouldn't. I wouldn't trade one life-destroying thing for another. Might as well have the devil I know...than the one I might not that would *also* do damage. Just so you know: I'm sleeping 4-6 hours a night and waking 1-3 times a night with anxiety attacks, but there are antidepressants I'm not willing to go on. [In fact, most of them! :) That's the trouble with having a PDR... :)]I'm going to try everything I can learn before I do. CBT, hypnosis, whatever it takes. Heck, before I would fill that scrip for Levsin I am trying Align [which does seem to help] and will try the hypnosis. No, I am not drug-phobic; I went through medical school. There are drugs and drugs... So my straight answer is: No, I would not trade the devil I know for one that might or might not work and kill me anyway.
 

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quote:Basically what I'm saying is, NO, I would not smoke cigs if I was you.
That answered your question. You asked what people would do if they were you. I said no. I wouldn't smoke.There's your answer, bud. Sorry people care. Obviously you didn't get the kind of response you wanted and got defensive.You obviously wanted to hear all of us say, SMOKE, yeah, I would if I was you! I would if it took all my symptoms away! Light up, bud! Do it, now!Would you have been happier with that response?
 

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Wheever, I must say, you have a point. People use chemo to treat cancer, but the chemo drugs could damage other organs beyond repair and kill you. Yet, we take the chance. Radiation exposure in high doses can kill you, yet it is used in medicine regularly. However, I also can see the stress of quitting is very bad and could have aggravated your IBS. I may have quit but I still think people have the right to smoke if they choose. If you think smoking will help you then do it. I personally would not go back to smoking, but I wouldn't judge you or anyone else for smoking. It really is your decision. Good luck and God bless.Liz
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Now, was that so friggin' hard?All I wanted was some thoughtful opinions on something I am clearly deeply conflicted about. Grant, I didn't get "defensive", I got irritated that, because my question was about the GREAT DEMON DEATHSTICK, I got anti-smoking propoganda gobbledegook instead of a response to my question. If all I wanted was an excuse to smoke again, I really wouldn't have needed to ask your permission. I've had an unopened pack inn the glove compartment for a year. (And really, man, I hope you are less condescending in your real life than you are here...sheesh.)Overit, Angry: thanks for a fairly straight answer.Lizzy, thank you especially. You're the only one that seems to have actually gotten what I was asking. Clair, not smoking is no longer difficult for me. I haven't had a craving in months and months. And although at the time quitting was one of the hardest things I've ever done, now the hardest thing I've ever done is to "live" with IBS. It is day-in day out torture. It has taken every last bit of pleasure out of my life. That first week after quitting seems like heaven to me now...I wanted a cig so bad I would have cut off my right arm, but I was doing it someplace besides the bathroom and eating something other than fat-free saltines and water. It's a crisp sunny morning here in VT, normally I'd be out walking the dog and enjoying it, instead of glued to the pot. That's how limited my life has become.One last thing: I have no stress in my life other than dealing with my guts. None. And as I sit here I am once again going to be very late for work because I can't safely make the 20 minute commute yet. I just pray that I don't lose this job because of the monster.Andrew
 

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quote:All I wanted was some thoughtful opinions on something I am clearly deeply conflicted about.
You wanted THOUGHTFUL opinions... Funny, I thought my 2 different responses were very caring... And oh yeah, they were my "thoughtful OPINIONS (if I didn't care I wouldn't have responsed) Here's one--
quote:You don't "know" that this is what will/is help/helping your IBS.It might just be coincidence, or your brain making yourself believe it's helping. Kathleen had mentioned that even Drs are more prone to believe they have certain things they read about and treat... Oh, the power of the mind.Also, weren't psychiatrists up there on the list of the highest # of people who committed suicide? I'm almost positive they were one year, if not most of the time. Why? Because they sit there and listen to people talking about how depressed they are, how anxious they are, etc etc. and it becomes too much.Obviously this doesn't happen to everyone, but it's just an example.Please don't smoke! You've kicked the bad habit! Cigs just kill you slowly! Your body can recover from smoking if you quit soon enough. Yours probably has; don't ruin that, please!
quote:Now, was that so friggin' hard?
No, it wasn't. I gave that to you in my first response.
quote:Basically what I'm saying is, NO, I would not smoke cigs if I was you.
quote:I got anti-smoking propoganda gobbledegook instead of a response to my question
I thought you weren't defensive... Hmm.. Sorry, I genuinely cared. That's' why I took the time to respond twice. Oh yeah, and I answered your question in my first post. And if you're so certain it will cure your IBS, then do it. Especially since you don't want to hear people with the "anti-smoking propaganda gobbledegook". Wow, people who care are now ones that spew anti-smoking propaganda gobbledegook--interesting, very interesting. When you've seen people lugging around oxygen tanks that are close to you, dying at an early age because they smoked, and just downright lost their lives because they smoked, you may understand why I have my opinion son. You've already made up your mind, go light up.
 
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