There are 2 parts to this post on Interstitial Cystitis (IC):

1) Does caffeine affect Interstitial Cystitis?

2) Can you drink decaffeinated coffee with IC?

Does caffeine affect Interstitial Cystitis (IC)?

The answer is a resounding yes.

Tea and coffee, or anything with caffeine in it, can often trigger IC flare ups.

According to a paper published in Therapeutic Advances in Urology  published by scientists from James Buchanan Brady Foundation Department of Urology in 2011:

" Studies have also shown worsening of IC symptoms with stress, spicy food, and smoking. Recently, the Events Preceding IC Study reported that the pain in 97% worsened with certain foods and drinks such as alcohol, citrus fruits, coffee, carbonated drinks, tea, chocolate, and tomatoes [Warren et al. 2008] comparable to findings from the Interstitial Cystitis Database (ICDB) where 262 out of 270 (97%) patients reported worsening of pain [Simon et al. 1997]."

Can you drink decaffeinated coffee with Interstitial Cystitis (IC)?

The jury is out.

The Interstitial Cystisis Association takes a cautious approach that it's best to take any type of coffee out of your diet as follows:

"Doctors and other healthcare providers report that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and tea can trigger bladder flares because of the acidity in the products, so it is best to kick the coffee and tea habit, and find alternative ways to find energy throughout the day."

The IC Network take  a more pragmatic approach:

It recommends a five-step "work your way back to coffee" approach as follows:

i) Step one: try hot water or milk

ii) Chamomile & Peppermint tea trial

iii) Rooibos tea trial.

iv) Herbal Coffee trial (non-coffee substitute).

v) Low acid decaffeinated coffee trial - it recommends trialling darker roast coffees, which reduce the acidity of decaffeinated coffee.

Decadent Decaf offers one Dark Roast Decaffeinated coffee called the Decadent Decaf Dark Roast available here.

IMPORTANT: This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. Nothing in the content or products should be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always talk to your health care provider for diagnosis and treatment, including your specific medical needs.


July 29, 2020 — Guy Wilmot


Wendy Wright said:

I have had cystitus on and off for donkeys years. I have gone over to decaf coffee but it will still bring it on. I now limit myself to one cup of decaf coffee per day. I can get away with decaf tea though so drink that in it’s place.

Helen Jaffe said:

I have IC. I am going off caffeinated coffee and trying decaf Caffe D’Vita Cappuccino Will the decaf cappuccino help with my IC

Helen Jaffe said:

I have been diagnosed with IC. I am contemplating trying decaf mocha cappuccino called Cafe D’Vita. Will that help me with my IC to get off caffeinated coffee. Thank you

LINDA said:

Is decaffeinated coffee the same as
Low acid on stomach

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