Does it matter where you live?

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 1/13/2012 1:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Folks, here is an interesting study about the impact of where you live, on the possibility of developing IBD:

Looks like the the study is focused on the impact of location prior to developing IBD.

What I am curious to learn is whether moving from colder states to sunny states would help improve symptoms.

I lived in Michigan and Minnesota for a decade, during which period I was diagnosed with CD and had seen
some flare-ups. After moving to VA and then NC, I definitely feel better but it could be because of other

Folks, please share your experiences. The following information would help:

location before diagnosis, ( S for sunny state, C for cold state)
location during diagnosis
Current location
In case you relocated:
If current location is to a sunny state from a cold state, do you see overall improvement, Y/N?
If current location is to a cold state from a sunny state, do you see overall improvement, Y/N?

To moderators: I am hoping the above request is a reasonable one. If that is not the case, please remove the message.


New Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 1/13/2012 6:59 PM (GMT -7)   
location before diagnosis- C
location during diagnosis- C
Current location- S
In case you relocated:
If current location is to a sunny state from a cold state, do you see overall improvement, YES

I moved from the east coast to the west coast I have been on this side of the US for 3 years and have been in remission for 2.5 years. I know that medication has also played a role but I am positive in my experience the sun did too. =)
University Student
Diagnosed in 2004
1 dose of remicade (2nd dose resulted in allergic reaction)
bowel resection in 2006 (scar tissue due to remicade)
GI feeding tube 2005-2007
Humira started in end of 2009
In remission 2.5 years

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 49
   Posted 1/13/2012 9:30 PM (GMT -7)   
location before diagnosis - S (Alabama)
location during diagnosis - S (Alabama)
Current location - S (Alabama)

Not sure that really helps anyone, but there you go. Things are easier during the summer but mainly because the winter affects my Fibro and arthritis.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 360
   Posted 1/14/2012 7:42 PM (GMT -7)   
location before diagnosis- S
location during diagnosis- S
Current location- S( When it's not winter it's ALWAYS hot, humid & sunny)

The weather constantly changes where I live & when it does it's usually from hot & rainey weather to hotter weather. All the rain isn't good for the arthritis. As far as Crohn's, I almost always flare in February for some reason? Season changes?
Current medicine: Apriso, Humira, Amitriptyline,Prednisone (Tapering), Hydrocortisone suppositorys, Zantac, Prilosec, Probiotics, Folic acid, B-12, Zinc supplements, miralax, pain meds & SO much more.
Previous meds:
- Asacol
- Flagyl
- Amoxicillin
- Cantasa suppository
-Remicade( Had reactions/no benefits ):
In current flare: Feb 2011

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 351
   Posted 1/14/2012 9:15 PM (GMT -7)   
location before diagnosis- C
location during diagnosis- C
Current location- C

I'm not seeing a pattern here...yet.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 566
   Posted 1/14/2012 9:29 PM (GMT -7)   
location before diagnosis- C
location during diagnosis- S
Current location- S

Can't say I've noticed moving to a sunny state has made things any better or worse for my CD. My mood is better in a sunny state!
Diagnosed w/Crohn's in 2005. Meds: Cimzia, Pentasa (2pill, 2xday), synthroid, allergy meds, B-12 (liquid), multi-vitamin, probiotics, verapamil (daily) and other migraine meds prn, and xanax, ambien and vicodin prn. No surgeries.

Have tried: sulfasalazine, Asacol, entocort, imuran, humira, remicade (serious joint pain/fatigue stopped after 2 doses), 6MP

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 201
   Posted 1/14/2012 11:16 PM (GMT -7)   
location prior- C
location during-C
Current location-C

I think we are seeing patterns, but a different kind of pattern. Well, actually, a lack of a pattern.

I think that is what baffles doctors/scientists/etc so much when it comes to Crohns. There is no one thing that works for everyone. From the SCD diet, to aloe vera, to standing on your head while humming The First Noel (just kidding!), there are always those who it doesn't work for.

It would surely be nice if moving to Hawaii would be the end of my symptoms though ;)
22 year old college student
Dx: Colitis, 2008
Re-Dx: Crohn's, 2011
Lialda 4 a day (No more currently, stopped working)
Tried and failed: Imuran, 6MP (allergic to both), Sulfasalazine (headaches, nausea, general ick feeling)
Albuterol- As needed; due to cigarette smoke/strong perfume
Tylenol 2/as needed for pain/headaches
Yaz- 1 daily

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2739
   Posted 1/15/2012 2:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Prior location -S
Current, well it's hot here in the summer and cold in the winter. So not sure how to answer that one. Guess it's all gotten MUCH worse since moving here 11 years ago. But it started in the sunny state. Hard to say on my situation.
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06, and Health Anxiety/OCD 12/08 Taking Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL, and Celexa.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 3932
   Posted 1/15/2012 6:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Moving from Alcoa, Tn. after my initial dx of colitis, to sunny Clearwater, Fl., did not help my symptoms one whit.
I'd say no, unless the area you live in has other things going on, unrelated to weather..


Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 245
   Posted 1/16/2012 5:59 AM (GMT -7)   
I live in Ireland (born,bred and staying put) we have a pretty much moderate climate all year round,Lota os rain (doesn't help arthritis) i don't think location has anything to do with Crohn's,Slainte
49 yr old female....Ireland
Married with 4 children

osteo-arthritis (both knees need re-placing) 3 arthoscopies
Taking zydol/---
Crohn's...colonoscopy and GA...

Asacolon 800mg x 3 times daily....Probiotics....Calcium 800mg daily...Vitamin D 5ug daily,cod liver oil 550mg

A few bacardis and diet cokes on saturday night with my lifelong friends and lots of love and laughter.....


Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 686
   Posted 1/16/2012 8:58 AM (GMT -7)   
I have spent my life in the coastal northeast of the US. I usually have a minor flare in February and a major flare in the summer.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 214
   Posted 1/18/2012 4:24 AM (GMT -7)   
I lve in pa, warm summer cold winter, and my symptoms are the same year round. Now I noticed that stress and diet seem to change the severity. i think when posed with a disease we all search for a reason and cure good luck.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 365
   Posted 1/18/2012 12:40 PM (GMT -7)   
location before Diagnosis-S
location During diagnosis-S
Current location-S
Have lived my whole life in Florida so I wouldn't know if the seasons would change the flares.
Diagnosed with Crohn's of the Large and Small Intestines Sept 2010
had been suffering for 2 years before
Previously had 3 fistulas and 4 abscesses and had a fistulotomy and drainage
Meds: Started Humira 10/17/2010 once every 10 days
Imuran Started 10/18/2011 100mg 2x a day
Vitamin D supplements

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 390
   Posted 1/23/2012 8:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I often wonder if moving to a sunny place would help my Crohn's - I'm not sick this winter nor last (knock on wood) but the 5 years before that i would never get sick during the warm months and only start to flare when the weather turned. It was like the leaves would shrivel and die and fall off the trees and that's what was happening to my insides (except with a lot of crying and screaming in pain :)

I know that a few times when I have started to flare I went to a hot weather climate and stayed outside all day, no sunscreen, drinking lots of pure water, going vegan and doing a host of other things I do to keep myself well and was thankful enough to keep the illness at bay. Doing yoga outside on the beach and swimming in the ocean all afternoon does wonders for your body. That being said, I can't afford to jet off every time my insides start to misbehave. But I do say that if I run out of options for medicine I will move to a sunny climate before I consider surgery. I know that when I absorb a lot of Vitamin D i tend to have less symptoms. Also, I live in the NorthEast, which seems to be not as laid back in terms of living style as say the islands. :) Then again if I ever had to have a colonoscopy down there.........
Crohn's Colitis
35 year old female
DX 2006
Currently on Humira, Xanax for anxiety, multivitamins, extra Vit D and calcium
In the past have taken 6mp, Prednisone and Remicaide

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/5/2017 4:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had crohn's 27 years. Three surgeries. On cimzia now. Anyway, substance of post is this...I live in area that obv. has a lot of toxicity--air pollution, food/water impurities, smog, and little contact with natural elements. For whatever reason I noticed when I go to one place in particular--Costa Rica--three trips now in two years--I see a marked improvement/elimination of almost all symptoms. My theory is the air is cleaner, more biodiversity (a ton of trees plant life), cleaner foods (little to no factory farming/gmos/heavy industry/anyibiotic fed animals) and more sun and time spent in natural elements. Anyway, I have not been able to find any evidence that this idea is not crazy outside articles on Nicoya, Costa Rica which is in The Blue Zone (one of five areas in world where people live longest), and this article suggesting the develoment of crohn's is more likely in northern latitudes Also, there is an article on rural areas being less likely a place to develop crohn's (see below). In sum I think certain areas have different energies than others and def. diff. levels of toxicity. More polluted areas and less sunny areas are probably more triggers for crohn's...although I have very little scientific evidence to prove this idea.....anyone find any other science reinforcing these ideas?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2015
Total Posts : 715
   Posted 8/6/2017 11:47 AM (GMT -7)   
location before diagnosis. S
location after diagnosis. S
Current location. S

I lived in the north for 5 years. Felt fine. Moved to Texas for almost 20 years and overnight got sick.. I still live in Texas. I do not and have not lived in a very polluted areas and I have always lived in rural settings. I have become heat we started going to New Mexico /Colorado. I feel so much better there. Days of sunshine are comparable. Both areas rural. Weather very different... Altitude very different....

I looked and could not find any studies except for rural or the north vs. South. Hmmmmm

06/12-07/14 symptoms start, no diagnosis.12/14 diagnosed UC & diverticulitis. 01/15 hosp- fistulas, DX changed to Crohns, 02/15 developed new skin rashes, eye problems and painful joints 06/15 Hosp.2x again.. new specialist.Said was worse case he's seen. 7/16 hosp 5mm Stricture stricturplasty to 15 mm.09/16 colostomy. Meds: Remicade, methtrexate, prednison,folic acid, vit D, calcium, pro biotic,

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 10084
   Posted 8/6/2017 6:34 PM (GMT -7)   
C for all 3. Not the UK ever gets extremely cold, but it isn't particularly hot or sunny either. Most of my major flare-ups have occurred during the winter; my Crohn's also began at the end of 1999 (I still remember it because I put down the diarrhoea to too much rich food at Christmas; 4 weeks later it was hard to use the same excuse).

I think cold is bad for me, but on the other hand I doubt I would enter into remission if I emigrated to the tropics.
Dx Crohn's in June 2000. (Yay skull)
Tried: 5-ASAs, azathioprine, 6MP, Remicade, methotrexate, Humira, diets.
1st surgery 20/2/13 - subtotal colectomy with end ileostomy.
2nd surgery 10/7/15 - ileorectal anastomosis. Stoma reversed and ileum connected to the rectum.
Current status: Chronic flare. Do I have any other kind?
Current meds: 50mg 6MP; Entyvio (started 3/11/16)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 6131
   Posted 8/6/2017 11:30 PM (GMT -7)   
c for all 3 also.

I think this question would work better going by latitude. just because a place is cold does not mean not sunny. I have heard over my 33+ years, that the farther away from the equator, the higher IBD rates. then that throws one into, the vast majority of IBD is in Caucasians , who tend to live mostly the farthest from the equator.

and more prevalent in western diets, and on and on. so when we add in the aussies and kiwis down under and Argentinians etc.. so north of and south of the 30th parallel ?

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 10084
   Posted 8/7/2017 6:32 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree on the latitude thing, Randy. I have wondered how Australians fit into the IBD picture, 'cos they live in a country that's largely warm and sunny all year round. I wonder if the UK in the 18th century, along with exporting its criminals to Australia also managed to export its IBD genes? (It probably isn't as unlikely as it sounds, given that the penal colony was also basically the first European settlement in Australia at the time.)

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 8/7/2017 4:02 PM (GMT -7)   
location before diagnosis -Sunny California
location during diagnosis- CA
Current location -CA
In case you relocated:
If current location is to a sunny state from a cold state, do you see overall improvement, Y/N?
If current location is to a cold state from a sunny state, do you see overall improvement, Y/N?
33 year old female. Diagnosed with Crohns in 2002. First bowel resection 2006. Remission for 10 years. Recent: perianal abscess and fistulas with seton placement, had setons all removed and an Endorectal Advancement Flap Surgery performed Aug 2017
Meds: Humira only. Just switched from Remicade after developing antibodies and psoriasis. (past:colazal, pentasa, Remicade, Prednisone, flagyl, Humir

Nathan Edwards
New Member

Date Joined Sep 2017
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/30/2017 1:47 PM (GMT -7)   
location (before, during, current) = Nashville Tennessee

I started experiencing issues 15 years ago when I moved to college in Cookeville TN. Actually symptoms appeared upon coming back to Nashville when I was on summer and winter breaks.

I recently took a vacation to Destin FL and had fantastic health while I was there but when I came back to Nashville I started having issues again.

Like many of you I was also wondering if the sun or salt water played a positive role but it might have been diet changes or lack of stress too. I've thought about going back to see if I get similar results. I'm starting to try salt water baths and Vitamin D to see if I can recreate Destin at home. ;-)

Similar to what a few of you have mentioned, I tend to flair at the end of seasons - primarily Feburary and August. I've been off of meds completely for about 8 years and have been managing my health through diet. I can't seem to find the root cause but I keep trying. I can normally make adjustments to my diet before things get bad enough to require anything invasive.

I find similarities in people's stories very fascinating - if enough people share their stories then hopefully we can find correlation (ideally causation) to the root causes.

Good luck all. smile

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 15400
   Posted 9/30/2017 3:00 PM (GMT -7)   
location before diagnosis- C
location during diagnosis- S
Current location- S
In case you relocated:
If current location is to a sunny state from a cold state, do you see overall improvement, No

I can only speak about the past, because I had surgery, and I do not have symptoms anymore... I lived in cold and I had minor things happened that probably should have made me think I could be diagnosed with something, a few episodes of urgency/D, but I assumed I ate something. Then I moved to the sun and I got worse symptoms and I got diagnosis. it was still very mild. Then I moved back to the cold and things remained bad, even got worse. Than I moved back to the sun and nothing changed, but things progressed in the fashion you may expect of a chronic illness. Then I had surgery while in the sun and I've remained in a sunny place.
Co-moderator: Ulcerative Colitis
Currently: no meds. 6/15 Step One J-pouch Surgery Complete! 9/15 Step Two Complete! 11/15 Step 3 Complete!

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 10993
   Posted 10/1/2017 5:36 AM (GMT -7)   
I'd bet it has more to do with genetics and historic migration/immigrantion patterns than anything else. Traditional northern European populations have higher predominance of IBD and they tended to settle within northern areas of the USA when the emigrated over. The temperature is completely irrelevant, however, genetics are very relevant.
Moderator Ulcerative Colitis
, 39, UC Proctosigmoiditis
Rx: Remicade @5mgs/kg/6wks; daily 75mgs 6MP, 4.8g generic-Lialda, and rowasa

Taking the "oo" out of poo.

Matthew Sawrie
Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 10/3/2017 4:59 AM (GMT -7)   
I have 9 brothers and sisters and am the only one with crohns. My personal belief is as follows. If our body is not producing enough steroids then we are more likely to have an autoimmune disease. Since our adrenal gland plays a huge role on our steroid production then it makes sense to look there for answers. The adrenal gland is healthest when we drink lots of water, have a good supply of b&d vitamins, avoid caffiene and cigarettes and when we get plenty of sleep. In summer type weather many people drink more water due to the heat, are more active and due to the physical activity sleep better at night and exercise increases our steroid production, the summer also gives us more sunny days and therefore more vitamin d. There are other people that dont change their habits from winter to summer. I am living proof that a happy adrenal gland equals a happy life.
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