Interstitial Cystitis (IC)
Welcome to our page dedicated to Interstitial Cystitis (IC). Our heart goes out to anyone suffering with symptoms of this complex bladder issue.
Healing takes time and dedication but please know that you can minimize symptoms and recover. We believe healing requires an integrative approach to find root causes, remove infections and re-balance the body as a whole.
Please note this is for informational purposes only. We are not medical doctors. This information is meant to educate and be used as a bridge between you and your physician or practitioner. The goal is to make your appointments with your healthcare providers as productive as possible.
IC Diet Tips
Diet is a key factor that can help to control painful symptoms, whether ongoing or during flare ups.
We are all different so depending on the severity of symptoms you may need to do an elimination diet to see what foods agree with you. Remember this is all temporary and well worth the effort so that you can heal.
Healing Diet Tips
Dark leafy greens are alkaline and high in antioxidants.
Fresh foods such as cucumbers, celery, avocado, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower.
Sometimes it's best to lightly steam vegetables like broccoli so that it is easier to digest.
MicroGreens: these are fantastic to add to salads and meals to boost nutrition and antioxidants.
Low Glycemic Foods: blueberries are great for bladder health, high in antioxidants and are low in sugar. Some people might be sensitive to blueberries so it's best to try small amounts at a time.
Drink plenty of water: at least half your weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 140 lbs you should drink at least 70 oz of water/fluid per day. You may need more fluid intake during summer and warmer months to avoid dehydration.
Green juice with ingredients such as: Celery, parsley, cucumber, green apple, and small amount of fresh ginger (adjust if some ingredients do not agree with you, especially if ginger is irritating for you).
Vitamin D3 & K2 supplement: vitamin D3 is crucial for immunity and healing, especially for the bladder. Vitamin D3 is better absorbed with K2. Learn More
Spirulina: this micro algae has high-quality antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory. Powder can be added to juice or smoothie.
Seaweed: roasted seaweed is a great health snack, high in iodine and great source of B12.
Wheatgrass / Chlorophyll: high level of antioxidants that helps to heal damaged tissues. Wheatgrass (juice shot) is an excellent source. Check out our blog about Wheat Grass here (link).
Yams: roasted or boiled yams are a nice snack that are very high in vitamin A, which is needed for tissue healing.
Digestive health foods that can be taken with meals: Sauerkraut, if you can tolerate (look for ingredients that contain only cabbage and salt, no vinegar), and Coconut Kefir
Meat: If eating meat, try lean, organic and grass-fed whenever possible. Smaller meat portions are also recommended.
Fish: Wild-caught fish is preferred to farmed options.
Plain yogurt for probiotics (avoid flavored and any added sugar). Go slow to see if you can tolerate yogurt.
Please note if you think oxalates could be a factor for your symptoms, you can reduce foods high in oxalates such as spinach, green pepper, celery.
Foods to Avoid
Avoid acidic foods and drinks, such as oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes, coffee, alcohol and chocolate.
Some spices such as black pepper can be irritating.
Low to no gluten (gluten can be a huge inflammatory factor).
Low to no yeast.
Low to no sugar.
Low to no dairy.
Low to no processed foods so that you avoid nitrates, nitrites, and MSG.
No artificial sweeteners.
Foods to be Aware of
Beans, lentils and seeds can be hard to digest so go slow with these to see if they affect you.
Foods high in oxalates if this is a factor for you.
Supplements that Help Heal the Bladder & Prevent UTIs
The list below represents key supplements that have known high positive impact on bladder health and healing from UTIs. We strive to help categorize the various supplements - and will update this list and our site with our key findings.
We are all different and what works for one person may not work for another. Additionally, it's important to take certain supplements at various times in your healing. We encourage you to work with a qualified health practitioner to create a regimen specific to your needs.
D-Mannose: provides a preferred surface for the E. Coli bacteria to attach to, preventing them from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract and bladder. D-Mannose also soothes the bladder and promotes tissue healing. Learn More
Vitamin D3 & K2: has a positive impact on the immune system. Vitamin D is also necessary for the production of substances in the body that fight off infection-causing bacteria. There is a direct connection with bladder health. Vitamin D3 is best absorbed with K2. Learn More
Probiotic: include a probiotic supplement to replenish the good bacteria flora. A good example is OrthoBiotic by Orthomolecular because it includes: Lactobacillus acidophilus (La-14); Bifidobacterium (Bl-04, Bb-06); Lactobacillus rhamnosus (Lr-32); Saccharomyces boulardii. It's also a good idea to alternate between high-quality probiotics so that you replenish various good bacterial strains.
For those who might be sensitive to probiotics we suggest Desert Harvest's Bifidobacterium infantis strain. This probiotic is meant to be friendly for people with Interstitial Cystitis (IC). Learn More
UvaUrsi: anti-inflammatory and urinary antiseptic. Please note this herb cannot be taken long term. Learn More
Curcumin & Turmeric: anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Can be taken as part of diet or in supplement form. Some turmeric supplements contain black pepper for absorption, but this can be irritating to an already sensitive bladder, stomach or gut. We love Dr. D's Ultra BioTurmeric because their proprietary composition enhances curcumin bioavailability without the use of piperine (black pepper). Learn More
Lauricidin (monolaurin): has anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial activity. It works against pathogenic bacteria so it won’t disrupt good bacteria in the gut.
Berberine: found in many plants including goldenseal. It is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and helps the immune system.
Oregano Oil: powerful antibacterial that is effective against E. Coli and other pathogenic bacteria.
Olive Leaf Extract: antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Colloidal Silver: antimicrobial but please use caution as with any other supplement. Best used under the care of a qualified practitioner.
Allicin Extract (garlic bulb): AlliMax and AlliMed have excellent antimicrobial properties. AlliMed is stronger with 450 mg of Allicin and AlliMax has 180 mg of Allicin.
Bladderwrack: one of the most common types of seaweed, it is high in iodine, mucilage, beta-carotene and it is anti-inflammatory.
Fish Oils: anti-inflammatory and aids in tissue healing.
Coconut Oil / Caprylic Acid: powerful anti-fungal and anti-candida, which is important after taking antibiotics.
L-Arginine: important amino acid involved with anti-inflammatory activity and improves circulation, which aids in healing. This amino acid can be found in therapeutic dosages in Bladder Ease by Vitanica. Learn More
Quercetin: has been shown to inhibit the release of histamines and other immune mediators which are thought to play a part in some IC and nonbacterial prostatitis symptoms including nocturia, daytime frequency, pain, burning, pressure, and pain with sex, especially in those with a history of allergies, migraines and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Quercetin also decreases production of the COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes that cause systemic inflammation. It has been shown in studies to be an anti-inflammatory agent. Check out Desert Harvest's Querectin supplement: Learn More
Bromelain: Helps with digestion and is anti-inflammatory.
Collagen Protein: Promotes tissue healing. Best mixed with smoothie or freshly pressed juice. We are happy to provide a premium Collagen Protein by Amy Myers MD on our online store: Learn More
Aloe Vera: can reduce bladder pain and promote healing. Desert Harvest is a great brand that has received great feedback, so we are happy to include many of their supplements on our online store. Learn More
Magnesium: helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function. Great for the immune system.
Serrapeptase: anti-inflammatory and can help with painful symptoms.
Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfate: Reduces inflammation and promotes tissue healing. Desert Harvest developed a high quality supplement with an effective ratio. Learn More
Gut & Tissue healing supplements: Slippery Elm Extract, L-Glutamine, Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice Extract (DGL), MSM. Please note these are best used in conjunction with a practitioner-led gut healing protocol. This step usually comes after a cleanse to rid the body of any found pathogens. Based on feedback from various people and professionals, we suggest the "Leaky Gut Revive" supplement by Amy Myers MD: Learn More
Colostrum: great for immune system and recovery.
Bio-film Busters: InterfasePlus, Priority One - Phased 2 Advanced, BioCidin, Xylitol, Silver, HCL, Lauricidin,
Digestive Enzymes: to be take with protein meals to aid in digestion. Enzymedica and Ortho Digestzyme are good options. Adding Betaine Hydrochloride (HCL) can help with digestion, if you can tolerate it at this stage.
Favorite herbal teas for bladder wellness: Marshmallow Root, Chamomile, Spearmint (more gentle than standard peppermint), Hyssop, Calendula, Pau d'Arco, Horsetail, Dandelion Root, Burdock Root, Hops, Plantain Leaf, Parsley, Elderberry, Corn Silk, Nettle Leaf, Milk Thistle, Dong Quai (Angelica), Lemon Balm/Melissa Herb (note this is in the mint family and not from lemon tree). We carry a variety of organic herbal teas on our online store. We love single-ingredient herbal teas since they are essentially a food, get to the bladder in therapeutic quantities, inexpensive and overall good for your health. Learn More