I have been dealing with IC for years and there are a lot of foods I can't eat but I don’t understand why. For example, I would like to know why I can't eat yogurt. This one I don't understand. Are there any yogurts I can eat like natural yogurt or organic?

We do not know exactly why some foods bother most IC patients and other foods do not. The diet-IC connection becomes even more mystifying when we observe that certain foods that bother one patient do not bother others. The good news is that researchers are beginning to look into this area of IC treatment, and we hope to have better answers for patients, their doctors, and dietitians in the next few years.

That is why you need to determine your individual trigger foods. Begin by following a basic IC diet; but once you are feeling better, take the plunge and try to add some foods into your diet! Start slowly, maybe with a tablespoon or so of the new food. Then, add a little bit more the second day. If you are still not seeing an increase in symptoms, go ahead and try a whole serving the third day. If the food bothers you, go back to the basic diet for several days until your symptoms subside. If the food doesn’t bother you, go ahead and add it to your personal “OK” food list. Remember, many things including stress can increase bladder symptoms, so if a food causes you to flare, put it on a list to try again later. You may find that you can eat it after all.

Yogurt is a very nutritious food that contains protein, calcium, B vitamins, and Vitamin D. Yogurt with live cultures also provides probiotics that may be helpful for some IC patients. In my experience counseling IC patients, at least half of IC patients can eat yogurt as long as it doesn’t contain problem ingredients like chocolate, strawberries, or artificial ingredients. As you mentioned, sticking with natural or organic yogurts may help.

Just be sure to follow the process described above and start slowly while monitoring your symptoms.

Julie Beyer, MA, RD


Revised Wednesday, December 16, 2009