Overly Restrictive Diets May Not be Necessary for Interstitial Cystitis Sufferers

The results of a recent survey revealed that the diets of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) patients may not have to be so restrictive.

The aim of the study was to survey IC/BPS patients using an online questionnaire to determine which foods, drinks, supplements/spices, and general food categories truly lead to symptom flare ups.

In order to conduct the study, the Interstitial Cystitis Association posted an online study for ICA’s members to participate.  Members were asked their experiences/effects after consuming 344 different foods, drinks, supplements, condiments/spices, and general food categories.  Mainly, the researchers were interested in the effects on urinary frequency, urgency, and/or pelvic pain symptoms.  Members were asked to score the resulting symptoms due to the consumption of the noted foods using the Likert scale of 0 to 5.  Questions on ethnicity, education, symptom duration, seasonal allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, and specific diets were also included.

Out of the 598 complete responses to the questionnaire, 95.8% relayed that certain foods and beverages do affect their IC/BPS symptoms; however, most items on the list had no effect on the symptoms.

Some items that made symptoms worse were citrus fruits, tomatoes, coffee, tea, carbonated and alcoholic beverages, spicy foods, artificial sweeteners, and vitamin C.

Only two items on the list were reported to help alleviate the symptoms:  calcium glycerophosphate (Prelief) and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).

Although it is recommended that patients with IC/BPS avoid citrus fruits, tomatoes, coffee, tea, carbonated and alcoholic beverages, spicy foods, artificial sweeteners, and vitamin C, the study’s results suggest that interstitial cystitis diets do not have to be overly restrictive.  Further, the use of calcium glycerophosphate or sodium bicarbonate before consumption of the known irritants may also help reduce the symptoms of IC/BPS.

One Response to “Overly Restrictive Diets May Not be Necessary for Interstitial Cystitis Sufferers”

  1. I really enjoy the article.Really looking forward to read more. Cool.

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