Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a disorder characterised by chronic inflammation of the bladder wall. Its symptoms include painful urgent and frequent urination, discomfort during intercourse and pelvic pain.
There is no known cure for interstitial cystitis, but patients can reduce their symptoms by avoiding certain foods which are known to cause irritation to the bladder.
Foods high in acid are known to aggravate IC. People who have interstitial cystitis should avoid foods like fruit and tomato juices, fruit (except for blueberries, pears and honeydew melon), onions, tomatoes, rye bread, sourdough bread, yoghurt, sour cream and aged cheeses. Nuts (except for almonds, cashews and pine nuts), lima and fava beans and soy should be avoided as well. Cured, smoked, aged, processed and canned meats also cause irritation to the bladder. Chocolate is also a culprit of bladder irritation, but carob candy is a recommended substitute.
Drinks like coffee and tea stimulate the nerves throughout the body, including the sensitive nerves of the bladder. Drinking them causes the bladder to become overactive, resulting in urgent and frequent urination. IC sufferers should also not consume soda because it contains high amounts of citric acid and artificial sweeteners, which also aggravate the bladder. Alcohol should be avoided as well.
Other Things to Avoid
Artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, are a leading cause of bladder irritation in IC patients. Patients should also abstain products that contain MSG. IC sufferers should not take multivitamins unless they are required for another medical condition.