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  1. #1
    ICN Member
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    Lahey Clinic Diet?

    Is anyone following the IC diet from the Lahey Clinic?

    It's more restricted than most others I've seen and I'm having trouble with menu planning and dining at friends' homes or restaurants. My doc doesn't want me to try the low-acid coffees or teas yet, nor does he want me to use Prelief yet (awaiting sedated cysto/hydrodistension).

  2. #2
    Guest BellaLuna's Avatar
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    Question diet?

    where did you get the diet? I looked on the homepage and couldn't find it... what does it consist of?

  3. #3
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    I got it from my urologist at the Lahey Clinic (Burlington, MA).

    Here are the only allowed foods:
    Evian, peppermint tea, milk
    Cereals (cooked or ready to eat)
    Bread made from rice, millet, quinoa, buckwheat, sour dough
    Butter, vegetable oils
    Beef, chicken, lamb, turkey, veal, salmon, shrimp, sardines, crab, snapper, flounder, halibut
    Cream cheese, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, velveeta (??)
    Beans- navy, adzuki, garbanzo, kidney, split peas
    Beets, broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, carrots, celery, cucumber, cauliflower, okra, winter and summer squashes, pumpkin, kale, turnip, cooked onion, green onion
    Apricots, blueberries, pears
    Honey, syrups, white chocolate, peppermint ice cream, blueberry pie Rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, marjoram, fennel, sage, dill

    That's it!
    Lifelong IC symptoms, only diagnosed Oct 08 with cysto/hydro; lifetime IC has led to pelvic floor dysfunction, uterine prolapse, and vulvodynia. Fun!

  4. #4
    ICN Member Sera's Avatar
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    That's quite a bit more than my diet currently allows. =)

    Breakfast:
    Peppermint tea, millet with blueberries, sliced pears or apricots with cottage cheese, cooked/ready-to-eat cereal with blueberries, rice bread/sour dough bread with cream cheese spread or honey, milk

    Lunch/Dinner:
    Meat: Beef, chicken, lamb, turkey, veal, salmon, shrimp, sardines, crab, snapper, flounder, halibut seasoned with: Rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, marjoram, fennel, sage, and/or dill, cooked with vegetable oils.
    Vegetable Soup: containing the veggies you listed: Broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, carrots, celery, cucumber, cauliflower, cooked onion, green onion. Use a low-sodium, low-fat veggie or chicken broth and add meat and/or navy, adzuki, garbanzo, kidney beans, or split peas.

    Dessert:
    Peppermint tea, white chocolate, peppermint ice cream, blueberry pie!

    And of course, plenty of your Evian water. =)

    I would recommend that you plan the majority (if not all) of your meals to be at least prepared at home. With such a strict elimination diet (believe me, I know!) it is very, very difficult to find any restaurant that has a completely safe dish (or the ability to make a completely safe dish), and while family and friends are lovely and supportive, they can still put problematic ingredients into foods by accident/just by not knowing your diet as thoroughly as you do. Why not invite your friends over to dine with you, or go to the grocery store with them and show them the foods you can eat? It sounds as though you can still go out for dessert (jealous about that blueberry pie!) so maybe you can make that your social gathering time. I know it's hard but believe me, it is worth trading the pain and symptoms away for, and worth this time to eliminate any possibly problematic food so that you can (hopefully soon) begin adding foods back into your diet one by one to see how you do.

    Hope this helps. Best of luck!
    ~Sera

    IC Diagnosis:
    May 2008 (age 23)

    My Symptoms:
    NOTE: I have been 80-90% symptom-free for ~12 months since I started my strict elimination diet!
    (Most of my earlier symptoms were not constant--they come and go but at least one is active at once)

    Frequency, Urgency, Discomfort, Nocturia, Intense Lower Back Pain,
    Chronic Pelvic Pain (lower right quadrant--a sharp, throbbing pain),
    Bladder Spasms after Voiding, Nausea, Acid Taste in Mouth,
    "Body Feels Toxic" (not sure how else to explain it)

    Current Treatment(s):
    (I'm currently taking a holistic approach to healing my IC through supplements and lifestyle adjustments)
    ~IC Diet (So far ~12 months into this diet!) no acidic foods, no lactose/dairy, no wheat, low fat, low salt, low sugar (new--can have yeast and soy!)
    ~Culturelle probiotic (x2 day)
    ~Nature's Way Calcium/magnesium/vitamin D supplement
    ~Total B Liquid B Vitamin Complex (sublingual)
    ~Acupuncture every other week
    ~Chiropractor every other week (for lower back, chronic pelvic pain and IC)
    ~Stress Management (this one is still a BIG work in progress... I work and go to school at the moment)
    ~My boyfriend, who supports me lovingly, 100% <3

    Future Treatment(s):
    (I am planning on introducing these treatments one by one in the near future)
    ~Aloe vera juice

    Other supplements and treatments:
    ~5-HTP (200mg/day--morning)
    ~L-Theanine (200mg/day--bedtime) for anxiety and restful sleep

  5. #5
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    Thank you, Sera!

    Holy moly, your diet has less allowed foods? I can't imagine. Being on a diet restriction for probably the rest of my life (if I want to not be in pain) is so hard for me to deal with. I've never been one to react well to restrictions! LOL

    I'm trying hard to follow it, but it's so much effort. I know I have to be a grown-up and just adjust my lifestyle, but yikes none of this is how I want to live. BUT, I know that if I want to be better I have to try it.
    Lifelong IC symptoms, only diagnosed Oct 08 with cysto/hydro; lifetime IC has led to pelvic floor dysfunction, uterine prolapse, and vulvodynia. Fun!

  6. #6
    Support Leader Julie B's Avatar
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    Did they give you any recommendation about why it is so restrictive? Most IC patients start out with quite a restrictive diet, but eventually they can add a lot of foods back in. Did they give you any guidance about that?
    Julie Beyer, MA, RDN
    IC Dietitian, Patient Advocate, Speaker, & Author


    Did you know that up to 94% of interstitial cystitis patients find some symptom relief when they change their diet, and that dietary modification is recommended as a first line treatment for IC? Check out the IC Food List to get started!

    Do you need a little more help understanding the IC Diet? Schedule a phone or video coaching session through the ICN Store today.

    You can also learn more while supporting the ICN message boards by clicking on these book covers and buying the Confident Choices books from the ICN Store:

    ........ ........


    Other IC Diet Resources:

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    Free IC Diet Booklet: What Can I Eat?
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    *Let's Connect!*


  7. #7
    ICN Member
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    Julie-

    The doc didn't explain much about my current treatments, actually, but did promise that if I followed them strictly and go for the sedated hydrodistention I'd be 80-95% better in 3-5months. I've only seen him once and he basically diagnosed me just based on reports from my other doctors.

    Current treatments being the strict diet (no prelief yet), 4 meds (hydroxyzine, Urelle, macrobid, nortriptyline), voiding schedule. I'm also in PT for semi-related issues (gyn stuff), but the IC doc is only concentrating on his treatments at the moment.

    He said that I'd be able to add in new foods after everything is calmed down and that I might be able to trial off meds in the future, too, and only keep them around for flares (stress is a huge & almost uncontrollable flare for me).

    It's just difficult being restricted when it comes to food b/c my relationship with food has also been a lifelong battle, too!
    Lifelong IC symptoms, only diagnosed Oct 08 with cysto/hydro; lifetime IC has led to pelvic floor dysfunction, uterine prolapse, and vulvodynia. Fun!

  8. #8
    ICN Member Sera's Avatar
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    You're very welcome!

    My diet contains the following foods:

    Vegetables: Bok choy, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber (peeled), Leeks, Lettuce, Peas (green, snow), Pumpkin, Seaweed, (nori), Spinach, Sprouts, Zucchini
    Fruit: Avocado
    Nuts, grains, seeds: Brown rice, Brown rice tortillas, Brown rice crackers, Brown rice cakes, Rice cheese (I cannot have dairy or soy right now), Lentils
    Meat: Beef (lean), Chicken, Cod, Halibut, Lamb, Salmon, Turkey (though I am sticking to my favorites--lean chicken, salmon and halibut), low-calt, low fat, yeast free chicken or veggie broth
    Seasonings: Sea salt, seaweed (dried), olive oil
    Drinks: Rice milk, alkaline water

    In about two months I will be able to try some more foods (one-by-one, prolly one food per week), including potatoes, garlic, a variety of nuts, onions, and some other fruits... though I am a bit scared! I am feeling so good right now... and I went from 160lbs down to 136lbs since mid May. I guess that's a plus too, with such a restrictive diet--you might shed a few pounds too. That's something to feel good about. =) And know it's for your health--food is meant to nourish your body; it only lasts a few seconds on your taste buds, but it lasts a lot longer in your stomach and your system. Just make sure you are not going without any necessary vitamins--did your doctor have any recommendations for supplements?

    Take care~
    Last edited by Sera; 10-09-2008 at 07:11 PM.
    ~Sera

    IC Diagnosis:
    May 2008 (age 23)

    My Symptoms:
    NOTE: I have been 80-90% symptom-free for ~12 months since I started my strict elimination diet!
    (Most of my earlier symptoms were not constant--they come and go but at least one is active at once)

    Frequency, Urgency, Discomfort, Nocturia, Intense Lower Back Pain,
    Chronic Pelvic Pain (lower right quadrant--a sharp, throbbing pain),
    Bladder Spasms after Voiding, Nausea, Acid Taste in Mouth,
    "Body Feels Toxic" (not sure how else to explain it)

    Current Treatment(s):
    (I'm currently taking a holistic approach to healing my IC through supplements and lifestyle adjustments)
    ~IC Diet (So far ~12 months into this diet!) no acidic foods, no lactose/dairy, no wheat, low fat, low salt, low sugar (new--can have yeast and soy!)
    ~Culturelle probiotic (x2 day)
    ~Nature's Way Calcium/magnesium/vitamin D supplement
    ~Total B Liquid B Vitamin Complex (sublingual)
    ~Acupuncture every other week
    ~Chiropractor every other week (for lower back, chronic pelvic pain and IC)
    ~Stress Management (this one is still a BIG work in progress... I work and go to school at the moment)
    ~My boyfriend, who supports me lovingly, 100% <3

    Future Treatment(s):
    (I am planning on introducing these treatments one by one in the near future)
    ~Aloe vera juice

    Other supplements and treatments:
    ~5-HTP (200mg/day--morning)
    ~L-Theanine (200mg/day--bedtime) for anxiety and restful sleep

  9. #9
    Guest BellaLuna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sera View Post
    You're very welcome!

    My diet contains the following foods:

    Vegetables: Bok choy, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber (peeled), Leeks, Lettuce, Peas (green, snow), Pumpkin, Seaweed, (nori), Spinach, Sprouts, Zucchini
    Fruit: Avocado
    Nuts, grains, seeds: Brown rice, Brown rice tortillas, Brown rice crackers, Brown rice cakes, Rice cheese (I cannot have dairy or soy right now), Lentils
    Meat: Beef (lean), Chicken, Cod, Halibut, Lamb, Salmon, Turkey (though I am sticking to my favorites--lean chicken, salmon and halibut), low-calt, low fat, yeast free chicken or veggie broth
    Seasonings: Sea salt, seaweed (dried), olive oil
    Drinks: Rice milk, alkaline water

    Take care~
    Where did he get this diet from? I actually tend to flare from a lot of the foods you mentioned from the other list too, like the breads, but from this list I cant have any of the brown rice, peas, spinach, any of the meats except chicken and the oils... have you been feeling good while eating this way?? I know everyone is so different but I would re-try things if they help others.

  10. #10
    ICN Member Want2BPainFree's Avatar
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    Suffolk, VA
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    This diet sounds reasonable. However, did he mention to buy these foods in their purest, unadulterated forms? What I mean is, you could buy salmon, and it be smoked, and you'd probably flare from it. I flare from grilled foods cooked over charcoal and wood.

    Also, I'd totally avoid the sourdough bread. Everything else looks reasonable.

    I hope it works for you.
    Sonja

    Dx: Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy/Congestive Heart Failure-1997, Vulvar Vestibulitis-2006, IC-Feb 2007, Atrophic Vaginitis 08, Heavy Long and Painful Periods leading to Partial Hysterectomy-2007, Rectal Fissure-2007, Pelvic Floor Dysfuntion-2008, Post-Menopausal-2010

    Meds: Coreg, Elmiron, Elestrin, Est/Test Topical Gel, Valium Suppositories, Lyrica, Dyrenium to counteract edema from Lyrica, Pain Meds.

    IC Diet: Very diet sensitive, esp. to spices.

  11. #11
    ICN Member Sera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaLuna View Post
    Where did he get this diet from? I actually tend to flare from a lot of the foods you mentioned from the other list too, like the breads, but from this list I cant have any of the brown rice, peas, spinach, any of the meats except chicken and the oils... have you been feeling good while eating this way?? I know everyone is so different but I would re-try things if they help others.
    Hi Bella,

    This diet is from Amrit K. Willis' book "Solving the IC Puzzle," and was decided upon with discussions with my urologist due to the general IC diet he "prescribed" me causing a lot of flaring. I really feel that this had a lot to do with the increased dairy I was consuming from my previous IC diet. This diet is a step back: it cuts out all dairy, yeast, wheat and soy, and is a very low fat and low sugar diet. Accompanied with supplements, special soothing herbal teas, continuous birth control, and soon probiotics, the 1.5 months that I have been on this diet I have felt up to 90% better on some days, almost forgetting that I have IC. The only symptom I haven't been able to get rid of has been frequency, however I think that is partially due to all the water and tea I drink everyday. As to the brown rice, peas and spinach, I have brown rice in some form or another (crackers, tortillas, pasta, plain) and spinach in my salads everyday, and have felt just fine. I have peas less often in my homemade soups but have not noticed a differece--I eat organic, frozen peas out of the pod, which may make a difference. All this food either comes from Trader Joe's or Lassen's (alternative to Whole Foods). As to meats, honestly I haven't tried anything except chicken, salmon or halibut cooked (well, almost boiled, actually) in water only, with maybe a bit of sea salt. I put the chicken or fish on my salads or in a quesadilla made with rice tortillas, rice cheese, avocado and sprouts.

    Hope this helps. =)
    ~Sera

    IC Diagnosis:
    May 2008 (age 23)

    My Symptoms:
    NOTE: I have been 80-90% symptom-free for ~12 months since I started my strict elimination diet!
    (Most of my earlier symptoms were not constant--they come and go but at least one is active at once)

    Frequency, Urgency, Discomfort, Nocturia, Intense Lower Back Pain,
    Chronic Pelvic Pain (lower right quadrant--a sharp, throbbing pain),
    Bladder Spasms after Voiding, Nausea, Acid Taste in Mouth,
    "Body Feels Toxic" (not sure how else to explain it)

    Current Treatment(s):
    (I'm currently taking a holistic approach to healing my IC through supplements and lifestyle adjustments)
    ~IC Diet (So far ~12 months into this diet!) no acidic foods, no lactose/dairy, no wheat, low fat, low salt, low sugar (new--can have yeast and soy!)
    ~Culturelle probiotic (x2 day)
    ~Nature's Way Calcium/magnesium/vitamin D supplement
    ~Total B Liquid B Vitamin Complex (sublingual)
    ~Acupuncture every other week
    ~Chiropractor every other week (for lower back, chronic pelvic pain and IC)
    ~Stress Management (this one is still a BIG work in progress... I work and go to school at the moment)
    ~My boyfriend, who supports me lovingly, 100% <3

    Future Treatment(s):
    (I am planning on introducing these treatments one by one in the near future)
    ~Aloe vera juice

    Other supplements and treatments:
    ~5-HTP (200mg/day--morning)
    ~L-Theanine (200mg/day--bedtime) for anxiety and restful sleep

  12. #12
    Guest BellaLuna's Avatar
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    Boulder, CO
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    Smile good info

    Sera

    I have also just begun to try cutting out all dairy, yeast, wheat soy, and sugar. I think the hardest for me is the sugar, but if I can go days without it then I am usually fine. I have done it before but always seem to break it when I am having a flare.. I guess it makes me feel better for about a minute and then later obviously it isn't such a good idea. Thanks for the info, I think I will try it!

  13. #13
    ICN Member Sera's Avatar
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    You're very welcome BellaLuna, please let us know how it works out for you.

    Allipal, how are you doing on your diet?
    ~Sera

    IC Diagnosis:
    May 2008 (age 23)

    My Symptoms:
    NOTE: I have been 80-90% symptom-free for ~12 months since I started my strict elimination diet!
    (Most of my earlier symptoms were not constant--they come and go but at least one is active at once)

    Frequency, Urgency, Discomfort, Nocturia, Intense Lower Back Pain,
    Chronic Pelvic Pain (lower right quadrant--a sharp, throbbing pain),
    Bladder Spasms after Voiding, Nausea, Acid Taste in Mouth,
    "Body Feels Toxic" (not sure how else to explain it)

    Current Treatment(s):
    (I'm currently taking a holistic approach to healing my IC through supplements and lifestyle adjustments)
    ~IC Diet (So far ~12 months into this diet!) no acidic foods, no lactose/dairy, no wheat, low fat, low salt, low sugar (new--can have yeast and soy!)
    ~Culturelle probiotic (x2 day)
    ~Nature's Way Calcium/magnesium/vitamin D supplement
    ~Total B Liquid B Vitamin Complex (sublingual)
    ~Acupuncture every other week
    ~Chiropractor every other week (for lower back, chronic pelvic pain and IC)
    ~Stress Management (this one is still a BIG work in progress... I work and go to school at the moment)
    ~My boyfriend, who supports me lovingly, 100% <3

    Future Treatment(s):
    (I am planning on introducing these treatments one by one in the near future)
    ~Aloe vera juice

    Other supplements and treatments:
    ~5-HTP (200mg/day--morning)
    ~L-Theanine (200mg/day--bedtime) for anxiety and restful sleep

  14. #14
    ICN Member
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    I'm still very confused about wheat, actually. The diet itself doesn't specify, and it's not listed under the "bread" section. The sample diet he provided, however, does list wheat toast. Do most ICers tolerate wheat okay?
    Lifelong IC symptoms, only diagnosed Oct 08 with cysto/hydro; lifetime IC has led to pelvic floor dysfunction, uterine prolapse, and vulvodynia. Fun!

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