DAN Medical Frequently Asked Questions

Back to Medical FAQ List
Bookmark and Share

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Should someone with inflammatory bowel disease be allowed to dive?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can result from ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. The major symptoms are diarrhea, which can be bloody; abdominal pain; nausea; and vomiting, often with fever and weight loss.

Commonly, IBD usually occurs to divers aged 20 to 40 years and who experience the following:

1) Intermittent disease with long periods of normal bowel functioning; and

2) Complications including anemia, electrolyte disturbances, dehydration, poor absorption of fluids, liver disease and generalized fatigue.

Drug treatment often involves corticosteroids, which can impair one’s ability to fight infections.

Someone with symptomatic IBD should not dive until treatment has caused remission. A person experiencing no significant complication of IBD or its treatment and has adequate cardiovascular fitness could consider diving.