Interstitial Cystitis Diet Advice

diet therapy for cystitis

Changing your eating and drinking habits and adopting an interstitial cystitis diet can help to control and even prevent this common bladder infection that effects both men and women. 

It is most common in women and is causes burning sensations when urinating and a frequent need to urinate.  Other signs include dark, cloudy or strong smelling urine and pain during urination but only passing a small amount each time.

The most common cause of cystitis is poor hygiene, especially in women as their urethra is very close to the anus.  This can allow bacteria to pass unintentionally from the back passage to the front.

Pregnancy is a common time to get cystitis, as the womb places extra pressure on the bladder, potentially preventing it from emptying completely.  This leaves urine in the bladder which could encourage bacteria to grow.  

Diabetics can also get cystitis as the urine contains higher levels of sugar than normal, which can also encourage bacteria to grow. 

Food and drink to include as diet therapy for cystitis:

  • Cranberry juice (pure unsweetened) - the acid contained in cranberry juice prevents the bacteria in the bladder from growing
  • Blueberries for their antioxidant effect help prevent urinary tract infections
  • Celery
  • Parsley
  • Watermelon
  • Celery and parsley juice extract
  • Garlic is a natural antibiotic

Herbs for Cystitis

A combination of the following herbs is effective in helping to reduce the urgent need to urinate:

  • Birch leaves are a natural diuretic and can reduce some of the pain when urinating
  • Dandelion tea or extract of can help with bladder discomfort
  • Hydrangea is good for flushing the kidneys clean
  • Buchu is can help reduce the burning sensation when urinating

Drink 2 to 3 liters of water every day to help flush out the bladder.

Food and drink to avoid with urinary cystitis:

  • Hot spicy foodsCitrus fruits
  • Refined and processed foods
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Sugar based drinks
  • Fizzy drinks

Other recommendations to support an interstitial cystitis diet

  • It is important to drink sufficiently, so that the bladder is flushed thoroughly.
  • During urination the bladder should be emptied completely.  It is bad habit to sit on the toilet bent forward and reading while urinating.
  • A trick is to place yourself backwards on the toilet, so you lean against the wall.  This posture is more suitable in securing a complete emptying of the bladder than the usual sitting posture.
  • Warm clothes on the lower part of the body will also help prevent cystitis

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