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INTERSTITIAL CYSTITIS

FOODS THAT HARM

  • Hot peppers
  • Coffee
  • Cranberry juice
  • Artificial sweeteners

    FOODS THAT HEAL

  • Water
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Dairy products

    FOODS TO LIMIT

    Processed foods containing preservatives and other chemicals

    WHO’S AFFECTED

  • Young and middle-age women
  • People who have experienced bladder trauma or surgery
  • People who have experienced spinal cord trauma
    Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic, severely debilitating disease that affects the bladder
    Its symptoms include urgent and frequent urination, pelvic pain, and painful intercourse; its causes are unknown
    The problems can come and go, flare-ups are common, and the condition usually lasts a lifetime
    Typically, IC is diagnosed only after ruling out a variety of other conditions, including sexually transmitted diseases, bladder cancer, and bladder infections
    And because doctors often misdiagnose IC as an infection, years can elapse before the condition is accurately diagnosed

    Nutrition Connection

    Here are some food strategies to help alleviate the symptoms of IC: Try an elimination diet
    Many foods are reported to worsen symptoms, but people react differently to different foods
    Rather than eliminating suspected food triggers from your diet all at once, try eliminating one at a time for several days, and note whether or not your symptoms got better
    Some common triggers include coffee, cranberry juice, and hot peppers
    Avoid trigger foods
    Once you’ve identified your food triggers, be especially careful not to eat them when you’re starting a new drug therapy
    Consider going organic
    Since many people with IC are sensitive to food additives, including preservatives, artificial sweeteners and flavorings, and other chemicals, try to buy fresh organic food whenever you can

    Beyond the Diet

    Find a drug regime that works
    Medications used to treat IC include ibuprofen, tricyclic antidepressants, diphenhydramine, and pentosan polysulfate, the only drug specifically approved by the FDA to treat IC
    Get some PT
    Physical therapy can be extremely helpful for some IC symptoms, particularly if you also experience pelvic pain
    Seek out a therapist who is experienced in treating people with IC