Dehydration may not be a problem for everyone with IBD. However, you may be more likely to become dehydrated if:

  • You suffer from frequent or watery diarrhea

  • You are not drinking enough water, because, for example, you are feeling nauseous or have lost your appetite through illness

  • You are losing more than usual amounts of water and salt through your skin because you are sweating excessively. This might be, for example, during hot weather or exercise, or because you have a fever

  • Your urine output is too high. This can happen if you have uncontrolled diabetes

  • Are taking diuretic drugs (drugs which increase the amount of urine you pass), or drinking too much caffeine

  • You have drunk too much alcohol. Alcohol is a diuretic, which increases the amount of urine you pass

  • You are suffering from gastroenteritis (a stomach or bowel infection), which can be caused by a virus or bacterial infection, or by food poisoning

  • You have had your colon removed - this affects your body’s ability to absorb fluid and electrolytes (essential salts such as potassium and sodium) from your diet

  • You have an ileostomy (or stoma), because output from an ileostomy contains more water than normal stool

  • You have a very short bowel as a result of extensive surgery

  • You have bile salt malabsorption. This can happen if you have Crohn’s in the ileum (the lower part of the small intestine), or you have had a resection in that area