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Posts: 428
Reply with quote  #1 
I have the "IC Friendly Recipe Book" (2003) produced by the IC Support Group (possibly former COB Foundation?)  and edited by Rosemary Forson. 

I thought this might be a well thought-through book and would help people with IC. Wrong!  I am totally shocked this book is for IC and the recipes contain ingredients that are definitely NOT recommended for bladder inflammation at all. I wonder just how much research went into this book and why it contains so many inappropriate recipes for healing and for encouraging the gut to get better and therefore also the bladder to improve.

For example: Many people with interstitial cystitis will have IBS and candida overgrowth and gut dysbiosis, even parasites. They may also have lactose intollerence and gluten intollerence or Coeliac. If they have been bombarded with antibiotics for various reasons and ended up with bladder and bowel problems, the gut flora will be damaged, thereby encouraging candida and other fungal overgrowth. A candida diet can help IC which means cutting out yeasts, breads, sugars and high carbohydrates - all things that feed yeast and parasites.

But many of the recipes in this booklet contain cheese (bad for yeast), milk (full of sugar), breadcrumbs (yeast and gluten), white wine (bad for yeast, sugars and acids), marmite (high in yeast), tinned pears and tinned fruits (extremely high in sugar), caster sugar (extremely concentrated sugar).... the list goes on.  I am amazed at the amount of cheese ingredients in this book.

I think this book should be reviewed urgently and treated with extreme caution for anyone with IC. The front cover alone is showing a dessert packed full of sugar, which is the last thing anyone wants for cystitis or interstitial cystitis.


Posts: 4,496
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Icy,

Thank you for your message.

The book is based on being IC 'friendly' ..... it does not include recipes for those with yeast / gluten intolerance.

best wishes

Posts: 428
Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Dawn,

But I do not see how recipes with lots of sugar in them, cheese etc can be IC friendly. Every single list I have ever seen across the world says for instance that cheese is a banned for IC. Even a urologist once told me never to have cheese or dairy for instance as they are well known to cause IC problems and flare ups. And so many people have written up to say that cheese triggers the bladder and so does sugars. Whether or not someone has gluten problems or candida, many of the recipes seem to classically have things that are not meant to be consumed for IC and things like white wine - alcohol surely is not recommended for the bladder, especially fermented drinks like wine.


Posts: 4,496
Reply with quote  #4 

The recipes were compiled by other IC sufferers. 

Each person is individual and not all ICers have a problem with cheese / milk or sugar etc.

best wishes

Posts: 62
Reply with quote  #5 
I am afraid, I too found the "IC Friendly Recipe Book" - totally unfriendly to my bladder! Yes, everyone is different but there are some common principles with regard to the digestive system and consequently the bladder that one would certainly have expected in a book like this.  Anyone with any kind of cystitis or OAB or interstitial cystitis,  should avoid anything that will directly really encourage bad bacterias - and sugar is one of them.  I actually showed this book to a nutritionist in a hospital and they were horrified and said "bin it".....  I did that straight away. They said the recipes would cause far too much fermentation which was the last thing needed.

I really think this book should be revised and updated urgently. There is a lot of information on websites like the ICN now but also recipe books should be looking at very nutrient dense foodstuffs which is what is really needed for IC - not a lot of fancy stuff including lots of dairy.  So many people do have IBS and digestive problems as a result of IC or they had it prior to getting bladder problems. 

The other very big thing to remember is that the majority of people going in search of a cookery book for IC, will have been bombarded with antibiotics, so they will certainly have an element of gut dysbiosis and fungal overgrowth.  So a recipe book for this condition must surely strongly take that into consideration and highlight the need to reduce sugars, dairy (which contains sugars) and anything that feeds overgrowth.

Perhaps people could write up with recipes they think address issues of candida, fungal overgrowth, or even coeliac recipes (gluten and candida are related and there have been scientific papers published to link gluten and candida with the same protein strain) and anything that is truly bladder friendly.  It would be nice to have a recipes section for people to contribute to - I guess it could come under diet, but at least if there was a recipes site, one could go straight to it for ideas.


Posts: 92
Reply with quote  #6 
I too have found these recipes in the IC book to be very unfriendly  for my bladder.

It certainly would be very beneficial to have a diet page to help with well balanced

bladder friendly foods including gluten free recipes.

Best wishes,



Posts: 1,176
Reply with quote  #7 
Yeah I agree. The minute I looked at the ingredients I knew they'd cause me trouble.

Great If It works for some people, but on the whole I think a lot of it needs looking into again.

Posts: 990
Reply with quote  #8 

The COB recipe book is 9 years old now and was always a good help and resource to many IC sufferers when the charity first started.  Research and information has moved on now and COB is about to start of new resource of "friendly bladder recipes."


Ouch! I am sad to hear that a book was thrown in the bin - if only you knew how much time, effort and money went into producing that old book, and many of our other resources we produce to try to help people.  I wish you had let us know sooner that you thought the book was of no use to you.....however all posters comments taken on board.


Here is an all have individual opinions on diet, perhaps you would like to send your information and recipes to us:  We will start to compile and put together a new "COB bladder friendly recipe book."  This book should then be up-to-date and if you tell us that your recipe is candida friendly or IBS friendly - we can highlight this.


Will you help us to put together a new recipe book?


We do have a very good diet sheet on "good and bad" foods for IC in our current resources.  If you are a member you can obtain this FREE.  We don't give out all our resource information on the website, not enough room and we try to encourage people to join us to help with income for the charity.  Part of the income pays for the resources to be produced and printed, the running of the message forums and much more.


We look forward to hearing from you with your recipe information.








for Bladder Health UK

Posts: 428
Reply with quote  #9 
I think it would be fairer to have an area of the website dedicated to IC friendly recipes and candida diet, gluten free recipes etc. and people could send these in and COB post them up.
That way you can reach more people, not just those that have joined the organisation  and also things can be updated more regularly as changes do occur all the time in the kind of products available in the shops, but also people themselves find improvements to their own recipes over time.


Posts: 134
Reply with quote  #10 
I would love to see an area dedicated to IC friendly recipes and candida diet, gluten free recipes.

Not everyone can afford to join COB, myself included, so I'm missing out
on so much information.

Posts: 1,962
Reply with quote  #11 
As Alison mentioned earlier...

Here is an all have individual opinions on diet, perhaps you would like to send your information and recipes to us:  We will start to compile and put together a new "COB bladder friendly recipe book."  This book should then be up-to-date and if you tell us that your recipe is candida friendly or IBS friendly - we can highlight this."

why not head your own POST on here.'.RECIPES ONLY'.
(i.e no story attached just the Recipe ," IC Friendly or IBS or IC etc)
If you put just one a day will keep bumping up..
Just my personal suggestion..

So where is the First




Posts: 162
Reply with quote  #12 
Yesterday my COB welcome pack arrived.
Sorry, I know there's already been a debate and it is not my intention to go and go and on about this, but just wanted to add my opinion. I found the  "IC friendly recepie book" rather unfriendly. For instance:" pepper", just the words makes me cringe. I have to be very careful with spicies. But, as we said, everybody is different.
As I have learnt over the years with my illness, there seem to be several forms of IC. I have known a sufferer who's symptoms differs from mine in several aspects, in that she has horrific constant bladder pain, but no frequency and has  good capacity. The IC  diet hasn't made any difference to her whatsoever, so she drinks strong coffee and orange juice. After years of suffering she finally found out that her bladder pain, from which so far she has been able to get some temporary relief with instills, is triggered by pudendal nerve entrapment.  

I will contribute with my IC friendly version of some Italian recipes.

Suffers from IC, BC and overactive bladder.
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