Monday, December 20, 2010

Drink Right to Feel Right

Water can be an interstitial cystitis patient's best friendOne of the great debates among nutrition scientists is how much water a person should drink. The debate gets even more complex when you talk about interstitial cystitis (IC) and overactive bladder (OAB). Obviously, a person who drinks constantly during the day will also be running to the bathroom more frequently. But for people whose painful bladder symptoms are affected by the type of food that they eat, water can help dilute the effects of the bad foods, potentially providing some relief.
Probably the best advice that I can give IC and OAB patients is to listen to your body. If you are thirsty, have something to drink. In fact, many people with bladder problems find they do better if they sip on water all day long rather than drink large glasses at a time.

What kind of water should you drink? IC patients may have to experiment. In general, filtered tap water is fine. You might also try distilled water or other types of bottled water. There are questions today about the use of plastic water bottles, not just for the environment, but because they may leach harmful chemicals into the water itself. A stainless steel bottle filled with tap water may actually be your best bet.

If you choose to drink bottled water, many bladder patients find 100% pure spring water without added minerals is more bladder friendly. You may also find it easier to sip a glass of water over an hour rather than drink it all at one time. Also, try hot water with a bit of honey.


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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