View Heather's IBS Newsletter Online

IBS Peppermint Caps
Peppermint Oil Caps On Sale!

Called "Drug of Choice for IBS"

For IBS patients with constipation or diarrhea, to alleviate general symptoms, and to improve quality of life

In This Issue...

Food & Recipes

Special Events

Special Letters

Press Release! Special News & Research / Ask Heather Section

In the Next Issue...

* Sticky Date Bars

* More new stores!

Did you miss the latest
IBS newsletter and
Crunchy Lemon Muffins?

Past issues
are posted here!


Heather's IBS Newsletter ~ For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

May 2, 2006

Hello to everyone -

This week's special Ask Heather column talks about the specific needs of the IBS patient, and with this in mind I continually work hard to tailor my products to meet your needs as completely as possible. One difficult area I have been struggling with is increasing the dissolve time for our peppermint oil capsules. Now, we finally have new caps with 50% more enteric coating, which should make them more tolerable for people prone to heartburn and reflux.

Although our caps have always been formulated to meet the industry standard for by-passing the stomach without dissolving (which helps prevent heartburn and reflux), I believe that people with IBS are much more prone to heartburn in the first place, and thus the industry standard simply isn't good enough for them.

To make it worth your time to give them a try, we're having a special sale on peppermint oil capsules just for IBS Newsletter subscribers. If you'd like to try the caps, use the promo code PEPCAP0506 for an extra 10% off. This is over and above the 20% discount that is standard on the website - after the sale the normal website discount will drop from 20% to 15% as the new enteric coating is much more costly. The sale ends Sunday, May 21.

We also have an incredible combination News and Research / Ask Heather section, that reports recent findings on what, exactly, IBS patients need - but do not get - from their physicians. See if this study matches your own experiences, and let me know what you think.

Finally, we have a wealth of new stores that have added Heather's Tummy Care products, plus other special events. Enjoy!

Best Wishes,
Heather Van Vorous

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

New England Clam Chowder

I have loved clam chowder since childhood, but the traditional high fat, cream-based recipe just kills me. Here, with the easy substitution of soy or rice milk for dairy, a traditional classic becomes perfectly safe, not to mention simply delicious. Soups and chowders are also a great way to safely add plenty of insoluble fiber from fresh veggies, so don't skimp on the carrots and celery. Their fiber will be much easier to digest after the long, slow cooking time.

Makes 6 Servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 large carrots, scraped and diced
2 large stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup all-purpose unbleached white flour
2 cups clam broth
3 cups plain soy or rice milk
2 6.5 oz. cans chopped or minced clams
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon dried parsley
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups Russet baking potatoes (about 2 large), peeled and diced into 1" cubes

salt and pepper to taste for serving

fat-free soda crackers for serving

In a large stockpot heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute until softened. Gradually sift in the flour, stirring thoroughly and scraping bottom of pan. Very gradually stir in the clam broth, scraping sides and bottom of pan to make sure flour is thoroughly incorporated without clumping. Stir in rice milk until mixture is smooth. Add the clams and spices, bring soup to a boil, then cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add diced potatoes, cover and simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve with crushed crackers.

For a truly special treat, serve the chowder with our fabulous IBS-friendly recipe for Strawberry Daiquiris.

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.

~ 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!

New Retail Stores Carrying Heather's Tummy Care Products
We're continuing our special rebate offer for people who buy Tummy Care products at their local stores, and we have new store announcements this week as well!

Earthwise Solutions
207 Brabo Terrace
Mill Valley, CA 94941

Boise Coop
888 W. Fort Street
Boise, ID 83702

Crystal Lake Health Foods
25 East Crystal Lake Ave
Crystal Lake, IL 60014

Olympia Health Food Center
4077 East Town and Country Road
Kettering, OH 45429

Greenlife Grocery of Chattanooga
1100 Hixson Pike
Chattanooga, TN 37405

Natural Foods Market
2311 W. Wadley Ave.
Midland, TX 79705

The Heritage
314 Laskin Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Highland Health Foods
101 Vista Way
Kennewick, WA 99336-3120

If you don't have a store in your area carrying Tummy Care products yet, please give them this flyer to ask them.

We also have quite a long list of stores that have expressed interest in carrying our products, but have not yet ordered. To see if one of these stores is in your area, please check our list of potential stores and practitioners.

Fibromyalgia & IBS Seminar on May 12
Dr. Keith Rafal, founder of Healing Choices, P.C., an interdisciplinary specialty medical practice, and medical director at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Rhode Island, is hosting a fibromyalgia awareness day on May 12. This educational program is open to the public and will provide information and resources for people with fibromyalgia (a disorder that almost always includes IBS as a part of its symptoms).

Heather's Tummy Care product samples and IBS dietary cheat sheets will be among the many free patient resources available at the event. For event details, please contact Dr. Rafal at Healing Choices.
divider An IBS-Free Vacation
Dear Heather,

I can never thank you enough for all you've done for us IBS sufferers and especially for responding so quickly to my very urgent e-mail back in March. I was the one who was so desperate for help due to my upcoming trip to see my daughter and her family in Mexico City.

Heather, I had a WONDERFUL two weeks with my three darling grandchildren, my daughter and her husband. One of the things which made this so wonderful was the fact I had two weeks of FREEDOM from IBS problems. Only one morning was questionable and then that went away. You'll never know how many people were praying for my health during my visit and how thankful and excited they were to see God answer those many prayers.

Thank you very much for not being self-serving and keeping all this important information to yourself, instead you've been gracious with your time and I am thankful for all the hard work involved in getting the news out so others, like myself, can be helped. I would be honored If my comments could be found encouraging or especially helpful to someone.

Sincerely appreciative,

Debra Rea

Thank you SO much, Debra! I am totally thrilled you had such a wonderful vacation! If you have a chance, I'd love to know (and I'm sure other readers would, too) what specific things helped you the most on your trip. ~ Heather

Did you miss the last reader letter? Find it here...

Fennel Tummy Tea for Bloating & Gas

Fennel Tummy Tea

Fennel helped end 3 years of IBS bloating! Read this terrific letter to learn how.

divider What IBS Patients Need - But Don't Get - From Their Physicians
"Am I all alone in feeling like I'm not getting the IBS help I need from my doctor?"

No, you're definitely not. The first studies ever to assess Irritable Bowel Syndrome patients' knowledge regarding their disorder (conducted by researchers at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire and recently presented at the 70th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology) have found significant patient misconceptions about the causes of their condition and unawareness of how to manage symptoms.

However, IBS patient feedback from Help For, the largest IBS community on the internet, has found that many of the most common IBS patient misconceptions, as well as the lack of knowledge about symptom-management, stem directly from misinformation provided by these patients' own doctors.

Our findings highlight the top areas of concern for Irritable Bowel Syndrome patients - areas where their physicians provided either no information, or misinformation that in many cases actually worsened these patients' IBS symptoms.

1. Diet. Though it is well-established that fats and insoluble fiber foods (particularly wheat bran) can exacerbate Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms, while soluble fiber foods and supplements can help, IBS patients continue to be told that "diet doesn't matter". They are also often advised to "eat more fiber" without being told of the distinction between insoluble and soluble fiber foods. Lack of proper dietary information is by far the number one frustration for most IBS patients, and they report anger and disillusionment with their doctors for not providing accurate diet guidelines and additional dietary resources such as books or websites.

2. Hormonal issues. Three-quarters of IBS sufferers are female, and hormones have been shown to play a role in both the exacerbation and mitigation of IBS symptoms. IBS patients report a real need for understanding how pregnancy, hormonal birth control methods, and menopause can affect their IBS.

3. Alternative medicine. Over 50% of IBS patients turn to alternative medicine for help, and studies have shown successful results from gut-directed hypnotherapy, acupuncture, and yoga. IBS patients report a great deal of curiosity about trying alternative medicine for their symptoms and they would like to discuss these options with their doctors. However, they also note that their physicians rarely address these topics unless prompted and even then are rarely able to provide detailed information.

4. Medications. IBS patients repeatedly report being given inappropriate or ineffective medications for their IBS symptoms. Men and women with diarrhea-predominant IBS have been given prescriptions for Zelnorm, which is strictly for women with constipation-IBS and contraindicated for diarrhea. Many patients have questions about anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications, but find that their doctors are unaware of how best to use these drugs for IBS. Patients commonly report that their doctors don't key medications to their specific IBS symptoms, and that their doctors seem surprised by the frequency of side effects or lack of good results.

5. Herbal medicine. More than half of all IBS patients try herbal medicines such as enteric coated peppermint oil capsules, fennel, or probiotics - all of which have clinical studies demonstrating their effectiveness for IBS symptoms. They would like their doctors to inform them of the best ways to use herbal medicines and if there are any safety concerns, but they commonly report that their doctors simply don't know anything about this subject.

6. Understanding their diagnosis. IBS patients see an average of three physicians over three years before receiving a diagnosis, but they are rarely given a clear explanation of what, exactly, IBS is. Patients frequently report uncertainty about the test results (or lack thereof) used to obtain their diagnosis, and they are looking for assurance that their diagnosis is accurate. They want to understand exactly what causes their symptoms, and they need to hear that IBS will not lead to other illnesses such as colon cancer. Many patients express frustration with the lack of basic IBS anatomical information provided by their physicians, including the frequent omission of any discussion of the brain-gut disorder that underlies IBS symptoms. Patients feel at a loss to treat their IBS when they're not even told what IBS is.

7. IBS is not taken seriously. IBS patients repeatedly report having their complaints diminished or outright dismissed by their own physicians. The most common refrain they hear is that IBS is "all in their heads", IBS is "not a serious problem", and that there is nothing that can be done for IBS so they should just "learn to live with it." Every one of these statements is false, and this type of denigration has catastrophic results.

The severity of IBS can be measured by its direct costs (use of healthcare-related services such as physician visits and diagnostic tests), which have been estimated to range from $1.5 to $10 billion annually in America. The indirect costs of IBS (loss of hourly wages resulting from missed work or diminished work productivity resulting from absences for physician visits or incapacitating symptoms) are estimated to be much greater - approaching $20 billion annually.

The costs of IBS can be measured not just in currency but in lives. In 2004 the American Gastroenterological Association reported that 38% of IBS patients in one study had contemplated suicide because of their symptoms. Hopelessness due to symptom severity, interference with life, and inadequacy of treatment were highlighted as crucial issues for all IBS patients. It's tragically clear that a significant number of IBS patients cannot "just live with it."

In summary, while the recent AGA presentation rightly concluded the need for effective IBS patient educational programs, Help For patient feedback indicates that physician education clearly needs to come first. The AGA noted that physicians now have more scientific knowledge and an improved range of treatment options that can provide relief for IBS sufferers. However, as IBS patients themselves report, too many physicians continue to be completely unaware of this fact, and it is their patients who pay the price.

~ Heather

About Irritable Bowel Syndrome ~ IBS is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder characterized by recurring symptoms of abdominal pain associated with altered bowel habits (constipation, diarrhea, or both). More than 20% of Americans suffer from IBS, which affects more women (75%) than men. The cause of IBS is unknown, and there is no cure, but there are many ways to effectively manage specific symptoms.

Help for IBS is the IBS patient support site of Heather's Tummy Care. The site offers extensive resources for Irritable Bowel Syndrome patients online at The mission of Heather's Tummy Care is to offer education, support, and tangible help that allows people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome to successfully manage their symptoms through lifestyle modifications. Help for IBS and Heather's Tummy Care were founded by IBS author and patient Heather Van Vorous.

Did you miss the last "Ask Heather"? Find it here...

Heather's Tummy Store for IBS
Shop at Heather's Tummy Store for IBS

    The only store that's just for IBS - so we only carry the very best


    You're on this newsletter list because you have expressed interest in IBS news and information.

    Change your newsletter email address here.

    If you are viewing this newsletter on a website and would like to subscribe for email delivery, please "Join the IBS Newsletter" here.

    Heather's Tummy Care
    80 S. Washington St, #304
    Seattle, WA 98104 USA

    © 2006 Heather Van Vorous, Heather's Tummy Care. All rights reserved.
    USA Copyright Office Registration Number TXU 1-270-858 and others

    BBB Business Review