Interstitial cystitis diet may prevent symptoms flare in patients with bladder pain syndrome. We observed a close relationship between diet and IC/BPS. In most patients, some foods may act as symptoms trigger.
Before planning a friendly diet, we must rule out any food allergy or intolerance (gluten, lactose). However, even in not allergic patients, certain items are more likely to trigger IC/BPS flares:
- Coffee (caffeinated and decaffeinated), tea (caffeinated and decaffeinated), soda, alcohol, citrus juices, and cranberry juice;
- Foods and beverages containing artificial sweeteners;
- Hot peppers and spicy foods.
Interstitial Cystitis diet: Most & Least bothersome food
According to studies and experiences, we know a list of most bothersome and least bothersome food:
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice
Oranges and orange juice
Melon (honeydew and watermelon)
Pineapple and pineapple juice
Tomatoes and tomato products
Potatoes (white potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes)
Processed sandwich meats (salami, bologna)
Fish (shrimp, tuna fish and salmon)
Poultry (chicken and turkey)
Milk (low-fat and whole)
Garlic or any herb-infused olive oil
Grain beverages/Coffee substitutes (Cafix®, Pero®, Roma, Postum®)
Coffee (caffeinated and decaffeinated)
Tea (caffeinated and decaffeinated)
Carbonated drinks (cola, non-cola, diet, and caffeine-free)
Artificial sweeteners (Equal® (sweetener), NutraSweet®, Saccharin, and Sweet’N Low®)
Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
Interstitial Cystitis diet: Vitamin C
Many people with interstitial cystitis find that some fruits, particularly citrus, trigger flares. However, these foods are also an essential source of Vitamin C. There are other IC-friendly foods that we can include in the diet to prevent Vitamin C deficiency:
Greens (Swiss chard, spinach, kale )
Cranberry juice and IC
Despite conflicting evidence, we commonly use cranberry juice to treat and prevent recurrent urinary tract infections. However, most people with IC find that cranberry juice leads to flares and then we include it in the “to avoid” list.
Friendly source of fibres
Constipation may accompany interstitial cystitis. Not only does it cause discomfort. For many IC patients, it can also increase IC symptoms such as urgency and frequency by causing additional pressure against the bladder. A low fibre diet may cause constipation, and IC patients should consider safe foods that are high in fibre:
Grams of fibre
Bread and Cereals
Cracklin’ Oat Bran
Potatoes (with skin)
Interstitial Cystitis diet and caffeine
Coffee and tea may trigger flares for many people with interstitial cystitis. Yet, many patients cannot live without coffee stimulation. Some people need caffeine to energize, and quitting can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and fatigue. It is best to find alternative ways to find energy throughout the day.
Here are three tips for alternative ways to keep energized:
- Slowly cut back on coffee/tea:
- Progressively reduce the daily amount of coffee
- Depending on how much you drink, give yourself several days, a week, or more to eliminate coffee from your diet.
- Pick a new beverage:
- Select an alternative energy booster:
- Get moving. A ten-minute walk can be very energizing.
- Don’t skip meals.
- Eating six smaller meals daily can help keep a good energy level.
- Drink regularly throughout the day until having pale-yellow urine colour.
- Keep your blood glucose levels in check by eating some protein with whole grains at each meal.
- Good sleep is essential to maintaining your overall health and energy levels.