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 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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  1. I can pretty much say that eating the basic IC diet for the first year was a life saver

  2. After that I started testing foods. I'm still learning what foods I can tolerate outside the diet. I can handle certain brands of tomato and small amounts of chocolate. I can handle homemade ranch mix but not the bottled version. I can handle rootbeer and ginger ale but not anything with caffeine. I stil cannot eat anything with onion, black pepper, or red/chili pepper.
    I know that my pallette has changed over the last two years. Things I find unpalatable my family has no issues with. I often find that foods my bladder won't tolerate nether will my stomach.

  3. I'm currently have a flare up and I'm in terrible pain. Can anyone suggest something to ease the pain or even just take the edge off please?

    1. D Mannose 1500mg. Kava Bladder ease capsules lazurus cbd tincture indicated thc.