Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial cystitis, or IC, is a chronic inflammatory condition involving the bladder wall. The symptoms of IC vary widely from patient to patient and can include urinary frequency, urgency, incontinence, suprapubic or perineal pressure or pain, discomfort, hesitancy, feeling of incomplete emptying, malaise and dysuria. Due to the varying degree of symptoms, IC can be very difficult to diagnosis. Symptoms can be severe and may cause patients a great deal of worry and discomfort.

Symptoms of IC resemble those of a urinary tract infection and your doctor would do a urinalysis and a urine culture to eliminate any type of bacterial infection. Once the doctor has been able to rule out other causes of the pain, your treatment options will be presented. A simple change in diet can help to control IC symptoms and flare ups. Your physician may want to discuss other treatments with you, such as medications or intravesical instillations.

The IC-Smart Diet
Fruits
Allowable: Bananas, coconuts, dates, blueberries, melons (except cantaloupe) and pears
Avoid: All other fruits and juices

Vegetables
Allowable: Homegrown tomatoes and many vegetables (except those listed below)
Avoid: Store-bought tomatoes, onions, tofu, soybeans, lima beans and fava beans.

Milk/Dairy
Allowable: Milk, American cheese, cottage cheese, frozen yogurt and white chocolate
Avoid: Yogurt, sour cream, soy milk/cheese, aged cheeses and chocolate

Carbohydrates/Grains
Allowable: Pasta, rice, potatoes and some breads (except those listed below)
Avoid: Rye and sourdough breads

Meats/Fish
Allowable: Poultry, fish and some meats (except those listed below)
Avoid: Aged, canned, cured, processed or smoked meat/fish, anchovies, caviar, chicken livers, corned beef, and meats that contain nitrates or nitrites.

Nuts/Oils
Allowable: Most oils, almonds, cashews, and pine nuts
Avoid: Most other nuts

Beverages
Allowable: Bottled or spring water, decaffeinated acid-free coffee or tea, some herbal teas, flat soda
Avoids: Alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine, carbonated drinks such as soda, coffee and tea, fruit juices, especially citrus and cranberry.

Seasonings:
Allowable: Garlic and some other seasonings (except those listed below)
Avoid: Mayonnaise, misa, soy sauce, salad dressing, vinegar and spice foods (especially Chinese, Mexican, Indian and Thai foods)

Preservatives:
Avoid: Benzyl alcohol, citric acid, monosodium glutamate (MSG), aspartame (NutraSweet), saccharin and foods containing preservatives, artificial ingredients and colors.