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In this Issue...


Food & Recipes

Special Events
Vegas IBS Fall Sprawl Update!

Rx News & Research

Ask Heather
Dogs & IBS?




Tell a Friend about the IBS Newsletter!





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July 26, 2005

This week - New Tummy Tea Teabags!

Hello to everyone -

If you missed last week's newsletter, I'm thrilled to announce that we finally have our Fennel Tummy Tea and Peppermint Tummy Tea available as teabags! We have had so many requests for this, but it was quite a project finding a way to keep our teas large leaf or whole seed so as not to compromise the high volatile oil content, and still fit these teas into teabags. Our final result is special unbleached jumbo teabags that are filled with the exact same peppermint or fennel Tummy Teas that have, until now, only been available as loose teas. They are fantastic!

We also have a very special update this week from Sammy the dog, who is finally back in tip-top furry condition after more than a year spent battling digestive problems. We've got the latest info about the upcoming Las Vegas IBS Fall Sprawl (if you couldn't make it to last year's event, you definitely don't want to miss out again!) Plus, as always, we've got 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

Portabella Mushroom and Sundried Tomato Bruschetta

Makes 3-4 Servings

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup packed sundried tomatoes (not in oil)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 portabella mushroom caps, cleaned and chopped (about 3/4 lb.)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons finely shredded fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste

Two 12 inch long narrow sourdough bread baguettes, halved horizontally, toasted

In a small saucepan heat the water until it boils. Remove from heat and add tomatoes; soak for 15 minutes. Puree tomatoes, cooking water, and vinegar in blender and transfer to serving bowl.

In a medium non-stick skillet sprayed with cooking oil saute the mushrooms and garlic over medium heat until tender, and the liquid released from mushrooms has evaporated (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the olive oil. Fold mushrooms into tomato mixture and add chopped basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with baguette.

For oodles of other delicious recipes, come visit the IBS Recipe Exchange board!

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! Come see the IBS Diet pages, and find the answers to all your questions.

Fennel Tummy Tea Peppermint Tummy Tea
Fennel & Peppermint Tummy Teas - Now in New Jumbo Teabags!

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

divider Las Vegas IBS Fall Sprawl 2005
It's almost time for the second annual IBS Fall Sprawl! This year's event is once again in Las Vegas, from September 30 to October 2. The IBS Fall Sprawl is organized by the fabulous Vegas Divas, Jennifer, Melissa, Kandee, and Shelley. The Divas took a brilliant idea ("Wouldn't it be great to meet all the people that you chat with daily on the IBS Message Boards? Or have the opportunity to hang out with people who will identify with what you may go through on a daily basis with your IBS?") and turned it into an annual fun-filled event. In a nutshell, the IBS Fall Sprawl is an educational and social gathering that will put friends and soon-to-be friends in the same city for an outrageously good time in the city that never sleeps. We all had a blast last year and I hope to have an even better time this year!

For updated information, check the official Vegas Pages. If you would be interested in attending, or have any questions, please post them on the Let's Get Together Message Board, where you can also contact the Vegas Divas. Hope to see you there!


New Jersey Support Group for IBS
There's a brand new IBS support group now meeting in South Jersey! The group is moderated by Melissa (our very own Mags from the IBS message boards) and is currently meeting monthly. Their next meeting will be held at the Evesham Branch Library on Thursday, August 11, 2005 from 7-8 pm. If you live in the South Jersey area and are looking for some friendly help and support, come join in! divider IBS The Irritation of Inflammation
A recent Gastroenterology editorial noted that Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) continues to be a major problem for clinical gastroenterologists worldwide and imposes considerable personal and social burdens. As a syndrome detailed understanding of its etiology and pathophysiology is lacking and, despite the welcome arrival of promising new pharmaceutical agents, most drug therapies to date have failed to make a major impact on the quality of life for sufferers. Therefore, an essential problem is to understand what lies behind the development of symptoms in IBS. There remains a tendency for investigators exploring the nature of IBS to divide themselves, in Cartesian fashion, into those who seek a cause for the problem in the mind and those who seek a cause in the gastrointestinal tract. Such a division is undoubtedly artificial and often seems dependent on the philosophical viewpoint of the clinician and of the patient. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the prevailing views of both patient and physician usually coalesce to determine explanations of causality and approaches to therapy.

For those seeking evidence of psychological factors, it now seems the case that health-seeking behavior is more prevalent in the chronic tertiary care-level attendees with IBS, and that depression and anxiety are more likely to increase the severity of pain reporting. However, do such psychological factors actually determine the development of symptoms or simply amplify, and prolong, them? If a primary psychological cause of symptoms in most individuals is not the fundamental factor, then what is? Over recent decades, many etiologic factors have been suggested, many of them coming and going with the passage of time and with the rise and fall of medical fashion. Most recently, the major etiologic proposals have been enteric and sensory neuropathy, allergy to food, and infection. All, of course, could share the common factor of a disordered inflammatory response to an otherwise benign external insult, leading to chronic symptoms in the absence of overt inflammation. Go here for more information about this study...


Abdominal Radiography Not Useful in Constipated Children
A new Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine article finds from a review of published reports that abdominal radiography does not help diagnose constipation in children when the clinical picture is unclear. In theory, constipation can be diagnosed with plain abdominal x-rays by looking for the presence of fecal retention. However, previous studies have yielded conflicting results regarding the utility of such radiographs in clinical practice. The researchers note that there was conflicting data regarding an association between constipation symptoms and x-ray findings. Similarly, the link between digital rectal exam finding and the x-ray results was unclear. Lastly, rebound tenderness did not correlate with the radiography results either. "The recommendation to perform a plain abdominal radiograph in case of doubt of the presence of constipation in a child cannot be supported by this systematic review," the investigators conclude. Go here for more information about this study...

Lotronex Associated with Acute Hepatitis
The Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology recently addressed the first reported case of acute liver injury in a 39-year-old white woman who developed symptomatic hepatitis 28 days after starting alosetron (Lotronex). All other competing causes of acute hepatitis were excluded by radiologic and laboratory studies and the liver injury resolved after drug discontinuation. Although the mechanism of alosetron hepatotoxicity is unknown, metabolic idiosyncrasy is suspected since the drug is known to be extensively metabolized by cytochrome-P450 enzymes. Clinicians prescribing alosetron should be aware of this potential side effect if unexplained abdominal pain, jaundice,or abnormal liver biochemistries are encountered in a treated patient. Go here for more information about this study...

Dyspepsia and IBS After a Salmonella Gastroenteritis Outbreak
A recent study in Gastroenterology addressed reports that some patients develop functional digestive disorders, particularly irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after acute gastroenteritis (AGE). However, the presence of dyspepsia had not been specifically addressed. The study authors prospectively evaluated development of dyspepsia and IBS during a 1-year follow-up in a cohort of adult patients affected by a Salmonella enteritidis AGE outbreak. The study concluded that Salmonella gastroenteritis is a significant risk factor not only for IBS but also for dyspepsia; at 1 year of follow-up, 1 in 7 and 1 in 10 subjects developed dyspepsia or IBS, respectively. Go here for more information about this study...

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

~ Heather's Tummy Tamers ~
For the Dietary Management of Abdominal Pain &, Bloating
IBS Peppermint Caps
Peppermint Oil Caps with Fennel and Ginger Are Amazing!

Because our Peppermint Oil Caps have the added benefits of fennel and ginger oils, they are truly unbeatable for gas, abdominal spasms, and bloating!

divider New Update on Sammy - Dogs and IBS
You may remember the very special letters we've received from Vicki Burton about her dog Sammy over the past year (April 2004 has his original story and November 2004 has the first Sammy update).

Sammy is a Shih Tzu, and he has had digestive problems his whole life that his vet couldn't isolate. Three years ago the problems escalated, and for 18 months his family tried several drugs and diets but nothing worked. He was throwing up daily, losing weight and muscle tone and losing all interest in food. In September 2003 he was so sick they were up all night. However, that same day, while at their local library, Vicki found The First Year IBS. Throughout the long night Vicki and her husband took turns reading the book from cover to cover and were able to put Sammy on the road to recovery. Here's the latest update on Sammy and his return to good health!


"Dear Heather - I thought it was time for a Sammy update. Today marks one full year with no major flareups - hooray!! Life is back to normal with only the occasional finicky day. Acacia Tummy Fiber really does the trick.

We've even been able to take a few short vacations knowing he'll be fine at home and not worrying so much. Here's an updated photo for you.

April 2004   Sammy   Sammy Update   July 2005

Take care and keep up the good work!" ~ Vicki and Mark Burton

Sammy and Family

Thank you to Vicki and Mark for sharing their story, and for the wonderful pictures. Big belly scratches and nose kisses to Sammy! ~ Heather

Did you miss last week's newsletter and a recap of the most popular Seven Sneaky Deadly Sins of the IBS Diet? They're in the archived newsletters of HelpForIBS.com, right here!

Heather's Tummy Store for IBS
Shop at Heather's Tummy Store for IBS
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divider Heather & Company for IBS, LLC is dedicated to serving people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Our mission is to provide education, support, and products that allow people with IBS to successfully manage their symptoms through lifestyle modifications.

We offer extensive information and tangible help for IBS, including the world's best-selling and best-reviewed books for the disorder. We provide the internet's top IBS web site resources; a twice-monthly IBS Newsletter; seminars and classes; dietary brochures for patient distribution by health care professionals; an IBS Research Library; and Heather Cooks!, a healthy cooking show on Seattle television. Much of our work is based on Heather's development of the first and only comprehensive IBS dietary guidelines and recipes, an achievement which has earned numerous awards and accolades as well as thousands of thank you letters from IBS sufferers.

Heather & Company also provides the only patient-expert moderated IBS Message Boards on the internet with forums for diet, recipes, hypnotherapy, yoga, plus Crohn's and Colitis. In addition, we support and coordinate the formation and continuation of local in-person IBS support groups across the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. We will soon have other IBS services and products available.

Our website receives nearly 3 million visits each year, and our newsletter is sent to over 41,000 people. We are regular exhibitors at the Digestive Disease Week and American Dietetic Association conferences.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for the message boards and this newsletter for companies and/or products that have been legitimately established as helpful for digestive disorders. Please contact us for information.
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