There are foods that can aggravate interstitial cystitis by irritating the bladder, including citrus products, caffeine, carbonated beverages, food containing high levels of Vitamin C and chocolate, states Mayo Clinic. Other dietary items that might cause problems include artificial sweeteners, alcohol, tomatoes and pickled foods. Patients with interstitial cystitis can stop eating suspected foods and then reintroduce them one by one to observe their effects.
The causes of interstitial cystitis are unknown as of 2015, Mayo Clinic says. It is a condition where a person feels unusual pain in the bladder, which can be severe, along with a strong urge to urinate even with small amounts of urine in the bladder. Other symptoms include pain in the perineum, urinating extremely often and pain that subsides after urinating. These symptoms can disappear and recur on their own.
There is no cure for interstitial cystitis, but medications such as tricyclic antidepressants, Pentostan, antihistamines and ibuprofen can help alleviate symptoms, explains Mayo Clinic. Other treatments, such as bladder distention, physical therapy and electrical stimulation also help some patients. Surgical techniques that burn or cut away any ulcers present in the bladder can help, as can augmenting the size of the bladder, but these techniques often provide minimal relief and are only used when other treatments fail or the bladder is especially small.