IC Awareness Month

September is IC/BPS Awareness Month

October 17, 2013
by icnjill

IC Awareness Month Poster Contest Winners!

It is my pleasure to announce the winners of the 2013 IC Awareness Month Campaign and we have a surprise, rather than just three winners, we’ll have five! The posters this year were fabulous

First Place: Jennifer Williams – $100 gift certificate

Jennifer Williams has created an iconic image absolutely perfect for use in an annual awareness campaign. We love the simple yet powerful imagery. It includes men and women, the hands placed over the bladder and that simple tear drop is a powerful message.


Second Place (TIE) – Audrey Taskeshta & Tish Alie – $75 gift certificates

Audrey’s original watercolor is absolutely gorgeous, beautifully using color and image to remind every IC patient that they are beautiful, that they are strong and, most importantly, that IC cannot break you!


Tish Alie’s poster is POWERFUL! It catches the eye and makes the reader want to get up close and learn more about it. Tears evoke a powerful message, that we all should stop and ask “what can we do to make this better?” And, thankfully, more and more people are doing so!

Tish Ali IC Awareness Month Poster

Third Place (TIE) – Carolyn Rumsey & Lynn Dryburgh – $50 gift certificates

Carolyn Rumsey

This creative poster could work perfectly in any doctors office. It’s funny yet enlightening and, of course, grounded in the daily symptoms of an IC patient. It’s makes you laugh yet, at the end, hits you with the powerful punch that IC patients also struggle with profound loneliness at times.


Lynn Dryburgh entry was made in honor of her daughter, who suffers from IC. This is the first poster we’ve had entered which raises awareness about the needs of children who struggle with bladder pain and discomfort. We love the use of several languages on the poster. This could work beautifully in an educational campaign with school nursing staff and educators!


Prizes will be delivered by the end of the month!

Thank you EVERYONE who entered the contest!!! Beautiful, BEAUTIFUL entries this year!

Jill :)

October 9, 2013
by icnjill

Timeline Contest Winners!!

FIRST PLACE – Robert Johnson $100 Gift Certificate

We chose Robert’s entry as our grand prize winner because it empowers patients and reminds each and every one of us that we can absolutely make a difference and IC Awareness Month is just one way that they can speak out!!! We also love the fact that it is genderless, supporting both men and women who have IC. Well done Robert!!!


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SECOND PLACE – Ana Perez $75 Gift Certificate

The message in this timeline image is critical. We need MORE people to truly understand the suffering, plight and needs of patients who lack access to health care, cannot find physicians to care for them and who often suffer in silence. We love that the hands also hold a heart over the bladder! Lovely, powerful imagery!


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THIRD PLACE – Britany Schaible $50 Gift Certificate

Britany’s entry is lovely and will appeal to many who want to share their IC message on their Facebook page. We love the color, the imagery, the message… we love it all!



October 9, 2013
by icnjill

New Timeline Contest Entry – R. Thomas


This entry speaks to the family members and friends of IC patients. He says “Don’t let IC be a wall between you and your loved ones.” He urges “Let them know they are not alone!” We LOVE these messages… and how our friends and loved ones should be a source of compassion and understanding so that it really does help the patient cope with fear, anxiety and so forth! Well done Rob!

September 30, 2013
by icnjill

Monterey Herald IC Awareness Month story!

Our gratitude to Barbara Quinn for writing a story on IC Awareness Month and the importance of the diet connection in the 9/25 edition of the Monterey Herald!

Barbara Quinn: The diet-bladder pain connection

Before the month goes away, a reader reminds me that September is “Interstitial Cystitis Awareness” Month.

Say again?

That’s the point, says said reader. Interstitial cystitis is a condition with which millions suffer and few understand. And changes in the diet can sometimes relieve symptoms of this puzzling disorder.

So let’s try to understand. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, IC is “a condition that causes discomfort or pain in the bladder and a need to urinate frequently and urgently.” And at the risk of too much information, interstitial cystitis is also known as bladder pain syndrome, or BPS.

This condition is more common in women than in men. It can be tricky to diagnose since its symptoms are similar to a bladder infection, although IC is not an infection. It can be tricky to treat as well.

So, what does this have to do with nutrition? Experts have observed that certain foods may trigger unfortunate symptoms in some people with IC. And while there is no specific “diet” to treat IC, some sufferers report certain foods to be more abrasive to the bladder than others.

Foods most commonly reported to be bothersome for people with IC include alcohol, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharine, coffee (even decaf in some people), citrus and cranberry juices, hot peppers, carbonated soda and spicy foods. Others add chocolate, tea and tomatoes to the list of irritating foods.

Not everyone has problems with these foods, however.

How to know? It’s called the “elimination diet.” Eliminate from your diet — for at least a month — any food you suspect to be a potential problem, some experts suggest. Then one by one, add these foods — no more than one food each week — back into your diet. And track which, if any, food worsens symptoms.

The goal is not to eliminate foods willy-nilly or make yourself miserable because you can’t eat anything. Most patients with IC have a small list of “do nots” and a bigger list of “usually OK” foods based on their symptoms. The best diet to relieve the painful symptoms of interstitial cystitis is one that includes a balanced variety of foods and essential nutrients, say nutrition experts.

“We do not know exactly why some foods bother most IC patients and other foods do not,” says registered dietitian Julie Beyer, of the Interstitial Cystitis Association. “The diet-IC connection becomes even more mystifying when we observe that certain foods that bother one patient do not bother others.”

The good news, she says, is that researchers are taking a closer look at the treatments we have for IC — including diet. And we will have better answers in the near future. Good to be aware.

Barbara Quinn is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. Email her at bquinn@chomp.org.