In 2007, the interstitial cystitis diet came about when Robert Moldwin, Barbara Shorter, and their colleagues at the Long Island University published their study called “Effect of Comestibles on Symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis” in the Journal of Urology. This gave hard proof that there are certain kinds of food that affect, both negatively and positively, your bladder. And if you happen to have IC or painful bladder syndrome, you should start eating the right foods to prevent further irritation from happening.
So what foods and drinks should you avoid with the IC diet?
Food and Drinks to Avoid
There are different kinds of food to avoid if you have IC. The main food group to be avoided in the cystitis diet is acidic food. This does not only include sour foodstuff, but also other food and beverages that have high acidic content.
The main beverages to be avoided are coffees (both regular and decaffeinated), teas (hot or cold), fruit juices, and sodas. Coffee, powdered iced tea, and green tea are big culprits in triggering IC, and should be avoided. Even a single cup of one of these drinks can cause your IC to flare up, making you feel unnecessary pain and discomfort. For sodas, it’s not just the acids that trigger IC-related pain, but also the different preservatives in each drink.
On that note, the diet for interstitial cystitis also recommends avoiding foodstuffs and beverages that contain artificial sweeteners, because the chemicals these contain are known for triggering interstitial cystitis flare-ups. Another sweet item that IC patients should get rid of from their homes is chocolate. If you’re craving dessert, opt for ice cream instead of chocolate.
For meat lovers, it’s alright to eat it as long as it’s fresh. Avoid processed meats like pepperoni and salami. Furthermore, be picky when choosing what sauces or dips you’re using with these, because there are some that can trigger IC as well, such as barbecue and steak sauces.
With that long list out of the way, here are some foods and drinks you should have more of (and that form part of the overall interstitial cystitis treatment).
Recommended Foods and Drinks
Vegetables are highly recommended in the interstitial cystitis diet, with the exception of tomatoes and asparagus, which some patients have found to worsen their pain. They should also be more careful in picking fruits, as a lot of these are highly acidic. The rule of thumb is to see just how tolerant you are to fruits by starting with the milder ones, like pears, and cautiously work your way up to the more acidic ones to check up to what level you can tolerate.
Milk and eggs are also welcome in the IC diet. However, not all dairy products are as friendly. Strong cheeses are found to trigger flare-ups. If you’re a cheese lover, best choose milder variants, such as cottage cheese or fresh mozzarella.
Choose simple breads for the carbohydrates in your diet. Do not use rye and sourdough as these can trigger attacks.
There are a variety of interstitial cystitis recipes on the Internet for the food lovers out there who still want to experiment in the kitchen but do not want to risk their health in doing so.
The diet for interstitial cystitis is not that hard, but if you are used to your routine you may find it difficult to adjust to this new food program. Nonetheless, you should at least try to follow the interstitial cystitis diet to prevent your condition from worsening.