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940 Person Survey – All About Drinking Alcohol with Colitis

Thank you to all the Nine Hundred and Forty COLITIS ROCKSTARS who contributed to the Alcohol and Colitis survey!

There was participation from 43 countries! (which is always cool to see, I guess us UC folks be a drinking in all sorts of places)

Here are the questions from the UC and Alcohol Survey that took place the 3rd week of August 2016 (Pictures are at the bottom):

Question 1: Do You Drink Alcohol:

  • 39% — YES
  • 38% — Somedays YES, Somedays No
  • 22% — No (Meaning never, or not in a long time)

Question 2: Do you think alcohol effects your ulcerative colitis?

  • 47% — Yes
  • 35% — Not Sure
  • 18% — No

Alcohol Effects on Colitis over 500 personalized responses – CLICK HERE

Question 3:  How many drinks (containing alcohol) do you have per WEEK?

  • 29% — 0 (Kinda interesting since 22% answered “No” to question 1:)
  • 15% — 5-10 drinks per week
  • 14% — 1 drink per week
  • 11% — 2 drinks per week
  • 8% — More than 10 drinks per week
  • 8% — 3 drinks per week
  • 7% — 5 drinks per week
  • 7% — 4 drinks per week

How many drinks with alcohol per week detailed answers CLICK HERE

Question 4: What do you prefer:

  • 37% — Wine
  • 25% — Beer
  • 20% — Mixed Drinks (cocktails)
  • 10% — Hard Alcohol (no mixers added)
  • 8% — Other

What Alcoholic Drinks do you prefer CLICK HERE

Question 5:  Do you think alcohol negatively impacts your UC?

  • 32% — Yes
  • 31% — Sometimes Yes, Sometimes No
  • 21% — Not Sure
  • 17% — No


Question 6:  ANY TIPS you think might help other people with UC regarding alcohol?

408 Tips about Alcohol and Colitis CLICK HERE

Below is a short list of some tips from others, the full list can be downloaded here in PDF format

  • Drinking alcohol (specifically beer) actually makes me feel better.
  • Moderation is the best method. To much will put me down for days.
  • Just listen to your doctor!!!!It definitely helped me.He told me that coffee and alcohol is bad for UC.I believe this helped me and I am in remission since then.
  • Do not over indulge and eat well and stay hydrated. I have been on entyvio for over a year and I am doing very well. Try to be mindful of your eating habits.
  • I have not seen a difference with my UC while drinking beer or mixed drinks. With that being said, I am on Remicade Infusions every 10 weeks. As of now, (knock on wood) I have no symptoms. I also take Sulfasalazine (only 1x a day, not the 3x’s a day as they prescribe)which also seems to help.
  • I stick with white wine as red does not agree with me. Cannot drink beer or hard liquor or any carbonated drinks as they cause pain and bloating. Have tested this several times with the same result every time!
  • Alcohol affects even the most healthy stomachs but also makes you eat bad stuff! So try and soak it up with something not greasy!
  • I carry a small bottle of brandy in bag as if my stomach is not good this helps settles it a little bit, especially if travelling home to and from work or going out and it holds me, until I get home, so I don’t have to use the public toilets.
  • I was drinking a lot of different drinks before first I’ll and diagnosed, crabbies ginger bear with some vodka in was my fave. I don’t think mixing alcohols is a good idea ?
  • I do feel if I’m in a flare it can make it worse. However, if I’m feeling good, I think moderation is fine. Maybe types of alcohol have more of a negative effect?
  • Beer has the potential to affect UC, wine seems to be ok – margaritas with real lime juice and agave instead of corn syrup sweet and sour mix do not affect me.
  • Non-alcoholic beer is now my beverage of choice, and I really don’t notice the difference in taste in my preferred brands.
  • It’s a trade off when I drink….it takes me 2 to 3 days to recover. It’s a fine line as I am trying to move forward with healing my gut so don’t want to compromise that path. I do get concerned that it may start me on a flare especially with fall coming up or as my GI calls “flare season”. Drink organic, no sugar or yeast. Experiment if you want but always in moderation! Good luck!
  • As with anything listen to what your body is telling you. Everyone is different. I can only handle a glass of red wine with dinner. Anymore and my UC starts to complain…
  • IF you can tolerate it, gluten free drinks (wine and some liquors) seem to be best. I try to have one big glass of water after each drink to balance it out.
  • If you must partake, drink vodka (based on the distilling process it is gluten free).
  • The drier the wine, the better for our U.C., because of the sugar content . . . but (and for me — a frugal gal — this is key) the cheaper the wine, the higher sugar content. You have to buy really good wine to get the driest wine. I usually drink cheap wine :-(
  • If you do have an occasion where drinking more than your norm is essential (i.e. a wedding or birthday party) then pace yourself for the rest of the week and week leading up to the event. Drink lots of water before and after the drinking session to minimise the impact of the alcohol. Try not to binge drink and maybe choose clear spirits over wine.

And what are the faces of some of the responders to the survey….:



Thank you to all who participated and to all on the newsletter!


Have a great week,




12 thoughts on “940 Person Survey – All About Drinking Alcohol with Colitis”

  1. Very interesting – espcially the beer. My colitis is related to Celiac – so no beer for me. Can’t do red wine anymore. Occasional whisky and water. (Birthday and Christmas)

  2. My doctor only seed me to avoid Milk and bactarial dairy products like yogurts etc.. Said alcohol does not have any effect on UC but has asked me to not to drink for other health reason.

  3. Thanks for the survey results. Made me think have my symptoms gone because of the presidonol or was it the fact that I did not drink at all whilst on the steroids?
    Good reminder that white spirits are often better than other alcohols as well so thanks for your efforts, appreciated.

  4. On the first question, you asked: “Do you drink alcohol?”

    The last answer, NO was clarified with (Meaning never, or not in a long time) Not in a long time meaning that they had drunk alcohol before, but don’t currently drink alcohol.

    On the 3rd question, you asked: Question 3: “How many drinks (containing alcohol) do you have per WEEK?”

    Therefore, since those who hadn’t had a drink “in a long time” had to answer no to the first question, they had no choice but to answer the 3rd question with zero because they don’t drink alcohol every week. So, the answer would be that they drink zero alcoholic beverages per week is correct. Their only other option in the list of choices for that question was to say they drank at least one alcoholic beverage per week which wouldn’t be true.

    So really, there’s no discrepancy at all.

  5. Elaine J

    Very interesting Adam, thanks for this! Reading one of the responses, in which a “flare up season” was mentioned, I wonder if a survey about the seasons during which people tend to get flare ups might be useful? For instance, is there a time of year which affects everyone/most/some, or are symptoms purely down to food intake? I would like to know, as I’ve been trying to detect any patterns in myself but am not really sure if there is one… Just an idea! Thanks for everything you do, Adam! (And to everyone else who posts here of course!)

  6. I very rarely drink alcohol. Maybe 4 or 5 times a year, if that. But I recently had a glass of wine at a restaurant and really liked it so I bought a couple of bottles and was drinking about the equivalent of a cup a night for a few nights and my UC flared up big time. So, it definitely has a negative effect on my UC.

  7. Tbh i don’t even know what i have. Been taking every medicine they prescribe n nothing really works. Loads of Antibiotics and it just keeps coming back.

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