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In this Issue...


Food & Recipes

Special Letters

Rx News & Research

Ask Heather







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* Cumin for IBD

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Heather's IBS Newsletter ~ For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

July 25, 2006

Fast & Easy Ways to Sneak in Extra Soluble Fiber for Extra Gut Stability

Hello to everyone - This week we have a fantastic letter from Sherry, a woman
who can smile about IBS after 15 years of pain and frustration - see for yourself just why!

I continue to receive great feedback about our recent special issue mind-body newsletter (it's becoming clear that this will have been one of our most popular issues ever). So, if you missed it, and have heard the terms "brain-gut" or "mind-body" before, and wondered exactly what they meant, definitely check it out and get your questions answered.

We also have the best French toast recipe ever (seriously, it's that good)! It gives a great example of how to sneak extra soluble fiber into your meals, without sacrificing one ounce of fabulous flavor. And as always, we have the latest IBS news and research. Enjoy!

Best Wishes,
Heather Van Vorous

Did a friend send you this newsletter? Sign up here for your own free subscription. divider

Blueberry Pecan French Toast

Custardy, berry-sweet and with the crunch of toasted pecans, this is a decadent treat for breakfast. It's my very favorite recipe from the IBS cooking show featured in our heartwarming reader letter this week. It's hard to believe that it's low fat, dairy-free, and high soluble fiber - but it is! It's prepared the night before so all you have to do in the morning is pop it in the oven.

Makes 4 Servings

a 12 inch French or sourdough baguette (fresh, not day-old)
4 organic egg whites
1 T Acacia Tummy Fiber (optional, but terrific to increase the soluble fiber base)
1 cup soy milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated if desired
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons packed brown sugar, divided
1/4 cup chopped pecans (toasted if desired)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon canola oil

Spray a 9 inch inch square baking dish with cooking oil. Cut 9 to 10 one-inch slices from the baguette and arrange in the baking dish. In a large bowl beat the whites and Tummy Fiber until frothy, then beat in the milk, nutmeg, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar. Pour evenly over bread, turning slices to coat evenly, cover pan, and chill at least 8 hours or overnight, until liquid is absorbed by bread.

Preheat oven to 400F. Sprinkle pecans and blueberries evenly over bread. In a small bowl stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar and canola oil. Spoon sugar mixture evenly over bread and bake about 20 minutes, until liquid from blueberries is bubbling.

For a truly special treat, serve with a soy sausage such as GimmeLean. For even more soluble fiber, blend in a little Acacia Tummy Fiber to the sausage mix. To safely add extra insoluble fiber, try adding a handful of finely chopped broccolini to the sausage before cooking. Delicious!

Are you just learning how to eat for IBS? A little intimidated at the thought of special IBS recipes? Not quite sure just what makes these recipes special in the first place? Don't worry! Find the answers to all your questions in the IBS Diet Kit.

~ Heather's Tummy Fiber ~
For the Dietary Management of Abdominal Pain, Diarrhea, &, Constipation

IBS Acacia Tummy Fiber

Organic Acacia ~ Pure Soluble Fiber

The prebiotic fiber that relieves both diarrhea and constipation!

** Very Economical ** Only 3 cents per gram of fiber **
The soluble fiber you can cook with!

divider What Makes Someone Smile About IBS After 15 Years of Frustration?

Heather,

I just love the Heather Cooks! DVD that I just received. It has made my week. I have been suffering for about 15 years now and these shows are just wonderful. I can actually eat things that taste good again. I was wondering if you will be making any more Heather Cooks! DVDs? I would love to purchase more of them. Not only are they very informative, but they are also very uplifting and you are so cheerful and make it look like less of an inconvenience to cook special for my IBS.

I also purchased the Fennel Tummy Tea and I just love it. And the IBS hypnotherapy CDs (after just one session I already feel less stress and pain). Heather, you are a life saver. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

It makes me smile just to watch your shows. I feel less alone in my suffering. I actually have some hope now that I found your site. I also own your book Eating For IBS. I have owned it for a little while, but it wasn't until I watched your shows that I realized how easy it could be to try the recipes.

I have had the unfortunate experience of absolutely no help from the American medical field. I have been to about 5 different GI doctors over the course of 15 years and had every test possible. Every single doctor would try to put me on medication. All the medications would do was make me worse. Every single one of them. I even tried to go to a nutritionist, on my own, with no success. She had absolutely no idea what to do for me. In the end, each doctor would say there was nothing else they could do for me. The last one I saw just told me to start every day with Immodium, and every day I would take the maximum doses allowed. Yet I would still feel horrible and have sudden and painful attacks. I have lost a lot of weight and have trouble finding clothes that fit, since I am so small. And to top it off, I have been seeing a urologist for the past 4 years for Interstitial Cystitis, another painful medical condition that also involves many trips to the bathroom. This has been very frustrating for me.

I am still struggling, but the last few days I have been watching your shows and following your years of research and gentle advice. I am starting to feel better. I am still afraid to leave the house at times, and feel somewhat imprisoned by the IBS (and feel alone in my suffering, at times). My husband has been very understanding and my children are just used to my episodes. We never go on vacation anymore and I base all my outings around available bathrooms and if I feel "OK" to go out.

I love to cook, but it has been very difficult to cook for my family and then try to figure out something that I could actually eat. Your recipes are healthy, delicious and beautiful enough that I can feed them to my family also. They will never know the difference. Food is actually starting to look appealing to me again.

I look forward to seeing more Heather Cooks! shows in the future. And I have already become a frequent visitor of your site. I just love it. You have brightened my day tremendously.

Sincerely,
Sherry Turton

Thank you, Sherry! I am so happy that you enjoy watching the shows as much as I enjoy making them, and I hope you continue to feel better every day! ~ Heather

Did you miss the last reader letter from Stephanie, whose heartfelt success with IBS hypnotherapy came out of desperation and was her last resort? Find it here...

IBS Kitchen Kit ~ Comprehensive IBS Dietary Help for ALL IBS Symptoms
Heather's IBS Kitchen Kit - 20% Off!

* Eating for IBS, the complete IBS dietary guide & cookbook
* Plus Heather Cooks! The Fast & Easy IBS Cooking Show
* Plus Acacia Tummy Fiber, to relieve both diarrhea and constipation!

divider Treatment of Functional Diarrhea
Functional diarrhea (FD), one of the functional gastrointestinal disorders, is characterized by chronic or recurrent diarrhea not explained by structural or biochemical abnormalities. The treatment of FD is intimately associated with establishing the correct diagnosis. First, FD needs to be distinguished from diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), in which, unlike in FD, abdominal pain is a primary diagnostic criterion. Next, FD must be differentiated from the myriad organic causes of chronic diarrhea. Once the diagnosis has been established, the clinician and patient should first focus on identifying, eliminating, and/or treating aggravating factors. These may include physiologic factors (eg, small bowel bacterial overgrowth), psychological factors (eg, stress and anxiety), and dietary factors (eg, carbohydrate malabsorption such as lactose or fructose).

Treatment options include dietary and lifestyle modification, pharmacologic therapies, and alternative modalities. Although many of these strategies have been studied in IBS, almost none of them has been examined specifically in FD. Furthermore, given the poorly understood pathophysiologic basis of FD, these treatments primarily target a patient's symptoms and presumed altered physiology rather than underlying etiologic mechanisms. Therefore, we stress that treatment must be approached in an individualized manner and that dietary and pharmacologic therapies should be part of a comprehensive therapeutic approach in which education and reassurance form the foundation. Go here for the diagnostic criteria for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Go here for more information about this study...


New Therapies for IBD: Probiotics Review
A recent review in Current Opinion in Gastroenterology noted that, thus far, there are more data for probiotic use in ulcerative colitis than in Crohn's disease. VSL#3 is a combination of probiotic strains that has been shown to maintain remission and decrease the incidence of pouchitis. Recent open-label data suggest that it may have utility for the induction of remission in patients with ulcerative colitis. A German study found equivalent efficacy of Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 and mesalazine in maintaining remission in ulcerative colitis. Go here for information about prebiotic Acacia Tummy Fiber, which encourages the growth of probiotics in the gut.

Go here for more information about this study...


Doctors Goup Launches War on Drug Ads
Prescription drug advertising has swelled to a $4.8 billion industry since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration relaxed its restrictions on the ads in 1997. Many doctors say the ads are coming so fast that they don't have time to learn about the benefits and risks of a new drug before patients start requesting prescriptions. As a result, last month the American Medical Association asked the FDA to impose a waiting period before new drugs and devices can be marketed to consumers.

"Doctors just want to make sure they have a chance to get up to speed on new drugs before the patients are being urged to seek these medications because of heavy advertising," said Dr. Ron Davis, the association's president-elect. "We hope that the FDA will step forward and show leadership in this area," Davis said. "If that doesn't happen then legislation may be needed to make it a requirement."

Dr. Melvyn Sterling, an internist who practices in Orange, attended the medical association meetings that led to the policy changes. He said people should consider the source when reading or watching drug ads. "The reason those ads are there is to sell the drug, not to educate the public," Sterling said.

Drug safety is another reason doctors are hoping for an advertising moratorium. Clinical drug trials sometimes are conducted with too few subjects for serious side effects to show up. Patients should be aware of safer, cheaper alternatives, doctors said. It's not just new drugs for old ailments that concern doctors. Drugs are marketed for conditions that just a few years ago didn't have a name - irritable bowel syndrome, among others.

"To market a drug, it's best to market a disease," said Dr. John Abramson, a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School. "Much of the advertising is convincing people that they need drugs when often they don't need drugs..."

Abramson said a moratorium on new drug advertising is a good first step, but that it's getting harder for doctors to find objective information on drugs. Drug companies sponsor most of the clinical trials that appear in the doctors' medical journals, often next to ads for the drugs. "There's now much, so much commercial influence that doctors aren't able to get the unbiased, non-commercial scientific truth," he said. Go here for comprehensive information about all available medications for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Go here for more information about this study...

Review of the Potential Health Benefits of Peppermint Tea
A recent Phytotherapy Research article from the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA has noted that peppermint is one of the most widely consumed single ingredient herbal teas. In vitro, peppermint has significant antimicrobial and antiviral activities, strong antioxidant and antitumor actions, and some antiallergenic potential. Animal model studies demonstrate a relaxation effect on gastrointestinal tissue, analgesic and anesthetic effects in the central and peripheral nervous system, immunomodulating actions and chemopreventive potential.

Human studies on the GI, respiratory tract and analgesic effects of peppermint oil and its constituents have been reported. Several clinical trials examining the effects of peppermint oil on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms have been conducted. Go here for info about high volatile oil peppermint tea for IBS.

Go here for more information about this study...

Looking for more IBS research and news? Check the IBS Research Library!

Peppermint Tummy Tea Fennel Tummy Tea
Organic Peppermint & Fennel Tummy Tea Bags

Extraordinary Quality ~ Very Economical


Peppermint is great for IBS pain & spasms, Fennel is terrific for bloating & gas.

divider Fast & Easy Ways to Sneak in Extra Soluble Fiber
"Soluble fiber foods are the foundation of my meals and snacks, but I think I still need more. Is there an easy way to increase my intake without overeating?"

Everyone following the IBS diet knows that a high soluble fiber foundation to meals and snack is the key to keeping your digestion stable, preventing abdominal spasms, and alleviating both diarrhea and constipation. Sometimes, though, this is easier said than done, but there are some terrific shortcuts that can help a lot.

If you're using Acacia Tummy Fiber, you can add it to virtually any meal or snack you prepare, for an extra safety margin of soluble fiber throughout the day. In general, you can add up to one level tablespoon per cup of liquid when cooking, and up to one level tablespoon per cup of flour when baking. For individual serving sizes (like sandwiches or a bowl of cereal) simply add a portion of your usual daily dose.

Looking for specific ideas? Try these....

* whisk Tummy Fiber into egg whites for omelets and scrambled eggs

* add to bottled herbal teas and water. Just shake to blend well, and drink
   throughout the day

* mix into the dry ingredients of batters (pancakes, waffles, breads, brownies,
   and cakes)

* sprinkle it into moist fillings for sandwiches, wraps, burritos, and tacos

* whisk it into dressings, sauces, dips, salsas, and guacamole

* stir into cooked oatmeal, cream of rice, and other hot cereals

* mix into applesauce or peeled stewed fruits (rhubarb, plums)

* mix into mashed potatoes

* sprinkle on potato salad and macaroni salad

* cook into puddings, custards, and pie fillings

* whisk into soups as they cook

* sprinkle on cooked rice

* blend into pasta sauces

* stir into turkey or soy meatloaf before baking

* sprinkle on pizzas before baking

One important note - remember that you don't want to go from no soluble fiber supplement to a high dose of one overnight. If you're new to adding Tummy Fiber to your diet, take things slowly and gradually. Pay attention to your daily dose in grams, especially until you've worked up to a high enough dose to stay stable.

Once your gut is used to soluble fiber, it's usually pretty easy to add more without paying strict attention to precise dosages. But - if you're just starting out, make sure that you don't unintentionally add fiber to so many different drinks and foods throughout the day that you suddenly, drastically increase your dose. This will overwhelm your gut (remember, all fiber is indigestible) and cause bloating and gas.

As always with IBS, you want to stabilize your gut through slow, steady, gentle persuasion, and not try to beat it into submission. After all, you don't want your gut to fight back!

~ Heather

A special thank you to Shell (ShellMarr) and Melissa (hohoyumyum) from the IBS Message Boards for their fabulous Tummy Fiber suggestions!

Did you miss the most popular "Ask Heather" so far this year, and what IBS patients need - but don't get - from their doctors?

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