Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease caused by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.
Chrohn’s inflames your digestive tract, which can result in stomach pains, diarrhea, extreme weight loss, fissures in the anal canal, and malnutrition. People with Crohn's disease have to be more careful about what they drink or eat. Certain foods can aggravate Crohn's symptoms, like foods that contain spices or dairy. Alcohol is also another substance that can aggravate this condition.
As a drug and alcohol rehab center in Philadelphia, we wanted to take a closer look at the connection between Crohn's disease and alcohol abuse.
Effects of Alcohol on Crohn's Disease
Although alcohol can suppress an overactive immune system, potentially reducing symptoms, this is an unlikely solution. In a study conducted on the connection between red wine and Crohn's disease symptoms, it was reported that patients who drank red wine daily were at a higher risk of experiencing long-term disease relapse. This is because alcohol and Crohn's pain are linked; despite the idea that alcohol suppresses any overactivity in the immune system, individuals with Crohn's are more likely to aggravate their symptoms if they drink.
So can alcohol cause Crohn's flare-up? Yes. Many people with Crohn’s experience periods of dormancy in their symptoms, also known as remission. When you’re in remission, it can be easy to forget the severity of your previous symptoms. People in remission with Crohn's may begin to drink a few glasses of wine or some beers here and there, unaware that they’re potentially setting themselves up for a difficult relapse.
Can Alcohol Abuse Cause Crohn's Disease?
Simply put, yes. Although alcohol is believed to be a slight suppressant of an overworked immune system, in larger quantities it can actually irritate the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in a flare-up. The intestines are lined with a barrier that protects from certain foods, germs, and toxins. Because Crohn's disease already compromises gut health, alcohol may only aggravate the person’s condition.
Crohn's and alcohol abuse are directly linked; because alcohol compromises your gut health, people with an alcohol addiction may be more prone to developing Crohn's disease. People who are accustomed to drinking often may find themselves unable to quit, even if they have a health condition like Crohn’s. At Banyan Philadelphia, we offer an alcohol addiction treatment that can help individuals who struggle with alcoholism get the help they need. With the right help, you or someone you know may be able to avoid the health repercussions of this disease.
Can I Drink Alcohol If I Have Crohn's Disease?
Although small amounts of alcohol during remission isn’t always life-threatening, you should not drink alcohol if you have Crohn's disease. Even if you’re in remission, alcohol can cause flare-ups and aggravate your condition, potentially landing you in the hospital.