Crohn's Disease Forum » Diet, Fitness, and Supplements » Alcohol and... Crohns improvement?

05-17-2011, 09:30 PM   #1
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Alcohol and... Crohns improvement?

If someone can handle it, can the slightest amount of alcohol actually be beneficial for Crohnies?

We're assuming that the person can tolerate it, and that the particular alcohol doesnt have other irritating factors (such as a super dark spirit or wine or something that has other irritating chemicals)

In this study, cytokine production is reduced. If im not mistaken, isn't that what Remicade aims to bind with and destroy? Is my logic here unsound?

Keep in mind im also talking about very light drinking, to the tune of 1 drink a day almost as a medication to help Crohns, rather than anything else. Also, perhaps spread the alcohol consumption out throughout the day rather than drinking the amount all at once?

Has anyone heard of anything pertaining to this? Is the harm done to our intestines greater than any other benefits we might derive from alcohol?

I ask this because im a stressful person with an 'anxious gut'. I feel like if I can relax with the alcohol as well as derive any other physiological benefits from it in terms of Crohns, I'll be doing my health a favor.

Just food for thought,

05-18-2011, 02:06 PM   #2
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I dont need an excuse to have a drink every once it a while. I just do.
05-18-2011, 03:26 PM   #3
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My guts do seem to feel better after a glass of red wine. Don't know if it's cos it relaxes me or cos it creates a kind of warmth. I'm drinking it for the iron, of course!
Dx Crohn's terminal ileum April 2011
Ileocaecal resection & partial cystectomy Sept 2012
3.5 years happy remission, in mild flare since Feb 2016 with related Portal Vein Thrombosis

Previous: Prednisolone, Mesren, Omeprazole, Infliximab, Azathioprine
Current: Pentasa, Librax, Warfarin
Helen x
05-18-2011, 03:37 PM   #4
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Alcohol seems to do more harm than good for me, so I don't drink at all anymore. Not worth it, and I definitely haven't felt any benefits from it!

It's kind of funny, this reminds me that my husband has had several "theories" about alcohol himself. None of them actually worked. The first he came up with when he had the flu. He had the thought that, since doctors use alcohol-based products to sterilize their surgical equipment, alcohol kills germs, and therefore drinking booze would cure him of the flu. So, he had a few drinks, and I have to say that he seem to did feel good, but I don't think it actually killed any germs or cured him. More recently, during an attack of kidney stone pain, he felt like he couldn't empty his bladder (the stone was possibly blocking or pushing on the urethra?). So he remembered that drinking alcohol makes him pee a lot, and he had a half bottle of wine. But kidney stone attacks also make my hubby vomit, so the wine didn't stay down for long!
05-18-2011, 05:32 PM   #5
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I dont need an excuse to have a drink every once it a while. I just do.
Same here, Lydia.
28 y/o male from Dublin, Ireland, Dx with Crohn's Colitis in January 09.

Current Meds: Remicade, Imuran.

Risk/Benefits of treating Crohn's. Link below
05-19-2011, 07:57 AM   #6
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Join Date: May 2010
I've never had issues with alcohol affecting my crohn's, although I don't drink nearly as much as I used to when I was younger. (diagnosed at 27) I'm not a wine/beer expert or snob either, so my drinks are pretty pedestrian. I can drink red or light beer, white or blush wine or vodka mixed drinks.
More of a relaxation/stress reliever thing for me
Crohn's diagnosed in 2001
Gallbladder removed May 2005
Appendectomy January 2011
Humira 40 mg; also Flexeril, Wellbutrin XL, Klonopin, Salagen, vitamin D,
co-Q-10, DMAE, biotin, acai, multivitamin with ginger
05-19-2011, 11:04 AM   #7
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I am a social drinker a glass maybe of either wine or crown and coke. If i do much more than that I will pay for it. Soda has actually been giving me more pain when i drink it, luckily i don't drink it too often.
Diagnosed Oct 2009
Medications: 22APR11 Azathioprine (50mg) -
Remicade Fall 2014 every 8 weeks
05-19-2011, 07:24 PM   #8
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Oh yeah, my guts burn from binge drinking, but I feel one or two is theraputic.
05-27-2011, 12:55 PM   #9
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Hi, I'm new to the site and I've had Crohn's for 25 years. Last summer I had to have surgery to remove about 1 foot of my sigmoid colon. It's been a long road, but I do feel much better than I did prior to when I had active disease and basically had to drink Draino to take a dump(if yo can even call what would happen a 'dump'). I used to binge in college and even afterward here and there. I had to change the way I thought about it, and if I'm out, avoid getting caught up in the moments where someone wants to start doing shots, etc. It's a waste of your life in more ways than one to go down that road. You throat burns, your head hurts, your @ss hurts, you know the point. So I've changed my approach to the whole thing, and this isn't for everyone but it's what seems to work with much less guilt. If I have active reflux I stay away, especially from wine, and most definitely from beer. Even one beer for me is a 'home wrecker'. Recently I started to get into more high end stuff - Scotch, Rum, Tequila, Cognac, and Port. I know, this sounds very alcoholic. It would except that I don't do it every day or even once a week. But I decided I could enjoy the best of what was out there, and while everyone else is waking up with a hangover, I'm remembering how Lagavulin 16 tastes, smells, etc. It's not for everyone, but I felt like I should be able to experience drinking without torching my insides, which basically meant a lot more discipline. I bought a glass called the Glancairn glass developed in Scotland for tasting scotch, but it works well for anything in small quantities. Learn to savor something GOOD. It's a mindset. Once in a while I go off into the world of idiocracy and have too much. If that happens, there's a secret that at least works VERY VERY well for me. PEDIALYTE. I'm 37, and my girlfriend mentioned it about 2 months ago. Where was this remedy all my life?? Just thinking about this makes me cringe at all the horrible mornings I had when I was younger, and once in a while not so young. So the rule for me is, drink occasionally and in moderation. If you can try buying something high end. For one, you won't just waste it, two it's better quality and I find I don't get the unwanted bi-products because they usually distill it more times and in better ways. If you have a gluten allergy, anything distilled removes the gluten proteins and makes it gluten free, unlike beer (though they are making some beers gluten free now). In fact, I just bought a bottle of Tito's Handmade Vodka which is distilled 6 times. I'll let you know if it's any better. I think different things work for different people, but what I know is that Pedialyte keeps me from getting dehydrated. Alcohol makes active acid reflux a lot worse (though for whatever reason Scotch or Cognac don't do the damage wine does and especially not what beer does.. beer for me, is pure evil). I agree with the post above about soda. I think carbonation and these types of problems don't mix, at all. It causes gas/bloating. Also, you can take something like pepcid before bed to reduce stomach acid which alcohol causes more of. Another thing you can do is prop yourself up a little. Don't lie completely flat. alcohol relaxes the esophageal sphincter muscle allowing acid to travel up the esophagus. Beyond that, try to enjoy it now and then and drink water along with it as well. Good luck

Just to add my medications and supplements:

Polyethelene Glycol aka Miralax (daily)
Manuka Honey (from New Zealand... works for reflux)
Flax Seed Oil
multi vitamin
calcium/d supplement
pepcid (occasionally)

Last edited by aenima3174; 05-27-2011 at 01:13 PM. Reason: edit for medications
05-27-2011, 04:16 PM   #10
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Piatchi - I realized that first response was partially off-topic. I read the link you potsed but it seems to be more about how ethanol can cause changes in the brain that can possibly be linked to behavioral changes (ie alcoholism). Here is a link on Remicade (infliximab) about cytokines and how it works, along the same lines but of a medication that suppresses pro-inflammatory cytokines that attack healthy cell tissue and cause inflammation. I don't think you can infer that alcohol would 'turn off' those cytokines. If it did, I think we'd all be taking about how Tequila or Rum saved our lives I wish. I tried Scotch... still do in very small quantities. I do think small amounts of red wine or Port can be beneficial in other ways, but if it's affecting your Crohn's stay away. Like I said in the last post, last year my worst fear came true - I had to have a surgical resection. Then again, I can also say, don't fear it! The recovery is slow and your bowel may behave differently depending what part is removed, but it made a huge improvement in my overall health. they wont let me post links until the 5th post (why? uhhhh??) so attach an http onto that line below.

Last edited by aenima3174; 05-27-2011 at 09:03 PM. Reason: typo
05-28-2011, 03:42 PM   #11
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Location: New York
I only read alcohol in small amounts can reduce inflammation. That's all. Medical Alcohol hmmmmmmmmm lol
I only read one article on that, I can't remember where...

It seems like almost anything can help now! If you think about it......But nothing that promise remission.
Its not so bad
05-28-2011, 04:16 PM   #12
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Join Date: May 2011
LOL - yeah Swirl I know - it's wishful thinking. AND I WISH. Although I will say that in college, the green wizard was my friend. I decided it was best to go unmedicated because I hated what prednisone did to me mentally and physically and I didn't know about Remicade yet. It seemed to slow everything down in the bowel, and lessen the cramping and pain. I think it had a kind of numbing effect. Now that's medicine (btw - BAD IDEA going without any medication) Like I said the best thing for me personally was drinking Pedialyte or the generic brand prior to drinking and at the end of the night, taking a Pepcid before bed to reduce acid and prop myself up a little so I wasn't lying flat. Drink water while drinking too helps some, and don't eat a high fat meal with it. If you are having symptoms in the stomach or colon though none of that will help. Possibly something like a highly distilled vodka will not hurt you as much, but think about whether it's worth it. I did lose 30cm's of my colon after all :-/ I'd wish I could develop a medicinal alcohol for IBD. I'd win the Nobel and then instantly lose it for turning everyone with IBD into an alcoholic...
06-03-2011, 03:23 PM   #13
Thunderous Finale
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Join Date: Jun 2011
I drink way too much booze, but that's just my way of dealing with the rubbish life of having crohn's.

The anaesatizing effect works wonders in the evening...far better than any pain killer can!

No pain and a trouble free and mostly toilet free sleep! I make sure I have plenty of water (4 litres a day), and avoid carbonated drinks.

A glass of orange juice with my breakfast cereal (cornflakes, Farley's rusk) and I'm ready to face another day!

Crohn's Disease Forum » Diet, Fitness, and Supplements » Alcohol and... Crohns improvement?
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