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What foods should you avoid if you have interstitial cystitis?

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Quick Answer

Patients with interstitial cystitis should avoid foods such as aged cheeses, chocolate, rye bread, tofu and foods rich in vitamin C, as they may cause bladder irritation, according to MedlinePlus. In addition, artificial sweeteners and beverages such as caffeine, alcohol, carbonated drinks and tea may also aggravate the condition.

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Full Answer

Interstitial cystitis, or painful bladder syndrome, is a chronic condition that results in pain, pressure and a burning sensation in the bladder due to the bladder sending the wrong signals to the brain, explains MedlinePlus. The signals are frequent and trigger a need to urinate in the patient, even during times when the bladder is not full. The condition affects mostly women in the 30-to-40 age range and, less rarely, younger people.

Symptoms of interstitial cystitis include burning pelvic pain, a frequent urge to urinate, mild or severe discomfort in the bladder, and pain during sexual intercourse, notes MedlinePlus. Though the symptoms come and go, with the episodes less or more bearable, they are chronic. Interstitial cystitis has no known cause and no cure. There are also no standardized treatments for the condition, though a patient may find relief by controlling the symptoms. Options include diet and lifestyle changes such as bladder training and avoiding foods that irritate the bladder, medicines that reduce urinary frequency, bladder hydrodistention and, in case of severe conditions, bladder removal.

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