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In this Issue...

Food & Recipes

Special Events

Rx News & Research

Ask Heather ~ Constipation Frustrations!

Tell a Friend about the IBS Newsletter!

Heather's Tummy Teas Heather's Tummy Tea

Fennel is the best for bloating & gas!

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IBS newsletter and
Wild Berry Smoothies?

Past issues
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June 22, 2005

This week - The Five Constipation Frustrations

Hello to everyone -

This week we tackle the remaining Five Constipation Frustrations, and we're featuring a fast and easy chicken dinner recipe. We also have several new stores to announce that are carrying Heather's Tummy Care products! Stores have been very receptive to customer requests for Tummy Care items, so if you don't have a local shop in your area yet, take heart. It may take a few persistent customer requests to get products carried locally, but it is happening. Here's a request flyer for your local shop, doctor, or nutritionist.

As always, we've got the latest IBS news and research, too. Enjoy!

Best Wishes,
Heather Van Vorous

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Easy Buffalo Chicken Fingers

Thanks to ShellMarr and our fabulous Recipe Exchange Board for this delicious recipe! The trick to making the chicken extra crispy-crunchy is to lightly spray the chicken itself with cooking oil before baking.

Makes 8 servings

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder (divided)
1 teaspoon (or to taste) cayenne pepper (divided)
1/2 teaspoon salt (divided)
3/4 cup bread crumbs or crushed Rice Krispies
2 egg whites, beaten

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Coat a baking sheet with a nonstick spray. Cut chicken into finger-sized pieces. In a bag, mix together flour, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. On a plate, mix the bread crumbs with the rest of the garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and salt.

Shake the chicken pieces with the seasoned flour. Beat egg whites with 1 tablespoon water, and place egg mixture in a shallow dish or bowl. Dip seasoned chicken in egg mixture, then roll in the seasoned bread crumb mixture.

Place chicken on prepared baking sheet. Spray chicken with nonstick spray. Bake for about 8 minutes. Use tongs to turn pieces over. Spray with nonstick spray. Bake 8 minutes longer, or until chicken is tender.

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.
divider 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!


Herb's Herbs
2026 Mcculloch Blvd N, Suite C
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403


Baer Chiropractic
2240 Taylorsville Rd
Louisville, KY 40205

New Hampshire

Personal Days Spa
117B Main St
Plymouth, NH 03264

New York

Narda Grover, R.D.
Suite 201, 666 Lexington Avenue
Mount Kisco, New York 10549
Phone: 914 -242-1000
Fax: 914-242-4867
A Registered Dietitian who specializes in diseases of the gastro-intestinal tract and proudly recommends Heather's Tummy Care products.


A Healthy Practice
841 NE 113th Ave
Portland, OR 97220

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

Acacia Tummy Fiber
Acacia Tummy Fiber - Relieves both diarrhea AND constipation!

divider Diagnostic Yield of Alarm Features in IBS
A recent study in Gut concluded that, for IBS, alarm features are the most important factors for establishing the diagnosis. In this study, the absence of alarm features correctly identified IBS in 93% of patients, while the addition of the Manning criteria improved this statistic by only an additional 3%. Alarm features that discriminated IBS from organic disease were as follows: onset of symptoms at age > 50 years and blood on the toilet paper. Factors predictive of IBS were: female sex, pain occurring 6 or more times in a year, pain radiation out of the abdomen, and pain associated with loose bowel movements. A model formulated incorporating the Manning criteria (abdominal pain relieved with bowel movements, pain associated with more frequent stools, sensation of incomplete evacuation, passage of mucus, abdominal distension) and alarm features yielded a correct diagnosis of IBS in 96% and organic disease in 52% of cases. Go here for more information about this study...

Overlapping Upper and Lower GI Symptoms in IBS
A Gastroenterology study examined findings from a number of studies that suggested that patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may have motor dysfunction that extends beyond the colon to include other parts of the gastrointestinal tract, such as the stomach, esophagus, and small intestine. The functional gastrointestinal disorders, including IBS and functional dyspepsia, are currently defined by symptom groupings that seem to cluster together in both clinical practice and population-based studies. However, these symptoms commonly overlap, leading some investigators to question the validity of subdividing the disorders based exclusively on symptom presentation. This study set out to investigate the distribution of upper and lower gastrointestinal symptoms among patients with IBS with constipation and IBS with diarrhea. They hypothesized that IBS with constipation would be associated with more upper gastrointestinal complaints, and would therefore more often overlap with functional dyspepsia.

These findings demonstrated that upper gastrointestinal symptoms consistent with functional dyspepsia were more common among patients with IBS with constipation. Despite considerable overlap of upper and lower gastrointestinal symptoms among patients with IBS with constipation and patients with IBS with diarrhea, the former had more frequent lower abdominal pain and bloating. A better elucidation of the overlap between symptoms in patients with IBS may help guide clinical management of this disorder, which should be targeted at the multiple symptoms in these patients. Go here for more information about this study...

Fruit, Vegetable Juices May Stall Alzheimer's Disease
Certain polyphenols abundant in fruit and vegetable juices may play an important role in delaying the onset of Alzheimer's disease. Amy Borenstein from the University of South Florida said that her team had found a 75 per cent reduced risk of the disease among elderly people who drank fruit or vegetable juices at least three times per week compared with those who drank these juices less than once a week. There was no apparent dementia-related benefit from dietary or supplemental vitamin E, C or beta-carotene intake, she added. The research was presented at the US-based Alzheimer's Association's first conference on prevention of dementia. Go here for more information about this study...

Babies at Celiac Disease Risk Should Wait for Wheat
New parents with a family history of either celiac disease or type 1 diabetes should be very careful about when they introduce wheat into their baby's diet, a new study suggests. Researchers found that if wheat was introduced before 3 months of age or after 7 months, the risk of developing celiac disease was increased compared to babies who had their first taste of wheat when they were between 4 and 6 months old.

"Children fed wheat, barley or rye cereals in the first three months had a fivefold increased risk [for developing celiac disease] compared to children who didn't have those cereals until they were 4 to 6 months old," said study co-author Jill Norris, head of the section of epidemiology and community health at the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center. "Children who had cereals after 6 months had a small increase -- about a twofold increased risk," Norris said. Norris and her colleagues published their findings in the May 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. 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!

I think our Peppermint Oil Caps, with the added benefits of fennel and ginger oils, are truly unbeatable for gas, abdominal spasms, and bloating!

divider The Five Constipation Frustrations

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"What if you think you're doing everything you're supposed to do for constipation, but nothing is working?!"

Well, first of all, take a deep breath, relax, and realize that you're not all alone here - and you're definitely not helpless, even if it sometimes feels that way. Constipation tends to be one of the more frustrating IBS symptoms, and it does take longer to resolve through lifestyle changes than diarrhea. But - there are many, many ways to help alleviate constipation successfully, it just takes a little patience and persistence.

Last week we tackled the first two Constipation Frustrations (Soluble Fiber Supplements Are Overnight Wonder Drugs, Right?, and Insoluble Fiber Foods Are IBS Triggers, So I Won't Eat Any!). This week we address the last three:

3. I don't eat anything at all when I'm constipated, because I don't want to make things worse.

As counter-intuitive as it may seem, you actually need to keep eating in order to help resolve constipation. The very act of eating, in and of itself, triggers your gastrocolic reflex, which in turn signals your colon to start contracting. The rhythmic waves of contractions - called peristalsis - are necessary to produce regular bowel movements. If you simply stop eating, your bowel will lose its signals to contract, and constipation will worsen.

What's most helpful is to eat small amounts frequently, making sure that you safely incorporate insoluble fiber foods. Try to keep to a regular schedule of light meals and snacks, so your body becomes accustomed to (and expects) food at predictable times. This will help get your gut in tune with a regular schedule of elimination as well.

As an aside, making sure that you're also on a consistent bedtime/wakeup routine will also help constipation. Your gut normally "wakes up" with you, and peristalsis increases shortly after you get out of bed and start moving around in the morning. Keeping to a set schedule of sleep (and getting enough of it!), plus following the same wakeup time every morning, will help your gut stay in a properly functioning pattern. With IBS, you're waging a daily battle against bowel dysmotility, so your goal is try and make every factor that influences bowel function - diet, stress, sleep, excercise - a gentle but persistent nudge towards regularity, in every sense of the word.

4. I drink eight glasses of water a day - that's plenty, right?

For most people without IBS, yep - this much water can be plenty. For people with IBS, it may take twice as much water - every single day - to help rein in constipation. It's not just your bowel, actually, but your entire GI tract, that needs water to function properly. Soluble fiber, the foundation of the IBS diet and a terrific tool for managing all IBS symptoms, needs plenty of water in order to regulate bowel function. Soluble fiber also normalizes water levels in the gut, which in and of itself helps constipation. But, there has to be enough water in the gut in the first place for soluble fiber to work its magic. Together, fiber and water maintain gastrointestinal muscle tone, dilute toxic wastes in the GI tract, bind irritants, bring oxygen to the tissues, and help maintain the correct balance of intestinal flora.

With constipation, the slower your gut motility is, the longer it takes for the transit of matter through your colon. The longer this takes, the more time there is for the colon to absorb too much moisture out of the matter, and this makes constipation even worse. Drinking plenty of water (especially in conjunction with a soluble fiber supplement) will help alleviate this.

It's pretty difficult to drink too much water, so make it your goal to drink 16 full glasses of water each day, and if you can make it a little bit more, even better. It's easiest to just space out your water throughout the day, especially between meals. Keep a water bottle or glass at hand at all times when you're at home or work, carry a water bottle with you if you're out and about or at school, and keep water bottles in your car for when you're on the go.

If you're suddenly increasing your water intake, then yes, you will be running to the bathroom an awful lot. But hang in there, because it won't take more than a week or so for your bladder to adjust. The really interesting thing is that you'll likely find if you don't keep up with your new water increase once you've adjusted, you will suddenly find yourself very irritable and thirsty. Most people function better overall when they're drinking quite a bit more water than they may think they need.

5. I know exercise is important for constipation, so I get at least 20 minutes of walking in each day.

Exercise is more than important for constipation-prone IBS folks - it is absolutely critical. Exercise in general regulates bowel function and increase the efficiency of your entire digestive process, and it also reduces muscle tension. Exercise works your muscles (including internal muscles, like your colon), releasing the energy stored from involuntary contractions under stress, and allowing relaxation. With IBS, a relaxed colon is a happy colon.

The catch here is that moderate activity - which would help regulate constipation in a normal person - might not be nearly enough for constipation from IBS. You may well need a solid hour - or two - of exercise on a daily basis. You might also need a strenuous aerobic exercise, and not just walking or gentle workouts. This is particularly true if you are sedentary throughout the rest of the day (desk jobs are not good for the gut!).

Why would an intense workout be better for constipation than a series of shorter, lighter activities? The production of adrenaline that fast-paced, vigorous exercise produces actually results in something close to the "fight-or-flight" reaction of your body. Part of this reaction is an increase in peristaltic movement and a bowel movement. Light exercise won't necessarily produce the same results.

I know it can be difficult, if not impossible, to find this much time on a day-in, day-out basis for exercise. But if you can make the attempt, please try. Obviously, any exercise is better than none at all, so don't give up shorter, lighter workouts if that's all you can fit in. However, if you are able to try at least a couple full-fledged, all-out, hard-core workouts each week, even if it's just for a trial run, you may see such benefits to your bowel that you become determined to find a way to make this a habit. Just make sure to drink plenty of water afterwards!

~ Heather

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

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 40,000 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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LEGAL DISCLAIMER - This email is not intended to replace the services of a physician, nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Any application of the recommendations in this email is at the reader's discretion. Heather Van Vorous and Heather & Company for IBS, LLC are not liable for any direct or indirect claim, loss or damage resulting from use of this email and/or any web site(s) linked to/from it. Readers should consult their own physicians concerning the recommendations in this email.
Heather & Company for IBS, LLC
80 S. Washington St, #304
Seattle, WA 98104 USA

© 2005 Heather Van Vorous, Heather & Company for IBS, LLC. All rights reserved. BBB Business Review