Water qaulity an issue?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 118
   Posted 7/13/2009 11:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, psychocolon's hubby here. Greetings! :)

I'm wondering if water quality issues could have anything to do with UC.

We have a 500' well that is loaded with dissolved impurities: TDS is around 500 PPM, which boarders on undrinkable according to the EPA. We have a 10 year old whole house water softener and use Potassium Chloride as the recharge medium. We also use a R.O. (Reverse Osmosis) system for drinking water and cooking water, but until recently we have not monitored the TDS of anything, or done any detailed water analysis (we are waiting on the analysis now).

A couple months ago we discovered that iron had fouled the water softener and R.O. system. The water softener and R.O. system were letting through a lot of impurities. It has since been cleared out and all filters changed but we are wondering if high mineral content (mainly iron, calcium and magnesium) in drinking water could cause flareups?

Any info on this? I've done a bit of google research but haven't really seen much on it as it applies to UC.

Coincidentally, the UC started a bit after the well was done. There were other issues that can trigger UC going on at the time but I figured I toss this out and see if anyone had any info.

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30998
   Posted 7/13/2009 11:17 AM (GMT -6)   
was the well done during a time of moving to that new location?

I think the immune system trigger is the key....what triggers it initially is pretty much anyone's guess.

I drank distilled water for 10 years, but that started about 4 years before diagnosis...so....it wasn't the water I don't think.

It is best, however, to make sure your water is as healthy as possible....I've never had a well so I'm not much help in that matter....but some things in the water could possibly add stress to the workings of the body in general possibly adding to the autoimmune response.

Hope you find some answers.

*Heather* Status: maintenance Asacol 6 daily + Salofalk enemas every 4th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~UC meds: Asacol (3 @ 2x daily); Salofalk enemas nightly for flares & taper to maintenance 
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed; Ranitidine (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma) 
~vitamins/minerals/supplementsProbiotics....(RenewLife Ultimate Flora Critical Care + Primadophilus Reuteri). @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 118
   Posted 7/13/2009 12:06 PM (GMT -6)   
No, the deep well was to replace a shallow well that was running dry. The water treatment stuff was put in with the new well as the old one had great water.

I just wonder because of the timing. I believe it was a viral thing that initially triggered the UC, but that was within a year after the new well (I think, the wife will know for sure but shes at work ATM but it was definitely after the new well). Quite probably just coincidence but ya never know..

But I do wonder if higher than normal minerals and such may cause or prolong flares.

We know the water is free of bacteriological contaminants, and city water is typically 200-300 PPM TDS (bottled water is around 70, properly functioning R.O. is very close to zero) but I just figure I would investigate anything that's under our control.

I did come across an article that mentioned high mineral content water can cause gastrointestinal issues but it was in general, not for just for UC. I don't recall what particular minerals (iron?) or amounts, but I'll try to find it again and post it. I think it was an EPA study.

Post Edited (psychocolon) : 7/13/2009 11:10:23 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 7/13/2009 12:12 PM (GMT -6)   
My initial reaction is that it doesn't have much to do with UC, simply because there is a lower incidence of UC in less developed countries, and my guess is that their drinking water isn't all that great. But, maybe get the RO system fixed and see if that helps anything.
Status: Remission since late May 2009!
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son.
Diagnosed with pancolitis on 1/30/09
Currently taking Apriso (4 pills ONCE!! daily), Rowasa twice weekly, Natural Factors Ultimate probiotic 12/12 Formula, and Zoloft (25 mg).

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 118
   Posted 7/13/2009 1:20 PM (GMT -6)   
OK just found the links, they are at the EPA site. Not sure if I can post links (I haven't read the stickies yet) but here are a few the non biological substances that can cause problems for UC folks. Obviously, pretty much all biological contaminants cause gastrointestinal problems so I won't list them. There are a few more, when I have the time I'll post what I find.

Substance     Effect
-----------     ------


Beryllium      Intestinal lesions
Copper        Short term exposure: Gastrointestinal distress  

*Organic Chemicals

Endothall      Stomach and intestinal problems 

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 460
   Posted 7/13/2009 2:32 PM (GMT -6)   
When I was diagnosed almost 7 years ago we had city water, we've had well water for about 3 1/2 years now and I haven't noticed any change in my symptoms between city and well water.
Female, Age 38
Diagnosed w/c.diff 7/02 when pregnant w/1st and only child during 2nd trimester(wasn't on antibiotics)
C.diff flare within weeks of delivering baby 1/03, Diagnosed with UC 2/03
Current Meds:
Lialda, 6MP
Ferrex Forte
Acidophillus, Sacchromyces Boulardii, Oil of Oregano

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 7/13/2009 8:30 PM (GMT -6)   
we have a well, thats all i have ever had my entire life. Well water can have small microogranisms living in them that can trigger stomach troubles. However fi you are exposed to those your whole life they can also boost your immune system.
Iron can def cause stomach problems.
However when i was still sick the only water i could drink without it making my stomach upset was the water from my house.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2105
   Posted 7/13/2009 8:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Drank well water for 20 years no problems. City water for 3 and developed UC. Don't think the water had anything to do with it though. Maybe wrong though. Wouldn't be the first time, lol.
Proctitis DX 1999, Pancolitis DX 2008
Golimumab study (100mg every 4 weeks)
L-Glutamine 5000 mg + 600 mg pyridoxal alpha-ketoglutarate
Probiotis/VitD3 5000IU+Ca/1000mg DHA

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