I have I/C and I want a pizza!

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by zenouchy, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    Hi all,

    Yes, I know my subject line sounds like the demands of a 5-year old brat that must get her way. ;-) However, if any of you have I/C (interstitial cystitis), you know how insanely restrictive the diet is. (For those who don't know what I/C is and want to know more, please see www.ichelp.org.)

    As others here do also, I live the life of eating bland foods, nothing spicey, nothing acidic, and eliminating several healthy foods that I love (citrus fruits, onions, chocolate, etc), or else risk mild to outrageous bladder pain. That includes my beloved tomatoes and therefore most Italian foods.

    I'm so good, and so darn diligent in following the diet, and I don't usually complain, even when I see on average four pizza commercials per night. I usually just ignore them and tell myself how unhealthy those pizzas are.

    Well, after at least two years of nada pizza, I want one! Is that too much to ask my friends? I bought a frozen Amy's margherita pizza and am going to top it with some sliced mushrooms. My hope of taking the acid out of the tomatoes is gobbling Tums before and after eating it. I'm up for the challenge. My intense craving has overtaken the risk of pain.

    It's the Pizza Showdown. Who will win? Me, or the pizza? I hope it's me! Wish me luck my friends. ;-)

    Have a happy/healthy day,

  2. sorekitty

    sorekitty New Member

    Hi Erika,
    I understand where you are coming from. I do not have IC but have a lot of gut issues. I have been on a gluten and dairy free diet for 6 months now. It is so hard to see everyone around me eating foods that I want and know I may never have again.

    I had my 6 yo son on the diet since it helps children on the autism spectrum and thought it was worth a try. How to get my poor little guy pizza and mac n' cheese.

    I make a pizza from gluten free frozen crusts (Kinnikinnick) which may be hard to find. I know one store in my area that has them and when there is a sale I stock up. Then Trader Joes pizza sauce (since acidity is a problem not sure if putting less sauce would help). Then we put on toppings like black olives, mushrooms and I use pepperoni sometimes too.

    Amy's is a really good brand so i think you are doing your best there. Since I can't have any cheese/dairy I just make my own. They are really good but no not like the Italian resturants!

  3. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    How are you? Hope you are well. Thanks for listening and responding. Dietary restrictions are tough aren't they? I'm sorry your 6-year old has to be so restricted also.

    Turns out the Amy's pizza didn't have too much sauce on it, so it seems to have worked out fine. It was SO GOOD. So far no pain! Their pizzas really are great---all organic, and the basil and mozzarella cheese on it was heavenly! The crust was nice and crispy too. Hmmm, ya think I needed to eat a pizza today?

    In addition to the mushrooms, I added some shredded parmesan cheese. YUM. Sometimes we just need to give in to a craving and feel "normal" once in awhile. Thanks for the Trader Joes pizza sauce tip. Sounds good. If I make one again, I'll look for that. (And yes, less sauce is better!)

    I don't know why grocers don't carry more gluten-free products. I think they would build customer-loyalty if they did so. I think Celiacs is an under-diagnosed illness. Just my opinion anyway.

    Have a great day!

  4. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Glad you were able to find something for that pizza craving. I note that whenever people are asked to
    name a fun food, the always say pizza first or second. Popcorn, chocolate and ice cream are right up
    there too.

    I grew up in a village w/ no ethnic restaurants. The only pizza we ever had was Chef Borardee outta
    the box. Wonder if they still make that.

    When I went to college in St. Paul, there was an Italian restaurant across the street. I had never heard
    of such a thing. A small pizza cost 90 cents; delicious!

    One of the comedy writers (Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, somebody) wrote about discovering pizza in
    New York in the late 40s. A guy brought lunch to the gang. "It's something new. Called pizza pie.
    A slice is 5 cents and the whole thing is 40 cents."

    American cuisine was changed forever.

  5. Sacajawea2

    Sacajawea2 Member

    My I/C has been tame for the last year and a half so I can eat more. Have you seen the cookbook called "A taste of the Good Life"? It has many good suggestions and recipes, as well as a list of foods by brands that are I/C friendly.
    If I eat pizza I get it made w/o the sauce, cheese only. Some places even make a "white" pizza!
    Also, better than tums is a product called PRELIEF-- look it up if you haven't heard of it. I think it's still around. I don't even need it anymore. It's great for neutralizing foods. I still have a lot of restrictions as far as eats, but not as strict as before.

    I'm glad you enjoyed that pizza!

  6. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    Rock, great to hear from you. I vaguely remember the Chef Boyardee commercials as a kid. With all of the "fancy" pizza products around now (Amy's probably included in that) I wasn't sure if Chef Boyardee was around, but I checked, and they are alive and thriving! I'll share a separate post with you on that. You must have really enjoyed and appreciated ethnic food in college having just been introduced to it.

    Sacajawea2, I like your new screen name. Thanks for the tips on managing I/C. How did yours get more tame over the last year and a half? I've read that it can go through phases of manageability---being severe and less so. I'm glad yours is much more tame and that you can eat more foods you like.

    I've taken Prelief and found it to work exactly the same as Tums for some reason. I know others find that it works better for them. I will check out the cookbook, "A Taste of the Good Life". Sounds great. Thanks!

    Have a great day,

    Erika :)

  7. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    Great to hear from you. Thanks for the tip on the Kashi multi grain crust---that sounds yummy! I really like Kashi's cereals. They make good, wholesome products. I think next time I need to either make my own pizza or else scrape off some of the tomato sauce.

    My body is not too happy with me today. My I/C is okay, but I also have GERD, and that's acting up pretty good---how could I forget about that? DUH. I think my craving pretty much overran some of my common sense, but once in awhile that just happens. It was a killer pizza!

    The one you make sounds really great. Definitely check out the Amy's products. If memory serves correctly, I think they make a gluten free product. I meant to tell Molly (the first poster) that too. If you try it, let me know how you like it.

    Take care, Erika
  8. Sacajawea2

    Sacajawea2 Member

    Thanks-- I like it better, too!
    My last SUPER bad flare was November of 2007 and when no more came, I was really surprised. I still have flare ups every few months for a day or so but nothing like before. I did do injections directly into the bladder for like 8 weeks about 6 months prior (Elmiron and another med). It was torture but worth it! I still avoid citrus, fermented foods, oxolate containing foods and coffee and wine, etc. I can drink a soda or eat a peach and nada...

    You will love that book!!

    I'm so sorry to hear it got to you. Maybe try Meunster cheese the next time...and yes, no tomato sauce at all!

  9. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    I'm glad the the bladder injections work for you. I'm reticent to try it. You are brave!! Bladder meds didn't work for me---too many side effects. I'm coping pretty well most of the time---it's just those darn tomatoes!! They are acidic, but I want them sometimes. I just deal the best I can. ;-)

    Have a great day and feel good!

  10. SnooZQ

    SnooZQ New Member

    As a fellow sufferer --

    1) Have you tried Prelief tabs? It's an acid buffering OTC specifically made for IC. Many of us find it more helpful than plain old Tums.

    2) While the list of foods that potentially flare up IC is long & daunting, not everyone w/IC responds to every item on the list. Have you done any challenges to determine whether there are some foods that might not flare you up?

    3) Another thing to consider is the concept of level of tolerance. For each of those "banned foods," there is likely some level that your bladder would tolerate. It may be only a molecule -- not practical at all. But then again, it may be a little more. There is considerable individuality in tolerance for each of those foods.

    4) Acid, spice, lectins, oxalates, sulfurs, tannins, nightshades, citrus, alcohol -- all have potential to irritate the bladder. But not necessarily the to the same degree, in a given individual with IC. Granted, there could be a "worst case" out there who tolerates not a molecule of any of them, and perhaps you are that person. But many, many people with IC do find after a number of yrs. that they have a smidgeon of wiggle room on SOMETHING.

    5) The bladder can HEAL and eventually tolerate more. For example, I used to tolerate absolutely NO tea (talkin' regular Lipton type). However, my bladder has healed some (I use Cystoprotek -- look it up!!!) & I now tolerate a LITTLE tea -- one cup every 3 days -- made weak. But it's warm comforting tea & no longer flares up my bladder! I do look forward to my tea days.

    6) Be sure you are looking at your liquids as well as your solid foods when considering bladder offenders. Sodas flare many folks. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate. Fruit juices -- even noncitrus ones are usually ascorbic acid fortified.

    7) Check your supps. Nonbuffered vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a big offender. Most of us with IC have to use buffered vitamin C. For some people, certain B vitamins also cause problems.

    8) Some people can do "swaps" -- omit salad dressing for a day & have a little something different -- say a creamy garlic sauce on pizza.

    9) I don't tolerate tomatoes either, due to both the acid as well as nightshade intolerance. I've found I can do either a creamy garlic sauce, or a carrot-based tomato sauce substitute with garlic, if I swap out all other acids. Not a whole pizza, but a slice.

    Since I am dairy & gluten-intolerant, my pizza also has a homemade rice flour crust, nut-based cheese & sauce ... go figure. But it sates the craving when the commercials are driving me crazy.

    10) Garlic: fresh garlic tends to be more irritating than a little sprinkle of the dried granules ...

    I wish you well on your pizza challenge!
  11. Sacajawea2

    Sacajawea2 Member

    Hi! I was desperate for relief and too miserable to NOT do it, as I couldn't take the Elmiron orally. I also found out I had a secondary problem so in my case it was helpful to find that out. I only had to get a series of 6 or 8 treatmens (can't recall) spaced two weeks apart. It was the most UNFUN thing ever...but worth it! It took about six months for it to kick in I guess and has continued to help. I hope to never go through it again! I went to a uro/gyno and he was very good. He used a protocol from a specialist at a university in California. I don't even think about those days too much anymore, but still watch what I eat a bit.

    You can buy prelief in poweder form and stir it in tomato sauce and it neutralizes it!

  12. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

  13. Sacajawea2

    Sacajawea2 Member

    I keep that on hand at all times, what a life saver for food...yum yum! Also, goat cheese or muenster cheese in place of mozzerella-- that has something in it that offends the bladder according to the book "A taste of the Good life".

  14. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    SnooZQ, that was really kind of you to take the time to write out so many tips. Thanks! I stay away from Vitamin C supplements. It's a very obvious problem. I'm lucky in that I know what my "offensive" foods and supplements are now. (I take offense to that!)

    Thank you Sacajawea for your additional tips also. I really like muenster cheese, especially during Halloween time. ;-) Monterrey Jack is good too. I don't see to have problems with mozarella or parmesan cheese. I must be different then other I/C sufferers. I've certainly been told that I'm different before! ha ha BTW, I love pesto too. It was on the pizza I had a few days ago. I was thinking of trying to grow my own.

    I must be different also, given that Prelief just doesn't work any better for me then Tums! I had a pharmacist order Prelief from Walgreens, and she told me that the only difference was that it had magnesium in it. Maybe the magnesium helps some folks. Who knows? I've swapped out Tums and Prelief several times and have experienced no difference. My urologist (who specializes in I/C) told me that for some reason not everyone gets the extra benefit from Prelief.

    The food swapping I think definitely helps in regards to ones with which we have sensitivities. I do that sometimes with bittersweet chocolate. Thanks for reminding me to do that. Sometimes I get a little overeager to eat chocolate every day and need to remember to take a day off!

    Thanks again everyone for your help.

    Have a great day and feel good,


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