Many people with interstitial cystitis (IC) also have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Dietary choices are key to controlling IBS symptoms such as bloating, cramping, constipation and diarrhea. So, you must limit foods and beverages that affect both conditions. For example, people with IC and IBS may need to restrict their intake of alcohol, caffeine, fat, and certain indigestible carbohydrates.

Diet and IBS: What are FODMAPS?

Certain foods contain carbohydrates in a form that may trigger IBS symptoms. Some sugars cannot be digested as they should, so they travel to the large intestine where our normal, friendly bacteria ferment them causing gases. These carbs, known as short-chain carbohydrates (SCC), include lactose, fructose, and sorbitol. By restricting foods that contain these dietary sugars, many people find that they are able to control their IBS symptoms.

Researchers from Australia developed the FODMAPS diet. FODMAPS are foods that contain fermentable, oligo, di-and monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPS). These are simple sugars naturally found in foods. By limiting these sugars for one month and slowly reintroducing them, people with IC and IBS can figure out if they trigger symptoms.




Lactose (milk sugars)**
  • Milk from cows, goats and sheep
  • Ice cream, soft cheeses, sour cream, custard and other milk products*
Fructose (fruit sugar bonded to glucose, forming the disaccharide sucrose)
  • Fruits include apples, pears, watermelon, mangoes, grapes, blueberries, tomatoes and all dried fruits
  • Vegetables include sugar-snap peas, sweet peppers, and pickles
  • Other foods include honey, agave, jams, dressings and drinks made with high-fructose corn syrup
Fructans (soluble fiber)
  • Bananas, garlic, onions, leeks, artichokes, asparagus, and beets
  • Wheat and rye
Galactans (complex sugars)
  • Dried peas, beans, lentils, and soybeans
  • Soymilk
  • Broccoli, cabbage, and brussels sprouts
Polyols  (sugar alcohols, e.g., isomalt, mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol)
  • Fruits like avocados, cherries, peaches, plums, and apricots
  • Sweeteners added to sugar-free gum and mints

*Some products contain bacteria that break down the milk sugars so you don’t have to. For example, you may be able to eat aged, hard cheeses, Lactaid milk and cheeses, yogurt, buttermilk, cottage cheese, sour cream, acidophilus milk, and Kefir.

Revised Monday, June 20th, 2016