Friday, June 26, 2015

Interstitial Cystitis Diet Hacks Part 2: Bury Denial and Take Control


Should You Drink a Cup of Coffee?
Are you in IC Diet Denial?
Often I hear people asking if some IC patients are simply not diet sensitive. I know it is tempting to think that you might be a person who doesn't need to modify what you eat, but here is what we know:
  • No matter how the research is done, studies show that up to 94% of patients with IC are sensitive to some foods.
  • I often hear people with interstitial cystitis who are in a flare say following the IC Diet didn't help them. 
  • I never hear people whose IC syptoms are improved say they didn't modify their diet in some way.
Frankly, I believe that those whose bladder is flaring and say the diet "didn't work" likely had other things going on such as stress, pelvic floor dysfunction, physical activity, even problems with laundry soap, or they didn't give the diet a chance to work. There is also the possibility that they were following the diet incorrectly or they followed the diet but refused to give up something important to them like coffee, tea, or diet soda. Maybe the foods they ate contained hidden ingredients that bother interstitial cystitis in their foods like artificial colors, preservatives, soy, or MSG. Regardless. there is likely some reason why those people tried the diet and it failed.

The good news is that most people eventually figure out their own personal trigger foods; many using some sort of journaling technique. (See Interstitial Cystitis Diet Hacks Part 1: Why Journal?) Some people only need to avoid the most bothersome foods: coffee, tea, soda, artificial sweeteners, tomatoes, citrus foods, alcohol, soy, chocolate, and spicy foods. Some need a little more guidance with someone like me, a dietitian who knows IC. The bottom line is that diet is an important base-line treatment for IC.

Were you ever in denial about how diet affected your interstitial cystitis symptoms? What are your most bothersome foods? What are your least bothersome foods? Let's continue the conversation here in the comments or on the Confident Choices Facebook page!

PS: Thank you so much to all of you who are making your Amazon purchases though the Confident Choices links. Here are some of the products that purchased to help our cause!

Sit and Be Fit Exercise DVD 

ZenGate Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Wallet Case

Puroast Low-acid and Decaf Coffee

Julie Beyer, MA, RDN
Author, Speaker, Patient Advocate

Julie Beyer, MA, RDN
Author, Speaker, Patient Advocate

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0976724626/ref=nosim/nutraconsults-20 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 


 **Please SHARE using the links below!**


 **Please SHARE using the links below!**

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Interstitial Cystitis Diet Hacks Part 1: Why Journal?

Writing In a Journal
Do you write down your foods and symptoms?

I have to tell you a cool story. Before I had interstitial cystitis and became a reluctant expert on the IC Diet, I was a regular, everyday dietitian working in a hospital weight management facility. I loved my job. Loved the people I worked with and the patients we saw.

Occasionally over the years, I wondered what happened to some of them. Then recently I ran into one of my former patients who recognized me. It appeared at first glance that she had kept the weight she had lost off (which is more than I can say for myself!), but she had a surprising story to tell.

"Julie, after a few years of maintenance, I gained about 50 pounds back. I realized I had to do something or I would be back where I started, and I came across all of my food diaries in my kitchen cupboard. I had stacks and stacks of them. I want you to know I sat down right there on the kitchen floor and started to read them again....all the food I ate (and wanted to eat but didn't), all the feelings I had (good and bad) about losing weight, the new recipes I had tried back then, the number of steps I took each day....all of it. It was like taking the weight management classes all over again, and I could hear your voice teaching and guiding us through the process. I even remembered you telling us to save the diaries forever so we could we could revisit them in the future. Well those diaries are the reason I was able to lose those 50 pounds again. Thank you!"

Now, to be honest, I had totally forgotten about my advice to save the food diaries. I am sure I said it, but nevertheless, this wonderful woman's story reminded me once again about why food and symptom diaries are so important for interstitial cystitis/painful bladder patients! Not only can they help you figure out your food and other triggers, you can record your symptoms, your feelings, your limitations, and your victories! Your food and symptom diaries are YOUR IC story!

How can you make the best of your journaling? Try to do each of these three things every day:
  1. Spotlight what you are doing. Recording your food, activities, symptoms, feelings, and challenges raises your own sense of awareness. Keeping tract of these things can provide you with valuable insight on how the food you eat or the things you do affect your symptoms.
  2. Set small goals for yourself. Sure you want to be pain-free. That is an umbrella goal for us all. But how do you get there? Maybe you want to drink less coffee and more water. Or, maybe you want to move more each day. Even write down when you try new medications and supplements and keep track of how you feel. Committing these goals to paper can help you navigate the many changes needed to have a healthier IC lifestyle.
  3. Record the results of small changes. Did you feel better or worse trying a new brand of water? Did hiking at the park give you less pain than riding your bike? Did the new recipe you tried bother you? If not, did your family like it? 
In addition, your journal can be a valuable tool when you visit your health care providers. You can talk to them about the changes you made and how they worked for you. You may be able to explore treatment strategies together based on the patterns, successes, and failures you read in your diaries. Finally, if you save these diaries like my weight management patient did, you will have them to look back at if you have a flare or recurrence of symptoms.

How do you journal? Do you keep track of the foods you eat and the things that you do? Have you found it helpful in managing your own IC care plan?

You can find free downloadable samples of food and voiding diaries at IC Recipes and Resources!

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


 **Please SHARE using the links below!**