Drinking alcohol is not recommended for most people with Crohn’s disease. Alcohol may irritate the lining of the intestinal wall, causing or worsening symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and bleeding. It also may contribute to malabsorption, further complicating nutritional deficiencies. Alcohol interacts with many medications, causing side effects that may be serious. Finally, alcohol disrupts sleep cycles and can leave you feeling tired and irritable the next day. However, if alcohol is well tolerated and not causing any complications, it can be consumed in moderation.
Chronic diarrhea can lead to dehydration very easily. Dehydration makes you feel weak, tired, light-headed, or just “blah.” It can cause headaches, abdominal pain, and other symptoms. It also can place dangerous strain on your kidneys. Dehydration can be avoided by making a special effort to take in plenty of nonalcoholic fluids. You should take at least 8 full glasses of fluid every day. Try to stick to water, diluted fruit juice, sports drinks, decaffeinated beverages, and fruit and vegetable drinks. Avoid caffeinated beverages and sodas.
What else can I do to avoid problems?
These tips may help you feel better during and after eating:
- Keep a food diary. Record everything you eat and whether it causes you any problems. Design your own diet around what works for you.
- Stock your home with foods that you enjoy and do not cause you problems.
- Eat several small meals a day rather than a few large meals. This helps many people reduce or avoid symptoms.
- Eat when you are hungry.
- Take small bites of food and chew each bite completely.