When you first realize that there is a link between interstitial cystitis (IC) and diet, you may be afraid to eat because of the risk of a food-induced IC flare. But in order to heal and stay healthy, everyone with IC needs to eat a balanced diet. This helps you to maintain a strong immune system, good blood flow, proper bowel movement and nerve transmission.

Severely limiting variety in your diet can make it bland and boring, and takes the fun out of eating. It doesn’t have to be that way! Select whole foods and fresh foods whenever possible—processed foods contain lots of ingredients, some of which may be personal triggers, and it can be difficult to determine what ingredient in these foods may be irritating to your IC. Also try different brands. Various brands of the same food may have completely different ingredients and additives that could irritate your IC bladder.

A simple tool for eating when you have IC is The IC PlateTM method. This tool helps you focus on eating a variety of wholesome food, getting the right amounts of different foods, and ensures balanced nutrition. It can also help you make choices when you are eating away from home.  The IC PlateTM is also a way of limiting foods and beverages that may bother your IC symptoms. It is also a great method for simplifying meal planning. By following this approach, you can build a plate that helps you select items from each of the five food groups:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Grains
  • Proteins
  • Dairy foods


Want to take the worry out of IC-friendly meal planning? Learn how to build a healthy IC Plate™ and get 21 easy IC Plate™ meals the whole family will enjoy.

Revised Monday, May 2nd, 2016