Caffeine and alcohol

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 4/13/2009 3:43 PM (GMT -6)   


I was diagnosed last week and I have stopped drinking caffeine and alcohol.  I would just have a few alcoholic drinks on the weekends before I was diagnosed.  I am not going to drink caffeine or alcohol until I go into remission, but I am wondering if I can ever add these back in?  Anyone have experience with adding caffeine and alcohol back into their diet?

Also, how is sugar or tomato sauce during a flare up? 

31 year old female, diagnosed w/ left sided UC on 4/6/09
7 month old son
1 Rowasa enema nightly - Symptoms gone
Also taking Synthroid and Lexapro
Noticing a lot of people with UC are on depression meds and thyroid meds.  Connection??

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 2103
   Posted 4/13/2009 4:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I personally don't have any problems with caffeine but alcohol does kill me, even in remission. Everyone is different during a flare and in remission so its hard to say if you could add them once in remission. Tomato sauce was a huge no-no for me while flaring but again, everyone is different.
20 year old college student diagnosed in March 2005
Remission since January/April 2006- THREE YEARS!! YAY!!!!
4 400mg Asacol 2x daily, 10mg Elavil, 75mg Effexor XR for GAD, ortho lo

"Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans"
John Lennon

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 4/13/2009 4:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I drink coffee in the morning only, but drink tea (constant comment green) when I'm flaring. I drink a little soda now and then as a treat, and choose decaf if it's available, but I know I do better with vitamin waters and such.

I can drink beer and white wine, but don't when I'm flaring. I drink Heineken light which is apparently low in wheat/gluten. Hard alcohol and more than one glass of red wine always make me bleed, whether I'm flaring or not.

I avoid tomato sauces, they irritate me. Pizza Hut pizza sauce is the worst for some reason, or it used to be, I haven't had it in probably 20 years now.

I am watching to see if sugar bothers me, I'm still not sure. I switched from Splenda to Truvia (stevia). I've had a terrible sweet tooth with this last course of prednisone, and a few donuts didn't make me worse...

That's my experience!

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 wheat/gluten, other intolerances; eliminated all wheat/gluten from my diet. Probiotics (Ultimate Flora, 50 billion). 
Flaring, seasonal? Back on prednisone, tried to taper but now back up to 30 after several really bad days. Humira denied, waiting for approval to start Remicade. 

Post Edited (Peety) : 4/13/2009 7:14:43 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 307
   Posted 4/13/2009 6:33 PM (GMT -6)   
I havent had caffeine since August of 08 only becuase I heard it was terrible for UCers. 
I occasionally drank alcohol (1-2 drinks on the weekend and only Heineken) but I was diagnosed with PSC which is another autoimmune disease which affects the liver.  I now feel VERY guilty if and when i drink alcohol knowing that I have a liver disease.
Age: 25 / Male / Florida
Diagnosed: 11/08 / Pancolitis
Asacol - 2 x 3 day (waiting for results)
Prednisone / ended 1/09 (started at 30mgs and tapered down)
Mens Multi Vitamin - 1 a day
Metamucil Wafers - Once a day
Jaro - Dophilus Probiotic (3.4 Billion) - 1 a day
Diagnosed with PSC: 3/9 --now taking Urso

New Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 4/13/2009 7:26 PM (GMT -6)   


I completely avoid caffeine, alcohol, anything spicy, carbonated beverages and sugar alcohols when flaring and up until 2 months of steady remission.

I slowly bring in alcohol and watch it's effect on me. I've been fine drinking alchol since january 2009. I don't drink too often, but when I do they are binges... once every 2-3 weeks, but i have still been fine.  I also have brought carbonated beverages back in, but i drink like 2 glasses/week.

I avoid the other stuff because I can live without it.

My last time i was flaring i had a fear of the things listed above. And it took me 4 months after i was in remission to try them again, just in case you feel that way, i don't know if it's normal, but it happens to me at least.

I've also started to eat spinach whenever possible! (As per sunflower and spinach posts)  I don't know if that has anything to do with my continued remisssion for the past 8 months, but it could be helping me.



-22 yr old female
-diagnosed in 2003  *mild* ulcerative colitis ... after each colonoscopy, flareup, and GI appointment.. it is always worse than they previously thought
-currently in remission, flareups have been every year except 4th flareups from (july 07 - sept 08, last flareup being 5 months and on  40 mg prednisione)
-currently  4800mg of Asacol

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 4/14/2009 12:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I'm in remission and have no problems with cafeine or alcohol. I know I'm one of the lucky ones though, so you'll probably have to try it out carefully for yourself.
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis December 2008
Treating with:
-Prednisone (6mg - tapering (slowly...) from 40mg)
-Pentasa x8 a day
-Pentasa enema once daily
Also taking Iron supplements and Multi-vitamins

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 4/14/2009 1:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Alcohol is hard on the colon (remission or not) and caffeine is a natural bowel stimulator....some people have major enough issues with either or both to completely cut it out (even during remission) and others claim they don't (yet they wonder why they can't get out of a flare or why they have continual flares)...some do okay with a very minimal amount of either on occassion, daily is not occassion.

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

Eva Lou
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 3442
   Posted 4/14/2009 11:27 AM (GMT -6)   
I don't drink alcohol too often, maybe once every 3 months or so I'll have a few beers. Not so much due to UC, but I used to be a HEAVY drinker thruout my 20's, & after I had a child, I just basically stopped going out! Now, I think my poor liver has enough work trying to metabolize meds without adding alcohol into it- but when I do drink, it doesn't seem to affect me much the next day. I drink 2-3 cups of coffee daily, in the AM. Yeah, I also go to the bathroom a lot in the AM. When badly flaring I was unable to drink coffee & drank tea instead. And no pb4, I don't wonder why I continually flare. It's not because of my coffee intake, I'll tell you that much.
diagnosed with UC '02
Asacol- 8 tabs/day
Remicade-10mgs/kg- since 4/07
Imuran- 150mgs/day
various probiotics
Fiber supplement

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 4/14/2009 5:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Ahh... my 2 best friends and 2 worst enemies! I have to admit, I was not at all worried about changing my diet when I was diagnosed with UC, but freaked out when I realized I might not ever be able to drink with my friends ever again!!! ;) Luckily, I have successfully been able to consume both in moderation while in remission! (woo hoo) I drink coffee every morning, just one cup per day, though. Start with really weak coffee and see how you tolerate it. I don't know if it is good for you or not, but it actually helps to keep me regular which can be a really good thing when you still experience urgency in remission.

I have come to realize the hard way that alcohol has to be kept to a minimum. I can have a couple of drinks on the weekends without any problem. As long as I keep it below the legal limit with the drinks per hour I am A-OK. Too much beer and I'm really bloated so I try to stick to light beers and liquor drinks with low sugar content like vodka or gin (no shots). Make sure and drink plenty of H2O along with!!! For me it's all a balance. As long as I am taking my meds on time, sleeping and eating right I can drink... but if any of those things are neglected, then I'm going to get sick.

I have no problem with tomatoes sauce, but during a flare I make sure it's really watered down so it's not too acidic. Sugar, unfortunately, is not my best friend. I get flares from sugar more than anything else. Again, it's all about balance... if I keep sugar out of my regular diet, I can have a bowl of ice cream (my nemesis) every once and awhile! Good luck!! :)
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~:* ONE LOVE *:~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Current Symptoms: None!!!!! In remission since Nov. 2006 (woooohoooo!!!)
History: Diagnosed Oct. 2005, flared for 1 year. Hospitalized 9 days Sept. 2006. 2 Blood transfusions, 1 Remicade injection. Drugs:Asacol,Probiotics (Primadophillis Returi), Fish Oil 1000, MultiVitamin, B-12, Biotin, Vitamin-E oil & Cinnamon pill (occasionally). Diet: Vegetarian (Fish/Eggs/Dairy) & SCD diet (somewhat)

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 4/14/2009 6:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Caffeine and alcohol don't affect affect my colitis and I drink them regularly.
Dx:  UC Proctitis 2006 
Meds:  None so far. Garlic works to ease flares. My GI laughed when I told him and said it was just coincidence. 
Started Meds:  Apr 9 08 500mg 5ASA (salofalk) to ease flare, tapering, stopped. 
Diet:  Regular fresh garlic, Biobest yogurt daily, Omega 3 supplements, very limited junk food, carbs and processed food, low fat diet.  Lots of fresh fruit and veggies (limited potatoes). 
 Added: tumeric and probiotics.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 4/14/2009 10:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Coffee is a natural laxative so it does make me "go" more often if I drink it.  It does not cause me flare-ups, though.  Alcohol has no affect on my UC, however.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 212
   Posted 4/15/2009 3:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Alcohol bothers my UC. The hard stuff is easier on me than red wine. I wonder if it's the sulfites they add to wine to keep it from spoiling. Tomato sauce really aggravates my UC. Papa John's pizza sauce and Pizza Hut's sauce used to bother me, but I know they've changed their recipes recently. Caffeine doesn't bother me at all.
- DXed with "left sided" UC in 1998. DXed with "proctitis" Oct. 2007
- Sulfasalazine 3 500mg tabs twice daily
- 500mg Vitamin C, 1 Multivitamin, L-Glutamine
- Max Acidophillis EC Capsules 350Mg(7 types of bacteria with over 42 billion viable cells) with 50 Mg colostrum & 50 Mg FOS(fructo-oligosaccharides)
- Experimenting with this or that on occasion. Always open to new ideas.
- Colonoscopies - 2 (Due for my next one ASAP)
- Canasa 1000mg @night. Started Oct. 23, 2008
- Niferex-150 Forte 1 capsule 2x Daily

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