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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is the recommended diet for someone with interstitial cystitis?

    Are there certain foods that make the symptoms worse? Should avoid alcohol and caffeine?
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    Dr Joseph Jabbour

    Gynaecologist, Gynaecologist - Infertility (IVF) Specialist, Obstetrician

    Dr Joseph Jabbour is a specialist Obstetrician & Gynaecologist and Fertility Specialist with Monash IVF situated in Sunnybank (Brisbane Southside). Dr Jabbour has had the … View Profile

    Interstitial Cystitis or what we refer to as Bladder Pain Syndrome is a condition that causes chronic bladder pain either with bladder filing or urination.

    The first line therapy is conservative. Diet has a very important role as several foods are bladder irritants.

    The most common irritants are: 

    1- caffeine

    2- Alcohol 

    3- hot pepper

    4- artifical sweetners

    A proper fluid intake is part of the management as some patients have more pain on filling and others have more pain when the urine is concentrated. There is a tendency of either over restricitng the intake or overdrinking. Therefore a stable fluid intake of 1.5-2 L per day is what the patient should aim for. 

    A referral to a physiotherapist is warranted. The physiotherapist guides them with pelvic floor relaxation and bladder training. The latter is to suppress the urgency. Applying a hot pack over the bladder also helps.

    These simple measures can help improve symptoms in up to 50% of women but requires time and effort.

    All the best.

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