Is it safe to drink wine when you have interstitial cystitis (IC), bladder pain syndrome (BPS) or chronic prostatitis? If you’re actively in a flare or have Hunner’s lesions, drinking wine would be foolish because alcohol on any tender tissue or open wound would sting. However, when your urinary symptoms have improved, it may be worth trying a low acid, low alcohol wine.
In 2009, we surveyed more than 500 patients who shared with us their experience with wine. 21% reported that they could drink wine without any bladder irritation. 31% reported that they sometimes drink wine without being worse for wear. On the other hand, 48% of patients reported that wine always irritated their bladders.
White wines were better tolerated than reds due, most likely due to the extra added histamines found in red wine. Wines free from sulfites and/or that were organic were easier on the bladder.
If you’re a white wine drinker, we suggest: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc.
If you’re a red wine drinker, the clear favorite was Merlot.
Patients also suggested having wine on the rocks, and/or following it with a large glass of water to reduce the overall irritation. Some patients have also used Prelief to reduce the overall acid content.