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Amber J. Tresca

Effects of Drinking Alcohol on IBD

By December 23, 2013

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Some people with IBD know for certain that alcohol worsens their symptoms. From the email I receive, beer is the most common culprit, likely because of the intestinal gas it causes. But other people, myself included, have never found an association between drinking and IBD symptoms. (Moderate social drinking has also not had an affect on my 13-year old j-pouch.) Maybe your resolution this year is to drink less or quit drinking alcohol altogether. Learn about the ways alcoholic beverages can affect your body.

More about the holidays and IBD:

Photo © Suat Eman

January 8, 2007 at 11:19 am
(1) Grace Morgan says:

Sometimes, the effect can take up to 1 or 2 days to show up, so I’d think again about it “not having an effect” on you!

January 8, 2007 at 8:33 pm
(2) Bev says:

I agree that alcohol does effect certain people and I’m one it effects. If I drink any kind of alcohol I will go to the restroom and by the time I’m done my toilet stool water is blood red. Don’t ask me why but I was told by my doctor this was from my Ulcerative Colitis and that certain drinks and foods will effect it. Awesome to those that it doesn’t effect! I was never a drinker anyway so this was ok to me.

January 9, 2007 at 1:24 pm
(3) tony says:

i beleave that you are correct, i am currently doing a report about binge drinking amung teen and undergraduate college students, and the disasterous effects when alcohol destroys their brain cells. i apolojise about my pendmanship, i can not very well. thank you and have a nice day.

January 21, 2007 at 2:11 pm
(4) Wayne says:

I have found that moderate amounts of Jagermiester (liquor) severely lessens my pain and discomfort during attacks of IBD.

June 23, 2007 at 10:55 pm
(5) Stefanie says:

I totally agree that symptoms don’t show up right away. I have crohns disease and if I have just 1 beer, I pay for it the next day. I have severe cramps and diarhea. Drinking just isn’t as fun anymore because now I worry about how I will be feeling the following day(s).

July 29, 2008 at 11:17 pm
(6) David says:

It’s different for everyone. The same is true of food triggers. I have Crohn’s and I don’t notice any worsening of my symptoms in relation to drinking. I do notice a huge worsening of symptoms when I eat greasy cheese (e.g. pizza) or large amounts of ice-cream. Perhaps the type of alcohol makes a difference… it seems like all of the comments above were in reference to beer, which I don’t care for. I mostly drink Scotch or other types of whiskey, and it doesn’t negatively affect my Crohn’s.

August 3, 2008 at 8:42 pm
(7) ibdcrohns says:

I’ve never been a beer drinker, either, so if that were to affect me I wouldn’t know. Beer can cause a lot of gas, so it might bring up bloating, pain, and discomfort. (As could any carbonated beverage, really.)

December 24, 2008 at 3:39 pm
(8) Sheila Joyce Gibbs says:

Thankyou for this enlightening article !
I don’t have IBD (thankyou Lord), but from 30 yrs of social drinking, I’ve paid dearly.
Both my late husband & I were hit with permanent severe Grand-Mal Seizures a little over 4 years ago. While spreading my news, its amazing how many people I’ve come across with other health afflictions caused by liquor.
Somehow we’ve got to convince our Government of the need for Health Warning Labels on all liquor containers. None of us hit, can get any help, but what about our youth ?????

March 9, 2010 at 9:58 am
(9) Nic says:

i have got Ulcerative Colitis and have had this for nearly 9 years i have tried all medicines and non of them have worked not even steriods i am starting to wonder if i even have it. I changed my diet not eating lactose and dairy and notice a great improvement for about a year but now it is back and it is controlling my life even at work. I am trying not to eat certain foods and cutting out alcohol but it is so hard to tell what is causing the flare ups as it can happen a day or 2 after i am fed up of going to see my consultant becuase all he offers is sugery and i am not going down that route any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

January 20, 2013 at 4:25 am
(10) sol says:

Hi nic

i had the same problem with doctors etc. I found the best cure is to avoid all starchy foods including root vegetables and grains. I would also avoid meat or take a little occassionally. Also tea, coffee and alcohol which impair the digestion.
An alkaline diet of fruit and green leafy vegetables is the way to go – most people underestimate the nutritional and healing power of these primary foods.

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