How does alcohol affect Crohn’s Disease?

Man looking at a glass of alcohol

Crohn’s disease is the chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract of the human body. It is categorized as an Inflammatory Bowel Disease. 

This disease can show various symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, diarrhoea, sudden weight loss, anaemia and fatigue. In severe cases, the disease may also cause malnutrition. Some patients may not have such symptoms, while some patients may have severe and chronic symptoms that do not subside. 

How can alcohol affect Crohn’s Disease?

Consumption of alcohol can affect the immune system and promote inflammation in the gut. This can trigger or worsen symptoms. These chemical changes can disrupt the normal functioning of the gut and can worsen the condition of the patient. Patients suffering from Crohn’s disease are more susceptible to this type of intestinal damage.

Each patient with Crohn’s disease has a different experience. There is straight  rules or guidelines on how to handle alcohol with this disease. Alcohol may root no symptoms of Crohn’s in one person, but have severe reactions or side-effects on another. Such patients may need to eliminate alcoholic beverages strictly from their diet. Moreover, it may also be the case that patients with Crohn’s disease react differently to different kinds of alcohol. For some, hard liquor may be easy to tolerate, while beer may come as a strong trigger for the symptoms.

Quitting alcohol for a while and starting drinking slowly after the condition gets stable can help the patient get a better idea of how their body responds to alcohol. Consult your doctor about following this schedule. 

Can a patient with Crohn’s Disease drink Alcoholic Beverages?

The quick and simple answer to this is “Try Not To!”. Some people with Crohn’s can enjoy a modest amount of alcohol sometimes and yet do not suffer from any adverse side effects.

There are some food items that worsen the condition of the patient with Crohn’s Disease. Many patients with acute or severe Crohn’s disease find some foods  aggravate symptoms during the disease. It is possible for some patients to be completely immune towards such foods or alcoholic beverages. Below is the list of common food items and beverages that trigger the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease:

  • alcoholic beverages, including wine, beer, cocktails 
  • caffeinated drinks
  • carbonated drinks
  • dairy products
  • Junk, fried or oily foods
  • Foods rich in fiber
  • nuts and seeds
  • spicy foods

If you are suffering from Crohn’s disease, consult your doctor and monitor your eating habits and the effect ( if any ) that the food has in context to the disease.  The doctor suggests the patient to identify the foods or beverages that trigger the flare-ups or escalate the symptoms. Most patients have trouble after taking cocktails, wine or beer 

Bottom Line

Crohn’s disease has no final cure. Some Medications including steroids and immunosuppressants can be introduced to the patient  to minimise or slow the development or severity of the disease. 

If the medication does not help,  the patient may be suggested a surgery to control the condition. Additionally, patients with this disease mostly need regular screening to check for colorectal cancer as they are at an increased risk.

Make sure that you drink plenty of fluids and avoid foods that flame up the symptoms in order to control the disease.

 

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