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Staying Hydrated.

Staying Hydrated with IBD

When you have to go to the bathroom sixteen to twenty times a day, hydration becomes a key part of your everyday vocabulary. I have a J-Pouch, and the normal baseline for the frequency of bowel movements is around ten. I fall into an interesting group of people who have a higher output. I use the restroom about twenty times a day. If you are thinking to yourself, “Wow, that is crazy,” you are probably right. But I have become so used to it that it is part of my everyday routine. If I only used the bathroom once a day, I would think that there is a problem.

Because I use the bathroom so many times a day, I have to stay hydrated to avoid dehydration. Of course there are so many remedies that you can follow, ways that might be easier for you but I have found a routine that works for me. I usually wake up about three hours before I have to go into work. This gives me enough time to start with my hydration and also to get my stomach settled. I try to stay away from ice-cold water, although it can be refreshing. I had a GI doctor tell me that ice-cold water really speeds up the bowel. Don’t get me wrong, I like my water cold, but I do what I got to do to make it work!

In the winter, I am not outside as much, so I am not as active. During the winter months, I have around three to four bottles of water throughout the course of my day. If I am going to the gym or playing basketball, I will mix water with Gatorade. Gatorade has a lot of artificial sweeteners that do affect my GI tract. However, Gatorade has a lot of great essentials that the body needs to stay hydrated. So, I choose to dilute the Gatorade so it is not as harsh on my stomach.

In the Summer, I increase my water intake by double or even triple the amount. The reason I do that is because I am sweating more, which puts me in more danger of becoming dehydrated. I also work at camp, and am more active outside. What are the downfalls of drinking tons of fluids? Of course you will have to urinate more, so you might need to be near a bathroom. I never seem to have that issue because I always have to go to the bathroom! The other downfall that you might have to keep in mind is being “overhydrated.” Yes, that is a thing, and it could happen. In rare cases, people can become overhydrated or otherwise known as “water intoxication.”

I do get bored from water, as it has no taste. In times when I do get bored, I drink coconut water. Coconut water has all the vitamins and minerals, and usually you can find brands that have no sugar or artificial sweetener.

Most importantly, be vigilant. Stay aware of how much fluid you are putting in your body. I recommend staying away from soft drinks and alcohol, as they do aid with dehydration.   Remember the first sign of dehydration is a dry mouth! Stay hydrated!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • SaltyKid
    2 months ago

    A slice of lemon, lime, or orange in a bottle of water can give it some flavor without adding much of anything. Mileage may vary if you are super sensitive to citrus.

  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    1 year ago

    Staying hydrated is so important! Great post. I also have been told to stay away from cold water as it is not the best for the digestive system. I always drink water that is room temp. You get used it!

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • 3 years ago

    I feel for you and know that I too suffer from Chronic Sicca Syndrome which is Sjögren’s Disease without the numbers. It cause dry eyes, mouth and skin. I have Crohns but this actually worse because my Crohns does let me have some good days but the dehydration never lets up. Every single day I have a dry sore mouth and my eyes ache when I blink. I bath my skin in pure Argan oil everyday or my clothing will be full of what I call body dandruff. I use oil in my ears as well because they peel constantly. It is unsightly but it also makes snowflake like chunks that build up in my ears and I have to manually remove them. One of my doctors gave me a prescription for a drug that he stated would help my moisture in my eyes and mouth. I thought oh great only to get home and find out the number one side affect is diarrhea!!! I wondered why he didn’t just say go buy a gun, it’s quicker. I have Crohns why would I take anything to add to the diarrhea that I have almost daily. I drink constantly but to no avail and I have not been able to perspire in years. I mean no deoderant necessary, period. I really don’t think people understand what the diseases actually can do to the body and the spirit but I don’t blame them because it’s hard to understand something that you have never experienced. My best wishes to you and I really enjoy your blog. Take good care.

  • Dana
    3 years ago

    Hi Julianne9!

    First of all, thank you so much for being a member of our community! I am so sorry to hear about everything that you have been dealing with, that sounds very tough! But, it is nice of you to share certain tricks that work for you, like the Argan oil to keep dry skin away.

    Yes, it sounds extremely frustrating to have a medication side effect that could make your Crohn’s symptoms worse, maybe there is a different option that you could speak to your doctor about?

    You sound like a very strong person! Keep it up, and feel free to reach out anytime for a little extra support or information! We are so glad to have you here!

    Dana ( Team)

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