In both Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurvedic teachings, food is seen as having either warming or cooling properties, and is oftentimes prescribed along with herbals and other treatments as part of a healing protocol for all ailments, including the culmination of symptoms and pain that Western society now calls IC. When my IC symptoms were severe and I read that some people had success in bringing their IC symptoms to manageable levels of pain, I did not want to believe what I read because I did not want to take the necessary steps to change my diet, and ultimately my eating habits. It was much easier to eat the sugar, bread, chips, etc. and complain about having IC than to take a step towards healing my body. Ultimately I was on a yeast/fungus "elimination diet" for three years, and while it was sometimes difficult, depressing, and humiliating to no longer be able to eat out a restaurants or go over to someone's house for a meal without eating beforehand, I truly know that the steps I took to cleanse my body of processed foods helped immensely with my IC pain and symptoms. Now that I am able to eat whatever I want within reason (I will never go back to eating at fast food restaurants, eat refined sugar, or eat anything that has been overly processed and preservered) I no longer crave what I would now consider to be either bad food, or technically not food at all.
My fiance and I budget so that we can afford to eat whole foods, grains, and organics whenever possible. I am now a better and more enthusiastic cook in our kitchen after being forced to cook for myself for so many years, I find that I look forward to shopping at local farmer's markets and cooking meals for family and friends. And meals are so much more special after three years of not being able to share them with family and friends.
People with IC often ask me what is the one step that they can take with their IC, and I would wholeheartedly answer to look at your diet. Drinking soda and alcohol is not good for a healthy person, and they are definitely not a good thing if you are suffering from IC. Sugar and fungus (such as mushrooms) can also cause an imbalance in the friendly bacteria living in our guts, so take a probiotic daily and work to remove sugars and fungus from your diet. Work with a nutrionist, doctor, and/or holistic doctor for the support that you need for this lifestyle change. Your body will thank you for it.