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IC Awareness Daily Fact #6 – Avoiding Acidic Foods Can Help Reduce Bladder & Prostate Discomfort

IC Awareness Daily Fact #6

One of the easiest ways for patients to try to reduce their bladder and prostate discomfort is by removing foods which are high in acid, alcohol or hot spices. Even one cup of coffee day, one green tea or one soda can trigger severe bladder irritation and discomfort. Worse, that daily acid wash may prevent bladder healing and IC treatments to be effective.

OTHER ingredients notorious for causing problems??

  1. CAFFEINE – Caffeine acts as a diuretic, stimulating more frequent urination and also causes urine to become more concentrated with urea and ammonia. All caffeinated products (coffees, teas, green teas, energy drinks, etc.) should be stopped immediately.
  2. ACIDIC FOODS – Foods high in acid (i.e. citrus fruits and juices, cranberry, vinegar) create irritation in much the same way that acid poured on a wound on your hand would feel. It hurts! Cranberries, for example, contain quinic, malic and citric acid which may help us understand why cranberry juice is irritating for most of us.
  3. Guide to the IC Diet

  4. ALCOHOL – In an ICN Survey, beer, wine and spirits bothered roughly 95% patients though there is some wiggle room with lower acid varieties.
  5. POTASSIUM – Some, but not all, patients may struggle with high potassium foods though research studies have found that bananas and yams, both high in potassium, are usually bladder soothing. Try small amounts of high potassium foods to see if you tolerate them well.
  6. HISTAMINE – Researchers have found that the bladders of IC patients have high numbers of activated mast cells. These mast cells have released histamine which then provokes an allergenic reaction in the bladder, triggering frequency, urgency and/or pain. Not surprisingly, foods high in histamine, such as chocolate and red wine, are well known to trigger bladder discomfort.
  7. ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS – Both research studies and patient stories have confirmed that most artificial sweeteners (aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, etc.) appear to be bladder irritating, particularly aspartame (i.e. NutraSweet®). Most diet products, such as sugar free iced tea or soda, should be avoided.
  8. MSG, NITRITES & NITRATES – MSG is a mast cell degranulator and for patients sensitive or allergic to it, can cause rash, hives, asthma and sudden diarrhea known as”Chinese restaurant syndrome.” IC patients have long reported that foods containing high levels of MSG and/or nitrates trigger bladder symptoms and discomfort, thus we suggest avoiding these foods whenever possible.
  9. VITAMINS & SUPPLEMENTS – Both patients and research report that multivitamins can trigger bladder symptoms due, most likely, to high levels of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and Vitamin B6. Unless you have a medical condition that requires using a multivitamin, we suggest that you avoid vitamin supplements and waters in favor of eating fresh foods and vegetables.
  10. CHOCOLATE – Chocolate contains several ingredients that have the potential to exacerbate IC symptoms: theobromine, caffeine, phenylethylamine, tannins and oxalates. Well known for triggering migraine headaches, IC patients often report flares from eating chocolates, particularly cheaper milk chocolate products

Patients may also have individual and often unpredictable reactions to various foods.

Learn more about the IC and Prostatitis diet here!

By |2017-01-31T12:31:12+00:00September 6th, 2014|Awareness, Diet & Food, Interstitial Cystitis IC/BPS, Interstitial Cystitis Network Blog, Men's Health, Self Care|Comments Off on IC Awareness Daily Fact #6 – Avoiding Acidic Foods Can Help Reduce Bladder & Prostate Discomfort

About the Author:

My Google Profile+ Jill Heidi Osborne is the president and founder of the Interstitial Cystitis Network, a health education company dedicated to interstitial cystitis, bladder pain syndrome and other pelvic pain disorders. As the editor and lead author of the ICN and the IC Optimist magazine, Jill is proud of the academic recognition that her website has achieved. The University of London rated the ICN as the top IC website for accuracy, credibility, readability and quality. (Int Urogynecol J - April 2013). Harvard Medical School rated both Medscape and the ICN as the top two websites dedicated to IC. (Urology - Sept 11). Jill currently serves on the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Panel (US Army) where she collaborates with researchers to evaluate new IC research studies for possible funding. Jill has conducted and/or collaborates on a variety of IC research studies on new therapeutics, pain care, sexuality, the use of medical marijuana, menopause and the cost of treatments, shining a light on issues that influence patient quality of life. An IC support group leader and national spokesperson for the past 20 years, she has represented the IC community on radio, TV shows, at medical conferences. She has written hundreds of articles on IC and its related conditions. With a Bachelors Degree in Pharmacology and a Masters in Psychology, Jill was named Presidential Management Intern (aka Fellowship) while in graduate school. (She was unable to earn her PhD due to the onset of her IC.) She spends the majority of her time providing WELLNESS COACHING for patients in need and developing new, internet based educational and support tools for IC patients, including the “Living with IC” video series currently on YouTube and the ICN Food List smartphone app! Jill was diagnosed with IC at the age of 32 but first showed symptoms at the age of 12.