Having interstial cystitis can be a pretty daunting thing to deal with. When you’re first diagnosed you can feel like you’re alone with a lot to learn. One of the things you might be wondering about is what foods are good for interstistial cystitis. Is there a specific diet to follow?
The good news here is you aren’t alone and there’s a lot of great advice out there for you. The diet to follow has been studied and there’s a lot of info on what can help. There’s also info on what might make things worse. A diet isn’t a cure for IC but it can help so let’s talk about it.
What Foods Are Good For Interstitial Cystitis?
The link between diet and IC isn’t fully understood but there is definitely a clear link between flare ups of pain and what you eat. You should focus on a diet using the right foods to avoid flare ups. The IC Diet includes things like bananas, coconuts, pears, dates and blueberries.
You can also eat most vegetables. Decaf tea or coffee is known to be okay. Flat sodas are okay as well. You also won’t have to cut out all carbs or even all sweets. There are just some things that are known to cause flare ups and should be avoided.
What Foods Make Interstitial Cystitis Worse?
There are definitely foods to avoid if you want to avoid pain flare ups. Citrus fruits, tomatoes and tomato based sauces, spicy foods, coffee or tea (unless it’s decaf), alcohol, and cranberry juice should all be avoided. The common thread with these foods tends to be the level of acidity.
The more acidic a food is the more likely it is to cause pain or other issues you want to avoid with IC. You can try eliminating these types of foods and slowly adding them back in one by one to see what works best for you. If something causes a flare up, you’ll know it’s one to avoid.
Do I Have To Follow This Diet Advice Forever?
Since there’s no cure for IC you will likely have to make some adjustments to handle the symptoms forever. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some of the things on the “avoid” list sometimes. There is something called “Prelief” that can be taken to avoid some symptoms if there’s a food you just have to have.
You may also find by adding some foods back in slowly that you don’t have to avoid every single food on the “bad list.” It’s all going to depend on what works best for you. Sometimes certain foods may not be worth the pain you’ll feel after eating it.
Making changes for any diagnosis is tough. Knowing that your IC could cause you more pain if you eat certain foods can be even tougher. Remember that no matter how hard this is, you still aren’t alone. Reaching out to support groups can be a great way to stay on track with the IC diet.
Remember that you can do this, even on days when it seems impossible. We have complete faith in you.
Sarah Nelson is a nurse with 15 years of experience working with a variety of patients. She has a Masters of Science in Nursing and has spent a large portion of her career working exclusively with women in an OB/GYN setting.
Nursing is a passion for Sarah but she also enjoys writing and sharing her expertise online with people who need helpful information. Treating patients well and helping them learn more about their own bodies is a key essential to a healthy lifestyle that Sarah truly believes in.