Foods to Avoid for Cystitis

According to the Mayo Clinic, cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder. It may be caused by an infection, irritants, drugs or illness. Some cases of cystitis will become chronic, a condition known as interstitial cystitis. Frequently called IC, it is characterized by a feeling of pressure and pain in the bladder. While foods are not known to cause cystitis, certain things you eat can worsen the discomfort. The foods to avoid will vary for each person, but there are some commonly known "trigger" foods.


Commonly known offending foods include peppers, sauerkraut, pickles, tomatoes and tomato sauce.


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Oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, tangerines, tangelos, cantaloupes, plums, figs, pineapples, papayas, cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, cherries and grapes can irritate an inflamed bladder.

Proteins and Dairy

Pepperoni, salami, ham, bologna, tofu, hot dogs, sausage and smoked fish may cause bladder pain and irritation. Yogurt, sour cream, aged cheeses, cheddar cheese, blue cheese, Swiss cheese and sorbet may worsen cystitis symptoms.

Grains, Beans and Nuts

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Potentially irritating foods include soy beans, soy veggie patties, black beans, lima beans, pistachios, peanuts, pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, soy flour, and bread and cereal with preservatives.

Snacks and Processed Foods

Processed foods generally contain preservatives and seasonings that can worsen cystitis symptoms. You may need to avoid canned soups, chocolate, fruitcake, cinnamon candy, boxed rice dishes, boxed pasta dishes, seasoned potato chips and mincemeat pie.

Herbs, Spices and Seasonings

Mustard, mayonnaise, salad dressings, Worcestershire sauce, hydrolyzed protein, bullion cubes and powders, aspartame, saccharine, other artificial sweeteners, ketchup, monosodium glutamate (MSG), cloves, chili powder, paprika, vinegar, meat tenderizer, soy sauce, BHA and BHT (preservatives) may irritate the inflamed bladder.


Beverages that can irritate the bladder include sodas (regular and diet), vitamin water, flavored water, coffee (both caffeinated and decaffeinated), tea, green tea, herbal tea, powdered drinks, tomato juice, orange juice, grapefruit juice, lemonade, limeade, cranberry juice, sports drinks, energy drinks, soy milk and all alcoholic beverages.

Eating to Manage Your Symptoms

You may need to avoid and reintroduce certain foods as you learn which foods trigger pain for you. Keeping a food diary may be beneficial. Avoid any foods to which you are allergic or intolerant. If you discover that a particular food worsens your symptoms, try a different brand, an organic version or a different cooking method. Do not restrict your diet to the point that you do not get all the daily nutrients you need. Drink adequate amounts of water with your meals.