Foods that leave an acidic ash after being metabolized include proteins, starches, alcohol and sugar. When these types of food are avoided, the tissues become more alkaline. An alkaline diet is composed of approximately 75% alkaline foods and 25% acid foods.
Some doctors believe that a tendency to form cysts occurs more frequently in those with an acidic body pH. If so, an alkalizing diet may help.
A book written by a urologist, Larrian Guillespie, MD called You Don't Have to Live With Cystitis (1985) details a fundamentally dietary approach to interstitial cystitis. She discusses alkalizing the diet, and avoiding aspartates.
Many people also find that certain foods increase their symptoms. The most frequently cited offenders are coffee, chocolate, ethanol, carbonated drinks, citrus fruits and tomatoes. Although there are broad guidelines that most IC patients can follow, discovering which particular foods may cause you problems requires perseverance. Many IC patients report that restricting their diet is an effective form of treatment and believe that it is worth the effort. Some IC patients report that they have the least trouble with rice, potatoes, pasta, vegetables, meat and chicken.