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Incontinence & Overactive Bladder Health Center

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Interstitial Cystitis

Are there things I can do on my own to relieve IC symptoms?

There are several things you can do on your own or with the help of a physical therapist that can improve your symptoms.

  • Modify your diet. There is no evidence that any foods cause IC. But some people find that certain foods will trigger a flare-up of symptoms. Those foods include alcohol, tomatoes, spices, chocolate, caffeinated and citrus drinks, high-acid foods, and foods with artificial sweetener. Keeping a food diary and recording when your symptoms flare can help you identify foods that may cause your symptoms to get worse. You might also try an elimination diet by removing all foods from your diet that could cause bladder problems. Then, after a couple of days, start adding the foods back in one food at a time. Pay attention to how your bladder reacts to the food.
  • Work with a physical therapist to learn exercises that can strengthen and relax the pelvic floor. Some people find that routinely doing a series of gentle stretching exercises provides symptom relief.
  • Retrain your bladder. You may be able to reduce frequency by keeping a bladder diary and relieving yourself at regular intervals, using relaxation and distractions to stay on schedule. Then when you are able to stay on the schedule, you can gradually increase the length of time between urinations.

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on February 21, 2013

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