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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 12/1/2008 11:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, my name is Mike. I'm 24 years old and I have had ulcerative colitis for 6 years now. Basically my disease is in control when I don't do one thing. Everytime I have had a flare up its been because of one thing mostly. Alcohol, I have had a tough time realizing that I simiply can't drink. I will have a flare up then get healthy. Once I get healthy I get this invisible feeling that I can start drinking like my friends when I simply can't. Right now is the best that I have done, I have been of prednisone for 8 months which is the longest I have ever been off of it since I have had the disease. Everything was going well until this past week. I'm not not bleeding but I can tell a flare up is coming. The discomfort and pain has kicked in. I have a doctor appointment coming up with my GI. I'm going to be honest and tell him about the drinking. I recently got laid off and have been depressed. The drinking has picked up. In the past I felt if I went out and drank once every couple of weeks I never had problems. Now its gone to 2-3 times a week. Its very fustrating, I feel if I could stay away from the alcohol my disease would be controlled. I just always give in, plus I hate flare ups. It makes life hell. I just dont know what to do. I always give in to stupid alcohol. So basically I guess I'm just hoping for advice or something. It kind of feels good just to type about it. I have great friends and family but you cant relate to them what your going through. Anyways thanks for reading.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 436
   Posted 12/2/2008 12:11 AM (GMT -6)   
I know exactly how you feel bud. I used to drink a lot. You know what helped me? 1) Growing older. Your priorities change and the drinking crowd seems to be getting younger and your all your friends get married and can't drink anyway. 2) Having a child. You can't go out b/c you have a major responsibility, and 3) Realizing it is making you flare when you can be in remmission. You know I really hate when my older brother says how crazy it is for me to drink and I could just stop drinking and do little things to eat better and reach a huge goal in life-Remission.
I think you are one of the lucky few that can pinpoint a major factor in your symptoms. Please take advantage and listen to your body. May I suggest finding a hobby or new friends that don't drink b/c that will also help.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 12/2/2008 12:28 AM (GMT -6)   
thank u much for your reply. it sucks that it has took me so long to realize this. i know what I have to do though. thanks again.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 152
   Posted 12/2/2008 1:11 AM (GMT -6)   
yeah i think i'm in the same boat you are. once i'm over a flare i deceive myself and say "maybe it wasn't really the alcohol that set things off before" than i'll have a few drinks and sure enough my symptoms return.
Proctosigmoiditis up to 25 cm
Colazal 3 caps 3 times a day
Hydrocortisone enemas AM and PM for next two weeks
Canasa suppository for lunch (for my butt)
Rowasa enemas nightly after hydrocort enema regimen is completed
Celexa 20mg daily
Fish oil, milk thistle, Ultimate Flora critical care probiotic, Alive multivitamin, lysine
Spinach and sunflower seed plan

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 12/2/2008 1:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, unfortunately I've heard and read that alcohol can be hard on the colon, not to mention for IBDers and the meds that doesn't always mix well with booze...please be careful though with drinking, you mentioned being depressed (with every right because of being layed off at work) but if you feel like you cannot control your drinking, please get appropriate help...I know living with IBD isn't easy on top of the other stresses in life (getting layed off and such) and I'm not judging in anyway, I'm just concerned because I've seen what alcohol can do to people....infact Theron Fluery (X-Calgary flames) has crohn's disease and he started drinking heavy because he had a hard time dealing with it (I think he might have been using drugs too, cannot remember that for sure) but he recovered from his addiction thankfully and is better now at coping with his crohn's.

I wish you the best, take care!

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30999
   Posted 12/2/2008 2:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mike, welcome to the forum. Being from a family of alcoholics puts alcohol in a different light for me.

But, that aside, you pretty much know it's not good for you if you're asking. Besides being hard on the digestive tract, it's very hard on your liver...which can be affected in association with UC, from the meds and of course, drinking.

You've used pred in the past for's not good for each flare, and there are other options. Congratulations on doing well for this long.
Please ask the GI about oral and rectal 5ASA meds..asacol, Rowasa..etc.

Hang tough....we all punish ourselves sometimes in one way or another.
Try to get a med regimen worked out with the doc (other than pred) so that you can increase if you need and feel as though you have a bit more control.

Let us know how the appointment goes.

*Heather* Status..Asacol 6 (3 twice daily); enemas every 5th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~Probiotics....(Natural Factors Protec, Primadophilus Reuteri Pearls, Natural Factors Ultimate)....1 each  @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed
~Ranitidine (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 12/2/2008 8:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to HW Mike :) I was the exact same way when I was younger. I would start to feel good, go out with friends have a few (several drinks) and then pay for it later. I was in denial of having this and I just wanted to feel normal. I didn't drink because I had to but because I wanted to feel like a normal person. As I got older my whole preception of drinking has changed. I no longer feel the need to drink to feel normal and in fact I now find that I can have just as much fun without the alcohol. I still on occasion indulge in a drink here or there but not nearly as much as I did when I was younger. Mostly because I can't tolerate alcohol with the meds I am on - anymore then 3 drinks and I start to get extremely sick. Not worth it in my eyes. If you feel that you are stuck in a vicious cycle then I recommend you seek advice and help from a professional. Maybe even start on a mild anti-depressant or enter therapy. Many people with chronic illnesses have depression issues (myself included) so don't be afraid to step up and speak about your mental health. Drinking can be a very hard habit to break. I have seen my brothers and my father try to beat that devil for many years.

But regardless whatever you decide to do, remember that we are here for you 24/7 and we can truly relate to what you are going thru.
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(9 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Bentyl, Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate Asacol, Rowasa or Canasa**~Year-round allergies-Singulair, Zyrtec~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-'04-Norvasc~Sacroiliitis-epidural injections~bulging and herniated discs C5/C6 & C6/C7~3 epidural injections-worked great!, OA
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 12/2/2008 12:42 PM (GMT -6)   
OK, it's a long shot and I'm not saying you should drink like that, but do you drink beer? I found out I was intolerant to wheat/gluten and so I now drink gluten-free beer and have no more gurglies after I eat and drink and am doing much better with the UC too. One bar where we go before basketball games has started carrying the beer made by Anh-Busch for me (we are acquainted with the owner a little bit), it's called Redbridge. I have several friends who have started drinking it because they also wanted to see if it caused them less gastro distress, and it does. It's made with sorghum, and it's a dark beer.
That bar and my country club are the only places where I can buy it out so far, but most bars get A-B products, so it might not be a big deal if you have a regular hangout. Otherwise, you can find several brands at stores and I bring it to tailgates, etc. when I want beer.
If you are drinking other alcoholic drinks and are like me, you are really hurting your gut.

I hope things get turned around for you soon, you seem to be a thinking guy!
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering.
Asacol/5ASA 6x400 mg maintenance for 20+ years; use prednisone & Rowasa for flares. 
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Food sensitivity test showed gluten, other intolerances; started diet without gluten, soy, dairy, tomato etc. Replete probiotic first, then Forte pills. 
Achieved remission for the first time in many, many years!? Seemed so, but colonoscopy Oct. 6 proved not so, heavy inflammation in ascending colon & will be using Rowasa again. But I AM better.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 742
   Posted 12/2/2008 7:37 PM (GMT -6)   

Vices are tough.  Most likely if you try to quit one, you'll start another.  And when you have UC, that's a no win situation.  If you replace alcohol with eating or smoking or whatever else, you'll be damaging yourself in some other way.  Luckily I got UC after I was married and had a child, so I don't know what its like to have it when you're young and single (and I wouldn't want to know).  It seems like there's nothing to do at that age but drink, so I have an idea of the pressure you're under.  No one wants to stand in a bar with a bottle of water in his hand. 

I hope you're able to find a healthy replacement for your drinking.  Sorry you're finding yourself in this situation.  I really feel for you.  Good luck and let us know how you're doing.  :-)

Katie, 30.   Chicago 'burbs.
DX:  Pancolitis as of 9/08 (Proctitis as of 1/08)
Current Treament:  Iron 325 MG 2X daily, Zoloft 50 MG daily, Multivitamin.
Diet:  Spinach/sunflower and low-residue.
Previous Treatment:  Canasa suppositories, Cortifoam, Prednisone, Colazal, Symex DuoTabs, Rowasa, Bentyl, Cortenema, Asacol.
Status:  Near total remission

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 12/2/2008 8:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I can understand about the missing a beer now and then.  I certainly do.  But you have to do what you have to do with this illness.  I just started a flare-up again after a four year remission.  This is my 3rd flare-up.  The first one started in 2000, I think from antibiotics for a sinus infection, contracted c-diff, then again 2004 UC and c-diff again (though in 04 no antibiotics, don't know how this happened).  Now here I am again back on Asacol (2 400mg x 4x/day) only for now and trying to stay only on that, hoping (knock on wood) no prednisone
again. Before my flareup on Oct 29.08 I was drinking mostly beer then had 2 rum coolers and that was it. Boom. Flare-up. So, yes, it is hard to not have a drink but now we realize what could start a flare again.  So try (as hard as it is) to keep a good attitude and maybe learn other methods of relaxation.   yeah  

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 12/2/2008 9:21 PM (GMT -6)   

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 12/2/2008 10:22 PM (GMT -6)   
You will be ok and you can be strong against this disease. Alcohol weakens the meds. I am the mom of a uc'er and need wine to help me cope, so am not the role model you need: ha ha, but I truly understand. I feel sorry for my daughter, as she cannot even go through the usual teenage experimentation, as the drugs will hurt her. Try to put the booze in perspective, and seek pro. help if needed. Your body cannot have them, and others who have alcohol will not understand. We here, at this site, get it. Knitting, anyone??? Just joshin' I know it seems unfair, but you will be ok without it for now.
Hang in there!
Daughter,15 diagnosed 1-08 w/ UC Learning from you all.
Asacol, Prevacid, Flagyl, Prednizone 50mg, major flare, now off!, Hosp. @ U of C, Comers, four x this yr. Low residue diet still, and still having problems.
6MP, Colazol ,horrible acne/moon for awhile- No more Pred,but 6mp isn't working. Remicade next up.
Trying probiotics, fish oil, and Mangosteen for kicks.
On 2nd infusion of Remicade, and still on all of the other drugs., except Flagyl and Pred. Better, not healed.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 12/2/2008 10:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey man, welcome to the site, I'm 21 and I'm going through somewhat the same, all my friends drink being Puerto Rico the "capital of Rum" Bacardi, I gave into temptation and I'm going through a flare right now, I drank a lot during my high school years and later was diagnosed with the disease, I gave up drinking lived a flare up free life till I started driking again. I tell you I WON'T EVER DRINK AGAIN, no matter what, no matter how good I feel, the sickness is there and we can't ignore it, we have to let those temptations go. Do what I do, just make fun of your friends when they are drunk, hehe.
Peter, 21. Puerto Rico
DX: Ulcerative Colitis as of 06/05
Remissions: Remission: 01/06 till 10/08
Current Treament: Asacol 2400 MG 2X daily, Rowassa nightly, 1MG Folic Acid, 40 MG Prednisone, Remicade, New ChapterĀ® Multivitamin, New ChapterĀ® All-Flora Probiotics, Dolomite Calcium Supplement
Status: Flare!!!!!!!!

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