Millions of people suffer with Interstitial Cystitis / Painful Bladder Syndrome often referred to as IC/PBS. For most, diet is the first line of defense to manage Interstitial Cystitis symptoms and help relieve bladder pain.
The most widely supported diet guidlines for people suffering with IC/PBS come from the 2012 Interstitial Cystitis Network Food List (aka The IC Diet) which is based on research as well as patient experiences.
Understanding The IC Diet
Diet is a critical first step in gaining control over your Interstitial Cystitis symptoms. When people are newly diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis or Painful Bladder Syndrome, they are frequently in so much pain and discomfort that they are unable to determine which foods might be contributing to IC Symptoms. It can often seem like everything you eat irritates your bladder, leaving patients confused and sometimes afraid to eat. That's where the 2012 ICN Food List comes into play. It provides a comprehensive list of foods that have been broken out into a bladder friendliness rating table. The classifications are as follows:
“Bladder Friendly Foods” are those which most patients tolerate well. These are the foods and beverages we suggest that you consume when you are having bladder discomfort. They rarely trigger bladder irritation.
“Foods Worth Trying Cautiously” are generally safe though they may irritate more sensitive bladders. They should be tried in small quantities first.
“Foods to Avoid” are those well known for triggering bladder
While you may have to adapt this list to suit your personal needs, it is an excellent tool to get you started.
A common sense approach to adapting the IC Diet is to start out by eliminating the most widely accepted list of bothersome foods. For the first 3 - 6 months, stick to foods that are considered the most bladder friendly. You may have to experiment with the list of foods to personalize it. As you get control over your symptoms, it will get easier for you to identify which foods are bothersome for you. With time, you will be able to expand the list of foods you find tolerable. You'll also be able to identify which foods are borderline foods that you can only consume when your bladder is feeling strong or less sensitive.
From Ingredients to Interstitial Cystitis Friendly Recipes
Having a food list is one challenge, adapting your recipes for the foods you like to eat is another. That's where our web site comes in. We've uploaded a number of recipes that have been adapted to conform to the IC Diet. You will notice that all the recipes on our site have an IC Diet Scale rating based on the ingredient list. Access to all of our recipes are free and we've also created an ingredient substitution list to help you adapt your own recipes to the IC Diet.
When you register with our site, you will be able to save recipes to your favorites and even upload your own IC Friendly recipes to our site. By marking your favorite recipes and uploading your own recipes, you are basically creating your own personal, online IC Friendly recipe cook book that you can access any time from any computer. Imagine the convenience!
Always remember, the rating assigned to each of our recipes is based off of the 2012 IC/PBS Food List. While some of our recipes labled Bladder Friendly may list ingredients on the "foods worth trying cautiously" list, we always try to call them out and provide you ingredient substitution options.
Whenever you try a new recipes or ingredient, it is important to consider that each individual with IC/PBS is different and food sensitivities do vary from person to person. What might be safe for one person may trigger a five alarm bladder flare in another. Additionally, an individuals sensitivities can vary greatly depending on whether they are in a flare or not. That's why our mantra here at Healthy IC Recipes is when in doubt, leave it out.
2012 ICN Food List of Bladder Friendly Foods for Interstitial Cystitis, Bladder Pain Syndrome, Overactive Bladder
The Interstitial Cystitis / Panful Bladder Syndrome Food List is published by the Interstitial Cystitis Network (IC-Network). The 2012 ICN Food List replaces all old, outdated lists. The new guide is a thirteen page document in printer friendly PDF format. Click the image to the right to download or print your own copy.
Were You Recently Diagnosed With Interstitial Cystitis?
If you have been recently diagnosed with IC/PBS or you think you might have, our hearts go out to you. It can be quite devastating, especially in the beginning before you've learned how to manage it. With that in mind, we have a couple of book recommendations that might help you as you begin your journey.
- Bladder Friendly: foods and ingredients that are well tolerated by most people with interstitial cystitis (recipes may contain ingredients in the try it list, but bladder friendly ingredient substitutions are offered).
- Foods Worth Trying Cautiously: are generally considered safe although they may irritate more sensitive bladders. The best approach is to try these items in small quantities at first.
- Foods to avoid: foods that are well known to trigger bladder discomfort. Proceed with caution.