Alcohol and Smoking Effects on IBS and IBD

Published: 12th June 2006
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There is an established connection between smoking and inflammatory bowel disease. What puzzle researchers is how smoking can have an opposite effect on ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease patients who smoke. Cigarette smoking triggers opposite responses in inflammatory bowel disease patients.

The majority of ulcerative colitis sufferers tend to be non-smokers, and people who currently smoke have the least risk for developing ulcerative colitis. Nicotine in cigarettes appears to have a positive influence with the symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis.

However, smoking has the opposite affect for patients suffering from Crohn's disease. Crohn's disease smokers tend to have increased relapses, surgeries, and aggressive immunosuppressive treatments. Children who are unfortunately exposed to smoke through passive smoking also have an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease, with a reduced risk of developing ulcerative colitis.

Alcohol has not been proven to worsen inflammatory bowel disease, and some suggest that yeast in beer can relieve the cramping symptoms associated with Crohn's disease.

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