Helpful Hints That May Help Manage Interstitial Cystitis (IC)
Living with IC
It’s natural to feel alone when you have symptoms that, at times, make it hard to live your life as you normally do. Following a few IC lifestyle tips may help you take control. Diet and lifestyle changes may help provide symptom relief.
For some people, certain foods and drinks can trigger flare-ups of their IC symptoms. That's why it's important to pay attention to your diet and to track the foods you eat by using a Symptom Journal.
This way, you and your doctor can be aware of any patterns and you can avoid the things that trigger your symptoms.
Here are a few top-level dietary guidelines, as well as a chart that details the kind of foods to avoid:
- Avoid foods and drinks that contain caffeine or alcohol
- Avoid aged, canned, cured, processed, and smoked meats and fish
- Avoid spicy foods
- Avoid acidic foods and drinks
- Avoid anything with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame
- Avoid anything with preservatives, such as citric acid and monosodium glutamate (MSG)
In addition to monitoring and changing your diet for interstitial cystitis (IC), there are also some lifestyle changes you can make to help manage your IC symptoms.
For added comfort from IC symptoms, consider the following:
- Apply warm or cold compresses on the lower abdomen
- Use stress-reduction techniques like controlled breathing exercises
- Try gentle exercise such as walking, yoga, or low-impact aerobics
- Try bladder retraining (lengthening the time between bathroom visits)