Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Fickle Nature of Interstitial Cystitis

IC Diet CoachingDo you sometimes react much more severely to certain foods than at other times (tomato-based foods and citrus). How can you know when those more severe reactions might happen?

What you are experiencing is quite common in people who have mild to moderate forms of IC. Sometimes the food and beverages that we consume at the same time as a trigger food will moderate the latters effect on the bladder. For example, a person may find that they can eat a small piece of lemon meringue pie because the egg whites in the meringue will temper the acid from the lemon filling.

Other people find that food will bother them in one form and not another. You may be able to tolerate one slice of tomato on a hamburger, but not a cup of tomato sauce on spaghetti. Finally, many other things can affect IC bladder symptoms. Fluctuating hormones, stress, disrupted sleep, allergy flares, and other illnesses may amplify an IC patients pain and frequency, giving the impression that something s/he ate is the culprit.

I suggest that all IC patients keep a basic food intake and symptom diary. A stenographers notebook with the line down the middle is good for this. You can record your food intake in the left hand column and note your symptoms on the right. Dont forget to track the other things mentioned your periods, stressful events, allergy flares, etc. You should be able to notice some patterns after several weeks of journaling. It is also a great idea to share your food/symptom diary with your urologist, dietitian, or other healthcare professional who is working with you to help to manage your IC symptoms. Sometimes a new set of eyes can see things that we miss! If you need help determining what is flaring your symptoms, you might consider individual counseling
Julie Beyer, MA, RDN
Author, Speaker, Patient Advocate

Helping Yourself Is the First Step to Getting Well

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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