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Easing Interstitial Cystitis Through Diet

By HERWriter
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The foods you eat may have an effect, either positive or negative, on interstitial cystitis (IC).

What may be a trigger food for one person may not be a trigger for someone else. Some experimentation with your diet will help you determine which foods you should avoid.

In general, more acidic foods will irritate the bladder, and more alkaline foods will be soothing, as they decrease the acid in the urine (uric acid).

Drinking more water will make the urine less concentrated and decrease the amount of uric acid. The clearer the color of the urine, the less concentrated it will be.

It may be helpful to use pH strips to tell you just how acidic your urine is.

In order to discover which foods help and which ones hurt, try an elimination diet for two weeks at a time. Avoiding certain foods for this long may demonstrate whether these have been contributing to IC.

After two weeks, eat some of that particular food by itself, and note any reaction. If there is no adverse reaction, include that food in your diet.

Don't bring back more than one food every three days. This will help make it clear which foods if any are a problem for you.

It may be useful to keep a food journal, to better keep track of any and all reactions to them.

Along with types of foods, consider cooking methods as well. For instance, raw foods may be better tolerated than cooked.

Some foods that are often culprits are chocolate, citrus fruit, and dairy products which are acidic like certain cheeses, and sour cream.

Processed meats and fish may cause flare-ups. Also consider avoiding mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, vinegar and soy sauce.

Beverages that can irritate interstitial cystitis are alcohol, coffee, citrus juices and carbonated drinks.

Foods that may ease symptoms of IC are alkaline vegetables like broccoli, eggplant, green beans, and fruit that are low acid like apples, bananas, coconuts, pears, and grapes. Other possible foods are unsalted butter, milk, cream, and cold-pressed oils.

Many herbal teas may be soothing beverages.

These are not complete lists by any means. Trial and error will help you compile your own list.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.