What Is the Best Diet for Interstitial Cystitis, (AKA Painful Bladder Syndrome)?

Also known as painful bladder syndrome, interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition that causes discomfort and pressure, and sometimes mild to severe pelvic pain.

It occurs mainly in women, and it can have a major impact on a person’s quality of life. There is no known cure, however, medications, other therapies, and a special diet often offer relief.

See: Bladder interstitial cystitis diet pain 

Although the cause is unknown, suggested causes include allergies, heredity, and an autoimmune reaction. The fact that allergies may be a part of the cause has led to the creation of an interstitial cystitis diet and a list of foods to avoid.

If you are still unsure whether or not you have IC, the signs and symptoms of interstitial cystitis vary from person to person and over time in the same person, but they include:

Symptoms of Painful Bladder Syndrome (IC)

  • Pelvic pain located between the anus and vagina in women, and in men between the anus and scrotum
  • Pelvic pain that is chronic and unrelenting
  • A frequent, urgent need to urinate, frequently in small amounts, day and night; as much as 60 times daily
  • Pain as urine fills the bladder and relief after it is emptied
  • An experience of pain with sexual intercourse

What to eat and what not to eat with interstitial cystitis | painful bladder syndrome diet

It occurs mainly in women, and it can have a major impact on a person’s quality of life. There is no known cure, however, medications, other therapies, and a special diet often offer relief.

Although the cause is unknown, suggested causes include allergies, heredity, and an autoimmune reaction. The fact that allergies may be a part of the cause has led to the creation of an interstitial cystitis diet and a list of foods to avoid.

If you are still unsure whether or not you have IC, the signs and symptoms of interstitial cystitis vary from person to person and over time in the same person, but they include:

Other foods on the avoidance list that are known to cause flare ups of interstitial cystitis are:

  • Citrus fruits such as lemon, lime, and grapefruit, (stay away from the Master Cleanse!)
  • Vinegar
  • Chocolate of any sort (craving chocolate means you are low in magnesium – eat broccoli instead as it is high in magnesium)
  • Artificial sweeteners (the natural sweetener Stevia is tolerated usually)
  • Most spices
  • Tomatoes, including foods with tomato in them such as spaghetti sauce, lasagna, pizza, and chili
  • Dried fruit with preservative in them
  • Berries, cherries, grapes
  • Apricots, starfruit, passionfruit, guava, peaches, persimmon, kiwi, plums, papaya, plums
  • Pineapple
  • Raisins and dried figs
  • Ham with preservatives, smoked fish, smoked meat
  • Luncheon meats
  • Sausages and hot dogs
  • Peperoni and salami
  • Most nuts, including: pecans, pistachios, peanuts, walnuts, macadamia nuts, almonds and hazelnuts

Another group of foods interstitial cystitis sufferers may wish to avoid are the foods that are indicated in promoting inflammation. These include plants from the nightshade family (potatoes, eggplant and peppers).

Types of allergy testing

Allergy testing provides valuable information for interstitial cystitis sufferers because food allergies also cause:

  • Congestion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Eczema
  • Fatigue
  • Runny nose
  • Hives
  • Itchy eyes
  • Itching
  • Occasionally anaphylaxis

There are three main types of allergy tests:

1. Skin

These tests involve a small prick on the body (usually on the back or arms) and involve little discomfort for most people.

2. Patch

diagnose contact dermatitis, and consist of a small amount of a suspected allergen put on the skin and covered to see if there is a reaction. (Skin contact and inhalation can also be ways to incite a food allergy reaction.)

3. Blood

For allergies involve a sample of blood that is analyzed to determine the number of antibodies that are produced in reaction to common allergens.

These 3 types are:

  • ELISA, which is the acronym for the enzyme-linked immunosorbent test
  • RAST, the radioallergenosorbent test
  • Assay of the in vitro basophil histamine release

Trigger Foods

While this list is not designed to be the total answer for everyone, it is a starting point to gaining control over your symptoms. You will likely have your own trigger foods. They may not even be related to a food allergy but to a food sensitivity, also known as a food intolerance.

A food allergy creates a reaction in the immune system that can negatively impact various bodily organs. Food intolerance symptoms generally cause digestive issues and are usually less serious than food allergies.

You may have to figure out your food intolerances by keeping a food diary for a few weeks.

Conclusion

Although this list may look long and depressing, you might actually find yourself feeling and getting much healthier as a result of a massive change in your diet!

There are still plenty of nutritious foods (and fun) out there for interstitial cystitis suffers to enjoy that do not cause their symptoms to flare.

If you get used to reading labels to avoid the ones on your list and stay away from processed foods, you can hopefully live a great life without interstitial cystitis complications.

This can seem counter intuitive, but​ changing what & how you eat, can result in some seriously spectacular results.

If you follow these guidelines, you can reclaim your life from interstitial cystitis.

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