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IBS Improved After Removing Chloramine From My Drinking Water

Discussion in 'The Gut: De Meirleir & Maes; H2S; Leaky Gut' started by Hip, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    My Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Was Much Improved After I Removed CHLORAMINE From My Drinking Water

    I always noticed that my irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D) was greatly improved when I left the UK and visited Paris. I had considered many possible explanations for this, but had yet to find an answer. Recently, however, I discovered that my local water utility company puts chloramine (as well as chlorine) in my tap drinking water.

    Chloramine is a disinfectant (chemical formula NH2Cl) added to the drinking water supply in some areas of the US, the UK, Canada and Australia, in addition to chlorine. Unlike chlorine, chloramine is not easily removed from your tap water by boiling, nor by letting the tap water stand in an open bottle overnight (aeration). So this means that chloramine remains in the drinking water even when you boil the kettle to make a tea or coffee, and even when you cook food with boiling water. Chloramines are also not removed from tap water by the activated carbon filters that are used to remove chlorine; so even if you have a tap water filter, this will not protect you from chloramine.

    I had a theory that the chloramine in my water might be exacerbating my IBS, and might explain why my IBS improves when I leave the UK and visit Paris (in Paris they use neither chlorine nor chloramine, preferring ozone as the drinking water disinfectant).

    Research on the negative health affects of chloramine is scant, though there are many anecdotal reports on the Internet of health problems caused by chloramine in tap water, particularly problems with the skin (some reports given here: 1, 2). Apparently, many people only notice the ill health affects of chloramine when they travel abroad, or when they travel to a different part the country (say on a business trip), where there is no chloramine the water, and notice that while they are away, certain chronic ailments or symptoms they have just disappear.

    So I had an idea that chloramines in my water supply might be affecting my intestines, and worsening my IBS.

    Thus I decided to test my theory that chloramine was exacerbating my IBS symptoms by removing all chloramine from my drinking and cooking water.

    You can quickly and easily remove the chloramine from your drinking water simply by adding vitamin C to the water. You just need to add 10 mg of vitamin C to neutralize each liter of water. (Alternatively 20 mg of sodium thiosulfate will also neutralize the chloramine in a liter of water). References: 1, 2, 3, 4.

    So all I did was add a very small amount of vitamin C to all the tap water I drink and use for making tea and coffee, and to all the tap water I use for cooking.

    Within a couple of days of doing this, my IBS symptoms were noticeably improved, and have remained much improved.

    So anyone here who is battling IBS or other bowel symptoms, check to see if your local water supplier is putting chloramine into your drinking water, and if so, consider trying this simple vitamin C neutralization technique to remove the chloramine.

    Your IBS / bowel symptoms may be significantly improved within days.

    Note: the improvement in symptoms happens fast, within a day or two of removing chloramine, so it does not take long to see if removing chloramine is going to be of benefit for you.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
    SaraM likes this.
  2. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    By the way, for those concerned about leaky gut syndrome (intestinal hyperpermeability), this study demonstrated that chloramine (monochloramine) can disrupt the epithelial lining of the intestines, likely causing mucosal inflammation, malabsorption and dysfunction of the digestive tract.
    snowathlete and SaraM like this.
  3. Xandoff

    Xandoff Michael

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    Water departments use Cloramine to disenfect water and to the reach the farthest dead ends" water of their water systems far from the pumping stations. It also has been known to destroy rubber gaskets in valves on other water works equipment. The Vitamin C is great workable solution. Conrgratulations.
  4. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I did not know that chloramines can corrode rubber gaskets. Though I read that chloramine can be fatal to fish in an aquarium, and so chloramine must be removed from tap drinking water before you use that water in a fish tank.
  5. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Great info. My area doesn't appear to have chloramines.
    Allyson likes this.
  6. SOC

    SOC Back to work (easy, part-time work)

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    Do you know what was meant by "neutralize" in this context? I know chloramine can be broken into chlorine and ammonia, but I'm not sure this is better to drink than chloramine. :confused: Or is the neutralization a more complex process?
  7. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Neutralize means just as you said: vitamin C breaks down chloramine into chlorine (chlorine is in the water anyway) and into ammonia. Both chlorine and ammonia are immediately expelled from water by boiling, so these will both disappear when you boil water for making tea or coffee, and when you boil water in cooking.

    And both chlorine and ammonia are also expelled from water by aeration, if you let the water stand overnight in an open bottle or container.

    So, if like me, you only drink either mineral water, or tap water that that has a been left to stand overnight or longer (after having put a tiny amount of vitamin C in it neutralize the chloramine), then you will have no ammonia, no chlorine and no chloramine in your drinking water.

    Small amounts of ammonia in drinking water are apparently not a problem anyway for human health (ref: 1).
  8. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    TIP: an easy way to add tiny amounts of vitamin C to your tap drinking water before use is using those fizzy effervescent vitamin C tablets that you can often find for sale in supermarkets and pharmacies.

    Fizzy Vitamin C Tablets
    Fizzy vitamin C tablets.jpg

    With a knife, just crumble up a 1000 mg fizzy vitamin C tablet into around 30 or so tiny little chips (each chip will then have around 30 mg of vitamin C). You then just drop one of these little chips into the water in your kettle or saucepan just before you boil the water, to instantly neutralize the chloramine. Or drop a chip into the water you let stand overnight for drinking water. One tiny 30 mg chip will neutralize up to 3 liters (5 pints) of water, so it is very economical.
  9. SOC

    SOC Back to work (easy, part-time work)

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    Thanks, Hip, for the extremely useful info. The vitamin C addition is very simple, so the only other thing I need to do is leave my filtered water in an open container overnight instead of in a sealed container in the fridge. Easy!

    I take the chloramines out of the water for my fish, why shouldn't I do the same for myself? :)
  10. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I believe that only around one fifth of all the tap drinking water supply has chloramines added to it. So this problem only affects you if you live in an area of the country where chloramines are added to the water.

    If anyone wants to know if they have chloramines added to their water, your water supply company website should state whether or not chloramines are added to your water supply.

    In the US, UK, Canada and Australia, I believe virtually all the drinking water supply has chlorine added (which is the primary water disinfectant used in these countries); but some water supply companies also add chloramine as a secondary disinfectant.
  11. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Cincinnati, OH, USA
    There is a nearby small town just outside of my larger city that has chloramines. I guess they have their own water supply so they can do it differently if they want. Anyway, like you said, it's easy enough to find out, just look at your water supplier's website.

    I found some people with fish tanks discussing chloramines. Apparently it's bad for your fish (but ok for humans???). Hello??? What are these people smoking?
  12. anna8

    anna8 Senior Member

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    Thanks hip! You are so knowledgeable!
    I usually drink bottle water you can get it really cheap now! But on days when I have run out and feel too ill to get some I've drunk tap water and I do notice a difference! I thought It can,t be the water but I think you are right!
    Good info!
  13. Allyson

    Allyson Senior Member

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    Australia, Melbourne
    talkin about IBS is suppose you are aware that a low FODMAPS diet will help - google melbourne dietician Sue SHepherd for her books and research if not or FODMAPS
  14. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    The FODMAPS diet is a new one for me. Interesting, I'll look into it.

    However, my IBS has dramatically improved since I started removing chloramine from all my drinking water. I had IBS for around 15 years, without any remission prior to now.

    I suffer from IBS-D (IBS whose main symptom is diarrhea). I used to have severe diarrhea 2 or 3 days a week, with milder diarrhea most of the rest of the time. However, since I began removing chloramine from my drinking water, I now only get 1 bout of diarrhea once every say 4 weeks or so — a dramatic improvement.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
  15. Allyson

    Allyson Senior Member

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    Australia, Melbourne
    Hi Hip, yes they have done extensive research into it here and I did 4 weeks on a trial for the Uni - it really showed a difference on a low FODMAP diet
    Sue Shepherds books are great

    the gist is avoid thngs that are higher in fructose that glucose so avoid apples pears grapes broccoli cauli etc - forgotten the full list; stone fruits are OK, and you can eat those thinks in moderation... eg half an apple. Too much of any food is also bad.. aggravates IBS .
    while you't at it a Low GI diet helps too - google Sydney Uniiverstiy glycaemic index

    SUe may have written on that too I am pretty sure

    Also lactose - free helps me a lot if i can stick to it.....so hard to avoid dairy but i reckon my severe reflux disappears when I do manage to.
  16. RustyJ

    RustyJ Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'

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    Brisbane, Aust
    I had sudden onset when I took up swimming every morning. However I had mild symptoms throughout my childhood to that time and I could not join the dots. The chloramine/chlorine in tap water is the missing link for me. I started using Vit C and boiling my water after reading this thread. I have noted a significant reduction in IBS symptoms, notably urgency and diarrhea, almost immediately. Chloramines have been used in Queensland tap water since the late sixties.

    Two weeks down the track those improvements have been sustained. I have also been able to increase my weight exercises by some 20%, which had been flat lined for years - this has happened in the last few days. I am now lifting more than I have lifted for years (still well below average, though). Haven't noticed any other improvements as yet to OI or PEM. I will add to this thread if further improvements are noted.

    There is a little bit of science behind the chlorine toxicity causation theory, particularly testosterone reduction which is problematic for some cfsers.

    http://www.rodale.com/swimming-chlorinated-water

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7565234
  17. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    It's great to hear that, Rusty, especially the increase in physical exercise ability.

    I also noticed significant improvements in my irritable bowel syndrome symptoms almost immediately. So it seems that as soon as you cut out the chloramines, big improvements in IBS appear within 24 hours.

    In my case, I have not seen improvements in other areas of my ME/CFS; it was just my IBS symptoms that improved dramatically (my IBS has virtually vanished since removing chloramine from my water).

    I believe it is probably the chloramine, rather than the chlorine, in the drinking water that was exacerbating my IBS. I say this because I was never consuming any chlorine in my water anyway, as I always leave my drinking water to stand overnight in an open bottle: this overnight aeration allows the chlorine (but not the chloramine) to completely off gas out of the water.

    And I never had any chlorine in my hot drinks, even when using water straight from the tap, because of course boiling water in a kettle (or saucepan) instantly removes all the chlorine (but again not the chloramine).

    So I was ingesting only chloramine in my water, but no chlorine, when I had my IBS.

    But soon as I added vitamin C to all my drinking water and to the water I boiled in a kettle in order to neutralize the chloramine, then my IBS vanished within 24 hours, and has remained at bay for 3 months now — the length of time that I have been neutralizing the chloramine with vitamin C.

    What I want to do soon, as a test, is to start drinking chloraminated water once again for a while, just to see if my IBS then comes back again. If it does, then this test will provide further evidence for an IBS–chloramine connection.


    Interesting reference you provided about the organochlorine link to ME/CFS. Organochlorines are of course the class of pesticides that were widely used before they were phased out and replaced with organophosphate pesticides by around 1990. I know that organophosphates have a well-known link to ME/CFS, but I did not know organochlorines had also been linked to ME/CFS. I also did not know that chloramine is actually classed as an organochlorine compound.


    There are more studies on the health effects of chloramine to be found on this webpage.

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