Marc Jacobs has UC

by on Monday, November 24, 2008 19:14
This entry is filed under: Celebrities

I was recently reading the November 27, 2008 issue of Rolling Stone Magazine, and they did an article on the famous fashion designer Marc Jacobs. The article is really interesting and talks about his story of living with UC – it is excellent that someone so high profile is willing to talk about their disease. My only concern though is that in the excerpt below, it seems some of the info about the disease may not be fully correct (i.e. the indication he has UC because of poor diet and smoking…that may not be fully accurate way to portray the disease). Excerpt from The Deep Shallowness of Marc Jacobs by Vanessa Grigoriadis:

Jacobs didn’t take care of himself when he was out of rehab. He chained-smoked, ate poorly and soon developed ulcerative colitis, a stomach ailment involving the chornic inflammation of the large instestine (his father died from complications relating to this disease). “It was really debilitating,” says Jacobs. “I was in a lot of pain, and it kept getting worse, with more outbreaks and flare-ups. I lost so much time every day in the bathroom, uncomfortable and ill.” He relasped in 2006, but decided to try a different way to address his problem: He hired a nutritionist who advised a drastic lifestyle change, with no sugar, dairy, coffee or flour, plus exceercise, macrobiotic food, a nap and sunshine every afternoon. “Instead of Wendy’s five times a day at weird hours, and Coca-Cola after Coca-Cola, now I’m drinking six bottles of water, green vegetable juice and wheat-grass shots iwth giners,” he says laughing.

(Grigoriadis, 2008, p. 136)

Here is a video with an interview with Marc Jacobs, showing how he eats healthy, he even takes VSL#3…

Video from of the fall/winter 2007 Marc Jacobs Fashion Show below.  People living with UC achieve great things. Hopefully, Marc will do public advocacy for UC since it affects him and affected his father.

Reference:  Grigoriadis, V. (2008, November 27). The deep shallowness of Marc Jacobs. Rolling Stone, Issue 1066, p 61-65, 136.

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16 Responses to “Marc Jacobs has UC”

  1. avatar

    Jenelle says:

    November 24th, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    I think it’s great that there is a public figure to put a face to the disease. The only other case I have read of is a much less famous person, but there is a member of the Edmonton Oilers hockey team that has put some of his experiences out there.

    I am somewhat concerned about the Marc Jacobs information so far. I take issue with both the promotion of “naturally healthy” products that have not been shown to actually have a positive effect on health (such as gogi juice) and the implications that both his bad habits caused his UC and that his now healthier lifestyle has improved it. There is a definite danger that people will attempt to treat themselves with “natural” products and not take the prescribed medications that have been proven to help. There is no doubt that everyone with UC would rather NOT take the medications prescribed but leaving UC untreated can result in serious consequences (take it from me, bowel perforations are seriously traumatic!). I also think there is a potential for blame to be placed on the victim here. UC is not caused by an unhealthy lifestyle and we don’t want people being blamed for their illnesses.


  2. avatar

    Megan says:

    November 25th, 2008 at 6:42 pm


    I totally agree with you that the portrayl of his disease – both the reason how he got UC and how he is treating it now – may not be accurate. And that is a shame b/c the Rolling Stone article made it sound like he had UC from eating bad, etc…and then it says that he died from UC related complications.

    I found this article as a catch 22 b/c I was happy someone public was talking about it in a magazine, then I was disappointed by the way it was spoken about. Well, maybe Marc Jacobs will read our blog and learn more about the scientific causes and treatments for UC and then he can become a good spokesperson :)



  3. avatar

    Jenelle says:

    November 26th, 2008 at 2:29 am

    I love it, Megan! We need to teach Marc Jacobs who can then teach the world!


  4. avatar

    Eric says:

    December 31st, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Reading through these posts as I edit some of the older ones, I’m just baffled at this portrayal. They seem to make no mention of how his father has the disease too and that there is a hereditary link. Plus, and I’m not in support of this, there has been research done that proves smoking actually helps Ulcerative Colitis.


  5. avatar

    Nikita says:

    August 13th, 2010 at 2:12 am

    I actually got UC when I gave up smoking when I was in my early thirties a few years ago. There is def a link with smoking and UC. I believe that if I never gave up smoking I would probably have not got UC (I was a heavy smoker). But I never started again as I would rather suffer UC anyday than the zillion cancers smoking causes. I think in all fairness to Marc Jacobs he is only trying to share what worked for him and thats all he knows. I think its important that we all share our different experiences. Evidence is starting to show through research that it is not one but numerous factors that can attribute to UC therefore the reason they are looking at so called ‘tailored treatment’ as there are many forms of UC alone.


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