Let’s be upfront about it: alcohol is a substance that can have adverse effects on any person, regardless of whether you have IBD or not. However, an individual with Crohn’s disease should be able to enjoy a drink now and again without any terrible side effects. With that said, let’s delve into what factors you should consider before you drink.
Consider the adverse effects first.
Alcohol has the potential to do some damage to the body, so this must be taken into consideration. It can irritate the lining of the gut, contribute to malabsorption and nutritional deficiencies, and cause disturbances with other medications you are taking. Finally, alcohol may disrupt sleep cycles, leaving you groggy in the morning. Taking stock of what may occur will help you to self-diagnose your alcohol tolerance with the next step.
Not all alcohol is created equal.
In a recent study published on Pubmed.gov, researchers revealed that alcohols with higher sugar concentrations were more likely to complicate Crohn’s. Avoid hard alcohol with added sugars (i.e. drinks like Smirnoff Ice), as well as beers that tend to have high sugar contents. You should also avoid beers that contain gluten.
Sample and take notes.
As an individual with Crohn’s, you know that much of what your body tolerates comes down to trial and error. Create a safe environment to try out the type of alcohol you are interested in, pay attention to how your body reacts, and write down your findings in a journal.
Moderation is key.
In some cases, alcohol has been reported to provide relief for sufferers of Crohn’s disease. The common finding, though, is that no person with IBD should consume more than one drink per day. Individuals who drink more than a moderate amount tend to make their symptoms worse.
Any healthy individual should be able to consume alcohol, provided it doesn’t complicate their diet with Crohn’s or your condition. And since one drink a day can actually help to cope with Crohn’s, consider if a glass with dinner is right for you.