Your allergies could be causing your interstitial cystitis (IC) flares. Many people with IC notice that that the sneezing, itchy eyes, and runny nose brought on by seasonal allergies worsen IC symptoms. IC experts have noticed too, commenting in courses and meetings that they get more calls and more patients coming into the office with flares when the snow is gone and the trees and flowers bloom. Research also supports a higher prevalence of seasonal allergies in IC patients compared with the general public.

Food allergies and sensitivities are also common with IC. Research links a handful of foods and drinks to IC flare-ups, including:

  • Coffee, tea, soda, alcohol, and citrus juices including cranberry juice
  • Foods and drinks with artificial sweeteners (aspartame and saccharin)
  • Hot peppers and spicy foods.

Many patients report that other foods are also bothersome. The AUA clinical guideline recommends dietary changes as part of the IC treatment plan. Read more about eating with IC and making changes to your diet to help control IC symptoms.

For the latest information about seasonal allergies, check out the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America. For updates on food allergies visit the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network.

Revised Wednesday, March 25th, 2015