Dietary Changes That May Help With Interstitial Cystitis

Health & Medical Blog

Interstitial cystitis, sometimes called painful bladder syndrome, affects up to 1 million people in the U.S., the majority of which are women. Symptoms include abdominal pain, bladder discomfort (especially as it becomes more full), frequent urination, and painful intercourse. In some cases, making dietary changes can help to minimize the symptoms that people with this condition experience.

Common Trigger Foods

While the foods that tend to trigger interstitial cystitis symptoms can vary greatly between different people, some foods are more likely to be troublesome than others. These include anything caffeinated, alcohol, citrus, tomatoes, hot peppers, artificial sweeteners, cranberry or pineapple juice, horseradish and pickled foods, or foods containing vinegar. Avoiding these foods may help to improve symptoms, so it may be worth a try.

Other Potential Triggers

As odd as it may seem, even water can be problematic in some cases. Sometimes the minerals or chlorine in the water can cause symptoms to increase, so it may be a good idea to experiment with different types of bottled water, preferably those without added minerals or vitamins. Because prepared foods have so many different ingredients, including many that aren't good for those with interstitial cystitis, it may be better to stick to cooking from scratch. Soy, MSG, smoked meats, and a variety of different fruits sometimes cause symptoms in people with this condition as well.

Consider Other Dietary Sensitivities

Dairy products and grains aren't typically a problem for people with interstitial cystitis, but a small percentage of people with this condition may also suffer from a gluten sensitivity or be lactose intolerant. In these cases, it's important for people to limit their consumption of even more foods to avoid lactose or gluten and minimize their abdominal symptoms.

Elimination Diet

Most people don't want to have to deal with a very restrictive diet for the rest of their lives, so it can be helpful to experiment a bit to see which foods are problematic in your case and which don't increase symptoms. Keeping a food diary for a short time and noting exactly what was eaten as well as any potential effects on symptoms can help to find these foods, but an elimination diet is even more useful. This involves temporarily restricting the diet to a list of foods that don't usually have any effect on symptoms until the symptoms decrease and then adding one potentially problematic food back into the diet every few days to see whether it causes the symptoms to increase again.

For more information, contact a medical center like the Western Branch Center for Women.


28 February 2017

Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

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