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In this Issue...

Food & Recipes

Reader Letters

Special Events

Rx News & Research

Ask Heather

Did you miss the latest
IBS newsletter, and our
Special Gender Issue Part One?

Past issues
are posted here!


Heather's IBS Newsletter ~ For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

October 16, 2007

Women vs. Men - Special IBS Gender Issue Part 2!

After 42 years no more IBS pain and fear - how did Sarah do it?

Hello to everyone ~

This week we wrap up part two of our special IBS gender series. This time we'll tackle IBS treatments - are they different for women and men? Find out for yourself!

(And if you missed it, last time we addressed gender-specific research findings and IBS.)

We also have an amazing letter from a woman who spent 42 years battling severe IBS pain and fear. She has now gone two years without a single episode, and is living a normal life. If you're in the same position she was, let her letter give you hope and help.

Finally, I'm thrilled to announce several new stores in San Francisco, Connecticut, Nebraska, and North Carolina, plus there are more on the way!

Best Wishes,
Heather Van Vorous

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Fennel Tummy Tea Peppermint Tummy Tea
Organic High Volatile Oil Fennel & Peppermint Tummy Tea Bags

Extraordinary Quality ~ Very Economical

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


Cream of Celery Soup with Buttery Bacon Croutons

A wonderfully hearty, creamy soup that is perfect for cool autumn days! The insoluble fiber of the celery is greatly minimized by cooking and pureeing, while the Tummy Fiber and croutons add extra soluble fiber. Don't forget those croutons, by the way - they take this simple recipe from good to great!

Makes 4-6 Servings

8 cups diced celery, including leaves
2 T Organic Spectrum or Soy Garden butter (non-hydrogenated soy margarine)
1 T canola oil
2 T Acacia Tummy Fiber dissolved in 2 T water
4 cups fat free low sodium veggie or chicken broth
1 medium Russet potato, peeled and diced
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Melt soy butter and canola oil in a large stock pot over medium low heat. Add the celery and liquified Tummy Fiber, cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until celery is very tender. Add the broth and potato.

Bring soup just to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until potato is very tender. Blend soup in stock pot with an immersion blender or, alternately, add soup in batches to a blender and puree (be careful if soup is hot). Discard any celery strings that collect around blender blades. Bring pureed soup back to medium low heat and add the salt and pepper.

Cook till slightly thickened, uncovered. Serve with Buttery Bacon croutons.

Buttery Bacon Croutons
1/2" slices of white or sourdough bread
Spectrum or Soy Garden butter (non-hydrogenated soy margarine)
freshly ground black pepper
soy bacon bits

Spread each bread slice lightly with soy butter, sprinkle with pepper and bacon bits. Broil croutons till golden brown and crispy. Float on top of soup to serve.

For a special treat, serve the soup with Plum Delicious Cake for dessert.

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.

~ Eating for IBS ~
Comprehensive IBS Diet Information & Safe Foods vs. Trigger Foods

Eating for IBS
Addresses multiple IBS symptoms * Teaches substitution, never deprivation

Finalist for the Julia Child cookbook award!

divider Two Years Without an IBS Episode - After 42 Years of Pain and Fear

Dear Heather,

This letter is a progress report to let you know that I continue to be astounded by the dramatic results of your products, particularly the Acacia Tummy Fiber. Thank you for reaching out to all of the IBS sufferers!

I wrote to you in the fall of 2006, telling you of the IBS I battled for almost 42 years. Episodes of IBS for me were almost always severe and frequent, with vomiting, passing out from the pain, and cold sweats. It felt just like childbirth over and over and over. I had tried Zelnorm, laxatives, and any new medications that came on the market without any relief. I might as well have been taking sugar pills.

At the time I first wrote you, it had been nearly nine months since I tried your Acacia Tummy Fiber and incorporated your diet. I am so grateful to God that it has now been close to two years without a single IBS episode.

Although the diet suggestions have been helpful, I have found personally that the Tummy Fiber is the primary factor to ending my pain and discomfort. Even when I don't eat as I should, the Tummy Fiber keeps me normalized.

Before finding your website, I pretty much decided that I would never be able to live a normal life without pain and fear of when the next IBS attack would strike. Now the past pain and fears have been replaced with a normalized life. Please let your readers know that your products aren't just short-time fixes...they can make a difference for a lifetime.

I would be happy to have you use my comments on the website or in the IBS newsletter. I want everyone to know how different life can be when they use these products! I thank God for you and the research you put into this so others can be free of this debilitating condition.


Sarah Maitland
Leavenworth, Kansas

Thank you so much, Sarah - I am tickled pink for you! I too have the severe IBS with vomiting, passing out from the pain, cold sweats, etc. that you have. I know exactly what a physical - and emotional- relief it is to finally have that under control!

Did you miss the recent letter from Larry, who has been symptom-free from day one since making one simple change?

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

IBS Acacia Tummy Fiber

Certified Organic Acacia ~ Pure Soluble Fiber

The prebiotic fiber that relieves both diarrhea and constipation!

** Very Economical ** Only 3 cents per gram of fiber!

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.

Nogales Pharmacy
1015 S Nogales St Ste 124
Rowland Heights, CA 91748

Real Foods Fillmore
3060 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94123

Real Foods Polk
2140 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
415 673 7420

Four Seasons Market
875 W Main St
Branford, CT 06405

Natural Health & Wellness Center
88 Noble Ave
Milford, CT 06460

Akin's Natural Foods Market - LINCOLN
6900 O Street
Lincoln, NE 68510
918 664 2136

North Carolina
Heritage Herbs
8436 Oliver Childers Rd
Connelly Springs, NC 28612

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

~ Heather's Tummy Tamers Peppermint Oil Capsules ~
IBS Peppermint Caps
Peppermint Oil Caps Called "Drug of Choice for IBS"

Our Peppermint Oil Caps have the added benefits of fennel and ginger oils, and they help prevent abdominal pain, gas, and bloating!

divider Overlap Between Bowel and Bladder Disorders
A recent article in Neuroscience noted that clinical observations of pain in patients with gastrointestinal and genitourinary disorders suggest an overlap of mechanisms underlying both bowel and urinary bladder dysfunctions. Close proximity of visceral organs within the abdominal cavity complicates identification of the exact source of chronic pelvic pain, where it originates, and how it relocates with time.

Convergence of sensory information from discrete pelvic structures occurs at different levels of nervous system hierarchy, including the spinal cord and the brain. Defining precise mechanisms of viscerovisceral cross-sensitization would have implications for the development of therapies for the treatment of functional disorders with chronic pelvic pain, such as irritable bowel syndrome and painful bladder syndrome. Go here for more information about this study...

Women with IBS Have Abnormal Pain Modulation
A recent article in the World Journal of Gastroenterology noted that there is abnormal pain modulation, plus somatic and visceral hypersensitivity, in female patients with irritable bowel syndrome. The study found rectal hypersensitivity in 53% of patients, somatic hypersensitivity in 55% of patients, and both forms of hypersensitivity in 35% of patients. Go here for more information about this study...

Half of Women with Interstitial Cystitis Also Have IBS
A recent study in Urology found that 87% of women with interstitial cystitis (IC) also have pelvice floor dysfunction, and half of the women with IC also have IBS. More than one third of the women reported urge urinary incontinence. If pelvic floor dysfunction is diagnosed in IC patients, then therapy targeting the pelvic floor musculature may be considered as part of a multimodality approach to treating IC. Go here for more information about this study...

Relaxation Training Significantly Improves IBS - Short and Long Term
A recent study in Alimentary Pharmacology noted that while psychotherapy has been shown effective in treating irritable bowel syndrome, the effect of relaxation training was not known. The study included ninety-eight irritable bowel syndrome patients in a randomized controlled trial. Forty-six patients received standard medical care and 52 received four 90-minute sessions of relaxation training in small groups in addition to standard medical care. Irritable bowel syndrome symptom severity, medical consumption and quality of life were assessed at baseline and evaluated in patients at 3, 6 and 12 months after intervention.

Irritable bowel syndrome symptom severity was significantly reduced in the relaxation training group compared to standard medical care at 3, 6 and 12 months after treatment. Quality of life had improved and frequency of doctor visits was reduced.

The study concluded that relaxation training significantly improves symptom severity, general health perception and medical consumption in irritable bowel syndrome patients immediately after, as well as 6 and 12 months after intervention. Go here for more information about this study...

Researchers call gut-directed hypnotherapy a "cure" for IBS!

The Best Gut-Directed Self-Hypnosis Program for All IBS Symptoms

IBS Hypnosis
Gives an average 85% reduction of pain and bowel dysfunction symptoms.
Listen to IBS Audio Program 100 samples!

divider Gender and IBS - Treatments
"Does IBS affect men and women differently? Are the treatments the same?"

Last time we tackled the physical development, symptom severity, and diagnostic requirements of IBS, and the discrepancies between men and women in these areas. But once you actually know you have IBS, what about treatments? Are they different depending on your gender?

Interestingly, though there are quite a few differences in the development of IBS and even bowel function in general between men and women, IBS treatments for both genders are nearly identical. While IBS drugs such as Lotronex and Zelnorm had stringent gender-specific prescribing guidelines, non-drug treatments haven't typically shown any gender discrepancies at all. Even better, many of the natural IBS treatments are also the most successful. Let's take them in turn:

IBS diet
Diet plays a direct role in gut function (something that is instinctively obvious to IBS sufferers). There is in fact a proper "IBS diet", as IBS is not so highly individualized that no accurate generalizations can be made, and dietary changes can make a tremendous improvement to all IBS symptoms.

There are very clear dietary guidelines to follow for how to eat safely for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, based on the well-established effects certain categories of foods have on the GI tract. The key word here is categories. Any food that is high in fat, insoluble fiber, caffeine, coffee (even decaf), carbonation, or alcohol is problematic. All of these food categories are either GI stimulants or irritants, and can cause violent reactions of the gastrocolic reflex. This directly affects the muscles in the colon and can lead to pain, constipation AND diarrhea, gas, and bloating.

Soluble fiber is the single greatest dietary aid for preventing Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms, as well as relieving them once they occur. Soluble fiber is not typically found in foods most people think of as "fiber," such as bran or raw leafy green vegetables (these foods are high in insoluble fiber, a dietary trigger).

Soluble fiber is actually found in foods commonly thought of as "starches" (rice, potatoes, pasta, oatmeal), though soluble fiber itself differs from starch as the chemical bonds that join its individual sugar units cannot be digested by enzymes in the human GI tract. In other words, soluble fiber has no calories because it passes through the body intact.

Soluble fiber soothes and regulates the digestive tract, stabilizes the intestinal contractions resulting from the gastrocolic reflex, and normalizes bowel function from either extreme. Soluble fiber prevents and relieves both diarrhea and constipation. In addition, IBS responds to how you eat as well as what you eat. Regardless of whether you're male or female, your IBS symptoms can be well-managed through diet.

IBS supplements
There are many types of supplements for symptom management of IBS that are very effective - and again, gender makes no difference here. In particular, prebiotic soluble fiber supplements such as Acacia Tummy Fiber help regulate diarrhea and constipation. Herbal options such as peppermint oil capsules and fennel tea address abdominal pain, bloating, and gas. Heat therapy and probiotics are also of known benefit. Results are usually felt very quickly - sometimes even immediately.

Most reputable Irritable Bowel Syndrome supplements, particularly medical foods for IBS, are very safe and carry little to no risk of side effects. They're usually inexpensive as well, especially compared to prescription drugs.

IBS hypnotherapy
Gut-directed hypnotherapy is a clinically proven method of relieving IBS symptoms. Hypnotherapy actually offers the potential for a permanent cure, and research to establish this effect is ongoing. This treatment is specifically tailored to IBS, with a focus on reducing the frequency, severity, and duration of attacks. Impressively high success rates are achievable, and side effects should be non-existent. Hypnotherapy works for both men and women equally well overall, but the specific ways in which it works may differ between the genders. No one yet knows whether that is a cultural or biological influence.

Regardless of gender, over 15 years of solid scientific research has demonstrated hypnosis to be an effective, safe and inexpensive treatment for IBS alleviation. For Irritable Bowel Syndrome, one of hypnotherapy's greatest benefits is its well-established ability to reduce the effects of stress. If you're struggling with IBS, the tension, anxiety, and depression that comes from living with an illness can actually undermine your immune system and further compromise your health. Hypnosis can reduce this stress and its resultant negative impact.

IBS in fact is almost uniquely suited to treatment by hypnosis. One of the most impressive aspects of hypnotherapy, and of tremendous benefit to IBS sufferers, is its well-documented ability to relieve virtually all types and degrees of pain.

Hypnotherapy also offers the unique possibility of a self-directed therapy, as there is the clinically proven option of using a self-hypnosis program specifically for IBS.

Interestingly, because IBS is not a disease at all but a syndrome, if you can relieve and prevent the symptoms, you have effectively "cured" yourself of the disorder. The underlying dysfunction may still be present but if you suffer no noticeable effects from it, you will be living an IBS-free life.

So, the bad news for women is that they're more likely to develop IBS in the first place, and their symptoms are often more severe. The bad news for men is that much of the medical research, and sometimes all of the drug studies, are done exclusively on female patients.

The good news for both genders is that IBS can be very successfully managed with the same range of treatments, most of which are not only effective but safe and natural as well.

~ Heather

Did you miss the recent "Ask Heather" and how gender affects the development, symptoms, and diagnosis of IBS? Find it here...

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