Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is the coagulation and erosion of the wall linings of the bladder. Currently, there is no known cure for this health condition. Studies have shown that certain types of food can trigger IC flares (sudden, random attacks of pain).
The Link between Interstitial Cystitis Flares and Food
Medical researchers and practitioners have reported that acidic types of food can trigger IC flares. They have considered interstitial cystitis to be a form of allergy which is triggered or worsened by the consumption of food that has a high acid content. Common types of food that can worsen pain from interstitial cystitis include grain products, carbonated beverages, nuts and fatty foods, soups that are mostly processed and packed, and caffeinated products, as well as tomatoes and asparagus. These foods typically have a high amount of acid in them.
Food that are Safe to Eat with Interstitial Cystitis
Although a number of foods can trigger IC flares, there are also those that are safer to eat with the condition.
Almost all meat products, as long as it is fresh and has no added preservatives, is safe to eat. When eating steak, avoid using ketchup or strong spices. Instead, try to pair your steak with sautéed mushrooms. Also be careful of BBQ sauces, as well as steak sauces, as most contain tomatoes in some form.
Vegetables are safe to eat as long as they are not paired with spicy or acidic sauces. For dairy products, eggs and milk are generally okay to eat, but be cautious with cheeses. You can try fresh mozzarella, farmers' cheese, string cheese and cottage cheese.
As for breads, those that are recommended are those that have no preservatives and are the freshest possible. Simple breads like wheat, rice and oat are safe to eat, as well. A particular brand of breads, Ezekiel, is very popular among people who have interstitial cystitis.
Since most fruits contain a high amount of acid, there are only a few safe choices to choose from. Among these safe fruits are blueberries and pears. Certain types of apples (Fuji apple, gala apple) can also be safe to eat.
Hot drinks such as coffee and caffeinated tea are definitely not included on the safe list. However, you can try herbal teas like chamomile or peppermint and decaffeinated beverages. Vanilla milk is also okay to drink.
What to do to Prevent Worsening of Interstitial Cystitis
As people suffering from IC have a higher risk for dehydration, taking in a lot of water can help prevent dehydration. Although taking in a lot of water leads to frequent urination, it also decreases the chance of acid build up in the bladder. The resulting urine has a pale yellow color which is best for aiding in preventing flare-ups.