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Water intake, should I be drinking more or less?

Hi there,

I have Crohn's disease. I am a big water drinker, I drink around 2.5 Litres of water a day and 2-3 cups of herbal & black tea on workdays.

95% of my BM are watery, just flow straight out of me and I am never constipated or struggle.

However, sometimes when I have a big weekend or night out and I drink less water, like 1litre and 1 cup of tea my BM becomes solid (which obviously feels better and healthier.) But I also get headaches.

I am feeling conflicted, because I know that with watery stool, you need to keep up your water intake, so I do, but when I don't, I don't have watery stool. So it's making me think I am drinking too much water! But if I don't drink enough water I feel tired and get headaches. SO I AM VERY CONFLICTED!!

Has any one else encountered this problem or asked a professional for advice on this?? I have no idea what my water intake should be and if I am making it worse by drinking too much..

Look forward to hearing form you...
 

David

Co-Founder
Staff member
It is possible to drink to much water which can lead to a condition called hyponatremia where your sodium levels get too low. People with Crohn's can have mineral imbalances which makes me wonder if they're more susceptible to this.

I just wonder if your headaches and fatigue aren't from the reduced water, but your reduced tea intake and thus caffeine withdrawals. Maybe try reducing your water intake but keep the tea the same for a couple of days and see if that helps improve your stools without causing headaches and fatigue?
 
Hi there,

I have Crohn's disease. I am a big water drinker, I drink around 2.5 Litres of water a day and 2-3 cups of herbal & black tea on workdays.

95% of my BM are watery, just flow straight out of me and I am never constipated or struggle.

However, sometimes when I have a big weekend or night out and I drink less water, like 1litre and 1 cup of tea my BM becomes solid (which obviously feels better and healthier.) But I also get headaches.

I am feeling conflicted, because I know that with watery stool, you need to keep up your water intake, so I do, but when I don't, I don't have watery stool. So it's making me think I am drinking too much water! But if I don't drink enough water I feel tired and get headaches. SO I AM VERY CONFLICTED!!

Has any one else encountered this problem or asked a professional for advice on this?? I have no idea what my water intake should be and if I am making it worse by drinking too much..

Look forward to hearing form you...
Hi,

I'm exactly the same as you and am just as conflicted :confused:.
I drink a similar amount of tea and water as you also attribute the headaches to dehydration because that's how they feel and they go away when I hydrate. In my case the headache is definitely not from caffeine withdrawal as I drink 1 espresso in the morning every day without fail and only herbal teas and water the rest of the day, so I'm sure it has to do with hydrating less.

I've tried to balance things by drinking slightly less each day with absolutely no effect, until there's a day where by chance I drink very little and get the headache and firmer stool. The effect is very temporary though, as soon as the firmer bit is out it's back to watery D.

Sometimes drinking alcohol can have a similar effect and I think it's because alcohol is also dehydrating.
I don't remember ever asking a medical professional about this but would love to hear the answer if you do. I have enough trouble getting an appointment at the moment so no room for any questions like that.

I regularly get my sodium and potassium levels tested and they are very stable but I do need to take magnesium by the bucket load to stop cramping legs, feet and hands. I know that some forms of magnesium are also a laxative but that effect I don't notice, strangely.

Are there any other minerals that could be affected by too much water?

Or is the firmer stool just a by-product of actual dehydration and therefore not good to pursue?

I'd love to know the answer!
 
Hi All
I don't know if I am talking nonsense but I have CKD and I have to drink plenty of fluid I was advised to check the colour of my urine if it is dark I am not drinking enough if it is a pale golden colour I am drinking enough hope this helps.
 
Hi All
I don't know if I am talking nonsense but I have CKD and I have to drink plenty of fluid I was advised to check the colour of my urine if it is dark I am not drinking enough if it is a pale golden colour I am drinking enough hope this helps.
Yes, I've been told to check the colour too and it's usually pale. I'm sure I'm drinking enough!
 
It is possible to drink to much water which can lead to a condition called hyponatremia where your sodium levels get too low. People with Crohn's can have mineral imbalances which makes me wonder if they're more susceptible to this.

I just wonder if your headaches and fatigue aren't from the reduced water, but your reduced tea intake and thus caffeine withdrawals. Maybe try reducing your water intake but keep the tea the same for a couple of days and see if that helps improve your stools without causing headaches and fatigue?
Hi David it's mostly herbal tea apart from one cup of black tea that I have so I don't think it's a caffeine thing!

Hi,

I'm exactly the same as you and am just as conflicted :confused:.
I drink a similar amount of tea and water as you also attribute the headaches to dehydration because that's how they feel and they go away when I hydrate. In my case the headache is definitely not from caffeine withdrawal as I drink 1 espresso in the morning every day without fail and only herbal teas and water the rest of the day, so I'm sure it has to do with hydrating less.

I've tried to balance things by drinking slightly less each day with absolutely no effect, until there's a day where by chance I drink very little and get the headache and firmer stool. The effect is very temporary though, as soon as the firmer bit is out it's back to watery D.

Sometimes drinking alcohol can have a similar effect and I think it's because alcohol is also dehydrating.
I don't remember ever asking a medical professional about this but would love to hear the answer if you do. I have enough trouble getting an appointment at the moment so no room for any questions like that.

I regularly get my sodium and potassium levels tested and they are very stable but I do need to take magnesium by the bucket load to stop cramping legs, feet and hands. I know that some forms of magnesium are also a laxative but that effect I don't notice, strangely.

Are there any other minerals that could be affected by too much water?

Or is the firmer stool just a by-product of actual dehydration and therefore not good to pursue?

I'd love to know the answer!
Well I am glad to know someone else is in the same boat! Isn't it so conflicting?!

Hi All
I don't know if I am talking nonsense but I have CKD and I have to drink plenty of fluid I was advised to check the colour of my urine if it is dark I am not drinking enough if it is a pale golden colour I am drinking enough hope this helps.
My urine is always almost clear apart from after I've been out drinking of course..

That's the thing, I am not dehydrated until I know I am dehydrated from the headaches but I rarely let it get to that point.

I am wondering if I should go for a check up with my gastroenterologist but to be honest last time I saw her she gave me Azathioprine which I do NOT believe is right for me and have been off it for 2 years. Last thing I want is another prescription too!
 

cmack

Moderator
Staff member
Hi chemri,

Have you considered Immodium? Imodium A-D (loperamide) slows the rhythm of digestion so that the small intestines have more time to absorb fluid and nutrients from the foods you eat. I sometimes use this to help with the big D. You may want to ask your doctor. Here is a link to more info... https://www.drugs.com/imodium.html Best wishes.
 
Hi chemri,

Have you considered Immodium? Imodium A-D (loperamide) slows the rhythm of digestion so that the small intestines have more time to absorb fluid and nutrients from the foods you eat. I sometimes use this to help with the big D. You may want to ask your doctor. Here is a link to more info... https://www.drugs.com/imodium.html Best wishes.
Thanks for the suggestion, I would say that could be a great short term solution but I would rather fix the issue myself than take drugs to hide the problem :)
 
Best and Worst Drinks for Crohn's Disease. Getting enough fluids is a must, but some beverages can worsen Crohn's symptoms. Most guidelines call for at least eight glasses of water or fluids a day for adults to stay adequately hydrated.
Milk Is Good for Crohn’s Disease Unless You’re Lactose Intolerant.
Coconut Water Can Replenish Electrolytes.
with Crohn's diseases, some complications may occur like anemia, rashes, skin infections also.
 
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cmack

Moderator
Staff member
Hi chemri,

I do know of several people who use loperamide on a daily basis and have done so for years at the advice of their doctors, and to good effect. I appreciate you not wanting to pretend the problem isn't there by masking it with meds. However, I think it's worth talking with your doctor about this option. This drug is generally well tolerated, and I, for one know that it is a very useful tool to have in the medicine chest. Even if you only take it as needed to attend appointments, go shopping etc... . As always, best wishes.
 
Recently (68) I have episodes of dry mouth, dry eyes, dry skin, dry hair. Morning tongue is stuck to the roof of my mouth, my eyes get itchy, as well as rough skin which flakes. Drink lots all day, not dehydrated but body seems to flush it out, to my discomfort.
I have many allergies and Crohn's Colitis, which plays havoc with my water retention, sores in my mouth, and itchy skin. Worst offenders are yeast and soya.
 
I am a Crohns sufferer, had it for a few years before diagnosis and was very unwell by this time, as treated for pancreatic insufficiency for a few years. I'm now on infliximab and improving. I drink around a minimum of 2.5 litres of water a day. I also love tea (being British so have many teapots of tea unrestricted)... alongside drinking pints of milk at at time. I can drink two to three a day and am not lactose intolerance. My entire need to drink more has come about since being so poorly and dehydrated for so long, plus being diabetic. All of these liquids are helping to improve my overall condition and the problems with fistulars and surgery for these are reducing. I no longer have that very dry tongue especially in a morning and feel we have to find individually what works for you. Coconut Water as yet I have not tried, but will. xxx
 

cmack

Moderator
Staff member
Hi Belinda, welcome to the forum. Do you take amitriptyline? I do and it causes a really dry mouth.
 
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