Effect of Diet on Interstitial Cystitis

Effect of Diet on Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic health condition that causes pain and pressure in the bladder and pelvic area. Because of this, it is sometimes called painful bladder syndrome. IC can cause an urgent need to urinate, a frequent need to urinate, or both.

Although IC cannot be cured, it can be treated. Researchers have found there are dietary changes you can make to help manage and avoid IC flare-ups. Below are just a few examples of foods/beverages that are IC friendly and those that are not: 

Fruits

IC Friendly

Bananas, blueberries, melons, pears, Apples (Gala, Fuji, Pink Lady)  

Avoid

Lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi fruit

Vegetables

IC Friendly

Asparagus, avocado, celery, black olives, cucumber, green beans, bell peppers, beans (black eyed peas, garbanzo, white, pinto)

Avoid

Chili peppers, onions, sauerkraut, tomato products, pickles

Milk/Dairy 

IC Friendly

Cheeses - (American, mozzarella, cheddar cheese (mild), feta, ricotta, string cheeses) cream cheese, eggs, milk, sherbet (no citrus or chocolate flavors)

Avoid

Chocolate ice cream, processed cheeses, soy products, yogurt (lemon, lime, orange or chocolate)

Beverages

IC Friendly

Water, blueberry or pear juice, milk (whole, low-fat, nonfat, lactaid, rice, goal almond), tea (chamomile or peppermint), vanilla milkshake

Avoid

Alcohol, chocolate milkshake, coffee, cranberry juice, soda, tea (regular, green, herbal, iced) tomato juice, sports drinks

If you need help selecting bladder-friendly foods, there's an app for that. The ICN Food List, available for Android and iPhone, provides a reference guide you can use while shopping and eating out. The app contains a database with foods divided into three categories: bladder-friendly foods, foods worth trying cautiously and foods to avoid.

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