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Dietary Consumption Triggers in Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome Patients

Bassaly, Renee DO; Downes, Katheryne MPH; Hart, Stuart MD

Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: January/February 2011 - Volume 17 - Issue 1 - pp 36-39
doi: 10.1097/SPV.0b013e3182044b5c
Original Articles

Objectives: The aim of this study was to survey interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) patients with a Web-based questionnaire to determine which consumables (foods, drinks, supplements/spices, and general food categories) truly exacerbate IC/BPS symptoms.

Methods: The Interstitial Cystitis Association posted a Web link on its Web site offering its members participation in the Web-based questionnaire from April 2009 to February 2010. Members were asked questions on the effect of 344 different foods, drinks, supplements, condiments/spices, and general food categories on urinary frequency, urgency, and/or pelvic pain symptoms. Members were asked to score symptoms related to consumables on a symptom Likert scale of 0 to 5. Questions on ethnicity, education, symptom duration, seasonal allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, and specific diets were included.

Results: There were 598 complete responses to the questionnaire, and 95.8% of the participants answered that certain foods and beverages affected their IC/BPS symptoms. Most items had no effect on symptoms. Items that made symptoms worse were citrus fruits, tomatoes, coffee, tea, carbonated and alcoholic beverages, spicy foods, artificial sweeteners, and vitamin C. Only calcium glycerophosphate (Prelief; AK Pharma, Inc, Pleasantville, NJ) and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) had a trend toward improvement in symptoms.

Conclusions: Interstitial cystitis diets do not have to be overly restrictive. It is recommended that patients with IC/BPS avoid citrus fruits, tomatoes, coffee, tea, carbonated and alcoholic beverages, spicy foods, artificial sweeteners, and vitamin C. The use of calcium glycerophosphate and/or sodium bicarbonate before consumption of these trigger consumables may also help reduce sensitivity.

Recommendations to patients with IC/BPS should be to avoid citrus fruits, tomatoes, coffee, tea, carbonated and alcoholic beverages, spicy foods, artificial sweeteners and vitamin C. The use of calcium glycerophosphate and/or sodium bicarbonate prior to consumption of these trigger consumables may help reduce sensitivity.

From the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.

Reprints: Renee Bassaly, DO, University of South Florida, 2 Tampa General Cir, 6th floor, Tampa, FL 33606. E-mail: rbassaly@health.usf.edu.

Stuart Hart is a consultant for Medtronic, Covidien, and Boston Scientific.

The Interstitial Cystitis Association supported the survey by placing it on their Web site.

© 2011 by Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins