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12-19-2011, 12:56 PM   #1
tharley
 
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Alcohol and Crohn's

Hi, I'm 24 and live near Manchester in England. I have had Crohn's for about 7 years now, and been through 2 lots of surgery. I had felt great for 3 years and recently began to feel ill again! Certain foods and drinks don't seem to directly effect my health, but something is obviously making me ill.

I love going out and getting on the beers with my mates, but believe that drinking is the cause of the pains and flare ups.

Do any of you guys drink or limit your alcohol intake?

Thanks,
Tom
12-19-2011, 01:55 PM   #2
Roxymusic
 
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Before my latest flare I drank a couple of 16 ounces on a Saturday. Sometimes I'd have a small bout of d the next day. But I have drank good microbrewed beer for years without anything more specific.

I'm beer free for a couple of months since I have some severe d now.

I'll have another beer someday. But I'd avoid much more than a taste if you are having issues.
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12-19-2011, 01:55 PM   #3
mnsun
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I'm a later 20s male with Crohn's 7 years, one surgery. I limit my alcohol to beer, for the most part. I drink mostly bottled pale ales with higher hop content and higher alcohol content (5.5%)--not that I feel this is particularly healthier. I usually have 4-7 throughout the nights I go out. I usually limit my drinking to twice a week. I usually precede/follow up my drinking with lots of water, immediately before/after I go out.

If I drink more than twice a week, or exceed my usual intake (or drink sugary mixers/shots), I think it does effect me, crohnswise. But usually just the next day. That's not to say long bouts of continually drinking more than twice a week won't imperceptively worsen my tolerance to food-- I think it does. I had a couple cramping episodes and a arthritic "flare" in the latter months of this summer into fall, I believe, due to excessive alcohol intake. (Too many lazy afternoons on the river, drinking all day.)

For me, I think things can slowly add up and every long once in awhile cause a "flare" for a couple days--excessive alcohol consumption is definitely a contributing factor in that equation. Other factors include: seasonal changes (from summer to fall), supplement adherence (fish oil/probios/herbs/etc.), caffeine/sugar/white flour intake, stress, lack of sleep, lack of exercise.

I have gone months without drinking and did feel slightly better off because of it, I could eat more questionable foods without a problem. However, simultaneously during those months, I would adhere to a better regimen of foods, supplements and exercise; so it's hard to say the degree to which moderate drinking (my conception of moderate drinking) effects crohns.

However, I now have to consider the effects of LDN and alcohol on my liver. If anyone could point me to some info on that front please post.
12-19-2011, 04:06 PM   #4
IAmTheWalrus
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Alcohol has never really affected me. I guess it's different stokes for different folks so to speak.

Although one to many "Sex On The Beach" cocktails and I'm like Harry Dunne from Dumb and Dumber when Lloyd spikes his Tea with laxative.

:O
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12-19-2011, 04:28 PM   #5
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Hi, hello and welcome to the forum if you've just joined us. If you search the threads you will find a few items on this very topic.

Like some of the other posters have intimated, for me its all about moderation. I like my alcohol as well but felt that it was affecting my recovery after a minor flare. I gave it a miss for about 6 months and have to say that the abstinence definitely aided my recovery.

Now we are in the festive season I have started taking a few pints of cider again. So far, so good, no unfavourable re-action but watching what Iím doing. I really donít think excess is a good idea.

I suppose some of its down to trial and error, but my view is its not worth risking my long term health over.

Not much help Iím afraid but good luck and take care.

tobyjug
12-19-2011, 04:41 PM   #6
vickyhunter
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I've recently come out of a year long flare up, doing really well on humira (touch wood!) when I started to feel "normal" again I went a bit crazy as I haven't felt properly well in a year and I went on a week long bender aha, went out 5/7 nights in a row. It was probably not the best thing to do, but I just wanted to make the most of feeling well!

I don't drink at all unless I want to get drunk, which (ignoring the bender hahah) is about once every week/2 weeks.

My advice would be try not to drink excessively but don't stop yourself having a good time if you want to drink - go for it

Although, that being said, I am a 19 year old uni student, so I'm probably not going to give the most responsible advice!

xxxxx
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12-19-2011, 05:48 PM   #7
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Hi Tom,

I'd be very careful with drink if your having trouble again. I had been experiencing mild symptoms for about a month or two but after Xmas dinner and drinks at works night out over a week ago I have had lots of pain and discomfort and still do! Definitely had an effect on me anyway. Think I had a few beers and several glasses of red which isn't even that much.

It is Xmas time though and one must indulge now and then, just be careful.

Have a look around the forum as this topic has been discussed a few times.

Take it easy mate and welcome to the forum.
12-20-2011, 12:13 PM   #8
ChefShazzy
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Hey Tom,
When I was flaring, I cut out alcohol completely - it definitely was a trigger for even worse symptoms. Now that I'm in remission with Humira, I can drink more regularly. But, for me, 'regularly' is what most people probably call 'occasionally' - maybe twice a month.

I got really really drunk about a month ago, something I haven't done since diagnosis. Sure, I was hungover as heck the next day, but no crazy D like the old days.
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12-20-2011, 01:56 PM   #9
KWalker
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I can seem to tolerate alcohol pretty well with crohns, although I haven't tried during a flare so I don't know what that's like and I don't like often to begin with. I just seem to go to the bathroom more frequently the next day after drinking a lot, but there's no added pain and it goes away within the day.
12-20-2011, 02:15 PM   #10
rygon
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Try drinking just one typr of drink for the whole night and see how that goes. If you feel bad that night or day after, most prob not the drink for you

I found any ale or whisky to hate my guts (my fav drinks), lager wasnt good either. Vodka and coke neither, but it turn out to be the coke

Now i drink vodka straight (or lemonade) crabbies, or cider. Try not to drink most days, and drinking too much certainly effects me (though its sometimes worth it )
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12-21-2011, 06:15 AM   #11
tharley
 
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hey! Thanks for all the advice. I guess its all about moderation and having the will power to resist sometimes, which at this time of year is extra hard! I'm a primary school teacher and have been craving beer during the last 2 weeks of school! (Stressful term) Best I set myself days where I'm gonna drink and and stick to them!

Thanks again. Great forum. Merry Christmas!
12-21-2011, 01:20 PM   #12
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My 24 yr old daughter who has crohns; said she can drink occassionally; a beer or two; she said she doesn't exceed that; and she said it hasn't bothered her. she didn't drink when she was in a flare up; her 1st one b/c the doctor told her she couldn't with the med's that she was on: Entocort and the antibiotics. I think you have to be careful with meds. I don't have crohns however when I do indulge in a bit too much wine; I even get the D; so I think food & drinks affect alot of people in different ways; even ones that aren't really diagnosed with anything certain.
Try to stay safe and be healthy during holidays
12-21-2011, 01:36 PM   #13
Jessi
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Hiya Tom! Welcome to the forum! I'm really glad you've already found answers to your concerns. I'm not a drinker, but I just wanted to chime in and say welcome! Have a great holiday and try and stay healthy!
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07-24-2012, 04:04 PM   #14
Giambattista
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My gut can definitely feel tender or uncomfortable up to a few days after having a few drinks, especially if I ate poorly that night or the next day too. I can't be sure, but I think some heavy drinking has triggered full on flare ups or made me susceptible to a bad food (like too many nuts for me) to cause one. I am thinking of cutting booze out entirely. It feels like more of a risk than its worth, but there are a lot of social pressure to keep with it.

Any suggestions?
07-24-2012, 09:19 PM   #15
David
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Any suggestions?
Don't drink and rise above peer pressure. Your health is MUCH more important.
07-25-2012, 05:35 AM   #16
Z_Ghost
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I drank way to much for 2 weeks back in 2006 and that is probably why I ended up in the hospital for 5 days.
I stopped drinking all together this year, been 4 months now and it would be nice to have a beer every now and then but it got to the point where even that made my Chron's mad at me and it's been mad for most of this year as it is.
So no drinking for me.
07-25-2012, 02:14 PM   #17
simonjking
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Hey, found this on a website recently as i had the same thought:

''Alcohol can interfere with prescription medications. Alcohol can also worsen symptoms of some conditions. Crohn's disease, also known as inflammatory bowel disease or IBD, is one condition sensitive to alcohol consumption. The gastrointestinal lining is sensitive to alcohol consumption. Drinking worsens the symptoms of IBD, such as diarrhea and vomiting.''
However, if you like a beer or two i dont think it will do any harm but as mentioned by some of the other guys, its about moderation and carefully choosing what you drink just the same as what you eat. Not a pretty picture when i drink cider but am fine with beer.
07-25-2012, 02:33 PM   #18
EthanPSU
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Take it from me, alcohal will affect you crohns if you drink a ton. I use to drink a case (36) pack of beer every weekend with mix drinks on top of it at college and I hurt a ton the next day. I always caved to peer pressure, but hey, they were the funniest weekends of my life so far and I got my crohns back under control now that I don't drink as much. Def should have some fun from time to time but don't complain the next day ha
07-25-2012, 02:36 PM   #19
David
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One of the big problems with alcohol is it leads to reduced uptake and impaired utilisation of nutrients. That's the last thing anyone with a disease that is characterized by malabsorption and subsequent malnutrition needs.
07-26-2012, 04:02 PM   #20
TheyCallMeRC
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I am 6 years sober (golf clap LOL) but I did my fair share of drinking while having active crohns. Beer was the worst as I would just stay full of gas and liqour didn't have as bad an effect on me, but I was limited to when i could drink because of all the pain meds. It became worrisome when they would do blood work and constantly telling me that I was having abnormal liver results. The amount of acetaminophen I was taking was bad enough and I was adding the drinking to it. I stopped cold turkey and since have had great liver results and I also feel better. There are times when drinking that you think you feel better, but it's usually short lived.
07-26-2012, 05:48 PM   #21
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Tharley,

There are a couple of concerns I have regarding Crohn's Disease and drinking of Beer / Ale / Lager / etc.

First, Alcohol or Liquor in general can increase the permeability (leakyness) of the Gastrointestinal Tract. This is a concern for IBD patients in general (both Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis). Some Crohn's and UC patients may be more sensitive to this GI permeability issue - especially in patients that carry gene mutations that decrease the "bonding strength" between cells within the GI tissues (i.e. DLG5, XBP1, PTGER4, etc.).

Secondly, a large percentage of Crohn's patients have an exaggerated immune response to a component in Yeast cell walls, called Zymosan. This exaggerated immune response can trigger the vicious cycle of inflammation common to Flares in Crohn's Disease. I would be particularly concerned that Beer / Lager / Ale / etc., especially those with a cloudy appearance (my personal taste preference) due to less of the Zymosan and other Yeast cellular components being filtered from the final product following fermentation.

This intestinal inflammatory response to Yeast cell components will increase permeability of the GI tract and increase the immune response and damage to GI tract cells (vicious cycle seen in Crohn's Flares).

Do you believe there is a correlation between your flares and alcohol in general? Or, do you think your trigger could be specific to beer? Do you see a correlation with less filtered brews vs. those that are more filtered?

I am curious whether you see less pronounced effects if you have a Shandy due to less yeast and alcohol than in a straight pint. Do you see a correlation if you have mixed drinks (distilled alcohol) vs. beer?

Very interesting topic. Thank you for broaching the subject. Good luck.
07-27-2012, 12:07 AM   #22
tiloah
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I can't drink because it gives me migraines, but I feel like alcohol is one of those things reserved for "healthy people" and "special occasions" anyway. In my experience most people find alcohol at the very least to be an irritant to their guts. It's not worth the risk for me, but it might be for you.

If you think drinking is specifically to blame for your pains, I would definitely attempt a trial elimination. But if you really like drinking and want to do it regularly, you might ask your physician what they think.
07-28-2012, 06:14 PM   #23
Sarah Leanne
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Heyy, I'm currently 19 years old, and had crohns for 6/7years now, had countless tests and numerous flares, two surgeries, one stoma, more medication than a pharmacy, and JUST starting humira, and binge drinking alcohol is fine with me , other than feeling like I've been on bowel prep the morning after, but everyone should expect at least a little bit of a hangover Haha .. and I'd rather that than throwing up and completely feeling like death warmed up

Sarah
07-29-2012, 10:01 AM   #24
AckMac
 
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Heyy, I'm currently 19 years old, and had crohns for 6/7years now, had countless tests and numerous flares, two surgeries, one stoma, more medication than a pharmacy, and JUST starting humira, and binge drinking alcohol is fine with me , other than feeling like I've been on bowel prep the morning after, but everyone should expect at least a little bit of a hangover Haha .. and I'd rather that than throwing up and completely feeling like death warmed up
So your Crohn's Disease is highly uncontrolled and led to a stoma and you feel comfortable stating that binge drinking doesn't cause any problems?

If someone in remission for 5 years stated that binge drinking didn't cause problems I might go for that. But for all you know you're throwing gasoline on the fire and saying the gas isn't flammable.
07-29-2012, 10:40 AM   #25
Scaryman
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Regarding alcohol and crohns is kind of touchy I think. People are on different medications that may or may not restrict alcohol. But my main thing with beer and every crohns patient is carbonation. Bubbles by nature may not be the best for us. But as we all know different strokes for different folks. We all react different. I just know my body well enough that I cannot tolerate carbonated drinks, so I stay away from anything with bubbles, including club soda.
07-29-2012, 11:09 AM   #26
Sarah Leanne
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Yes because I don't binge drink often at all, like probably once every couple of months or so, and I get no pain due to drinking, the only side effect I get from drinking is the occasional feeling like I've been on klean-prep but that would only last 'til noon tops, so I can say with full confidence that alcohol doesn't really affect my crohns
If there's ever a statement I will live by, it will be that I try not to let my crohns affect my everyday life, so even if there was a possibility that alcohol affected it, I don't do it enough for it to properly matter, and I'll still make all the mistakes and do the same things any other teen would do
Life will throw you lots of ups and downs, you just have to make the best of what you're dealt
07-29-2012, 02:52 PM   #27
Tenacity
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It's hard for me to believe that anyone with crohns would drink on a weekly basis! Let alone at all. I mean just think about it... Would you pour 100% alcohol on an ulcer or open wound? No right...well I dunno about you but my colonoscopies most of the times looked very red and already raw...

Peer pressure is hard... But you really need to grow up quick ( not being condescending by any means. I too learned the hard way) because alcohol is bad no matter how you look at it. Naturally alcohol is a diuretic. It will dehydrate the heck out of you... That is why people drink water afterward to avoid hangovers. Crohnies are already at a risk for dehydration because of all the fluids we naturally lose

Our livers are also under much more stress already because we have less fluid to flush them out, and much more liver toxicity from all the pills we take that others don't. Alcohol as you know is not liver friendly
Combining alcohol, pills, and crohns is taxing on your liver over time believe me.
07-29-2012, 03:01 PM   #28
EthanPSU
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it's hard for me to believe that anyone with crohns would drink on a weekly basis! Let alone at all. I mean just think about it... Would you pour 100% alcohol on an ulcer or open wound? No right...well i dunno about you but my colonoscopies most of the times looked very red and already raw...

Peer pressure is hard... But you really need to grow up quick ( not being condescending by any means. I too learned the hard way) because alcohol is bad no matter how you look at it. Naturally alcohol is a diuretic. It will dehydrate the heck out of you... That is why people drink water afterward to avoid hangovers. Crohnies are already at a risk for dehydration because of all the fluids we naturally lose

our livers are also under much more stress already because we have less fluid to flush them out, and much more liver toxicity from all the pills we take that others don't. Alcohol as you know is not liver friendly
combining alcohol, pills, and crohns is taxing on your liver over time believe me.
yolo
07-29-2012, 03:12 PM   #29
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Alcohol gives me really bad D which irritates my multiple fistulas and skin tags, so I just don't drink any more, it's not worth it. I don't have any other affected part of my digestive tract, but I can't imagine Alcohol would be good if you inflammation elsewhere either.
07-29-2012, 06:58 PM   #30
kiny
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I used to drink quite a bit as a teenager but I haven't touched a beer in over a year. I never drank anything stronger than beer.

I don't need research to know it's probably horrible, try throwing some alcohol on a wound and tell me how it feels.
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