Patients with interstitial cystitis (IC) may find that certain foods can trigger painful episodes. Watching what you eat can be as important, if not more important, than the kind of therapies you use to treat it. While acupuncture is extremely effective in reducing pain and frequency of urination, moderating your diet can be invaluable. While IC patients may have different foods that trigger episodes, there are some basic rules you can follow to help with the frequency, intensity, urgency and duration of attacks. Some key points to help you through this are:

Keep a food journal. By tracking what you eat and how you feel, you can effectively monitor what foods you might be more sensitive to and what improves or intensifies your condition.
Eat fresh foods when possible. Foods that are pre-packaged and processed will have a lot of chemicals you may be sensitive to.
Get your nutrients from real food. Over the counter supplements can often trigger painful episodes and increase urinary frequency.

Some foods and spices you may want to use for relief during intense IC episodes are
Foods to avoid during flare-ups and that should probably be avoided altogether include alcohol, coffee, soft drinks, soy, smoked fish, processed meats (lunch meats, hot dogs, sausages, etc....), processed cheese, cantaloupe, raisins, strawberries, pineapple, heavily processed breads, boxed rice and pasta, pecans, hazelnuts, pickled products (eggs, pickles, sauerkraut, etc....), potato chips, chocolate and spicy foods.

The best thing you can do is to eat all natural fresh foods. Avoid as many chemicals and processed foods as you possibly can. Your body will thank you for it. Following these suggestions to the best of your ability can make a huge difference in your daily life. Eating the right foods and avoiding others can reduce IC pain as well as reducing urinary frequency. If you feel like taking advantage of other alternative therapies, acupuncture and Chinese medicine is a safe and effective way to treat interstitial cystitis.

Author's Bio: 

Bret Ellington is an acupuncture specialist in Orange County and is the owner of Inner Balance Acupuncture. Graduating with a Master of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine, Bret is a Licensed Acupuncturist in California and Nationally. Specializing in women's health, fertility and post-surgical recovery, he works with women trying to conceive naturally and through IVF. Patients at Inner Balance can also get treatment for endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, menopause and PCOS. Please visit to learn more.