Monday, September 13, 2010

Redefining “Elimination Diet” for the IC Diet

Healthy Foods for IC
Are you an interstitial cystitis patient? What was your reaction when you first heard the phrase “elimination diet?” Many IC patients are confused and intimidated by the thought of doing something that sounds so drastic. My first experience with an elimination diet was when my daughter was two years old. Her skin was raw from eczema, so the pediatrician suggested doing an elimination diet to help determine if she had food allergies. Now, the first phase of a traditional allergy elimination diet is quite severe. She started out on lamb, pears, and rice. It was miserable for both of us. It was complicated to find foods a two year old would eat, while the rest of us ate “real” food. After she lost two pounds in just a few days, I stopped it.

Because of this experience, when I was first diagnosed with IC, the idea of doing an “elimination diet” for interstitial cystitis was nearly paralyzing. As a result, I did things the hard way for the next few years. I experimented with my diet, relying on trial and error, mixed with a hearty portion of denial.

It wasn’t until I started counseling IC patients and studying the IC Diet list that I recognized the value of using an elimination diet strategy. I realized that the name “elimination diet” is just a fancy way to organize the testing of various foods, and it definitely wasn’t necessary to start with lamb, rice, and pears like my daughter did twenty years ago! Tens of thousands of patients before me had compiled their knowledge, and we knew the basics. (View 2009 IC Food List)

How did you determine your personal trigger foods?

Julie Beyer, MA, RDN
Author, Speaker, Patient Advocate Just Tell Me What to Eat!

For step by step guidance for creating your own personal interstitial cystitis meal plan, see: Confident Choices®: Customizing the Interstitial Cystitis Diet.

For some basic, family-style, IC bladder-friendly recipes, see: Confident Choices®: A Cookbook for Interstitial Cystitis and Overactive Bladder

For health care workers:  Interstitial Cystitis: A Guide for Nutrition Educators 

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