What do coffee and alcohol do

Alcohol and coffee do not cause irritable bowel syndrome

Many patients with irritable bowel syndrome state that they cannot tolerate coffee, nicotine or alcohol. Theoretically, this can be justified, because all three pleasure poisons increase intestinal motility. The other factors that are important in irritable bowel syndrome, such as the intestinal hypersensitivity to stimuli and possibly microscopic inflammation, could also be negatively influenced by tobacco, alcohol and coffee.

   Sick people often tolerate the stimulants badly.

This is confirmed by a study by Professor Stefan Müller-Lissner from the Park-Klinik Weißensee in Berlin, in which irritable bowel patients, chronically constipated and healthy control persons gave information on the tolerability of certain foods: one third of the patients each stated that through Alcohol, nicotine or coffee would make the stool softer and diarrhea more common.

About 14 percent of irritable bowel patients avoid these stimulants because of their softer stools, according to another Swedish study as early as 2001.

But the information provided by the patients has not turned out to be very specific, said Mönnikes. "Coffee ranks 7th on the hit list of poorly tolerated foods, even for people without irritable bowel syndrome," said the gastroenterologist. In the study, intolerance to coffee, tobacco and alcohol was only associated with fears, not with intestinal problems.

In epidemiological studies in the USA, the Netherlands and Turkey, there was no relationship between irritable bowel syndrome and alcohol, nicotine and coffee consumption.

"The irritable bowel creates the intolerance, not the pleasure poisons the irritable bowel!", So Mönnikes. Patients with irritable bowel syndrome and mainly constipation problems could even benefit from the laxative and - with coffee - stool-inducing effect.