IC Diet Survey

Interstitial cystitis (IC) and diet survey sponsored by the Interstitial Cystitis Association (ICA): One of the first surveys about IC and diet, this mail-based, self-report survey offers insights about the relationship between food and IC symptoms. Findings also highlight the helpfulness of the IC Diet (or diet modification) in controlling IC symptoms for some IC patients.

Period: December 1, 2003 -- February 12, 2004
Total Responses: 559

1. What is your gender?

Female (92.3%)

Male (7.7%)

2. What is your age?

Under 21 (2.5%)

21 - 30 (16.5%)

31 - 40 (25.6%)

41 - 50 (24.0%)

51 - 60 (19.0%)

61 - 70 (8.1%)

71 - 80 (3.8%)

Over 80 (0.7%)

3. Have you been diagnosed with IC?

Yes (93.2%)

No (6.8%)

3b. If no, do you experience the symptoms of IC (pain, urinary frequency and urgency), but have never been officially diagnosed?

Yes (94.7%)

No (5.3%)

4. Do you find that the foods, beverages, dietary supplements, etc., affect your IC symptoms?

Yes (91.2%)

No (8.8%)

5. Before now, have you ever heard of the IC Diet?

Yes (66.0%)

No (34.0%)

6. Have you tried the IC Diet to help you with your IC symptoms?

Yes (68.3%)

No (31.7%)

6b. If yes, have you found the IC Diet to be helpful in reducing your symptoms?

Yes (84.3%)

No (15.7%)

6c. If yes, how effective have you found the IC Diet to be when compared to other available IC treatments?

More effective (36.0%)

As effective (39.8%)

Less effective (24.2% )

7. Do you use the IC Diet as a part of your IC Treatment Plan, along with other IC therapies, such as oral medications?

Yes (63.0%)

No (37.0%)

8. If you use the IC Diet, do you have to adhere to it strictly?

Yes (45.4%)

No (54.6%)

9. If you use the IC Diet, have you found that you are able to modify it to suit your particular symptoms?

Yes (69.2%)

No (30.8%)

10. Did your treating physician suggest that you try the IC Diet when you were first diagnosed?

Yes (53.7%)

No (46.3%)

11. Do you also suffer from food allergies that further modify your diet?

Yes (29.0%)

No (71.0%)

12. If you also suffer from vulvodynia, do you also incorporate the Vulvodynia Diet into your eating plan?

Yes (11.7%)

No (88.3%)

13. Have you tried the IC Diet, but given up on it because you found that it was too restrictive?

Yes (23.3%)

No (76.7%)

14. Have you ever used Prelief, an over-the-counter dietary supplement, to help you to better tolerate foods and beverages?

Yes (58.7%)

No (41.3%)

14b. If yes, has this product allowed you to eat and drink a more varied, less restricted diet?

Yes (57.3%)

No (42.7%)

15. Which FIVE of the following items, conveniently grouped into subcategories, seem to cause you the most symptom flaring:

NOTE: An "Overall Offender" was calculated by assigning 5 points for the #1 offender, 4 points for the #2 offender, 3 points for the #3 offender, and so on. Presented here are the #1 Offender, and the Overall Offender

Milk Products such as aged cheeses, sour cream, yogurt and chocolate.
Vegetables such as fava beans, lima beans, onions, tofu, soy beans and tomatoes.
Fruits such as apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, cantaloupes, citrus fruits, cranberries, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pineapples, plums, pomegranates, rhubarb, strawberries and juices made from these fruits.
Carbohydrates and Grains such as rye and sourdough bread.
Meats and Fish such as aged, canned, cured, processed or smoked meats and fish, anchovies, caviar, chicken livers, corned beef, and meats which contain nitrates or nitrites.
such as beer, wine, liquor, sodas, coffee, tea, cranberry juice.
Seasonings such as mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, salsa, miso, spicy foods (especially such ethnic foods as Chinese, Indian, Mexican and Thai), soy sauce, salad dressing and vinegar.
Preservatives and Additives such as benzol alcohol, citric acid, monosodium glutamate (MSG), aspartame (Nutrasweet), saccharine, foods containing preservatives and artificial ingredients and colors.
Miscellaneous Items such as tobacco, caffeine, diet pills, junk foods, recreational drugs, cold and allergy medications containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, and certain vitamins.

More information about diet.

#1 Offender:

Milk products (7.3%)

Vegetables (4.1%)

Fruits (22.2%)

Carbohydrates and Grains (1.7%)

Meats and Fish (0.4%)

Nuts (1.1%)

Beverages (36.7%)

Seasonings (12.6%)

Preservatives and Additives (9.0%)

Miscellaneous Items (4.7%)

Overall Offender:

Milk products (6.8%)

Vegetables (6.2%)

Fruits (17.9%)

Carbohydrates and Grains (2.4%)

Meats and Fish (1.7%)

Nuts (2.6%)

Beverages (23.9%)

Seasonings (16.6%)

Preservatives and Additives (12.4%)

Miscellaneous Items (9.4%)

Revised July 27, 2010