The Urgency of Interstitial Cystitis — How Diet Can Improve a Crippling Disease

TD0214-CovIn the February 2014 issue of Today’s Dietitian, one of the most widely read periodicals serving nutrition professionals, ICN Moderator Julie Beyer RD discusses the unique diet needs of patients with interstitial cystitis and bladder pain syndrome. As an IC patient, Julie was the first dietitian to lobby for dietary changes that were later supported by studies demonstrating that certain foods do irritate the bladder.

In “The Urgency of Interstitial Cystitis — How Diet Can Improve a Crippling Disease“, Julie introduces the IC diet to other dietitians, providing tips on foods which are the most irritating and suggesting the use of an elimination diet to fine tune and personalize each patients food list. She also provides sage advice on working with IC patients. She says “It’s important to note that most IC patients look perfectly fine on the outside yet are in incredible pain on the inside…They may experience social and relationship challenges because they’re homebound and even may miss appointments because of their symptoms. If they call to cancel repeatedly, that’s probably when they need you the most.”

This is a vital message to share. Many IC patients rely on dietitians to guide them through diet modification, yet comparatively few are knowledgeable about IC. One area of concern are dietitians who develop menus for skilled nursing facilities and hospitals. It’s not unusual for IC patients to be given coffee and cranberry juice, which can badly irritate an IC bladder. Patients often have to speak out and, in many cases, educate those professionals who are charged with their care.

We say {{{{Congratulations}}}} to Julie and a well deserved {{{Thank You}}} to author Juliann Schaeffer and the staff of Today’s Dietitian for sharing this vital information!! Diet modification is easy to do and can dramatically improve some bladder symptoms. They are encouraged in Step One of the AUA Guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of IC.

Read the article here!

A long time volunteer for the ICN, Julie is the author of three books dedicated to the IC diet.