I first wrote about The IC Diet in October 2016. I was still getting my head around IC and desperately trying to make sense of it all. I spent hours Googling and the more I read, the less I wanted to eat.
I started the diet hoping it would help cure my broken bladder but it’s one of the worst decisions I have ever made.
I cut everything out from my diet that MIGHT irritate my bladder. I became scared to eat and obsessed over everything passing my lips.
I had no idea what my food triggers were because I never ate anything “unsafe”. I could have been fine eating tomatoes, onions, oranges or anything else deemed an irritant but I refused to even consider it because the diet told me it was unsafe.
I was regularly under eating and lost a lot of weight. Somehow the whole thing was acceptable because the diet could really help or so I kept telling myself and anyone else who expressed concerns for my shrinking frame.
I see so many IC patients in the same position as me and I am here to tell you…STOP!
Don’t be scared, don’t be afraid and don’t follow in my footsteps. Whilst I am in remission from IC, the effect of the diet on my mental health is much harder to shake off.
The cold, hard truth is the IC diet caused me to relapse into my eating disorder.
My eating disorder isn’t something I have spoken about on here before. A majority of my family and friends have no idea about it and those who do know, have only found out recently. I have spent a long time suffering in silence because I will talk you to death about my bladder but talking about Bulimia isn’t quite so easy.
For a long time, I was in denial it had returned. I continued with the diet even though I knew I shouldn’t. My therapist’s words were always ringing in my ear “You can never go on a diet”. She was right but this was different, wasn’t it? I needed this diet to get better…didn’t I?
I am not trying to scare anyone into thinking following the IC Diet equals an eating disorder. That is obviously not true but a restrictive diet means you are much more likely to develop an eating disorder.
My advice? Talk to a nutritionist. They’re the experts, not some stranger on an IC forum.
Unless you know for sure a food is irritating your bladder, why exclude it?
Still having symptoms despite following the diet? Maybe you aren’t diet sensitive!
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health and honestly, I would swap my eating disorder for IC symptoms in an instant.
It’s easier to fight the battle in my bladder than the battle in my brain.
I know for a fact I am not the only IC patient that has found myself in this mess. Healing and medical diets can be, in my opinion, dangerous and more people need to speak out about their harmful effects.
If you are suffering from an eating disorder, disordered eating or food obsession, please seek help.
In the UK, one in four people will suffer from a mental health problem every year.
I am that one in four.
You could be that one in four.
Your friend, relative or colleague could be that one in four.
Let’s not be ashamed to talk about it.
Beat is the UK’s Leading Eating Disorder Charity – https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/
Mind is a UK Mental Health Charity – https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/eating-problems