|Picture courtesy of Interstitial Cystitis Network's|
Bladder Photo and Video Archive.
Thought One: I think one of the problems is that when people with interstitial cystitis are feeling better, they really don't want researchers or physicians to poke around in their bladder just to see what it looks like. I know I honestly don't want to risk going "back" there. So, how do we determine if eliminating certain foods and drinks is actually helping heal a painful bladder, or if it is simply a comfort measure that helps control the symptoms? Does it matter if you feel better when you modify your diet?
Thought Two: I can eat a lot more foods now, and IC isn't the horrible monster that it was in the years right before and after I was diagnosed. I personally have the sense that my body has "healed," even though the doctors avoid using that term. On the other hand, If someone has interstitial cystitis, they are probably always going to be predisposed to bladder pain just like others get arthritis, stomach aches, or migraines. We see this everyday in people who were in remission one day and in a wicked flare the next.
Thought Three: As for how food and the body is reacting when you have IC, we truly don't know what the role is, and it is probably different for each type of food (and each person, if we are honest!) We DO know from research and from listening to IC patients that if a person eats or drinks something like coffee, that their symptoms of a "flare" might only last for 24 hours, or they may last for three weeks or longer. So the question is still there: What is the mechanism that causes pain and symptoms for several weeks after you drink that cup of coffee? There is obviously an effect...likely inflammation. Would medications like Elmiron work better if you were not constantly inflaming your bladder with coffee, tea, soda, etc?
The bottom line is you are still better to avoid these foods even if you are trying medications and instillations that are meant to help. Stop looking for excuses to "indulge" in that cup of coffee or diet soda. Make one small change at a time and "indulge" in the investment of the best health you can give yourself!
PS: Thank you to all of you who have donated to keep this blog going! If you are still thinking about it, remember, next month is IC Awareness Month. Consider making Confident Choices part of your plan! Or, if you are looking for a painless way to support our work, remember to make your purchases from Amazon.com through the links on this newsletter and on www.ic-diet.com.
Recent Amazon purchases that helped Confident Choices:
Interstitial Cystitis DVD: Healthy Body, Healthy Mind Series
Brita Sport Water Filter Bottle, Twin Pack
Desert Harvest Glucosamine & Chondroitin
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT IC and DIET SEE:If you are a nurse, dietitian, or other nutrition professional, you can earn continuing education for reading Interstitial Cystitis: A Guide for Nutrition Educators and purchasing the accompanying workbook from Helm Publishing.