DIET

FOODS THAT REDUCE THE PAIN OF URETHRAL SYNDROME:

Foods that are alkalinizing to the body (and urine) include most fruits and vegetables, especially potatoes (white and sweet), spinach, bananas, and raisins.

FOODS THAT INCREASE THE PAIN OF URETHRAL SYNDROME:

The acid-forming substances in food include all proteins and the minerals chloride and phosphorous. Acid-forming foods include meats, grains, beans and cheese due to their high protein content.

FOODS THAT ARE NEUTRAL:

Some foods do not significantly impact the acid-alkaline balance in the body. Sugar and oils and fats are neutral and milk, ice cream, yogurt and table salt are very close to neutral.

I cannot control my symptoms through food alone – I tried. I must take mineral supplements. My diet is not overly strict and with a small effort I am pain-free. I eat potatoes instead of pasta or rice, take smaller portions of protein foods, and snack on raisins, fruit and raw carrots – otherwise I eat whatever I want.

For a more complete listing of foods, click on the FOOD CHARTS link at the top of this page.

24 comments on “DIET

  1. Hi Theresa,
    I have just stumbled across your website after having been diagnosed with icy for over 12 years. I am currently 47 years old. My constant burning in my urethra started back in 2005 after many rounds of infertility treatments and then a couple of rounds of anabiotic‘s for what I thought was a bladder infection doing to a stinging urethra. I totally wrecked my bladder but my main pain was what felt like In my upper urethra. Really the trigone area, or the lower portion of the bladder we’re all the sensitive nerves are.I have been diagnosed with a form of ic and do take the Elmiron which I believe has helped me but I still have flareups. I had read about extensively alkalizing my urine and I’ve had periods of remission here and there. I am just now having a flare after having a three-year remission and it is so difficult to deal with this! I see my urologist next month so I am going to print out your post about the Nystatin treatment and see if he will let me try this. Meanwhile I would like to try to attempt your mineral combination to deal with the acidity of my urine. I already drink a high pH water and occasionally do a little baking soda and water. My problem is that I can’t tolerate calcium citrate and I’m having a hard time just finding a calcium carbonate tablet. They seem to be paired with vitamin D. I bought one of those but did not really feel well after taking it. Perhaps the vitamin D bothered me? I can only find the calcium carbonate in powder form. Do you suggest that maybe I buy gelatin capsules and fill them myself? Same with the potassium bicarbonate, I am having a hard time finding that by itself as well but can find it in a powdered form. I also have been taking magnesium at night, mainly for Bowl movements and it works quite well. I take two tablets of magnesium oxide, 250 mg every night . Would you recommend I split up my magnesium tablets and take one each with each capsule of calcium carbonate and potassium carbonate? I was able to find a tablet form on Amazon called Bi-Carb formula. It contained 320mg of potassium bicarbonate and 320mg of sodium bicarbonate. Any information would be quite helpful! Thank you so much!
    Melinda

    • Hi Melinda. The Tums brand of over-the-counter stomach medicine is calcium carbonate. The Bi-Carb formula sounds interesting, although I have never used it. I really don’t think it matters which brand you take, and I like to keep things simple and straightforward. I do recommend taking it in small portions because all that carbonate/bicarbonate is hard on the stomach (it neutralizes the healthy acids which your stomach needs to do its job). So break up your daily dose into several small amounts taken throughout the day.

      I have never heard of anyone being bothered by vitamin D. It is natural to the body and something the body needs to function properly. If you felt unwell after taking calcium carbonate, perhaps you took a higher dose than you can tolerate. Also you might find it easier to digest if taken with food.

      Another alternative is to do deep breathing. Respiration is the body’s number one method of neutralizing acid and many of us have a habit of breathing very shallowly. You could start a practice of taking 7 deep breaths at key points throughout your day, such as every time you use the bathroom.

      I hope this helps : )

      • Thank you for your response Theresa. I actually didn’t realize Tums was just calcium carbonate, lol! I actually did find on Amazon a tablet form of calcium carbonate that has no artificial ingredients. Each tablet has 300mg so I could break those up with my 3 meals and take my magnesium oxide 250mg with each one. The Bi-Carb formula tablets are arriving tomorrow, so I will divide those up as well. Each cap has 320mg of potassium carbonate and 320 mg of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). I have started taking quercitin (antinflammatory) and glucosamine hydrochloride with MSM ( for bladder health). And I incorporated an ultimate flora probiotic by Renew Life for vaginal health. I have started feeling relief the last 2 days so I look forward to incorporating the calcium,magnesium & potassium with my meals. I am interested in the yeast theory though. I remember my last flare up 3 years ago my urine was constantly cloudy. I convinced my urn to give me a nystatin pill which cleared my urine but my symptoms remained for a long time. I probably would have benefited from long term! Are there any draw backs for doing Nystatin for that length of time? Would you have to double up on probiotics? Thank you so much for all your useful information!!!! I so appreciate it!

        • I am not aware of any side effects from a longer course of Nystatin – I did not have any side effects at all from it in the 3 weeks I was taking it. If you read the letter from Bill (link is on the homepage here) he was taking it for much longer.

          In regards to taking a probiotic, I would recommend following the instructions on the bottle.

          I hope this helps, and do let us know how you make out : )

  2. I have suffered a circumcision on my male organ and after three operations I have rawness and pain when I urinate.. I have been to my doctor who has prescribed a cream (Daktacort) to apply direct rwice a day but i would like to slow down the incidence of urination which concerns me when away from home, My feeling is that a reduction of acid whould stop the intense pain that I now go through on waking in the night. Any asdvisw qould be appreciated.

    • Hi John. It is possible that your surgeries have created inflammation in or around the urethra. Inflammation makes the tissues more sensitive and the normal acidity of urine can thus be painful. The only way to know if acid urine is related to your pain is to measure your urine pH with test paper as outlined on the main page of this site. If acid urine is the cause, then taking a quarter teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate can be purchased in the baking section of any grocery store) in a small glass of water and drinking it, will usually give relief within a half hour. You could try taking it just before bedtime. If it does help, then I suggest switching to the minerals calcium, magnesium and potassium.

      I hope you get relief John. Good luck and let us know how you make out.

  3. I ran across your article recently and I want you to know how much I appreciate the info. I had much uretha pain and found out I was very acidic. After checking with test strips, I found that drinking 1 teaspoon of baking soda mixed in a glass of water 2 time a day keeps me normal and without pain. I am so happy to have found your info. Rain bothers me – makes my skin itch. I’m thinking this has to do with my aciditiy also and maybe even my dry eyes. I would think tears could be affected by too much acid. Any further information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you again !!

    • Hi Colette. I am happy that the information here has been helpful to you and I am especially happy that your pain is resolved. However I am a little concerned about the large quantity of baking soda you are consuming. Health Canada (a government agency) recommends that adults consume no more than 2300 mg of sodium per day, and most Canadians eat at least double that amount. Here is a quote from the government of Canada website:
      “Sodium is an essential nutrient found in salt and many foods. Our bodies need a small amount of sodium to be healthy, but too much can lead to high blood pressure, a major risk factor for stroke, heart disease and kidney disease. Sodium intake has also been linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis, stomach cancer and severity of asthma.” http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/sodium/index-eng.php

      Sodium also works in balance with potassium, so getting so much extra sodium with no corresponding amount of potassium can lead to health issues. Most people in North America are already potassium-deficient. Here is a link to a short article by the American Heart Association explaining the importance of potassium: http://sodiumbreakup.heart.org/sodium-411/what-about-potassium/

      One teaspoon of baking soda contains 820 mg of sodium, so two teaspoons per day equals 1,640 mg.

      I encourage you to consider discontinuing the use of baking soda and instead use the alkalinizing minerals calcium, magnesium and potassium on a daily basis. Save the baking soda for emergencies.

      I do not have any information linking body acidity to itchy skin or dry eyes. For myself, in my 30+ years of having urethral syndrome (and being very acidic) I did not experience itchy skin or dry eyes. However you can do some tests for yourself to see if there is a connection, by keeping records of your urine pH and the level of itchy skin and dry eyes. By tracking them together over a period of time you will see if there is any connection. Feel free to let us know what you find!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to give us your feedback Colette. It helps everyone to know what works and what doesn’t.

      • Thank you for your reply. It makes me nervous stopping the baking soda because it is working so well. How can I get the right amounts of calcium, magnesium and potassium ? Different supplements and what amounts ? It would be much more complicated. 🙁

        • One option would be to gradually switch to the minerals. The dosages I use are given on the main page:
          * 1000 mg of calcium carbonate or calcium citrate

          * 500 mg of magnesium oxide

          * 1000 mg of potassium bicarbonate or potassium citrate

          You could try this dose (split up into 2 or 3 smaller portions per day) and continue to take a reduced amount of baking soda, each day taking less and less baking soda.

          I hope this helps.

          • Hi Theresa. I have been experimenting to get away from so much baking soda water each day. I bought the powdered calcium and magnesium and potassium you recommended. After dividing it up and taking a dose in water, I got nauseated. Maybe it was because I didn’t have enough food in my stomach? I found a calcium, magnesium and potassium supplement that I am now taking before bed. That works because it makes me very sleepy and I am very alkaline the next morning. 🙂 It lasts until about 4 pm and then I start to get acidic again. So, I just need something to carry me over from 4 pm to bedtime. The magnesium has other side effects, so I think 250 mg is probably the most I can tolerate in a 24 hour period. Today I am trying calcium and potassium at 4 or 5 and see what happens. Thank you again for all your help !!

  4. Hi Theresa

    I have burning , pain and stinging ans pain all time in urethra .. Sometimes the gential area also burns .. No bactaria in urine .. Blood test ..Pap smear normal ..abdominal ultra sound and x ray normall ..have taken 6-8 rounds of antibiotics .. Nothing helps .. I hade culture positive uti’s before.. But this time nothing helps .. I have IBS .. My urine feels hot .. I have gastro reflux as well .. Pls help ..

    • Hi Priya. I am sorry to hear you are having these issues. I encourage you to read through the information on this site, including the Comments page. There is hope! Many people have written me saying that their urethral pain stopped when they started the mineral supplements and diet changes (more fruit and vegetables). For immediate relief you can take a quarter teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate, NOT baking powder), stir it into a half-glass of water and drink it. This will give temporary relief if acid urine is the cause of your pain. If you want to be more sure, order the pH test strips and test to see if your urine is acidic. I hope this helps.

  5. Hello Theresa

    My girlfriend was just diagnosed with this Chronic Urethral Syndrome yesterday after months and months of tests and surgeries. Your information so far is our only hope , for she feels her life is completely ruined by this disease. I am trying my hardest to keep her in a positive state that she needs to be in and starting to follow your diet as planned. As far as food goes, can you possibly send some feedback on what you eat on a day to day basis? Also, are there any types of exercises she should perform to illuminate any pain? Thank you for your helpful tips!

    • Hi Sean; Sorry for the delay; somehow the notification ended up in my trash bin. Now that I am pain-free I eat whatever I want. But for someone with active symptoms, it helps to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, especially potatoes, spinach and raisins as those are high in Potassium. Reduce the intake of protein TEMPORARILY (you need protein!). I don’t know of any exercises that would help. It will help her greatly to get some pH test paper and test her urine – that will give you the information you need to tackle this. I will send you an email with some more detailed info. Good luck and let me know how you both are doing 🙂

  6. Thanks for this info. I just started trying your recommendations and yesterday was the best day in a while and pH was 7.. This am hurting again, pH 6..i used the baking soda 1/4 tsp in water and helps within an hour but doesn’t last.. Im thinking since I drink about 80oz of water per day perhaps I’m diluting out the bicarbonate too fast.. Just a thought…so I’m reducing the water to 40oz. It is also difficult to diet the Atkins way with this, actually it’s impossible. Can you tell me how you divide up the supplements or is it willy nilly. Also do u always tak this or after feeling better just try diet? Thanks, sorry for the wordiness.

  7. Hi Theresa,
    Thank you for your excellent website. Do you have any advice on how to make sure you get enough ‘safe’ protein acidity wise?
    Best wishes,
    Mary

  8. Dear Theresa

    Doctor have diagnose that i have small injure in my urethra.
    do you know maybe how i should threat that?
    Dr have put me on diet and am taking medicine such as: cysta q, detrusitol, ketonal and other analgesic for pain.
    They have told me that operation is not an option.

    Many Thanks

    Mira

    • Hello Mira;

      Sorry to hear about your injury. Since I have no experience with that type of injury, I could not give you any advice other than to follow your doctor’s orders. Hopefully the medicine will assist your body to heal this quickly.

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