Interstitial Cystitis (Painful Bladder Syndrome) and Food Triggers

Certain foods can increase painful bladder symptoms associated with interstitial cystitis. Most foods result in symptoms 2-4 hours after ingestion.

Most common irritating foods:

  • alcoholic beverages
  • carbonated drinks
  • caffeine
  • spicy foods
  • tomatoes
  • citrus fruits
  • vinegar
  • bananas
  • cheese
  • aspartame
  • onions
  • sour cream
  • yogurt

There is no known reason why these food cause bladder irritation, however there are some theories as to why these foods are associated with IC. Many of these contain higher amounts of specific amino acids, including tryptophan and tyrosine, which are thought be broken down into products that are more irritating to the bladder wall. Another common irritant that is found in some of the above foods are "oxalates", which may irritate the bladder wall as well. 

However, diet is simply one aspect of interstitial cystitis. Hormones, an abnormal immune response, and poor bladder lining all contribute. These factors may be addressed individually and part of a complete plan. 

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