Help with Coffee!
By, and large, most people with IC have a problem with coffee, even decaf. It’s the one food item doctors regularly remember to tell their IC patients to avoid. No doubt that’s because coffee is one of the worst bladder irritants for all people, regardless of their health. It stimulates the bladder muscle (thus the spasms) and is a diuretic (which means it basically dehydrates you, concentrating any irritants in the urine).
Caffeine is the great equalizer—it makes everyone, IC people and healthy individuals alike, use the bathroom more. Caffeine interferes with sleep, especially the restorative level, REM, sleep, and worsens sleep apnea. It provokes GERD (gastroesophageal reflux), stomach ulcers, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).This is in addition to the myriad acids in coffee-which not only provoke IC bladders and give many older people sour stomachs, but also give coffee some of its characteristic flavor.
The good news for IC people is that more and more coffee suppliers are meeting the desires of an aging population, offering decaf versions of naturally low-acid coffees. These coffees often boast of world-class taste too. At all costs avoid the canned coffees you find in supermarkets. They are absolute worst in terms of caffeine content and acidity (pH).
There’s just no way to predict if coffee substitutes are right for your bladder, you have to try one and see