Cranberry Products Found Irritating For 90% of Interstitial Cystitis Patients in ICN Survey

For years, doctors would tell me every time I was seen for a UTI to drink cranberry juice.  I always told them that cranberry juice would bother me and it would make my symptoms worse.  The doctors would swear up and down that I needed to drink it because it was “so good for the bladder”.  I knew even as far back as a child that there was no way cranberry was good for my bladder.  Once I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis, and doctors would try to tell me to drink cranberry juice, I knew that the acid would not be good for my bladder.   If you are like me, you are definitely not alone.

The Interstitial Cystitis Network recently conducted a survey asking IC patients if cranberry products bothered their bladders.  According to the ICN, as of 12/1, 305 patients completed the survey and results found that:

More than ninety percent reported that cranberry products bothered their bladders, triggering bladder pain, frequency, urethral tenderness and, for some, urinary leakage.

Some of the questions in the survey asked were:

Did cranberry products always bother the bladder?  90.7% of survey participants said that cranberry products bother their bladder.  Out of these participants,  69.5% said cranberry products always bothered their bladder; 16.6% said cranberry occasionally bothers their bladder; 4.6% said cranberry has bothered them in the past but is rare.

Which cranberry products bothered IC patients? 

  • More than 82% said sweetened cranberry juice was a problem.
  • 67.4% said unsweetened cranberry juice bothered their bladders.
  • 47.3% reported cranberry pills/supplements were a problem.
  • 42.6% had a problem with cranberry sauce, relish, jelly or jam.
  • More than 7% said dried cranberries were a problem.

The consumption of cranberry products triggered these symptoms:

  • 82.5% reported pain.
  • 60.6% reported urinary frequency.
  • 54.9% reported urinary urgency.
  • 45.1% reported pressure.
  • 39.1% reported urethral tenderness.
  • 34.3% reported nighttime urination.
  • 9.1% reported leakage.

When patients were asked if they still consumed cranberry products:

  • 73.3% of participants reported that they avoid all cranberry products and believe that cranberry hurts them.
  • 14.3% of participants report that they occasionally eat cranberry products even though that it hurts them.
  • 6% reported that they eat cranberry regularly because they believe that it helps their bladder.

I would love to hear your own personal views on cranberry products and whether you feel they benefit the bladder. What is your own experience with cranberry products? Please let the readers know!

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