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Chemicals or Food That Cause Interstitial Cystitis

Chemicals or Food That Cause Interstitial Cystitis Chemicals or Food That Cause Interstitial Cystitis Chemicals or Food That Cause Interstitial Cystitis

Overview

Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is a chronic, inflammatory condition where the protective layer of the bladder is defective, resulting in symptoms such as urinary discomfort, frequency and urgency, as well as pain during intercourse. The exact cause of IC is unknown and there is no cure for it; however, identifying and avoiding trigger foods and chemicals may help reduce symptom frequency and severity.

Commonly Offending Foods

According to PubMed Health, certain liquids, including alcohol, citrus juices, coffee, tea and soy milk, can cause bladder irritation in many IC sufferers. Foods that are problematic to many IC individuals include aged cheese, chocolate, dairy, fava and lima beans, meats that are cured, processed, smoked canned, aged or that contain nitrites, most fruit except for blueberries, honeydew melon and pears, onions and tomatoes, all nuts except for almonds, cashews and pine nuts, rye and sourdough bread, sour cream, tofu, yogurt and all highly processed foods.

Your Personal Food Triggers

Instead of eliminating all of these possible trigger foods permanently, the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition (CSNN) recommends determining which food items are problematic for you. To do this, follow a hypoallergenic diet, which is void of all of the trigger foods for one month. After a month, add one food item back into your diet per day and monitor your symptoms closely. Keep a food and symptoms diary during this time, and if you notice a worsening or return of symptoms at any point during the day, write down the food that you reintroduced that day. Once you have a "caution list" of all of you trigger foods, you can avoid those foods completely until symptoms subside. After a couple of months, you may be able to consume trigger food items occasionally in moderation.

Commonly Offending Chemicals

Many chemicals and food additives can also be aggravating. IC Network states that artificial sweeteners are problematic to many. So too, are all seasonings that contain MSG. Other chemicals and preservative that may cause IC symptoms include ascorbic acid, autolyzed yeast, BHA and BHT, benzoates, citric acid, hydrolyzed protein, meat tenderizers, metabisulfites and sulfites. CSNN recommends avoiding these substances as much as possible, regardless of whether or not these chemicals cause an immediate and noticeable exacerbation of symptoms as consuming these substances stresses the immune system and IC symptoms are more likely to manifest in individuals with a compromised immune system.

Additional Dietary Information

Many processed foods contain potentially aggravating ingredients such as preservatives, artificial flavorings and additives. As such, you should try to consume fresh, whole, organic foods as much as possible. Also, different brands of the same food can have completely different ingredients and additives, so if you notice a reaction to one of you favorite foods, consider trying a different brand of that food.

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