Using Diet and Nutrition to treat Interstitial Cystitis

Posted: Jun 14 in Weight Management Strategies by

Can diet modification help treat symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis?

Between 3 and 8 million women and 1 to 4 million men suffer from a painful bladder condition called Interstitial Cystitis. The symptoms include urgent, frequent, and painful urination. We receive many questions regarding whether there is an appropriate diet for interstitial cystitis, and whether it responds well to medical nutrition apporaches.

Diet modification is the first line of treatment. Finding and avoiding the foods that cause the pain can help people with this condition to lead happier, more productive lives. Dietitians are at the forefront of medical nutrition therapy for interstitial cystitis. So what can a Registered Dietitian do for you if you have interstitial cystitis?

First, I’ll ask you to record everything you eat for a week using diaries I’ll provide. You’ll be keeping notes on pain levels, food prep methods and other activities which affect your symptoms. This is a baseline upon which we base your next step.

Then I’ll give you specific guidelines for beginning an “exclusion diet” to clarify which foods are causing pain. We’ll personalize a “bladder-friendly” diet for you to use. We will next carefully test for problem foods in this step by step medical nutritional therapy. How about a grocery shopping list for your next steps!

I expect to develop a good working relationship with you over a period of time to help you achieve relief. While there are also partially effective medications for interstitial cystitis, nutritional modification of your foods can be an effective way to reduce symptoms.

-Tracy Boykin, R.D., is a Registered Dietitian on staff at CNC. She enjoys helping patients with Interstitial Cystitis find an appropriate diet with a nutritional approach towards treatment of this painful condition.


4 Responses to “Using Diet and Nutrition to treat Interstitial Cystitis”
  • Meghan Rehnborg says:

    I’m looking for an RD to help me with colitis and IC management. Please let me know if you can help.

    • Dr. Lazarus says:

      Our dietitians are happy to help implement nutritional plans; however, the recommendations for the nutritional plan for colitis and/or IC should really come from the managing gastroenterologist. Thanks for checking in!

  • Maria martinez says:

    I need help with a food plan and ic. Can you help via telehealth or video, I am in Washington, dc.

    • Dr. Lazarus says:

      Please call the office at (303) 750-9454 and the staff can research whether or not we are allowed to provide nutritional consultation in your state. Each state has different rules. We can also see if one of our RDN is current on inertial cystitis dietary recommendations, as this post was written many years ago!

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