In 2004, I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis. Like many, I was handed a flyer with a list of Do/Don't foods. When I first looked it over I was totally overwhelmed. It seemed completely unrealistic that anyone could stick to such a restrictive list of foods. Most of the "Dont's" were foods I had been consuming every day. Many of the "do's" were foods I either just did not like at all, or foods that triggered other undesirable symptoms. The more I studied IC, the more Interstitial Cystitis seemed like the end of the world. Basically anything acidic was on the "Don't" list, and as someone who loves fruits and veggies that was horrible news.
The pain I had been in for so long was both physically and emotionally draining. I started out on an elimination diet, cutting out anything not on my "Do" list. I ate a lot of cereal and pasta for quite a while, and blueberries became my main source of fruit. Seasoning my meals was the real challenge. Everything started to taste the same... blah.
About a year into my plan, after discovering my biggest offenders (my trigger foods), and getting into somewhat of a groove, for the first time, I met another person who had IC. Most people have no idea what Interstitial Cystitis even is, and explaining it is just a nightmare for both you and the person trying to grasp it. So, it was nice to meet a woman who knew what it was. That meeting didn't end up the way I thought it would.
I learned a lot from the lengthy conversation we had. The first thing I found was that this woman ate and drank whatever she wanted. I was shocked. Then I learned why. She had no bladder. She'd had a urostomy, which requires urinary diversion to a pouch worn outside the body. That was all I needed to hear. That was not going to be me!
I was determined to find a solution that worked for me yet still allowed me to enjoy good food and drinks. It wasn't easy. It didn't happen over night. Though I certainly haven't found a cure, I did find what I was looking for.
It is my hope that you will enjoy this site and find some comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your struggle with Interstitial Cystitis. Most importantly, know that there is hope. You can take more control over your situation than you think. IC doesn't have to be scary.
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