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Can You Drink Alcohol When Colitis is Acting Up?

Fair Enough Question Right?

Can you DRINK ALCOHOL for your flared up Ulcerative Colitis?

If you are someone like most of the world who enjoys a nice cold beverage, or even a nice alcoholic room temperature beverage from time to time or maybe more than that, and you have UC, surely you’ve asked this question before.  I know I sure have.  Let me start by saying this, I don’t think anyone can answer this with 100% certainty, but my quick answer is Yes.  But, if you do decide to drink alcohol, you might get more flared.

For me personally, I used to drink about one or two beers per day, and a very occasional glass of either red or white wine, and an even less occasional mixed drink with some spirit and tonic or OJ etc…  Once I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, my alcohol slowed down, but definitely did not stop completely.  I was all flared up, very severe, with heavy and nasty uc symptoms.  I was going to the bathroom 10-20 times per day, and bleeding like crazy.  Nothing in the form of formed stools was anywhere to be found anywhere in the bathroom I used.  Yeah, it was pretty nasty days. So, you get the visual as for my colitis symptoms, but my drinking went on to some degree when I was feeling up to it.  I never thought my drinking could have any major effect on my uc until a while later.

It wasn’t until August 11th 2009 when I met another girl who had UC for ten years that I started to really end my alcohol drinking for the sake of trying to get my colitis into remission.  The girl told me that the sugars were the major problem  for my digestive system and colitis.  So, without wanting too much of an explanation, I told her I would stop the nightly beer drinking.  She told me if I really had to, maybe an occasional vodka was alright as it is low in sugar supposedly.  So I stopped.  This girl had HORRIBLE colitis like me, and was symptom free for over two years and now running marathons.  So I had to listen to her.

And that is what I did.  I cut out the drinking nearly 100%.  There is all kinds of ideas on drinking and colitis for sure.  I am no doctor, won’t ever be one.  I am not a dietician, won’t be that either.  But, I do have ulcerative colitis.  I did used to drink often.  I don’t anymore, and I don’t plan on starting that lifestyle of drinking everyday ever again.  That’s pretty much it. For the most part, I quickly noticed my UC going away after August 11 last year.  Not until May this year did some symptoms return as I mentioned in a previous post.  But, I am not too worried about it.  Its still just 1-2 bowel moves per day.  I like my diet, and I’m sticking to it.  No beers though.

This post is turning into opinions instead of answers to the original question.  How about this, if you have ulcerative colitis, and you are in a flare, and you drink alcohol, why not try to stop drinking alcohol for a few weeks and see if you feel any improvement.  If you do, or if you don’t, please make some comments on this post. thx

One last thing.  I surely miss drinking a beer for lunch everyday while working in Czech.  I think we even put down Vodka shots every once in a while during lunch too…


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129 thoughts on “Can You Drink Alcohol When Colitis is Acting Up?”

  1. Hi,I am a year past diognosis, and I used to have 2-3 gins before tea nightly 1 have had 1 red wine since that sent me to the toilet almost immediatly, and Ihaven’t had any more alcohol. I have had 3 flares since August 2009 It is hard when you go out socially and the drinking places don’t have sugar free drinks and we have to settle for a social water drink.
    Maybe if we should treat ourselves to some nice perfume or a piece of jewelry to make up for the inconvenience.
    Shirley NZ

    1. Hey Shirley,

      I like the perfume idea. I think my wife would actually rather me find some nice bathroom smelling perfumes, geez these flares seem to make the bathrooms smell nothing like roses. Good luck with the winter down there in NZ!

    2. Hi, I’ve had colitis for a few months now and I’m 18 and all my friends always want to go out and have parties and I feel like I can’t go because I can’t drink, I haven’t tried vodka or anything like that which seems most popular with the people who have colitis on this page, but I’m just unsure of what I can drink?

      Thanks George

      1. Hey George, I can definitely understand the frustration, especially if everyone around is all about gettin into some drinks. Make absolutely sure that you don’t get anywhere near overdoing it with any alcohol. Littke little amounts if you must. Just because some folks here talk positive about vodka … well it still can be very evil. I’ve learned the lesson far too many times. I wish you the best. Adam

  2. Hey,

    I have quite strong opinions when it comes to alcohol and U.C as I believe Im in a position of a lot of experience of 1) having u.c and 2) the experience of some serious binge drinking.
    I was diagnosed in june 2006 just as I finished my A-levels (high school for the americans). With the drinking age being 18 in the u.k the summer was supposed to be an incredibly social event before we all set off to university. For myself however I was advised to abstain due to the recent diagnosis. Through much bitterness I did as I was advised and this in hind sight was probably a great decision. When september arrived my colitis flare had completely subsided and I resumed normal activity. As an 18 year old fresher at university normal activity means drinking a minimum of 4/5 nights a week. This continued for a year, in 2nd year the work load was upped and drinking was reduced to 2/3 heavy sessions a week. NONE of this affected me in the slightest, not one relapse during this period.

    Unfortunetely in my 3rd year of school I finally has an overdue relapse, I was studying in america at the time and to be honest I feel the relapse was brought on by dietary change and emotional stress that living in a new country brings. Foolishly I didnt change my diet or alcohol consumption and my condition never changed, i just put up with bad mornings and then continued with my day as normal. I have continued to relapse/remission regularly since this time and undoubtably alcohol is an aggrevating factor while in flare up mode. However a night on the alcohol has never affected me as badly as a night eating chocolate/baked goods/candy etc.

    Im now embarking on the scd diet to try and get my colitis under control, a few days in and im already down to 1bm a day. To get back on topic though in my opinion and experience alcohol will play NO role in u.c while in remission but is a definite no no while in relapse. I also find spirits are much less aggrevating than beer (probably the sugar content).


    1. Hi Nick,

      I have had a similar experience to yourself, its actually quite refreshing to hear (all i seem to read is negative stories that say you cant live a normal life) i to got diagnosed around the same age and i was really into sports like football and squash (still am) although when i have a flare up i tend to have a bit of time off football. Also i really enjoy a drink im 24 now so not into binge drinking as much but when i was at university all through my time there i drank heavily i was fine, but as you say it does catch up with you, just wondered how you are with your symptoms now and if theres any particular food doesnt agree with you? i’v started to stay away from bread pasta and red meat. Also hows the SCD diet do you recommend it?

      Many thanks


    2. Hey Nick

      I’m actually 20 now so I’m still in kind of a drinking stage. I think the reason you have trouble with beer is because it contains wheat and barley/gluten which my nutritionist said is one of the most common things to co tribute to a flare

      I have found red wine to have no effect on bowel movements, however white made it pretty ridiculous

      Havnt really got too drunk on spirits but I may give it a try soon as im in complete remission at the moment

  3. Hey all,

    I was diagnosed in August 2008 with UC. Being a uni student I use to drink a bit with my mates plus a beer with dinner most nights.

    I haven’t had more than two beers in a row now for well over a year as it wreaks havoc on my system if i do. and that’s not even during a flare up.

    So in general I don’t touch alcohol anymore which, I found out, significantly impacts the relationships with people you once thought were great mates. Even going out and not drinking with them makes me feel like an outcast. Needless to say, I don’t really hang around with them anymore. Plus it’s always shit when people ask you why you’re not drinking, you have to make up some lame excuse and you can tell all they’re thinking is “this guy’s a pussy”.

    One thing’s for sure, I don’t miss the hangovers.

    1. I agree, not touching the alcohol has been very helpful for my colitis calming down! And, don’t worry James, I surely don’t think your any less for not drinking!

      1. Hi Adam
        I’m reading all what you are saying. It is true.
        I’m older and never expected to hit’s been a year since diagnosed.I’m on meds but started to get a flare. I try to watch what I eat but still happens .Any suggestions.. tx

    2. Re: James 24 June 2010 Great reading your post, I have experienced the exact same thing. I was diagnosed with colitis four years ago but had symptoms for two years prior to that. I have had long stays in hospital and things came to a head about a year ago when my consultant and surgeon stated that my chances of keeping my colon were slim. Steroids, infliximab etc just did not work however I have found immuran and that seems to be working. Anyway a little off point there, I gave up drinking completely a year ago and the loss of friends and what I would call isolation is something that I was not expecting. I had a large bunch of mates but the crushing thing to discover was that when you don’t drink and when you’re ill people stop ringing you, that is a fact. However my health is the best that it has been in four years, I have become extremely driven becaue in reality you need to be if the social life you once knew no longer exists. I have a hundred and one goals to achieve not least getting back to playing football at the competitive level that I once played at before this horrible disease struck. As for meeting a new girlfriend as you probably know yourself thats another massive hurdle (I’m 25), but I have to say the positives of giving up alcohol still outway the negatives. Thanks again for writing that man.

  4. You guys are all old-time UC’ers – I’m 34 and only about a month post diagnosis – but having my first real flare-up and struggling a bit with it. I guess you could say I’ve previously been a fairly big drinker, drinking most days, and I’d be lying if I used the words “in moderation” that often – but I’ve not had a beer for about 3 weeks and it’s seemed to make things a bit easier, certainly after starting the Prednisolone a few days ago. Had a single beer last night, I guess out of some curiousity as to how it would react – bang, today’s been a bad one, lots of cramping, lots of blood, etc etc.
    Now I’m no rocket scientist, but as coincidences go, that’s a bit too obvious for me. Staying off the sauce until things improve.
    Good luck all.

  5. Hi Adam,

    I’ve had UC for 15 years, and have been on medication non stop. I hate having this condition, I was recently rushed into hospital with a flare up. One thing though about having this condition is that it sure makes you tired all the time. With the festive season on our door steps in 24 hours, I would like to have a wee tipple, but am a little frightened cause of the drugs they were pumping into my system. Do you think a little glass of champange would do any harm?

    Kind Regards,

    Karen (Glasgow, UK)

    1. Hey Karen,
      You got a great question about putting back a little champagne over the holidays. I don’t think I’m the best one to ask. I used to drink all the time and since about 16 months ago, I stopped pretty much completely. I had a minor one night relapse at a wedding a year ago and it sent me into a flare(could have been from some of the foods I was chowing on too..) But, I am medication free for over a year, so you and I are medicnine-wise at different spots right now. I personally am going to do the holidays alcohol free again like last year. I guess my only suggestion would be to drink some wine with very little sugar in it if you really want to(some dry wine) and in moderation, especially if you hare still having active symptoms of UC. I know there are tons of people on the other hand who do drink alcohol on occasion who follow the site and seem to do reasonably well. I wish you and everyone else up there in SCOTLAND the best!!! Really hope to make it to your country some day, heck maybe we can have a massive UC party and put back liters of Laphroaig!

  6. Hi everyone-

    I was just diagnosed with colitis about two months ago, however I have been suffering for at LEAST two years. I find that I have a very consistently clean diet ie: diary free, wheat free, nut free, red meat free, processed foods, and baked goods free, I can handle a glass of wine, a couple of liquor drinks with next to no problem.

    It is more important having a sound diet. Don’t cheat yourself. The problem here is that the genes that cause colitis, also cause celiacs disease (wheat intolerance). Therefore, it is essential to stay away from almost all gluten. This includes soy sauce, whole wheats, barley, oats, etc….

    I also notice that I am tired all of the time. I am very into health and working out, but half the time lately, I don’t have the energy, motivation or desire. It’s really exhausting. I don’t feel like me half of the time.


    1. Hey There Morghan,

      I am sorry to hear that you’re not always feeling like yourself. On the bright side, its great that you don’t have to wait and wonder anylong about what it is that’s causing the issues, 2 years is a long time to go at it without knowing, I did that dance for about 5-8 years, crazy.
      Hey, welcome to the site, and have a great time here,

  7. Hey all. I have colitis as well. I used to drink daily with my roomates but about ahead ago I found out that these hangovers aren’t normal ( even after tequilla) wich was the general excuse…my drinking stopped but still in pain. Been. Clean 3 weeks.

    Its he’ll… sorry saw this on my phone but had to ask
    What am I dooing wrong. I’ve started working out again changed the diet and knocked out drinking … heeelllpp
    (Typed on my phone sorry)

  8. Oh yeah and how lovely it feels when drs don’t find it at first while your in the ER in pain with them thinking your a pain meds addict

  9. I’m a college kid, diagnosed last July with “moderately-severe” Ulcerative Colitis. I stopped drinking in September after noticing i got sicker the next morning and swore it off until i got of prednisone and closer to remission. Now I’m doing MUCH better. I’m recently sick-ish because I ate the creamiest most delicious Custard Ice Cream and it just set me off. However, I’ve had SEVERAL nights of heavy drinking free of symptoms, mostly becuase im not flaring, also because I ususally mix it with…”medical marijuana”. I learned early that MJ helped me A LOT, and even fought off some potential flares with it. I NEVER drink beer though, only clear liquor like rum, gin, or vodka (or sometimes wine). Everyone is different, i know people with UC who CANT drink at all and a girl with Chrohns who drinks.

  10. Hi all fellow UC’ers, I was diagnosed 6 months ago and was devastated – you know the poor me attitude. I was very active and ate (I thought) really well. I have been off prednizone for 3months and am still taking Mezavant, though only 2 tablets daily.
    I completely changed my diet and definitely going to check out SCD. Although I do still partake in beer almost everyday, I find that this is going to have to change. Who know it would be so hard.
    Question: has anyone heard about a medicine called Nystatin? It is supposed to kill intestinal yeast. Any comments would be much appreciated.

    Thanks for the ear and wish all the best.

  11. Thank you all for this discussion.

    I was diagnosed yesterday! Big news to digest, but good to have an answer for what is going on with me.

    I actually started seeing a naturopath before I was able to get to a GI specialist and she put me on an exclusionary diet called Ultra Inflamx and I have been off alcohol for almost a month which has helped. I was a pretty heavy drinker until I started this diet. I think it is safe to say that stopping alcohol and caffeine while eating better and getting more sleep has helped a bit. I started Prednisone today and hope that I can finally get some real relief. I am curious to try to drink once I am done with the Prednisone to see if I have to stop for good or not.

    I am glad to out that there are others dealing with the same thing.

    Thanks for this discussion board.


    1. Hey Bridget, thank you for joining our discussion group. I’m sorry to hear you were diagnosed this week, but don’t freak out. There’s a whole bunch of us here, and its for sure not even close to the end of the world.
      As for your current treatment program, that sounds pretty good that you are seeing some early success. The prednisone is often very beneficial for putting colitis symptoms to rest, but definitely getting a long term plan is going to be key.
      I follow the SCD diet, and its been a dream come true in many ways for me, but in terms of drinking, I’ve just started introducing a very minimal amount of Jack daniels and ice, and it seems to be agreeing with me, but then again, I’ve been following the diet for almost two years now and I’ve had alot of healing. I wouldn’t recommend alcohol until your symptoms are better and no bleeding or diarhea or other symptoms. stay conected with us, and thanks again for joining up!

  12. I used to not drink when flared but the last few years I have been. I typically drink vodka. I think I have a little bit of “the hell with it” attitude since I was diagnosed in 95. I know that it doesn’t matter what I eat…still going to go right through me. So why not have a vodka? Bad attitude, I know, but that’s where I am right now.

  13. Okay so it seems safe to say that beer probably is a possible trigger for many with colitis? As bad as I do not want o emit it i believe it could have got my last flair started but it was not like instantaneously the next day but i believe it may have gotten it started. On top of that if you are following the SCD beer is also not allowed. My question is what do you all usually order when you go to the bars if you dont drink beer? Whiskey on the rocks? I was thinking it would be a safe bet to order maybe vodka and soda, pretty basic and no junk added to make you feel as bad. Also have you all ever tried to find the ingredients on a beer? Apparently from what Ive read american beer has many different preservatives and a high level of sulphite. Ive been reading that German beer may be a better alternative than domestic for people with colitis because they have strict brewing laws in Germany.

    1. Good question, and pretty interesting regarding the brewing laws.. I definitey don’t know all the details regaridng brew ingredients, but I can say a few things from personal experience. When I was living in the Czech republic, where beer is part of the lifestyle for most, I was drinking heavily most days of the week throughout the day, and almost always beer instead of other stuff. And, all things considered, my colitis was relatively quite(it did not affect me too much, no urgency, just light bleeding sometimes but off and on etc…) When I got back to the states, things took a serious nose dive for the worse, and shortly after I was out of control with my UC and then got diagnosed. Hard to tell exactly what was happening, but in the end, I not barely every drink, and when I do, its Vodka on the rocks, and I’ve had maybe 15 of those in the past 2 years. I guess my thinking is, if you’re new to SCD, probably best to drink water at the bars, as tough as it sounds for a while until you’re healed up pretty good, and then maybe dip into a little of vodka without any mixers if you can, and test that out. Some do alright with bourbons like Jack Daniels a bit here and there, but staying modest with alcohol for me has been a great idea… of course I surely do miss the occasional buzz, but anyways…

  14. Yea I came close to sayin im just never guna drink again but I honestly dont id follow through with it being just turned 21 and a college student. I def wont drink till I know im in a good state of remission looks like when i do il be drinkin stuff straight up and in small quantity’s just to b social. Idk ifi could do vodka on the rocks, may have to add a lime or somethin.

    1. Hello out there, I was diagnosed in 1999 and I drink beer almost every day. Once in a while a little red sweet wine. I haven’t had a problem with the beer my problem comes if I drink vodka, rum or any other strong drink. I’ve gone as long as two yrs. without meds. I’m not taking them now. Whether I do or don’t drinking the beer doesn’t seem to bother me. Eating gasy foods and strong drink is what bothers me some but not to the extent of a flare up.

  15. Hey guys, I’ve been reading some of the last posts after learning yesterday I have UC. After seven years of doctors telling me it was just a “flu”, I’m happy to finally know what it is and how to be treated. As I do love to have a few drinks with my friends, I was wondering what would be the best drink to have once the flaare up is gone. I hear beer is terrible for it so any options at all would be nice. Thanks, Rick

  16. Yea that’s kinda what my question was. Seems vodka is probably the way to go at least from what Ive been reading. Low level of congener and usually filtered multiple times and clear. Prob ur safest bet.

  17. I was diagnosed with UC a few months ago, its been tough. In February I decided to stop drinking to see if that’s what caused my symptoms, bloody bowel movements. Before then I use to love having a whiskey- flare up, beer- flare up, rum and cokes- flare up, after work or casually while i watched a good show. Bye bye to those wonderful days, oh how i miss thee. After reading ALL the above posts, it seems that UC seems to be attracted to people who ENJOY alcohol (not to be confused with alcohol addicts). Not drinking has been an experience in and of itself. The sober life hasnt stopped me from partying Thurday-Sunday. You know how many bartenders have laughed in my face or got pissed off when I order JUICE :-). Most of them usually just say take it no need to pay, just tip me instead lollolol. However, I replaced drinking with smoking, I refuse to be vice less. In a way that keeps me from being the odd ball. But being a non-drinking smoker is kinda weird too, whatever it eases me.
    Thanks for providing us UC’rs with a place to congregate and share our experiences!!

    P.S. Since I’m forced to be a straight edge guy (even tho i occassionally smoke) I decided to bulk up. Might as well look the part since we’re now forced to be health nuts. :-)

  18. I have had UC for 10 years, just had my anniversary for the start of my symptoms last month. Thankfully my colon still hasn’t given me any unwanted surprises, just had a colonoscopy yesterday to confirm it.

    Over my first 8 years with the disease I drank alcohol with no real issues, unless I drank a lot, for several days in a row. As I have gotten older I started drinking less and now if I go overboard too much too much I start to see UC symptoms quicker. I have eliminated beer from my diet completely. Beer always seemed to show its head with UC the quickest. I generally stick to rum now and I try not to overdo it with carbonated mixers. As long as I don’t go too crazy with drinking my body generally responds well.

    I did have a flare for a lot of the summer, which came on after drinking too much a couple weekends in a row and a lot of stress at work, probably not a good combination.

    1. Hey Nicholas, Congrats on 10 years with UC. that’s impressive. Also congrats for sounding like you know how to keep things under control. I too try to avoid alcohol at all costs. Keep it up, great to hear from you.

  19. I was diagnosed 20 years ago at 15 years old. 19 years of mild symptoms or none. Then I encountered a bad flare last summer. After 6 months of treatment I was wanting a better option. I started the SCD diet and was very disciplined for nearly 4 months. My symptoms got worse. I was told to cut out the 4 horsemen. I was on a bland diet. I was told homemade yogurt was the key. I bought a yogurt maker. Still getting worse I was told give it more time. Finally after nearly dying from blood loss I went in for another colonoscopy. My Colitis was worse than ever. I’ve gone back on some Prednisone and Asacol. In only 2 months I am almost symptom free. This diet is a placebo at best and I guess it wasn’t fooling me. Good luck to everyone who has this awful disease.

  20. Hello all,
    My wife was diagnosed last year with UC. It was terrifying because we were so ignorant about it. It started with diahrrea and the doctors didnt know what it was. Until 3 months later, when she got the colondoscopy. We were relieve and sad at the same time because of the time consume. I was supportive but at the same time maybe not us much as she should off want. Family SUPPORT is essential. In terms of the drinking. She has a drinking problem that has deteriorated our marriage. Should I worry about the drinking? She drinks from 3 to 6 bottles of wine a week, and likes to feel hi when drinking. She also exercise and eat normally and is about to obtain a BA degree on special ed. She has not had any flare ups since first diagnosed last year(the flare up lasted from 3-5months it was bad). We are talking about a divorce, Can stress triggered a relapsed and take her to a bad flare up again. Have you known anybody with UC that has never had a relapse since diagnosed. Thank you

    1. Hey Alfonso,
      As for knowing someone who has never relapsed since being diagnosed…. I don’t know of anyone who can say that who’s been diagnosed for say 20 years or more. In terms of the alcohol, that sounds like a really tough problem you two are facing. For many people with UC, the alcohol is really tough to deal with, and has the potential to lead to a flare up if too much is consumed, especially over a long time period of repeated major drinking days. From everyone I speak with, vodka is the lesser of two evils concerning UC and alcohol. But is sounds like your lady really likes the wine. I’ll say some prayers for your two that this can be worked out, and the alcohol does not play a part in triggering symptoms again. best of luck to you, adam

  21. I believe I may have this condition. I used to get diarrhea quite a lot from being a teenager, then started drinking a lot, believing that purging my system helped. Occasionally it may have, and this may be why a lot of people here used to enjoy heavy drinking at earlier stages in life.

    However I had to stop drinking as i was getting atomic, bloody diarrhea several times a day i’d be trapped on the toilet for hours at a time, or finished and too dizzy to move for half an hour, after becoming severely ill at university.

    Going through the DT’s was hell, there’s a good chance I nearly died from it. If you think there is even a slight chance you are alcoholic, PLEASE SEE A PROFESSIONAL to get help.

    Today I dont usually have diarrhea, but malformed, occasionally bloody bowel movements which can resemble symptoms of bowel cancer, a constipated sensation no matter how much fruit or fibre I eat.
    Strangely though, eating salad in place of a “normal” meal occasionally seems to help, as does smoking the occasional cigarette. Nicotine is indicated as a possible maintenance treatment on wikipedia. I used to try smoking pot to help my guts, but it was VERY hit and miss. Sometimes a joint would leave me feeling better for the day, with regular bowel shape and timings, other times it would leave me running to the toilet. Who knows, it may help some people though. One mans food is another mans poison. Out of all the illegal drugs it is one of the least addictive, although it is moreish and can make you very, very, stupid if you get into it too much.

    It led to isolation from people, due to the illness and the paranoia that comes with heavy pot use in some people.

    So these days, i’m determined to try the kind of healthy living that I used to laugh at people for in my teenage years. Pride is a small price to pay for feeling well.

    The plan is : healthy living; slowly increasing excercise, eating more vegetables, less red meat, less dairy, if smoking pot, absolutely NO CHOCOLATE OR SWEETS on munchies, or if eating chocolate when sober, eat small amounts of dark chocolate only. The iron in it can help if you become severely anaemic from blood loss, but not as helpful as a regular healthy diet.

    I’m really, really liking salad at the minute though. Sometimes I think i’m pregnant because I have a fat belly and crave it all day every day.

    I’m not sure what to do about the topic of drinking though. Cider is out, as I’m inches away from type 2 diabetes and it makes me puke. Lager is hit or miss. I may try bitter and stout which i dont usually drink, but enjoy occasionally, although it may trigger yeast infections, though i have nothing to base this on yet.

    Thanks for the tips re: vodka, unfortunately it was my poison of choice when i was drinking heavily and stupidly. This… may possibly be why! In future when having a social drink I will consider trying it but only diluted with a LOT of ice or water. I’m 25 now and I think i’m over giving a care about anyone elses opinion on how I enjoy my drinks.

    My guts are a lot better than they were, and I only drink in the company of others, every couple of weeks at most these days.

    I believe yeast infection may be a recurring trigger in people with UC, its natural place is the gut, but if your guts behave unnaturally it can cause a vicious cycle, hence the treatment with corticosteroids and similar in people with these conditions, and the reasons to change your diet to being less sugar based.

    Dairy is good for yeast infections, which is possibly why many of us will get cravings for cheese. I know I used to, i could eat a block to myself. Which is why I’m fat xD.

    The guts contain a complex microbiology which in many people manages itself effectively. With UC in some people it may cause random problems, which cause inconsistency, which is why one thing which can help at one time can cause a flare up at other times. Which is probably why beer, dairy, have all seemed like panaceas for the illness and at other times trigger a massive flare up.

    I think the best way in people with mild to moderate UC may be to gradually change your diet to something different, either “healthy” or “unhealthy” depending which you usually have. Smokers should try and cut down as much as possible, non smokers may find it literally life saving in terms of allowing you to live a somewhat normal life, although I wont encourage it, as it is known to be a cancer trigger in later life. Personally I’m trying to cut down and make excercise and clean living my vice instead. But who knows, there may be people with UC out there who follow all the healthy living advice and it doesnt help, but picking up a dirty habit might help them in the short term.

    Possible things for medical science to consider in relation to this are, imo, “leaky gut syndrome” which has yet to be proven, and could be another manifestation of UC, yeast infections of the gut getting into the circulatory systems on microscopic levels.

    But the most important thing of all, is to not lose hope. We get better between each episode or we’d be dead from blood loss. Maybe its happened to some people, I dont know, but I’m not going out like Elvis on the toilet, its just not happening.

    If you bothered to read all of that and care to comment, please let me know what you think, whether agreeing or not.

    As an englishman, I simply cant say “get better soon” or “have a nice day” but i can say “hope you have some nice quarter hours here and there”

    :p bbfn

    1. you said to leave a comment. so here I am. Great way of describing it all. hope your in a good place at the mo. im trying so hard to stay focused on this ‘made up diet’ plan cos i really dont know what works.

      Its like milk. Some people say stay well away. And the dietitian, said ‘everything in moderation’. OK FINE! IM GOING OUT FOR A VINDAL(P)OO!

      my biggest fear is re-lapse when i least expect.

      im a scared man with UC! go away re-lapse….

  22. I drank a bitter ale instead of lager a couple of nights ago.

    No heartburn, no headache, no hangover! I was kind of dizzy and wobbly but unlike a lager hangover I actually wanted to live!

    It contains a higher protein/carbs/sugar ratio than lager and i think is more alkali too which may help. Its an acquired taste but here in the grim north of england its a pretty common drink.

  23. I have UC and have found that often during flare ups, having a couple glasses of red wine will actually help to break the cycle and make me feel better. I can’t explain, but it seems to aid in digestion for me for some reason. Other alcoholic drinks do not have the same effect as red wine for me. I’m not advocating drinking, and in fact I’d rather not drink to be honest, as I sometimes feel like crap the next morning for a few hours until lunch. But when weighed against my stomach symptoms, which can be more debilitating, it can be the lesser of two evils when it comes to being able to get through the week more normally.

    1. I’ve actually noticed the same thing with a couple of drinks while having a mild flare. My theory (and I’m not a doctor!!!) is that it might actually relax the colon a little bit in the short term. Not sure if it makes things worse in the long term, but in the very short term I have definitely noticed that a drink or two can calm my stomach down…at times. A few other observations about drinking and UC…

      -Just a few weeks after my first (and most severe) flare cleared up, I went on a two month trip to an island in Honduras where I did pretty much nothing but drink beer and eat strange food. Obviously I was nervous about this trip beforehand, but I had no problems while I was there and I would venture to say that I returned feeling much better and less stressed than when I left. I remained in remission for three years after that, and was drinking periodically through that entire remission period with no ill effects whatsoever beyond the occasional hangover.

      -During my last flare, which seemed pretty minor, I went out for a weekend and partied it up in Miami. I quickly turned a minor flare into a major one and I set myself back three weeks. Not learning my lesson the first time, I tried again a month later and had the same results…a night of drinking that led to a major setback.

      So here is what I’ve learned when it comes to drinking as far as my own body is concerned. If I’m in full remission, drinking seems to have no effect at all on my disease. If I’m flaring, a lot of booze definitely makes it worse. If I’m mildly flaring and I have a drink or two??? Maybe it makes it worse or maybe it actually makes it a little better. Hard to say.

  24. Hey everyone,

    Well, you have a new joiner. I’m just 34 and have been diagnosed last week with uc. I have been socked by this as I’ve always eaten what I’ve wanted and drank what I’ve wanted. One common factor I’ve read on this is sufferers who have a past of high alcohol consumption. I’m no exception. However, I’m convinced my uc will subside and I may continue with a ‘normal’ life. Is it common for people in their 30’s to suddenly come down with this illness? People have in the past teased me for having an iron stomach!!!

    I can cope with everything but the no alcohol lark, it’s strange what a huge part it plays in your life, you never realise until you stop, in fact, it’s strange how you never appreciate good health until you lose it.

    Anyway, I’ve suffered for 5 months before diagnosis and just started on medication now and it’s helping, but Im sure this will pass and I will be able to resume drinking, can anyone confirm if they have heard of this happening?

    Thanks for the posts, they’re often more helpful than anything a doctor can tell you.

    1. Hey David,

      What up buddy. Hey, sorry to hear about yur recent diagnosis. It was just over 3 years ago for me. I’m 32 years old, and since I started the site a couple of years ago, I can certainly tell you that its super common people our age getting diagnosed. The 20’s it seems is when the majority of people are diagnosed and quite a few in the late teens too, but thirties for sure.

      As for being able to drink again, certainly there are quite a good number of people who do, but I would say that most of the people who do start drinking again, do so much more moderately than previously. I myself don’t drink at all anymore, and I was doing quite a bit of it whenever I had the opportunity all through my late teens and twenties. I’d say that most people who are successful with medications do more drinking than people like me who follow a diet to control the symptoms.

      But either way, don’t trip, you’re going to get past this UC symptoms stuff and onto a good life again soon.
      Take care, and stay in touch,

  25. From my experience of drinking it is bad news for people like us… our immune systems are all screwed up from all the meds so and beer is full of yeast and all the things we should avoid i mean i cant talk ive had severe UC for 12 years now and im to the point now where i cant drink my stomach just cant take it anymore if i drink i get nauses crampy and just feel like crap trust me if your like i was and you have UC and you like to drink your body will eventually let you know hey its time to stop and i have i still try to enjoy a beverage every now and then but i suffer for it.

  26. fascinating topic and rightfully deserving of all the comments/replies. from my perspective, eliminating consumption of alcohol was key to getting my uc under control. while in a flare, i stay off alcohol completely. when in remission, it’s hard not to feel invincible and able to have an occasional beer or cocktail. (i used to be a regular wine drinker, but for some reason have completely lost my taste for the stuff.) i know the day after i have drink or two will not be a good day for my colon, but am willing to “pay the price” in order “live a little”. i’ve found that beer and bourbon are less harmful than other spirits. rum, in particular, is especially hard on my system and causes so much blood it’s like drinking razor blades. i stay away from rum and all sugary “boat drinks” completely.

    good news is that there are alternatives available for those looking for a buzz. medical cannabis is available here in cali and many other states. i personally have found that medical marijuana calms my gut, eliminates the spasms that accompany a flare and generally slows down the digestive process. if i am running to the can every 30 to 60 minutes during the work day, once i get home and medicate, my BMs typcially reduce to once every 6 to 8 hours.

    have others found relief from cannabis? i am curious to hear.


  27. Hi Adam,

    Thanks for your reply. Well I feel a slight fraud, I’m actually responding well to pentasa and my symptoms have improved significantly. I guess I’m lucky. I can assure you though I don’t ever drink as I did!!!!

    I really feel for the people on here who have suffered far worse than I, you’re all an inspiration. Let’s hope research can offer some permenant solution soon. This is a great sight, it helped reassure me. I felt quite alone with this but I suppose it’s not the done thing to discuss bowls!!!

    I shall keep reading and who knows, maybe set up a non alcoholic social group :)

    1. Hey David, So great you’re responding well to the pentassa. THAT’s AWESOME and congrats. I definitley think you should setup a group for non alco drinkers! Let me know when you get it going! I’ll have to join that club. Went to a concert last night in San Fran, (Black Joe Lewis) and was 100% sober. An all time first for me at a show, but still had a great time, and remembered all of it, was even able to tell my wife about it today with some good detail for a change. Oh the benefits of not drinking anymore…..

      Take care David,

  28. Hi there!
    Ufff, so many people writing..
    Soooo after I found this webpage by accident, let me join you, please :) I’m 21, having uc for more than 3 years already. Went through hard times till I got this diagnosed, went to the doctor for few times afterwards, being a bit disappointed and all stressed i decided to leave the doctor be and try to see what it does.. After those 3 years of no medical checks and no pills i’m probably back in the game as it got a lot worse last couple of months. Most of the time till now I focused on stress – i know i am a very stressy person, tried to calm myself down and don’t take life too seriously. For me, stress seems to be the most significant starter, far more important than alcohol. Alcohol seems to be completely alright when the illness is calm and quiet (but i don’t really drink much), also beer, which i drink probably the most often. Although, during relapse, it makes lots of harm.

    So please no stress, no milk, not much alcohol and keep being optimistic first place! :) wish you all lots of luck finding the way how to go on and feel well in life even with your illnesses.

    btw Adam, I live in slovak rep (right next to czech rep), most of the time i drink slovak and czech beers and I haven’t found it being harmful during calm times.. might be because of different receptures (and quality probably .. ?)

    1. Yo Teresa,
      Good to hear from you!

      I can’t agree with you more, especially about the beer quality! I was doing pretty good over there when I was drinking those beers, of course that was before my diagnosis. Anyways, I wish you well, and the best of luck with keeping your symptoms on the mellow side or remission!
      here’s something that you might recognize, from a year before i was diagnosed: biking in slovak and czech

  29. Hi,
    The subject ” alcohol ”

    This is my 6 years with UC . I like drinking shochu ( a Japanese hard liquor) . Something like vodka in the west.
    I drink it every evening with at least two glasses on the rock.
    At this moment , I am on an alcohol free zone. Well… At least until I am back for remission.
    I guess it is wise to take a good rest , good diet and alcohol free during flares.
    The matter of fact, I visited my doctor yesterday. I was asking, whether it is all right to have a hot sake or shochu on my coming party in
    Next weekend.
    The reply is ” no comment”. I was laughing with the doc. It is like ” drink with your own risk ” !
    Well….. Taking alcohol during flares is definitely not a good advise.

    Good luck to all of us who loves alcohol.

  30. Hi, my name is Chelsey, and i have had UC for 8 years, i was diagnosed in the summer of 2003-it was the summer after my 4th grade year! and i am 19 now.. i know that i am under age at the moment, but this has been so helpful for future references. i wish i had known of websites where you could chat or post with others with UC… no one knew of what i had or couldnt help me… i started prednizone when i was about 11-12, took about 3-6 pills a day by that time also, i wish i had someone to talk to other than a doctor or my parents who tried, but didn’t understand… i have been through so much for the past 8 years of my life. so my question to you guys is what kind of diets are you guys on? i have been very fortunate because i have been able to eat whatever i wanted, but still had to be careful. and now i have a flare up again and i forgot the diets. thank you all! i would love to hear from any of you guys and how you guys control it! thank you again!

  31. Hi all,
    I am 22 yrs old, was diagnosed with UC last March(almost dropped out of law school) and am on Humira now(since Aug) mostly for the insane joint pain I suffered from more than my colon symptoms(I was on very low doses of prednisone, over .10 mg which helped me but as I weigh around 100lb started to get heart palpitations from the steroids and a lower does did nothing for my joints). One colonoscopy, two signmoidoscopys(the sigmoidoscopys showed my colon to be 99% in remission, it is a bit of a mystery why I was still suffering from joint pain while my colon was doing so well). The humira has been a life saver for my joint pain, BUT DO NOT DRINK WHILE ON IT. Or on steroids for that matter!!!!! Although humira has not been tested sufficiently in terms of alcohol I have had VERY bad reactions while on it if I have more than two drinks. Type of alcohol doesn’t seem to matter. I would recommend humira though for all who suffer from UC related joint pain although I have had racing heart, injection site rash,swollennes, and have recently been breaking out in crazy rashes. Might switch to Cimzia.Anyways what i wanted to get across is please dont drink on steroids or humira, it’s not worth it. Oh and I find that the more unhealthy I eat, the better I feel, so I stick with it, high fiber, high protein, veg/fruit seem to bother me. I eat mostly dairy,starches, and high fat things including many things that are a no-no on the SCD diet, chocolate, coffee, icecream, so Chelsea I wouldn’t jump on a new diet necessarily.

  32. Hi Everyone

    I have sat here reading all your post instead of doing my assignments. I found out on Wednesday that I have UC which was a shock. I have four children, just started university and thought it was my time now to get a career started. My first placement the symptoms started to happen again it was embarrassing I was seen crying in the corner of the staff room as I couldn’t move with the pain it got so bad. I’m unsure how everything will plan out as there is so much i still need to take in but reading post from you’s has given me a good luck out apart from the alcohol bit as me and my friends all go out together at least once every 2 months for a get together, once I’m off the steroids I will see how my stomach reacts to alcohol but I have realised before my diagnosis I could only handle two glasses of wine and I was in pain for the rest of the night even caffeine starts it off as well :)

    This website is great to find out the stuff that I needed to know as I have my consultation with my doctor in two weeks time about the biopsy taken… not sure what they will say but i will be prepared


  33. When you have an active flare up, I think it’s best to avoid alcohol in general. Better to give your body time to heal without foods or drinks that could prolong or worsen the pain of it all!

    When it comes to remission, I go according to a post I had read at some point. I avoid beer altogether, since its not entirely gluten free, but I’ve found I’m able to take hard alcohols and wine in moderation ( one glass at most once every two weeks) if I make sure to follow it up with water. So, for example, I take a sip of wine, and take 2 of water. And, that’s how I’ve been able to “exist” in social drinking situations. It’s worked thus far, and I hope it will continue to do so! I hope it proves helpful to some of you :-)

  34. I have had moderate colitis since 2001. I drink excessively on the weekends and not at all during the week. I do not have any dangerous flare ups but do notice small amounts of blood and other symptoms from time to time. My questions for all of you is can this drinking have long-term serious effects? The symptoms are not bad enough to really effect my quality of life but I do not want to continue doing something that will destroy my body down the road. Thanks.

    1. Hey Patrick,

      Whats up buddy, I just happened to turn on my computer a moment ago and saw your recent comment.
      You’ve got a great question. In my opinion, inflammation and symptoms are not good and if they can be avoided, they should be. Long term symptoms and inflammation can definitely lead to other things, and complications down the road, so you might want to talk with your doctor about all this to see if there are some ideas for you to get things squared away. I know it probably sounds really hard to give up drinking, believe me, I felt that way too two years ago. I was getting shitcanned just about as much as I could back in the day. but i did give up the booze, and it was a good decision for me. I’m not sure of your age, but i’m 33 years old now, and it wasn’t too hard to stop at age 31. probably more diffcult if i was in my twenties still, but worth a try.

      1. Adam,

        Thanks for the quick response. I am 28 and single so the drinking is tough to stop completely and I have begun to cut out day drinking and drinking during the week. I have the yearly exam coming up soon and will see what the doctor says. Thanks again.

  35. im a junior in highschool and was diagnosed with uc about a year back. My friends have been drinking in the past but i never participated in it. my doctor has recently told me that a beer or two wont kill me so after i had heard this i decided to give it a shot about 4 days after a had a colonoscopy done. i kicked back with my friends and a one corona light. now it being 4 days later, i went to the bathroom and there was blood, not a little but not a lot, decent amount to say “oh no”. now it has me wondering, is the blood because of the one beer four days ago, or the colonoscopy 8 days ago?
    if someone can please help me out with this and let me know, and have any suggestions.

    1. Hey Alex,

      It’s hard to say what the reason is for the bleeding. But, from my perspective, its seems pretty clear that alcohol is NOt a good thing for people with UC, that’s the reason I gave it up two and a half years ago and it’s been a Very good decision for sure. With all fairness to the drinks though, It’s pretty common for people to get their colons aggravated after colonoscopies(and after the prep the night before) so I wouldn’t rule that out either. maybe in a few days things will settle down for you though. Take care, and I wish you the best.

  36. Hey guys,

    Just wanted to start off by thanking Alex for starting this forum. I’ve had a history of UC symptoms for some time now. Last week I got my second colonoscopy and found out that I do have it. I’m on 4800mg’s of Asocol a day and the doctor tells me I will be on a lot more within the next few months. I am probably an alcoholic, but I am 20 years old and doing well in college so I don’t find my drinking habit to be a problem (if you leave the diagnosis out of the equation). I have been dealing with flare ups for some time now and I’m sorry to say that I am as used to them as I am to alcohol I drink heavily on a daily basis. The doctor seemed to imply that continuing to drink at all was potentially dangerous to my health, by which I mean life threatening. If the only downside to drinking with UC is the pain associated with it, I will seriously cut down but I can’t see myself stopping at this point in my life. If however, drinking with UC really is as dangerous as the doctor seemed to indicate… “You can’t enjoy life if when if your not alive.” then I need to give quitting altogether a serious shot. Any advice, experience, or knowledge would be greatly appreciated. Good luck to all of you, hope to hear back.


    1. Yo David,

      I definitely don’t want to be the grumpy old man (since i”m a whopping 33 years old almost…:)

      But, I think you’re going to be hard pressed to find someone living with UC (and their colon) who can handle drinking moderately or heavily every day. That’s based on my observation of watching several thousand people write on this site each month.

      I know for sure it must be hard as hell though to go through college without drinking, or with cutting it back significantly. Oh man, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the years partying in college (10 years ago at one of the wilder party towns the USA has to offer). But I tell you one thing, if I ever have a son or a daughter and they are in college and get diagnosed with UC, for sure I’d be telling them the exact same thing. The alcohol is pretty much a no no (especialy if you are thinking about doing keg stands, and pounding back handles of some nasty cheap booze.)

      take care and good luck David with college!


  37. All–Okay, since Adam didn’t want to lay claim to being the “grumpy old man,” I’ll do so. I’m 51 and have just been diagnosed with moderate UC after two years of periodic flare-ups following a bacterial (Clostridium difficile) infection from a routine antibiotic treatment (lesson learned—NEVER take broad spectrum antibiotics unless you REALLY, REALLY need to!!!). Nobody will say for sure that the C. diff infection caused my UC (even doctors at the Mayo Clinic wouldn’t do so), but to me the timing is really suspect! Anyhow, I’ve been really interested in reading everybody’s comments on alcohol and its effects, as I’ve been a moderate to heavy drinker since my college years way back in the 70s and 80s. As I enter my “golden years” I certainly drink less, but I brew my own beer (mostly darks and stouts), like to try a variety of microbrews, and love a glass or two of red wine with dinner. So, my “normal” consumption is probably an average of 1-3 drinks per day. I can honestly say that, in my relatively limited experience with UC, if I’m not flaring up, alcohol consumption seems to have little or no effect on my condition, and doesn’t seem to correlate with the onset of symptoms. I would however agree that, when you’re flaring, avoiding alcohol completely is a really good idea!!! I know that my case is rather unusual as I’ve been diagnosed later in life and that might have an important effect on my response as compared to you folks in your 20s and 30s. Maybe the best advice I can give you is to pay attention to what’s happening with your body (I keep a daily diary of what I eat and drink and that’s REALLY helpful–of course at my advanced age I forget lots of stuff!!!), and avoid the things that set you off. I’m admittedly biased, but I think that as far as alcohol goes, quality stuff seems to have less of an effect than mass-produced rot-gut, but again who knows for sure? My impression is that this thing they call UC is really a broad spectrum of conditions and that nobody responds exactly the same. So take some time to really think about what you’re doing (eating and drinking, but also stuff like stress, exercise, work, etc.), and see if anything particular corresponds with your flare-ups. Iff it’s any consolation, an old fart like me can deal with this thing, and you can too! Thanks for all the ideas, and I’ll check back frequently!



    1. Hey Dick,

      You are THE MAN!! And I’m not talking about no grumpy old man!!!:)

      Thank you so much for adding your comments to this page! it’s way cool to hear from people who are handling the drinks well without disturbing the colon. EXCELLENT NEWS.

      Also, it’s great hearing from somebody who has figured out this disease and continuing to lead a happy/humorous life. Congrats to you, and the same to your family. I hope your spirit rubs off on every single person who visits this webpage and website over time.


      1. Hi Dick,
        I am 54 years old and have been diagnosed with UC four years ago. I run a catering company and love it, but it is very stressful. I would take antibiotics if I got sick to keep working. Then, I got C-diff. At this time it took close to four months to diagnose me with UC. I do believe that I got this disease with the chain of events of too much antibiotics.

        I found a wellness doctor that put me on 100 Billion probiotics and other gut healing products. I choose to take Apriso and go on the SCD diet. Figuring pull out all the guns. So, doing everything right except the alcohol. In the SCD diet, you are not allowed beer, 1 shot a vodka a week and dry wine is permissible. Although, I was definitely drinking to much wine. The kicker is that I feel great and have not have any flare ups as long I stick to the diet etc. My wellness doctor gave me a stool test and even though I feel great, he even says I should go on immurane.

        So, this is where I am at now. I am going to try to be as good as possible for six weeks and not drink and keep doing what I am doing. Well, stopping cold turkey has been a challenge. I would say I have had 2 glasses of wine per week, which is better than 2 – 3 per day. I have two weeks left and will most likely take three weeks before my next test and try not to drink at all.

        Thank you Dick for your comments as I experienced the same thing. Wish me luck, Jamie

    2. I had mild flare ups off and on (no pain-just blood) since I was 20, and have had a couple of colonoscopies through the years with no diagnosis of UC. I have just turned 55 (freedom 55 lol) and for the past 6 months have had bloating and bruised feeling in stomach my doc took x-rays and ultrasound, but found nothing, finally he referred me to a GI and had another colonoscopy. He found patched of ulceration throughout my colon and as a birthday gift gave me the news I have UC. He has put me on 4 pills a day of Pentasa for the next 3 months. He never said anything about diet or alcohol. The very saddest thing is that when my youngest of 5 sons turned 17, he got UC bad, and went on every drug out there, the final one being remicade, and throughout he was on percacet to help cover severe pain. Finally when he was 21 he almost died- he went into what they call raging ulcerative colitis- his whole intestine(large) turned into hamburger meat -he had 3 blood transfusions and they removed his large intestine completely. He is 25 now and after 3 surgeries he is doing fairly well with the J-pouch, though life is still a struggle. I obviously carried the gene that gave it to him :( Do I have to necessarily be on drugs the rest of my life? Doctors don’t tell you anything, we just have to find out as we go along. Glad for sites like this so we can hear about all the differnet things that work for others with UC.

  38. Great article. I was diagnosed with UC in December last year, right in the middle of a bad flare up. I stupidly drank too much over Christmas and made things ten times worse! This kind of told me that drinking during a flare up is a bad idea! Once things had settled down a bit, I tried some beer, but felt terrible for two days. However, I have tried drinking a very small quantity of rum, and that actually seems ok.



  39. Hello All, Great Site Adam.

    I’m 38, diagnosed with UC 10 years ago. Been through the ringer with many long flares, lots of meds and even a hospital stay with “Sweets Syndrome” (colitis related skin thing). Anywho, I’ve been drinking quite a bit since I was in my early 20’s. After experimenting with all sorts of diet changes and meds I’m finally (reluctantly) stopping alcohol. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, I’m starting to see some improvement. Still not out of the woods yet but I’m down from 13 times a day to about 3. I’ve been flaring for about 7 months now and stopped the booze 3 weeks ago. I started to see slow improvement the end of last week. Keeping my fingers crossed.

    At the same time I stopped alcohol I also found something else that effected me. If I eat anything major at night (like after 7) my flare gets worse the next day. So my current experiment is to not drink at all and not eat after 7pm. I’m not sure if the eating or the drinking (or both) is effecting my flare but if things are improving I’m not going to do anything until I’m in remission again. Also, I know alcohol is appetite stimulant, at least for me, so adding intestinal insult to injury after throwing back a bunch of drinks I wind up chowing down anything I can find right before bed. Not Good.

    For what its worth I agree with a few of the posters here that when I’m in remission alcohol doesn’t seem to effect my system, not right a way least. After a few months of abusing my system my colon throws down the gauntlet and says “Flare Time”!

    1. What up Joe,

      I just read your comment. Hey bud, congrats on starting to get some UC stuff under control. Cheers to hoping its just the beginning of a nice long remission/back to life period for you and your family.

      Maybe we can all start taking some sleeping pills that make us dream sweet dreams of pounding rum and cokes and pints of beer or whatever we all like/liked back in the good ole days.

      Take it easy, and keep us posted on how it goes.


  40. Hello everyone my name is Jake! I was diagnosed with moderate UC at the age of 27 and have had it for almost two years now. At first it was a real shocker, I was a little depressed ’cause the doctors couldn’t get a proper diagnosis and I was having 15 bloody diarrhea bowels a day along with cramps, fevers, and a constant sense of having to go to the bathroom. I ended up in the hospital for four days with a blood tranfusion and a colonoscopy. when the nurse told me I had UC I was releived to some extent because I didn’t know what crawled up into at the time and died! lol I was started on prednisone and asacol and was on my way to recovery when it flared up again almost six months post-diagnosis, so my doctor started me on Remicade (infliximab). I have had a 90% recovery since starting it about a year ago. So to anyone who is not responding to steroids or other medication it might be something to look into for sure.

    I was also a heavy drinker and partyer in my late teens/ early twenties and now I found that alcohol ( I usually just drink beer or malt beverages) does cause me complications even when drinking 2-3 drinks per week. So I am kicking it completely from my diet and getting good results. The Remicade takes away all sypmtoms but a little bit of blood once or twice a week and cramps when I am at work or going through moderate to high levels of stress, but I notice when I do drink the symptoms the next day will be a little bit worse ’til the alcohol is cleared of my system.

    To all of you who are new to this or experiencing this for some time I definetly feel for you. I have always been a happy go lucky guy who enjoys staying active and athletic, and this has hit me pretty hard. It is definetly a life process and staying consistent with your doctor and following up on treatments and your diet is a must. It seems to hit everyone a little differently but the general concensus is to stay away from alcohol, high fibers, high fats and high sugars when having any symptoms at all because this disease is known to progress with each flare-up.

    Now in my late twenties I look back to my early twenties when I was drinking a lot and remember having problems back then that were a little worse than some of my other friends like cramps and dizziness the next day. It is not proven that alcohol causes UC but the inflammation is easily aggravated. Imagine pouring rubbing alcohol on an open wound, depending on the level of inflammation it will aggravate it to some extent in most people because of the open ulcers that form.

    I wish the best to all who share in this terrible disease and hope you remember to stay up no matter how down you feel!!

    1. Hey Sue,

      Wedding on Wednesday, nice!
      Are you having active symptoms right now? If so, I’d only drink water and play it off like your sipping vodka on the rocks all night long. No seriously, I don’t drink barely ever, maybe 5 drinks per year, but for sure nothing if I had active symptoms. But you’re gonna need to make that call.

      As for what I do drink, I drink either jack daniels on the rocks, or vodka on the rocks. And in the past two years, I’ve only had multiple drinks once during a single night…and it led to a little flare.

      I”m guessing not the answer you wanted to hear, but I can’t deny. I’m a party pooper. Long gone are my fraternity party days of getting shitcanned all night long and passing out on a couch somewhere.

      For sure, I’d stay away from champagne, and wine. That stuff usually tends to have tons of sugar in it and for most people is more prone to set your intestines off. Same with beer, that tends to be sugary, and can cause issues.

      if you can go sober(i’ve done it for several weddings since being diagnosed) that would be my recommendation, but i know its hard to do, especially if you’re a heavy drinker, is that you Sue???? :) laters, adam

  41. Thank you for the info, my brother is suffering right now and it’s great info to know that if you’re going through a flare you really shouldn’t drink the alcohol at all. It’s a small price to pay to get healthy and feel good again.

  42. Hey All, My name is PJ. I am 38 and have had UC for about 16 years. I have been on all the major meds and for years, but last year I got a blood allergy test and found out I was severely allergic to eggs. I cut out all eggs of course, and now I am 5 months medication free. I eat a healthy diet, exercise daily, and get good sleep. I limit alcohol and sweets and I am totally fine. If I over do eating sweets, alcohol or caffein I start to see mucus in my stool. I then know I need to back off and stay on routine. I now know why when I was in flare, on 6MP and 5ASA with high dose predisone I would not improve because I ate eggs as my comfort food, I thought it was a simple and basic protien but it was killing my insides! My recommendation to people who can’t get the UC under control is to find a Naturopathic Dr. and get a blood allergy test like USBiotek see what your body is having issues with and avoid those foods! It may not completely cure you, but it will likely help alot!

    My Western Medicine Gasto Dr. is dumbfounded how I am doing so well off all my meds and claims I will go into bad flare any time now, but I disagree. You can beat this disease if you learn to listen to your body, and find out what bothers your system! Western Med does not have all the answers, my Natropathic Dr. also has UC and he too controls it all naturally with diet, exercise and some accupuncture! (i have not tried that yet :)

    Best to you all!

    1. I agree, pJ. This dis-ease calls out for a naturopathic approach. I largely gave up on my GI after he and the head of gI at Stanford concurred that my only option was surgical removal. Three years later, I still have my colon and am feeling better than ever. It takes some time, experimentation and discipline on the diet side, but there is hope. Accupuncture didn’t work for me, but applied kinesiology has.

  43. Wow – I can’t believe how many drinkers have UC. I’m new to the site – in hospital as we speak (since Tuesday). Originally diagnosed almost six years ago and stayed on ASA for 4 years. After no flares, I stupidly went off my meds and was fine for almost two years. Lo and behold – the flare from hell. I’m currently on iv prednisone and am hoping to transition to meds starting tomorrow. They are going to start me on 40mg per day. When I start to taper in six months, they will re introduce the asa. And hopefully let me out of here next week!!!

    I’m interested in a few comments about hangovers. I’m 46 now so university is a while behind me, but I have to admit to a love of wine and draft Stella Artois! If I drink too much of either ( read – more than four glasses or pints) I throw up the next day for hours. Anyone else?

    Good Luck everyone!

    1. HI, I was diagnosed with UC about 15 years ago. A really bad flare resulting in hospitalisation. After it, I decided to give up stop taking all medication for UC as I’m not a big believer in thinking I need drugs all my life. I suffer the worst hangover, any more than 4 drinks and the next day I am sick all day. Green, being violently sick with bile and having the worst headache from dehydration. I recently had an another relapse and decided i need to take the mesalazine every day. And my hangovers have gone. I am no longer suffering the worst hangovers. I believe there is a link.

  44. Hi All,

    I am a 21 year-old male, diagnosed with UC two months ago. The one thing the doctor continuously told me was that each person’s body is different, and once you are in remission, you need to TEST certain foods to see what your colon can handle. For the past three weeks, my symptoms have been in remission, and I have begun to experiment. One thing i noticed was that limiting my dairy intake seemed to eliminate a lot of the cramping. Also, avoiding spicy foods is KEY! Even during remission, spicy foods tend to irritate my colon to the point where I cannot determine whether my cramps are related to UC or just common to anyone who eats spicy foods. The other night, I had one beer, and my symptoms did not reappear: the key to drinking with UC is moderation, that’s all there is to it. It definitely is a bummer, being a college student, not being able to get wildly drunk on occasion, but it is CERTAINLY not worth irritating your symptoms and going through another nasty flare-up. Hope this helps!

  45. Hi All,

    I was diagnosed with pancolitis in March after suffering for 12 years. (I’m 42 now.) My symptoms never included blood/mucus/diarrhea until I went on a trip to Italy last year and binge ate/drank for two weeks. Then the typical UC symptoms hit full force! (It got so bad I even had a humiliating “experience” in a cemetery, of all things. I’ll spare you the gory details.)

    Prior to being diagnosed, I had major pain, bloating and cramping after drinking any caffeine or eating fatty foods. My doctor initially thought it was gallbladder sludge, but tests (including ultrasound, CT scan and imaging) showed no abnormality anywhere in the gallbladder or digestive tract. Finally after the symptoms in Italy I got a colonoscopy and the GI said it was UC, although there were no visible signs of inflammation at all in my colon. But the biopsies had the crypt abscesses/cryptitis so there you go. Everyone’s experience is different, and most likely everyone’s reactions to different foods etc. will be different.

    Alcohol was never a trigger until recently, but I’ve been a heavy drinker for 20+ years and I can’t help thinking it must have really corroded my digestive system because now if I even have half a glass of wine, I have horrible cramping within minutes. Which really sucks, because I don’t know what I’m going to do with the 1000+ bottle wine cellar I’ve amassed. God has a really shitty sense of humor, don’t you think?

    I’ve found the SCD diet helps dramatically and almost immediately. It does allow dry wine or vodka, but for those people who flare on alcohol, I’d avoid it completely for at least a year until your intestinal bacteria are back in good working order and then add it back in slowly and carefully. But you’ll never be able to drink like a “normal” person again. (Sigh.)

    Here’s my basic list of absolute diet no-nos that has kept me in remission for the last year since I was diagnosed:

    crackers/muffins/bread of any kind
    canned vegetables or fruit
    sugar or sweetener of any kind except honey (Note: sugar is in EVERYTHING. Ketchup is 40% sugar.)
    coffee (no decaf also)
    soy products (including tofu, soy sauce, etc.)
    fluid milk of any kind
    desserts/cookies/candy/chocolate, etc.
    carbonated or caffeinated drinks

    Basically this means I only eat fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts (they don’t cause flares for me, but some might be sensitive), eggs, unsweetened yogurt with live cultures, lean organic meat (absolutely no processed meats like bologna, etc.), fish and aged cheeses. (Only ricotta and mozarella are no-nos.) I take a few supplements but don’t go overboard with them – and you have to check and make sure any vitamins you take are whey/gluten/sugar free.

    It might seem daunting at first but after a year on this diet my hair and skin are amazing, I don’t have nightmares or night sweats anymore, I’ve lost weight and I feel twenty years younger. My head is clear and I don’t have GAS

  46. Strangely, smoking actually helps with UC (but not Crohns). People with UC who used to smoke but then quit, relapsed. Later they restarted having about 4 fags a day and quickly saw an improvement.

    1. I know!! When the Dr. Said I had crohns and quitting smoking would help, that same day he told me that, I quit …. Apparently, my last scope appeared to the dr. As UC.. I recently have been stressed and wamting a cigarette… The prednisone increase also makes me want to eat smoke cry…. Be a trainwreck pretty much. But smoking I think calms my colon. Smoking and imaking my own probiotic amd the chicken soup (GAPS STYLE) HAS finally made me stop bleeding. It’s been forever since I javent seen blood. Finally ! *exhale* I’m gonna stick with the probiotic i made and the soup until I’m normal and in remission… With maybe a few stogs here and there.

  47. Hi!

    I can’t believe I just found this site. I’ve had uc for 3 years and for the past few months I’ve had almost no symptoms! I’ve been a vegetarian for 10 years and eat very little dairy.
    I think a lot of it has to do with diet and health. I’m excercising more now than ever and I sleep at least 8 hours a night (even tho I feel like an old grandma). When I wasn’t sleeping last summer, my symptoms were the worst and I always felt awful. When I was first diagnosed I refused to take any prednisone because I read that it will only make things worse and I took the medication my dr gave me, but it really didnt make any difference so I quit. I definately dont have celiacs disease but avoiding bread and beer really helps!
    Just recently I started eating much less bread I quit drinking beer almost a year ago…
    When I go out on weekends I only have 1-2 drinks either with hard liqour or cider! I love cider now! Its a great beer alternative. And I’ve lost a few pounds not drinking beer and eating less carbs. Thanks for putting this site together! I’m getting great information!

  48. And I just found this site. I’ve had UC for about 23 years, usually classified as “severe”, between the occasional remission. As I’m sure all can agree, it SUCKS! I’m taking the day off today because I’m bathroom bound every 30 mins or so. But being self employed, this is not a viable plan for long.

    NO DOCTOR HAS EVER MENTIONED THE PROBLEM WITH DIET, SUGARS, ALCOHOL TO ME. I even asked them directly about it, and there reply was, “There is no proof of a link between UC and diet.”

    But I do know not to eat pizza and have a beer or 5. Bad, bad, bad! But as some of the fellow sufferers above, I drink more than I should. and sugary this or that.

    I think it is time for a change. Straight vodka! yahoooooo! just kidding. I am beyond sick of the prednizone bouts.

    Thank you for the site.

  49. I have had UC for 4 years now and TBH I’ve never really changed anything out my drinking or diet, even during flares. However last week I had the work night ever, bad cramps and blood. That was on the back of mild symptoms for the last month or so, couples with drinking 5-6 times a week (I’m Scottish ). Until last week I have never had anything other than what seems to be, after reading the posts on this forum, mild symptoms – Blood in stools, but no diarrhea or pain. I have also never been on anything other than mesalazine. I have only really had two bad flare ups in 4 years, both at times of stress (last week was Masters courseworks and job interviews). I am off the drink now until it clears up, once it does I will make sure to get drunk, in the name of research of course, and report back on the results.

    1. The stress hits me big time. I am flared up like a torch. Yes…I am an alcoholic. And a bad one at that only because I don’t know what a few drinks mean. I played the guitar today and it settled me down. yesterday I was fine, today I feel the aftermath from candy.

  50. I’ve had UC for 2 years. After my first flare up, i was really cautious with what i ate and drank, until summer came along. I started pushing the limits, with eating junk and drinking. I got drunk every weekend, sometimes twice a weekend for two months and no flare up! However I always felt horrible the day after.I stopped drinking for a few weeks, and drank again. The next day I noticed blood in my stool. The long period of drinking and eating junk food all the time, and most likely stress too, made me relapse. This second relapse has been the hardest on me. I’ve gone to the doctors a few times to have more prescribed to me to stop the bleeding because it kept coming back. I have the occasional drink now, but I would not suggest getting drunk very often. It was fun while it lasted!

  51. Interesting article, I have had chronic bowel motions for around 8 years now and I’m not talking just diarrhoea, it felt like I had drank a gallon of battery acid and my body was trying to expel is as quickly as possible.
    Unfortunately the four doctors I had been to about this just kept telling me that it was my diet, or it was just a bug…. at least one week out of every four for 8 years I was in serious pain, it was no damn bug..
    Fortunately it progressed to some serious bleeding and then they admitted me to hospital, after about a week and some probing they diagnosed me with UC.
    Unfortunately I have now been through about 12 different types medications (at one point I was having 23 tablets and two enemas a day) and my bleeding and pain is still getting worse… I have now been losing a considerable amount of blood for just over 5 months and the next step is to give the Immuno-suppressants a go…
    Now that I have vented my frustration, thank you for sharing your experience it really makes a difference to people like me.

  52. I had UC for over 6 years now, im 36 and finally doing much better. I’m off all meds for a little over a year now, and have been on all of them like most UCers, pred, remicade etc. I tried different diets (scd included), reduce stress via keeping active nothing seemed to work. Also I even tried helminthic therapy for over a year…yes I purposely had taken 1500 whipworms.

    I then approached it differently, I bought an infrared sauna and I use it about 5 days a week. For one month on 1 month off I take 500mg of niacin 1 hour before and then go in the sauna for about 20 – 30 minutes. I sweat out the toxins…it is so refreshing also, good for stress. I cannot say with 100% certainty that this is my fix for my UC, but I can eat anything now and I’m only 1 to 2 movements a day. I’m now also starting to socialize more and actually go out to bars and have some drinks without any problems. I can say my case was really bad, the worst my GI specialist had, they wanted to operate and take out my colon…not an option for me. No more “Mens underwear” when I go out…was giving me a rash anyhow. lol

    I hope this may help someone out there.

  53. Firstly thanks for starting the site, and thanks to all those who took the time to write in about this ‘flaming’ disease.
    I was diagnosed with UC in July this year.
    First bloody flare came in January this year and then I have had 2 more, maybe about to go into one as we speak.
    There is no way of stopping a flare when it is happening, you can only limit its intensity.
    It is in the balance as to whether Alcohol can be drunk with UC, I say yes.
    However, when flaring I would say not.
    The doctor who did the colonoscopy took one look at the colon and said ‘You have UC’ – I was awake through the procedure. I asked the cause and he said part bacteria, part bad luck, part genes. I asked if it was affected by diet (no), alcohol (no) and a few other things eg stress (no). He said it was like arthritis/osteo-parosis in in the colon, where the body was attacking the colon.

    Is he right, I don’t know.

    If iIwas to play doctor and diagnose the cause of my personal UC initially:
    1. H-pylori or another gut bacteria, the more I think about it.
    2. Yeast/candida messing up flora balance
    3. Heriditary/genes
    4. Stress (people trying to kill me!) (Yes)
    5. Years of use of NSAIDs and that type of pill to stop bad hip (cured with cycling)
    6. Unhappiness, frustration, other types of emotional stress.

    The cause of the subsequent and ongoing flares, on top of the above:
    1. Over-indulgence catching up with you – white wine during the day at Xmas parties etc
    2. Could be literally anything, you just never know, yada yada yada
    3. Forgetting your diet/regimen

    Aloe Vera juice
    Fresh ginger Tea
    Manuka Honey
    Zinc, Iron & Copper etc – you lose it when you bleed as none will be absorbed from food.

    The best you can do with this condition is manage it.

    So drink in moderation while not flaring, don’t drink when flaring.
    Do the BRATTY diet when flaring.
    There’s a lot of great advice above re diet, follow the advice people have given.
    Also check out alternative medicine eg chinese.

    But I’ll probably have a cheeky red tonight…….!

  54. I’ve been drinking white wine most evenings for a few years now and developed mild UC 18 months ago. Was also taking daily low dose aspirin and under a lot of work stress.

    I was drinking more over the past holidays and would get intermittent flares. Switched to beer the last few weeks and that seemed to go away. Had wine this past weekend for a couple of nights, and had some flaring again.

    I think with the beer I’m more aware of how much I’m drinking and drink less so maybe that’s the difference. But as I read posts here and write this, maybe I should just cut way back or cut it out. Thanks for the site and posts!


    I FINALLY found something on vaporizing!! I never knew what it was called before. I WAs on an e-cigarette site that linked to vaporizing e-liquid site and *DING* the key words… I decided to google vaporizing alcohol. IT EXISTS! :) Omg what a nice find. I’m sorry if i’m overly happy right now…. BUT I AM… & don’t care what anyone thinks about it! lol

    The 1st time I ever knew or saw something related to the concept, was while I was watching a movie where kids were taking what looked like bong hits of alcohol (I wouldn’t suggest purchasing something like this for that kind of use… I’d use it with caution and not in a dangerous fashion, which can be done very easily if you are using this route carelessly). In my opinion, no “kid” (kids meaning 16 17 yr olds) shouldnt be able to access one of these machines. Just drink the vodka, tequila, beer like a regular HEALTHY person can. I would never consider this route if I didn’t have a disease that makes it impossible for me to drink. I’m posting this to just throw this idea out there and to let you know that it’s possible to get that buzzed feeling (i have seriously can’t even remember what a good buzz feels like.. it’s been so long) and totally bypassing the digestive system.

    On a site called gotvapeDOTCOM this is just a little bit that explains vaporizing

    “Alcohol Vaporizers are a kind of vaporizers which enables its user to intake alcohol in form of vapor without requiring to actually drinking it.
    These are small tools which use oxygen generator to vaporize alcohol which when inhaled enters your blood stream through your lungs.
    These are also commonly known as the ‘AWOL’ Machine i.e. the alcohol without liquid machine.
    These are designed with a view to allow people to enjoy the effects of alcohol mixed with oxygen. There is a diffuser capsule sort of thing in the machine in which the user loads his or her favorite spirit.
    Then the oxygen bubbles are passed through the capsule which absorbs the alcohol before being inhaled through the tube. The attached device converts liquid alcohol into vapor and the resultant cloudy alcohol vapor is inhaled through the end of the tube by the user.” my thoughts – EFFING BRILLIANT

    I literally have not been able to drink/get a buzz on in over 5 YEARS! I would just like to experience it a few times a year. I went from drinking/going out with friends like 4 X a week to cold turkey nothing. I miss it. I wouldn’t dare swallow one of my favorite drinks because of all the problems I may experience with my broken colon. I believe some of the vaporizers that when you put your alcohol of choice into the machine, upon inhaling you will get the flavor of that alcohol. IDK much about this way of taking in alcohol. I literally just stumbled across this right now. It’s your responsibiIity to do the research necessary to educate yourself on something like this if you were to try something like this. I just remember reading all the posts by people that want to drink and cant (like myself) and as soon as I found something that makes it possible to experience the effect and not do harm to our digestive system, I wanted to give you all the info. Do what you will with it.

  56. My funny vacation story…When I am in remission I can drink a couple of glasses of wine or have a beer or two with no problem. Since I just recently ended a flare, I didn’t want to push my luck but had a glass of wine at dinner. All of the wives were at one table and our husbands were at another. One of our group of girls sent a tray of shots to the hubby table. In response, my husband sent a tray of “shots” back. The funny thing is, they were all water with a little lime on the rim. He knew I couldn’t do the shot of alcohol so he pranked the girls. We had a huge laugh and did our “shots” together.

    BTW for those of you who asked about the social aspect of drinking, I have a tip. I used to work in high end private clubs (like a country club without a golf course). My co-worker always started with a whisky on the rocks then switched to ginger ale on the rocks. Everyone always assumed she continued to drink the whisky and never questioned it. She stayed completely sober but enjoyed the evening. The only one who knew was the bartender who was in on it from the beginning.

  57. Adam, you’re the man. This site is wonderful with all the resources it provides. Question…. Was it German beer that didn’t make you sick, or is better than American beer?I am in front of this specialty beer store /international foods market attached AMD im gonna check it out. Was ot German beer?

    1. Hey Amy,

      You know, I don’t drink any beer anymore. I used to drink czech beer, and lots of it (gambrinus, and Staropramen) for about a year before I was diagnosed. I was living in Czech at the time and it was actually cheaper than bottled water over there…anyways, I don’t drink beer anymore, and have not had any for almost 4 years now. In fact, I rarely ever have alcohol, and by that I mean I’ve maybe had 3-5 drinks in the past 12 months total. So pretty much a lightweight when it comes to boozing now. I just can’t handle it in terms of my UC. The few drinks I’ve had have been vodka soda or simpy vodka on the rocks. I can hang with that stuff, but the amount and frequency I drink is pretty much nil.

      wish you the best,

  58. So has anyone tried drinking cider? I’m not keen AT ALL to stop drinking. I refuse to let this thing take another enjoyable activity from me. I figure cider is apples and therefore the only thing to worry about would be the sugar content?

    1. Yo Ricky,

      I guess I’m way out of the loop, but what is “cider”?

      I always thought of cider as hot apple cider, but I’m thinking you might be talking about something different that has alcohol in it???

      I don’t drink apple juice cause there too much sugar in there for me to handle, but i’m sure others do just fine with it.

    2. Hi Ricky,

      Cider doesn’t work out to great for me. Neither does beer. If I have a drink (pretty rare now-a-days) I usually mix hard liquor with something. For me I think the problem is that both beer and cider need yeast to ferment whereas wine and many hard liquors don’t. That might be the culprit.

  59. I was diagnosed a few years ago. My main concern (read many comments but didn’t see this) is that with flare ups, there is pain. I am NO way a pill person, so a few vodkas helps a lot. It does take the pain away. So. What then? I also don’t have as much enthusiasm going anywhere. Not liking this at all. Went to a new dr. As my other one has not done anything. I hope he does better he did mention that I may need to be on a stronger med. yeah, I can’t take them well now. Foods? I can’t figure it out . Some days for instance I can eat pizza, but then other days… Bbbaaadddd. . I have no clue how to manage it

  60. I just got diagnosed last Tuesday. I was never one to saying no to enjoying a beer or two. My case of UC might be a little on the mild side compared to those I’ve been reading about on this site. I guess I’m in the process of understanding what’s causing me to flare and what’s not (heavy dairy for one I know is a culprit, particularly ice cream, frozen yogurt, and milk). I’m reading about beer being an issue. Anyone know if Stouts like Guinness are a cause of flare ups?

    I’ve also been suggested to go on a low-fiber low-residue diet which is a little difficult to follow but I’m hanging in there with it.

  61. Hi everyone

    I was diagnosed with UC 17 years ago’s and the irony is I’m a winemaker! Myself and wife have put everything we could to building our own vineyard, winery, bistro and brand over many years. So wine is our life and I am surrounded by it, I have definitely drank to much of it over the years.
    My flare ups have come and gone with medication and I decided to work through them, medicate when necessary and forget about it when it wasn’t there. So I noted alcohol as a trigger because I’ve never really been off it to check. Definitely you feel better in yourself and put less stress on your body if you drink very moderately and that’s got to easy whatever condition you have.
    A recent colonoscopy showed that my UC has spread from 10 cm to 30 cm so I am now more seriously looking into diet and reduction of alcohol intake. I would really like to see research on the mind body link and how stress can bring on flare ups as I’m sure it does with me. Meditation is a terrific thing along with medication.

  62. Hi, interesting read. For myself I know cider kills me, my uc goes into overdrive. Closely followed by lager and alcopops. What I have found is I can drink vodka like water and if I have a bad flare up, a shot of neat vodka quite often settles it. However if I use a mixer like coke it has the same effect as cider, so I’m guessing thats the high sugar content. I’m the same with fruit juices, the only ones that don’t go right through me are pomegranete juice, cranberry juice and lychee juice.

  63. My husband was diagnosed 4 months ago and was doing great, until we went on holiday last week and had wine every night. Once home started again with watery symptoms, very disappointed, can only think its the wine. Very interested to read your comments. Please allow me to join your site
    Cheshire, UK

  64. Hi my name is Ren and ive just been diagnosed with U.C about two days ago. I knew there was something wrong with me about a month age when i started to bleed when goung to the bathroom. I was ashamed and scared so i told noone. I finally got the courage to tell my girlfriend,and she told me i could if just wiped to hard and scratched my anus. I waited for two weeks and the bleeding worsened and finally i couldnt take the stomach cramps and going to the bathroom all the time at work. I went to the ER and they set me up to get a colonoscopy. There the doctor told me i had a severe inflammation of my colon. They took samples to check for cancer i havent got those back preying for the best. Im still bleeding and constantly going to the bathroom. I got steriods to take but the doctor says it will take about a week to work. I have been away from work for a week and need to be ready to return next week. Im totaly lost with what i should do,eat and drink. Ive always been healthy so im really dumb when it comes to anything medical and taking care of yourself. So if anyone can please help me get through these first days with advice how to get rid of my current flare quicker and how to handle talking to my employer. Please anything helps

    1. Get the Book…Breaking The Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall. This book is helping most of us live totally normal lives…in time.

  65. After diagnosis my husband was given low residue diet from dietician. Eat small and regular meals. Stopped caffeine, drinks decaf coffee. Stopped all alcohol. Steroid medication for 2 months, reducing to nil.
    If you have to return to work quik, stress doesn’t help, get a good book and try to lose yourself in it.
    Different things seem to work for different people. We are in England and I notice from the site that medication also differs.
    I hope you have a good support mechanism, family and friends.
    Hopefully, it will get easier. Love x

    1. Thank You so much for your time and concern. I really helps to know im not alone because that’s the way i feel around my friends and family different. I know they try to understand but its not the same as with someone who feels my pain literally. I hope theres more people out there like you who can give me a little of there experience, challenges and how they dealt with them. I here with open ears and heart. I know ill get through this but i know ill need help alo.g the way. Thank You again so much for your time and knowledge. Im in Idaho U.S and your words made me feel like you were next door.

  66. Hi, I have been diagnosed 2 years ago with UC. Was a shock. Had to stop playing football, struggling with anemia from losing too much blood in the stools. Took me almost a year and a half to finaly receive Remicade (inflixmab) and it was such a relief. Now i try to get back doing sport again. But as i read here before, the hardest thing to deal with is social relationship. Being considered Ill by the other people is the worst. More over, I stopped drinking alchool, In my case I found out really quick that this was not helping me recover at all. I also tryed the SCD diet. From my point of view, this diet is a greath way to start changing your diet but it’s no miracle. One thing I’ve found really helping is eating fruits with a lot of polyphenols (Grenade juice, blueberry, black berry, etc) and of course, cut the sugar.

    Thanks for your blog.

  67. I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2006. In 2013 it got really bad we’re I needed steroids, which have terrible side effects. I was commenced on mesalazine which made me worse. In October 2013 I decided to start taking Aloe Vera juice. In January 2014 I went for 6 accupunture sessions. After the first 2 I was symptom free and still am today and continue to take the aloe Vera juice. Occasionally I have captain Morgans spiced rum with a chaser and I seem to be fine.

    1. I would like to add to the above that I eat less processed food now. I also have halved my portion sizes and I chew my food until it is completely broken down and wash it all down with room temperature water. I try not to eat after 7pm.

      1. Maybe doing this will help me to stop going in the middle of the night?!

        Any other suggestions with food? some places say eat mushrooms, others say NO!!!! then the veg and everything else, what can i eat!!! :( interesting about aloe vera juice!

        Mesalasine did nothing for me. i started taking it as soon as i was diagnosed in mid December ’16 and it gave me a pancreatic infection. They got me off those and straight onto the steriods. I’m still on my course of steroids so maybe I shouldn’t even be considering drink if im taking them….


  68. Alcohol are not suitable in case of UC, at least for me.. When i was in Grad school(2010) i started having the symptoms and doc said i have UC. But i never stopped drinking because in an engineering school its very tough to avoid drinks if am in a group of buddies, even doctor asked me to stop alcohol. Again it revived in 2011 and it was nasty. then i completely stopped taking alcohol on a regular basis. Occasionally i used to take drinks(mainly whiskey, rum). Again it flared almost after 1.5 yr. That time i was working in another city. Doctor prescribed me steroids that time. Lastly 2014 new year eve i drank beer and the same damn thing flared again very next day. It was really frustrating. Now i completely stopped alcohol and am just fine. Now its very tough to avoid drinks in office parties and which is coming directly from my boss, and its a bit depressing also that i cant have my favorite beer, i cant go to any club, pub. I feel like a complete outcast in my friends group. But i have to resist myself from alcohol because i dont wana have those nightmares again. So i would say alcohol is not suitable in case of UC, at least in my case. :(

  69. Hello all I’m 26 and was diagnosed this past week with uc I’m very scared as I’ve never had any health problems in my life and I’m about to go to mexico with the family for holidays and I no I will be tempted to drink as of right now I’m having a flare which to me is the worst feeling in the world I can’t gauge it yet as I’ve never experience one prior to this I just have a lot of emotions on this and don’t no where to begin what to eat how to deal with the pain not I don’t no if can can much longer I am on medicine so hoping that helps but if I where to drink from all your experiences what is the easiest to get doenough while on a flare thanks

  70. Haven’t read but the first ten or so comments so maybe this has already been addressed, but I’m 56 and was just diagnosed a few months ago after having been sick as a dog for two months in the fall, then fine until March when I had a relapse and finally got diagnosed. While I was sick I didn’t drink at all, but now I’m back to the usual drinking like a fish. 10 light beers in an evening are ok, but vodka cocktails are much easier on the tummy. Just sayin’… Haven’t had another relapse and am taking Lialda as prescribed after a month on steroids.

  71. @Katie: I’m a drinker myself and have been diagnosed with UC for about nine years. I know after you’re first diagnosed and you have treatment and are feeling better, it can be appealing to start drinking those beers at night. But remember, you’ve not been off steroids that long, and steroids are a bitch on the body. I don’t have too much trouble drinking, unless I drink too much (more than three glasses of anything in one night). After my first treatment, I thought I could go back to drinking several a night. After a couple of months of that, my colon started to slowly react – blood, diarrhea, pain – all of that. I find that while I still have symptoms, they’re not as bad as when I let myself go back to my evil ways of two or more a night.

    @Karina: So true about not eating after 7 p.m. I don’t have NEAR the symptoms the next morning if I don’t eat after 7 p.m.!

  72. Hey,

    Ive had UC since I was 20- now 24. It’s taken a while to work out how to stay in remission and manage symptoms etc. But definitely find that alcohol is a massive trigger for me. I used to drink quite often, every weekend socially but found the more I drank, the worse the symptoms would be – bleeding excessively etc… cut drinking out to special events like christmas. I’d have 2 drinks and by January in hospital again to have blood transfusions because it triggered a flare that bad. The last three times I’ve had a few drinks, I’ve ended up in hospital a few weeks later because things have become that bad. My advice is cut out the alcohol and see how it goes. Sober for 2 years, but not been in the hospital…

    1. Hi Danny, having seen your last two lines, its gutting but maybe already answers my question…. being on the better end of a flare up right now, do i really want to be stuck in cuba….in a lovely all inclusive resort…..STUCK ON THE LOO?!?!?!?!?

      Maybe the answer is; Goodbye alcohol, you were fun for 12 years….

  73. Afternoon all,

    I’m very new to all this. i was diagnosed with UC mid December and this is the first time I’ve actually talked socially about so…yeeeeaaahhhh. I have basically been experiencing major flare ups all over Christmas, drank a lot during that time because i think i was so naive to the condition. Ive now been off the booze since beginning of Jan, and tried to stay on a low residue diet. my flare ups ( was going 15 times a day ) have stopped. im now down to 3 BM’s a day, unfortunately one of those is around 3am! I’ve been discharged from hospital ( which i found really difficult being a fighting fit 29 yr old ), and after two blood transfusions and some infliximab, it looks like im starting to go in the right direction.

    point being im going to Cuba in two weeks and really want nothing more than a stoagie and and rum with the old man…. shoulod i risk it ( YOLO!!! ) or should i be taking more care of myself?! be good to hear what you guys think!

    Also, WHY DOES EVERY SINGLE UC DIET LOOK DIFFERENT??!?!?!?!?!? Throw me a bone here!!!

    1. Hey Joey,

      It’s been a long time since your comment above, and I’m wondering if you ended up getting on with some good times in Cuba..??:) And how you are doing?

      I really appreciate you posting your comment, and Ihope you have been finding ways to get your UC figured out.

      As for diets, the truth is, many people who follow diets for treating or aiding in the treatment of their ulcerative colitis do somewhat different things…like many things..its somewhat different for everyone…and that’s what makes it harder to get a handle on. BUt with trial and error, it is possible to make some diet changes that benefit you i the long run.

      Wishing you the brset,


  74. Thanks for your recent post on alcohol, Adam. I have a very similar history to yours, although I am quite a bit older (diagnosed in my 60s). I strictly adhere to the SCD diet and cannot tolerate wine or beer. However, I have found that straight whiskey causes no problems at all. I have been in remission for nearly two years.

    Skip B.

  75. Hi Adam! I’m so happy I found this website and thank you for all the information that you provide. My daughter who was 11 years old at the time was complaining of tummy pain and we had noticed blood in her stool. I was so scared and was thinking the worst!!! It took a year to diagnose her and 2 doctors later I know the she is diagnosed with UC. On Friday February 02 , 2018 is when we found out and immediately my daughter asked about surgery lol. She just wanted this sickness gone. The doctor asked and sent us home with several options. She has been prescribed Prednisone and it helped in the beginning and then she continued to bleed. She is in 6th grade and go teased a whole lot because of her weight and her face got so swollen. Now I have narrowed it down to humera at home or infusions at the hospital. Adam, could you tell me the age range of UC? Everyone that I try and talk to say she is was to young. Could you point me to more info on younger childern? Thank you for your time!

    1. Hi Mary,

      I’m super sorry to hear about your daughter at such a young age dealing with UC. For sure it must be extremely difficult for her at that age, and especially with other friends/kids who she interacts with that simply can’t understand something like this. I would for sure like to point you in the direction of the section of the website which is about younger folks with UC, that page is here:

      It’s basically stories, and currently there are 16 of them about “young people”

      Give them a read, and you will for sure realize you and your daughter are not alone, and perhaps you will gain some more ideas from others’ expereinces.

      As for the common age of diagnosis, as you’ve probably already read or heard from your GI doctors, the twenties and early thirties are the most common ages, but people even their sixties and after sometimes get the diagnosis and as well for very young people.

      I wish you both the very best, and for sure she can have a great life, and there will be positives for her too that come from dealing with this adversity at such an early age.(even though that must seem hard as hell to imagine right now)


      Last but not least…I just did a PubMed search, and came across this recent study out of France…about pediatric cases of UC…might be a good read for you too:

      Editorial: Increasing Incidence of Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease in France: Implications for Etiology, Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Treatment.

      (the abstract at least which is available on that link above)

  76. Yes I drank wine moderately straight through my flare up, but I haven’t had a flare up in over a year. I took Humira for a year which resulted in an awful rash on my legs; therefore, I am no longer on Humira as of August 2017. I am convinced that my remission has everything to do with the food that I eat. I stay away from all refined sugar and flour and most processed foods. I only drink red wine occasionally and never more than 3 glasses per day. I began my diet plan by following a strictly ketogenic diet for about 6 months. Slowly, I’ve added in fruits. I take mesalamine every night before bed. Every morning I take a low dose of bupropion to help me manage my stress – I’m very analytical and a type A personality which is a brewing storm at all times. I was quite overweight during my flares – an anomaly I’m sure. Since altering my diet, I’ve lost 35 pounds and feel great – no UC symptoms at all. Even my skin rash has gone away. I will also mention that I did a hypnosis protocol for IBD directed out of Mt. Sinai in NY. I think it had a big impact on the mind/body connection for me. I look forward to future data on that subject. So yes, red wine is perfectly fine for me but I work hard to make it so.

  77. I was diagnosed with Pancolitis in June 2016 and wasn’t able to drink any sort of alcohol for damn near a year until I got it under control. I can’t drink alcohol at all when I am flaring but I can enjoy a glass of red wine every now and then when I’m in remission. I’ve actually noticed that sometimes a glass of red wine can actually help with my stools- to some extent. I never have hard alcohol anymore and I hate beer so can’t really relate there. I noticed white wine doesn’t go over too well and I am assuming that’s from the sugar content. A glass of Champagne is usually okay too- as long as it’s not super sugary. So weird how picky colitis can be. :|

    Here’s my rule- if there’s blood, NO alcohol or coffee. If there’s no blood and stools are good- then enjoy a glass or a cup every now and then. It seems to work for me. :)

    1. Hey Jess,

      I think that is some good thinking and ideas for others to think on too, particularly the “Here’s my rule- if there’s blood, NO alcohol or coffee. If there’s no blood and stools are good- then enjoy a glass or a cup every now and then.”

      Thx for sharing, and good luck to you!!,


  78. Hi, I’m Mia, diagnosed with UC late 2012 when I was 22. Spent my 20s drinking socially and not noticing a link with my UC. Was put on mesalazine (did nothing) then — prednisolone (amazing) – then azatbioprine (caused pancreatitis) then methotrexate and now veduolizimab (entyvio). I’ve logged my symptoms and recently noticing a link with alcohol… as soon as a drink I get bright red blood 1 / 2 days later. So, went tee total two months ago and have had no blood or symptoms since. Then had ONE glass of champagne 3 days ago and had blood today. Coincidence?! After one drink?? I’ve been reading comments to see if anyone had anything like this and how you can tell if a trigger is a coincidence or causal…

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