Sunday, December 1, 2013

Do Vitamins Bother Your Painful Interstitial Cystitis Bladder?

Do vitamins bother your interstitial cystitis/painful bladder? Are you worried that your limited IC diet doesn't give you the nutrients you need?

Generally adult formula multi-vitamins contain doses of vitamins that even a person without IC doesn't need. That is why your urine turns bright yellow shortly afterward! You are peeing all of the extra vitamins into the toilet! Not only are you wasting the money you spent on the vitamins, that bright yellow urine is irritating your poor fragile bladder lining.

If you still think you need extra vitamins, here are some general guidelines:
  • Try taking children's vitamins once or twice a day since they have lower doses then an adult version. 
  • You can also take individual vitamins in smaller doses. It is mostly vitamin C and vitamin B6 that irritate the bladder, so normal doses of vitamin A, folic acid, B12, biotin, vitamin D, and vitamin E are usually fine. In fact, once I corrected my vitamin D, my bladder seemed to settle down, and there is formative research to support this: (click on the pdf link to view the whole article). 
  • Vitamin C in normal doses or from foods is usually fine, in fact, vitamin C is important to keep the immune system, the skin (i.e. the bladder lining), and nervous system healthy. These are all things we need when we have IC. For more information about vitamin C rich foods, check out
    Interstitial Cystitis Diet: No Citrus? No Strawberries? No Problem!
  • Keep in mind that vitamins don't just come from a pill. Often foods like cereal are fortified with vitamins and sometimes up to 100% of the recommended daily intake. Guess what? That amounts to taking a multivitamin. Even eating two or three bowls of cereal at a time has the potential to overload your system with vitamins and can irritate your bladder causing painful symptoms. So, as with all things in nutrition, practice moderation.

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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