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BJU Int. 2012 Jun;109(11):1584-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2011.10860.x. Epub 2012 Jan 11.

Diet and its role in interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) and comorbid conditions.

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1
The Arthur Smith Institute for Urology, Department of Nutrition, New Hyde Park, NY, USA. justinfriedlander@gmail.com

Abstract

What's known on the subject? and What does the study add? Nearly 90% of patients with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) report sensitivities to a wide variety of dietary comestibles. Current questionnaire-based literature suggests that citrus fruits, tomatoes, vitamin C, artificial sweeteners, coffee, tea, carbonated and alcoholic beverages, and spicy foods tend to exacerbate symptoms, while calcium glycerophosphate and sodium bicarbonate tend to improve symptoms. At present we recommend employing a controlled method to determine dietary sensitivities, such as an elimination diet, in order to identify sensitivities while at the same time maintain optimal nutritional intake. We review current literature with regard to diet's effect upon IC/BPS and common comorbidities (irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, neuropathic pain, vulvodynia, and headache) with a focus upon questionnaire-based investigations. We discuss the pathologic mechanisms that may link diet and IC/BPS related-pain, concentrating upon specific comestibles such as acidic foods, foods high in potassium, caffeine, and alcohol. Up to 90% of patients with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) report sensitivities to a wide variety of comestibles.   Pathological mechanisms suggested to be responsible for the relationship between dietary intake and symptom exacerbation include peripheral and/or central neural upregulation, bladder epithelial dysfunction, and organ 'cross-talk', amongst others.   Current questionnaire-based data suggests that citrus fruits, tomatoes, vitamin C, artificial sweeteners, coffee, tea, carbonated and alcoholic beverages, and spicy foods tend to exacerbate symptoms, while calcium glycerophosphate and sodium bicarbonate tend to improve symptoms. Specific comestible sensitivities varied between patients and may have been influenced by comorbid conditions. This suggests that a controlled method to determine dietary sensitivities, such as an elimination diet, may play an important role in patient management.

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