03-24-2012, 12:44 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Glastonbury, Connecticut
Scuba with IBD?

Hello there,
I'm new to the forum, and new to identifying as someone with IBD.

Does anyone know if IBD causes complications with scuba diving? Does the pressure change cause difficulties?

If you know where I might turn for info on this, I'd be mighty obliged.
Many thanks!
03-26-2012, 09:37 AM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Michigan
I am a licensed diver. I had the opportunity to dive a few years ago, but
didn't because I was afraid. I talked to a doctor at DAN ( I think it stands for divers alert network). He said that some medications that do not have side effects on land can effect you differently underwater. A medication that normally doesn't make you drowsy can make you drowsy underwater, and that is the last place you want to be drowsy. Also, as you know if you go deeper than 33 feet there is air compression and it doesn't just affect he lungs, but any air pocket in the body including intestines.
Is it safe to dive at less than 33 feet? I am not sure.
I would call DAN to be safe.
03-27-2012, 05:38 AM   #3
New Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Glastonbury, Connecticut
Thanks! I'm not on meds yet - waiting, waiting to see a GI... But the pressure/bowels thing was my main concern. We're going to call DAN to renew our coverage today, so I'll be sure to ask them. I didn't know they offered info like that. Great tip! (I love to dive, but I'd rather snorkel than be sorry...)

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03-27-2012, 05:41 AM   #4
New Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Glastonbury, Connecticut
Oh, and did you end up diving? Where do you tend to dive? It's chilly in new england, and I need a lot of weight to overcome all the neoprene - so when we're on vacation in warmer climes, I like to take advantage of the short suit and lighter loads - and the clear water! (been a year and a half since our last dive - I miss it!)

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03-27-2012, 05:45 AM   #5
Lisa's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New York

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I got my open water certification quite a few years ago - never had any problems with the limited amount of diving I did.

30 plus years and counting with UC/Crohn's!
on remicade since 11/05

While my experiences may not be what everyone has had- I feel it is worthwhile to share any and all experiences that may be beneficial to others.
03-27-2012, 05:46 AM   #6
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia

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Some years ago I wanted to learn to scuba dive, but was just not convinced that there would be no problems with my ileostomy. So, sadly, I decided to make do with snorkelling.
03-27-2012, 09:11 AM   #7
Mia E
Senior Member
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: United Kingdom
Hi Lisa,
I would love to hear about any advice u find out about this, i haven't been given a diagnosis yet but if I get it I am not sure what that will mean for my diving. I hope to go diving this summer when on honeymoon, also I wo der would it be something I'd have to mention when getting travel insurance?
...maybe I'm opening another question!!
03-27-2012, 10:46 PM   #8
Chief Dandelion Picker
Entchen's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
I'm PADI certified. Only been outdoor diving once (have not had a chance for more yet) and I regularly refresh my skills in a swimming pool -- no gut-related problems during those very limited experiences! Love love love diving.

The problem I *did* have when I didn't realize how low my iron and other vitamin levels were was dealing with all of the extra weight on my back. Instead of using a weight belt we placed weights inside the dive vest, and this helped -- I wasn't able to take a deep breath, otherwise.
Dx: Moderate Crohn's in 3 locations
Doctor's orders: 200 mg Imuran
Have used: 4500 mg Pentasa, 4500 mg Salofalk, Flagyl, Cipro, 50 mg Prednisone, 9 mg Entocort.
Turned my Crohn's life around: ginger for nausea.
Claim to fame: "loopy and floppy" colon
03-27-2012, 11:26 PM   #9
Senior Member
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Austin, Texas

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I admire anyone who is so adventerous!!!
Never a really daring person before my diagnosis I am even less so now.

I would try diving in a pool a few times and see how that goes if you get the ok from DAN.

Good luck and have fun!


Diagnosed= 1992 and again Feb 2012 Confirmed with
CT enterography May 2015 !!

Waiting for the ok from my Ins company to restart Remicade. Will also start Imuron to get into remission!
I know it's out there somewhere and I WILL find it!

03-28-2012, 01:01 AM   #10
Senior Member
Rebecca85's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Nottingham, UK
I was very naughty on holiday and went down, not scuba but the one where you have the airline to up top. So I probably didn't go as deep as scuba, maybe around 8 metres? (25 feet). My boyfriend was with me, and we had an instructor between the two of us, so I was well supervised! I had no problems, and I was in the tail end of a flare (no gut probs, but fatigue and anaemic).
Crohn's in the terminal ileum, dxed Jun '10

125mg azathioprine
4g Pentasa
03-28-2012, 10:12 AM   #11
New Member
lacibug34's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Texas
Hi There, I am PADI certified and have been diving for about 15 years (got my Jr. cert at 13) and have been diagnosed with Crohn's for 13 of those years. I have never had a problem related to my Crohn's from diving. I did have a large resection in 2010 and have not been since. I have been assured that I will still be fine and will try again eventually but honestly have not had the opportunity.
Diagnosed 1998 - age 15
Surgeries: Resection: 03-2010, Appendectomy:01-2004, Fistula closure/abscess removal: 08-2000, Fistula Closed: 05-1999

Current Meds:

Tried: Pentasa, 6mp, Remicaide, Entocort, Bentyl, Prednisone, Immuran. I know there are more.... I think I've been on EVERYTHING!
04-05-2012, 10:02 PM   #12
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: South Carolina
I dove for the first time ~5 months before I got diagnosed and had no problems, even though I'd been having abdominal pains on land. I think this is probably one of those things where it'd be best to take a wait-and-see approach. You'll never know what YOU can do until you try. Just because some people haven't had success diving with Crohn's doesn't mean you won't. Plus, if you've got any diving experience, it'll probably make you more aware of when and if something is wrong, as opposed to someone who is trying it for their first time.

I love the water, and it sounds like you do as well! We can't let this silly, annoying disease take away the things we love!

Dx: May 2011
Surgery: Ileocecal resection May 2011 (~13 in)
Meds: 500mg Pentasa 4x/day
B12 Injections 1x/month
Iron 45 mg for Anemia
Vitamin D 1000 mcg
Thinking about starting Remicade or Humira

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