Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Interstitial Cystitis Diet: Getting to Your Baseline

There is no doubt that following an interstitial cystitis diet can be frustrating, especially if you think you are doing everything right and you still have symptoms.

When patients come to me with this scenario, I first check that they really are following the Bladder Friendly column from the IC Food List. Sometimes people are sneaking in foods that could be a problem. Or maybe a food is fine, but the way they prepare it turns it into a trigger food. It is important to really clean up the diet to get maximum results.

In addition, the length of time it takes for individual patients to experience relief varies. Some symptoms will likely diminish within days, but greater results can be expected over time.

The good news is that the Bladder Friendly column of the IC Food List was developed to be healthy even if used over a long period of time.

Once the diet has been tackled, I ask patients what other bladder pain triggers they may be experiencing:
  1. Are they having symptoms after stressful events? (Need stress management ideas? Check out Interstitial Cystitis and Stress: Can Stress Affect Your Bladder?
  2. Are they getting enough sleep? (Yes, I know...when you are jumping up every 45 minutes all night long, how can you get enough sleep? For ideas read: Are You Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired? How to Get More Energy Without Caffeine )
  3. Are they having problems after exercise or intimacy? (Check out Jen's great suggestions in the ICN Forum)

If after addressing stress, sleep, and physical activity or intimacy, IC patients are still struggling with painful bladder symptoms, I ask if they might consider allergy testing to see if they have allergies to foods that are usually ok for most other IC patients. Food allergies, even to traditionally bladder friendly foods, can cause interstitial cystitis flares. To learn more read Interstitial Cystitis: Allergies and Diet.

Becoming an efficient IC problem solver and developing your personal self-help skills can help you reclaim your life as soon as possible. In addition to the above resources, I also have a free e-book that walks you through the process of finding your trigger foods. That small e-book might be all that you need. If you need more help, the books Customizing the Interstitial Cystitis Diet and Confident Choices: A Cookbook for Interstitial Cystitis and Overactive Bladder can take you a step further.

PS: If you sign up through the e-book link above, you will also be added to my newsletter list which you can opt out of at any time. Hang in there. It DOES get better.....sending you all understanding hugs!

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

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