Well Water and Crohns

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What A Life
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 116
   Posted 4/2/2010 6:21 AM (GMT -7)   
For the past 22 years I have lived in the same house. Years ago, through my own research on the net, I found a connection between well water and crohns. In multiple studies; they say that well water could cause CD. My GI actually told me this when I was first dxed as well. It was shortly after this that we purchased a Cloister Water Cooler and only use that water to drink or cook with. I keep thinking to myself; what if I never drank the tap water; would I be fine? Oh well, it is what it is... But just wondering if any other CDers have well-water or have heard of this connection.


^^ Not really a good article, but you can google more and a lot comes up when researching the correlation.
28 Y/O Male DXed Crohns in 2000.
Fistulotomy/Fistulectomy 2001
Been on many meds including Remicade.
Asacol and Pentasa on a when-needed basis as of recent
Current regimen: Diet and Exercise.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 3141
   Posted 4/2/2010 7:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Unfortunately, there is no one direct cause for everyone with CD.  I never had a drink of well water in my life.

Dx'd '90 (emergency rupture), symptoms ignored long before that, '03 fistulas and bad flagyl reactions, B12 weekly, Pentasa [until I surrender to the bigger meds]
I'm riding on the escalator of life....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 674
   Posted 4/2/2010 7:06 AM (GMT -7)   
I've never had well water in my life...I'm like 98% sure.  I blame my Crohns on smoking and a horrible diet.  I started smoking at age 16, I was rushed to the hospital, had an emergency resection and diagnosed with Crohns by 16 and a half.  Never had a problem before that.
Dianogsed with Crohns: At 16 years old. 23 years old now.
Surgeries:3 Bowel Resections, Gallbladder Removed, 3 Abscess Cleanings, Fistula Repair
Current Meds: Methorexate, Vitamin B12 (injections), Nexium.
Next Surgery: None.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 4/2/2010 7:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Grew up in a town with municipal water as did my mom, we were both diagnosed with CD when our first born was 1 (but we each showed signs as early teens). So for us it would seem that hormones are more the trigger. This seems to be one of the stumbling blocks facing researchers, there are so many different triggers and some of us could be put into more than one trigger group.

CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!

Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 4/2/2010 7:24 AM (GMT -7)   
I too have never drank well water. I like the poster above believe in my case a few things triggered my Crohns, with starting smoking at 13 being a strong possibility.
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease & Anxiety/Panic
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

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Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 9448
   Posted 4/2/2010 8:56 AM (GMT -7)   
My husband grew up on well water, a shallow well they dug and rockwalled themselves, until he went into the Mariine Corps. We had deep well water for some 30+ years where we are living now. He's 71 and has never had a bowel problem in his life.

I started smoking at 14 and my Crohn's hit when I was 33, well after my 4 kids were all born. I was Dx'd in 1976.
My computer says I need to upgrade my brain to be compatible with its new software.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 4/2/2010 10:50 AM (GMT -7)   
My daughter was diagnosed with Crohn's. She is a professional athlete, always trained, ate right, never smoked. She could have had well water somewhere, who knows. I think they have well water at parks, rest stops on the highway, and at camps. At home, we have city water. But I'm confident her trigger was when her appendix ruptured causing peritonitis and her immune system to go into overload. Antibiotics (Xifaxan for her now) are the only thing that helps.

Veteran Member

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Total Posts : 6117
   Posted 4/2/2010 6:59 PM (GMT -7)   
i hate to break the news to you all , but if your paying a company or city for water its most likely from a well.. or dozens, depending on the size of the water utility.. either that or from a lake , pond or river nearby.. if you ever went to a water resevoir and seen what floating in it you would puke.. thats why we have chlorination ;-)..


Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 4/2/2010 9:22 PM (GMT -7)   
yeah, I have a hard time thinking it is the water, but who knows, .... I personally drink bottled water, Aquafina just for the taste of it. The city water here doesn't taste very good. I have lived in rural settings recently in Northern Alberta, where I am from and I think well water is better than town water. For me the D was triggered from stresses in a relationship. At 23 I met a decent guy from the coast, a newfe, and yes I fell madly in love with him, well sort of, and then well we had our ups & downs and some of those "growing up" experiences I think caused me to get sick. I remember it started with a sinus cold, then the flu, and then ... well, it was D all the time and in the hospital I went for several mths. and came out with no colon and a bag on my side and Mr. Wonderful was no longer around. He didn't want to deal with a sick girlfriend.
And that's it in a nut shell.
33 yr. old female CANADIAN
dx with UC October 1998
had temp j-pouch: '98-'99
disease free & back to norm: '99-'07
dx. with CD March 2009
Currently taking: Remicade mthly & Imarun

In my next life: I want to be a big beautiful oak tree or something like that... so I can live off of just sunshine and water.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 1373
   Posted 4/2/2010 9:39 PM (GMT -7)   
A good question....

I actually moved up to a rural area 7 years ago and started drinking my well water here... 2 years later I got diagnosed with U/C and now they are pretty sure I have Crohn's... I SWEAR, I was thinking that maybe it could be something in my well water since my well is so shallow (only 70 feet deep) like too many minerals or something, so I switched back to bottled water just 3 days ago and I'm going to give that a shot for a month or two and see if it makes ANY difference.. I'm reaching for straws right now because I feel miserable lately, but I'm willing to try just about anything at this point...
 Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis January 31st, 2005, Testing for Crohn's 3/10
 Prior Meds:
Canasa, Rowasa, Lialda, Apriso, Prednisone, 1 infusion of Remicade.. none of those worked for too long... Had neurological complications from the Remicade...
 Current Meds:
Pentasa 2000mg 2x a day, Entocort 9mg daily, Nexium 40mg once a day, Wellbutrin 150mg once a day. Culturelle 2x a day, Xanax as needed and Ambien at night for sleep..  

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 6117
   Posted 4/3/2010 1:17 AM (GMT -7)   
sofee, was you guy dark haired with kinda curls and had a big head? and a wet kisser? i think ive seen him......;0)


Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 4/3/2010 9:05 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't know if anyone believes in the MAP bacteria as a cause for crohns. But they do day that MAP has been found in our water supply too. My understanding is it leaches through the soil from the sick cows and ends up in our water supply. So far in all the research I have read, although I don't think its the only cause, I do think that MAP bacteria in our milk and water makes the most sense to me as a cause for crohns

What A Life
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 116
   Posted 4/5/2010 7:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Yeah; there are many different triggers as to what causes Crohns... I guess none of us can really know for sure which is frustrating. It's very possible it was smoking that triggered mine as well; but I just don't know!
28 Y/O Male DXed Crohns in 2000.
Fistulotomy/Fistulectomy 2001
Been on many meds including Remicade.
Asacol and Pentasa on a when-needed basis as of recent
Current regimen: Diet and Exercise.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 734
   Posted 4/6/2010 8:59 AM (GMT -7)   
I have drank well water almost all my life - except for a few years where I lived after I was first married.  My GI told me the well water wasn't good for me to buy water.  I have done this and drank the well water too.  I can't tell a difference in how it effects my CD.  Honestly I had the most trouble from my CD when I lived where I didn't have a well.  I think it is another one of those things like most things with CD - it effects each person in a different way on different days.

"We can't beat this disease, YET, but we can't let it beat us!"

"Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/28/2010 12:49 PM (GMT -7)   
i think there may be more to this than people are thinking. tap water and well water are not necessarily different. your municiple water supply could come from wells or surface water. you turn on your faucet, but the water originates from somewhere. ground water can have different types of minerals dissolved in it than surface water which would not be removed in treatment process. might be worth further study. since i moved to a town that all water is supplied by a nearby river from a town with well water supply, i have had no symptoms, no meds, and still in remission. might be coincidence, but maybe worth a look from scientific community.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 4/28/2010 12:59 PM (GMT -7)   
These "guess what caused Crohns" posts show up all the time here. The fact is the overwhelming consensus among Crohns researchers is that CD is a runaway immune response set up by a series (as many as two dozen ahve been identified) of genetic triggers . . . the recessive gene (or more accurately genes) precurser mentioned above. Yes it takes something to set the cascade in motion, but it can probably be anything, or more probably a combination of thiings -- a food allergy, bacteria (including some ofthe beneficial bacteria we all carry in our guts), a bout of norovirus or food poisoning, smoking and yes perhaos a water contaminant. The truth is, if you are born with the genetic setup, you are virtually certain to encounter something that will set off the immune response, which quickly becomes a runaway train and can only be slowed, not cured. So it really does no good to speculate on what may have been your own individual trigger. What's important is to treat the disease now.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/14/2013 7:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Very interesting!
Have any of you tried the Specific Carbohydrate Diet?
I was diagnosed in 2000, but have had it since 1997. Ostomy in 2007, laparoscopic surgery in 2007, 1 foot of small intestine removed, fistula to bladder removed. I have been on the SCD for 3+ years, and it has been a blessing! My symptoms are controlled for the most part. I take pentasa 500 once daily, along with b12, D 1000mg, Calcium, 1000mg C, and Culturelle probiotic (L. acidophilus GG).
I am only posting this to be a blessing to someone here. It has changed my life, and I know it can do the same for any Crohn's patient. It is slow at first, but you begin seeing results almost immediately. I recommend reading the book, but you can also go to the website. www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info
God bless you all, and best wishes as we battle our disease!

Post Edited (JmoCRX) : 11/19/2013 9:19:32 PM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 259
   Posted 11/15/2013 9:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Mike B I am printing off your post and showing it to my husband, who still thinks the reason our daughter has crohns is because of what she eats/ has eaten. Not potentially the second hand smoke she encounters throughout her life from him (he doesn't smoke in the house, only outside, but still we smell it when out with him and on his clothes when in the house) and whatever other trigger that activated the gene(s). He actually believed her eating a few slices of bacon is the reason she has blood in her spit & nose bleeds right now.

Thank you for making me feel validated!!!
13 daughter with Indeterminate IBD diagnosed at age 11-Sept 2012 Crohn's Nov. 2012
Now on Methotrexate, Prednisone, Entocort, Zofran, Prevacid, Immodium - Soon to try Humira
Built up antibodies against Remicade... Been on: Remicade, Flagyl, Cipro
Dairy free diet

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 559
   Posted 11/16/2013 3:04 AM (GMT -7)   
If anything, I'd expect well water to help Crohn's sufferers. The vast majority of Crohn's patients are in the developed world where most people get chlorinated public water supplies. The less developed countries rely heavily on well water and have a noticeably low rate of Crohn's afflicted people.

As someone already pointed out, public water supplies can be well water. More likely it's from a reservoir, but gets chlorinated and perhaps aerated before being piped to your house.

Mineral content of well water is probably higher than reservoir water. The mineral content will vary due to local geology. A problem in many areas is a high concentration of calcium carbonate, causing so-called "hard water." Drinking that all the time can contribute to kidney stones. If that's a concern for you, add a little lemon juice to your water, but that's not a panacea.

All those fancy designer waters like Perrier are essentially well water, though they'll call it "spring water" for marketing purposes.

I did have a friend some years ago living in Fallon, Nevada (USA) who regularly drank well water which, as it turned out, had a high arsenic content. My friend got very ill from it, and might have died had it not finally been discovered where his arsenic poisoning was coming from. The lesson I took from his experience is that not all well water is equal.

So my conclusion: I actually don't think water quality has much to do with Crohn's. Conceivably, chlorination could have some effect (either positive or negative) on Crohn's, but I've never heard that before and I don't want to spread a rumor that it does.

Post Edited (ozonehole) : 11/16/2013 3:15:20 AM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 213
   Posted 11/16/2013 5:22 PM (GMT -7)   
i don't now if well water can cause crohns but i did read somewhere that if your public water source is highly clorinated it can kill the good and bad bacteria that lives in your gut which in not good.
16 year old male. previous treatments: remicade, SCD diet, liquide nutrition, and flagyl . current meds: Humira, pentasa and (prednisone only a week left of the taper). crohns in the terminal illium since 2011.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 10015
   Posted 11/16/2013 6:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Never been near a well in my life. Used to live in London though, where the water was chlorinated to within an inch of its life and had passed through 7 people before you, supposedly.

On another note, it was a shame MikeB stopped posting. His posts were always succinct and well-informed.
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