View Heather's IBS Newsletter Online ~ January 27, 2009

Acacia soluble fiber
Certified Organic
Acacia Tummy Fiber

The prebiotic 100% soluble fiber that relieves both diarrhea and constipation!

In this Issue...

Food & Recipes

Reader Letters

Rx News & Research

Ask Heather

Did you miss our latest newsletter, with the
new IBS treatment guidelines?

All past issues
are posted here!


Heather's IBS Newsletter ~ For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

AMAZING reader letter! Lose 69 pounds and avoid a wheelchair on the IBS diet?!

Do IBS and fibromyalgia go hand in hand?

Are there medications just for IBS diarrhea and constipation?

Enjoy this week's news and recipe!

Best Wishes,
Heather Van Vorous

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~ 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!


Roasted Cauliflower Caraway Soup

This soup is creamy, hearty, and subtly seasoned. It's a wonderful winter meal in itself, or add a grilled vegetable sandwich for the perfect lunch on a snowy day.

Caramelizing the cauliflower, garlic, and onions cooks off much of the sulphur they contain, and also breaks down their insoluble fiber, making these veggies much more tolerable than they would be raw. Blending the finished soup, and using soy or rice milk instead of dairy, makes the delicious finished dish even more IBS-friendly.

Don't skimp on the caraway and cumin - aside from the wonderful taste they lend, both spices are also digestive aids.

Makes 4 Servings

1 large head cauliflower, leaves and green stalks removed
6 whole garlic cloves
1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups fat free veggie or chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 - 2 cups unsweetened soy/rice milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, ground
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, ground
1 tablespoon Acacia Tummy Fiber
3-4 tablespoons cream sherry, to taste

Fresh rosemary sourdough bread, toasted, for serving

Preheat oven to 425 F. Cut cauliflower into 1" pieces and place in a large roasting pan with garlic and onion. Drizzle with oil, stir well. Roast in oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown and tender, stirring once halfway through cooking.

In a large heavy stockpot simmer broth over medium low heat with roasted cauliflower mixture, thyme, bay leaf, caraway, cumin, and salt, for 30 minutes, covered, stirring frequently. Remove bay leaf, add Tummy Fiber, and puree soup in pot with hand-held blender, adding 1 cup of the milk to ease blending. Alternately, carefully pour soup into blender or food mill with 1 cup of the milk and puree, then return to pot.

Add remaining milk until thinned as desired, stir in sherry, and heat through on low. Serve with rosemary sourdough bread.

For a wonderful drink to accompany this dinner, have a cup of hot Fennel Tummy Tea!

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
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The prebiotic fiber that relieves both diarrhea and constipation!

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divider Robin Lost 69 Pounds and Can Walk Again!

Hi Heather,

My life has completely changed in the past 18 months since I found your website. I was in agony with I went online, searching for help. And I immediately found it. Not knowing what to eat to stop my pain, I found a simple answer on your website - and it worked. Just eating a small bowl of plain oatmeal began to relax all of my spasms.

I immediately bought both of your books and within days I'd eliminated all of the recommended foods. The biggest challenge was letting go of artificial sweeteners. I was frightened to eat sugar again.

I've been fat all of my life despite my total devotion to whatever diet I was on. I never cheated - often for up to a year. But I never could lose more than 25 pounds. I was at my heaviest - 150 pounds over my "ideal" weight and considering surgery - so letting go of my beloved sweeteners was terrifying. Would I immediately gain 25 pounds? And what about all of the potatoes and bread? I've been avoiding those foods for decades!

Instead, something miraculous happened. I began to lose weight. And lose, and lose and lose. Even though I went a little crazy with sugar for the first few months, I still kept losing. (And like someone working in an ice cream store, I soon lost my passion for sugar. I still have a sweet tooth, but it's more easily satisfied with safe fruits - and a little chocolate!) I think that letting go of chemical sweeteners was the key that unlocked my ability to lose weight.

I am never hungry and my portions have slowly shrunk. My eyes are bigger than my appetite now - I still don't trust that such a small amount will satisfy me. But it does. Plus, I'm not on a diet - if I want more, I have more.

As of this morning, I have lost 69 pounds - and it's still coming off. I'm losing more slowly now, but still about 2 pounds a month. I'm not in any hurry anymore. But this is my favorite part of eating this way: if I waiver or go off my eating plan - I get sick! It's great! I no longer have any choice but to eat this way. Talk about incentive.

As I've lost, I've been able to walk again. My lower back pain from my IBS made walking almost impossible at my high weight. Now, I am able to walk my dog for up to 40 minutes, twice a day. I can't say I'll ever really like any form of exercise, but I can do it! And it's a key to more weight loss.

Aside from eliminating foods from my daily eating plan, switching to the special Tummy Teas and using the Tummy Tamers have been great helps when I do get attacks (rarely, but they still do occur - usually because I'm eating something I shouldn't.)

All my life, I dreamed I'd find a solution to my weight. I knew it was there - I just had to find it. My dreams have come true.

Thank you so much, Heather. I'm turning 55 in a few weeks, and I thought I'd be in a wheelchair by now. Instead, I have a healthy future ahead of me.


Robin Redding

Thank you so much, Robin! Your story will hit home with so many readers, I know you have just changed some people's lives for the better. ~ Heather

Did you miss the recent letter from Tooty, whose six year struggle is gone?

IBS Diet Kit 1
The IBS Diet Kit #1 - Help for Multiple Symptoms!

* Eating for IBS, for comprehensive dietary help
* Fennel Tummy Tea for IBS bloating and gas
* Peppermint Tummy Tamers for IBS pain and spasms

divider IBS, Fibromyalgia, and Psychologic Distress
A recent study in Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology noted that fibromyalgia is a rheumatologic disorder associated with somatic and psychologic conditions. Although fibromyalgia is associated with irritable bowel syndrome, its relationship with other functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID) is unclear. The study evaluated the prevalence of FGID in patients with fibromyalgia and the role of psychologic factors in this relationship.

All gastrointestinal symptoms except for vomiting were more frequent in fibromyalgia patients than the controls. Ninety-eight percent of patients with fibromyalgia had at least one FGID, compared with only 39% of controls. Fibromyalgia was correlated most highly with irritable bowel syndrome. Patients presented with significantly higher scores of psychologic distress than controls, especially those with fecal incontinence.

The study concluded that there is a prevalence of FGID in patients with fibromyalgia and a wider distribution of such symptoms along the gastrointestinal tract compared with controls.

Go here for full information about IBS treatments.

Go here for more information about this study...

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

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 IBS Treatments & Cheat Sheet - Final Wrap Up!
This week we wrap up our overview of the big picture for IBS treatments. We've had a good look at what, exactly, are all the best treatment options for IBS, how you decide which options would be best for you, and what you should try first.

In review, there are five key categories of treatment for IBS. The most successful treatments in general tend to be natural. Even though there is no cure for IBS so far, the strategies summarized below can help significantly to alleviate or even prevent all IBS symptoms.

To go with our summary, there is a really helpful IBS Treatment Cheat Sheet for Tummy Care products as well.

Last time, we addressed part one of number five on the list: prescription medications for pain. This week, we'll wrap up number five:

5. Prescription Medications Part Two

Most IBS patients are initially prescribed an anti-spasmodic drug upon diagnosis, though you may have received a low-dose antidepressant or anti-diarrheal instead, or even one of the newest (and thus potentially riskiest) Irritable Bowel Syndrome drugs, Zelnorm or Lotronex.

There are actually quite a few different prescription medications available for Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms, but their effectiveness can vary greatly from one person to the next.

Which particular drug will work best for you is something you'll most likely have to determine through trial and error. Irritable Bowel Syndrome drugs are symptom-specific (aimed at painful abdominal spasms, diarrhea, or constipation), which means they do NOT work on the underlying brain-gut dysfunction of IBS (only gut-directed IBS hypnotherapy can do that). They are meant simply to relieve your Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms. If the first IBS medication you try doesn't help much (or at all), don't be discouraged – there are other options available.

Remember that there's no one particular treatment of choice for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (and no single drug is approved for all IBS symptoms) but many different medications to try. You should work in partnership with your doctor to determine which medication best fits your needs. This might take a trial period of a few months and several follow-up visits or phone calls. With any new medication, always make sure you receive the clinical insert about health risks, side effects, and possible drug interactions. You may have to specifically ask the pharmacist for this insert (it will be produced by the drug manufacturer) if you don't receive it with your prescription.

Currently, most IBS patients cite great frustration with the lack of safe, reliable and effective Irritable Bowl Syndrome therapies, and would like to see new options made available to them that would have a greater impact on their problem - especially the ability to prevent symptoms. Unfortunately for now, it's mostly a case of better something than nothing at all. So keep your fingers crossed for new treatments on the horizon.

Drugs For Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diarrhea

Imodium and diphenoxylate/atropine are the most common anti-diarrheal medications for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. They enhance intestinal water absorption, strengthen anal sphincter tone, and decrease intestinal transit, thereby increasing stool consistency and reducing frequency. Both are meant to be used for prevention of diarrhea by taking them prior to events (meals or stress) which typically trigger symptoms. They should be taken with plenty of fresh water.

Imodium can be used as a daily maintenance drug, but diphenoxylate/atropine is chemically related to narcotics, and as such is not an innocuous drug, so dosage recommendations should be strictly adhered to (especially in children). diphenoxylate/atropine can be habit-forming, and an overdose could be fatal.

Lotronex, a potent and selective 5-HT3 antagonist that was meant to be prescribed just for women with diarrhea, was pulled off the US market in 2000 after killing several women, and then was re-introduced under extremely stringent restrictions.

Calmactin (cilansetron) is a drug for diarrhea-predominant IBS that was undergoing US clinical trials. However, Calmactin was withdrawn from USA consideration as of 2005 after receiving a "not approvable" action letter from the FDA requesting additional clinical trials. There is no information about future trials currently available.

A highly effective non-drug alternative for diarrhea is a prebiotic soluble fiber supplement, which can also help prevent IBS pain and spasms. The "soluble" in soluble fiber means that it dissolves in water (though it is not digested). This allows it to absorb excess liquid in the colon, preventing diarrhea by forming a thick gel and adding a great deal of bulk as it passes intact through the gut.

This gel (as opposed to a watery liquid) also keeps the GI muscles stretched gently around a full colon, giving those muscles something to easily "grip" during peristaltic contractions, thus preventing the rapid transit time and explosive bowel movements of diarrhea as well.

Drugs For Irritable Bowel Syndrome Constipation

There are no well-established prescription drugs for constipation-predominant IBS. The use of chemical laxatives (such as Milk of Magnesia or ExLax), which tend to stimulate the bowel by causing an irritated lining, is not recommended as they can easily lead to dependency and they're harmful to the colon.

The most typical treatment for constipation is a non-prescription soluble fiber supplement, lots of fresh water, and exercise. Unfortunately, this may not be enough for some people with IBS, but there are currently several research studies underway for a prescription medication that can address the problem safely and effectively.

Zelnorm is a drug for Irritable Bowel Syndrome constipation in women, but in 2007 the US FDA requested that Novartis Pharmaceuticals voluntarily discontinue marketing of Zelnorm (tegaserod) based on the finding of an increased risk of serious cardiovascular adverse events (heart problems) associated with use of the drug.

There is currently a wealth of clinical research in the area of prescription IBS treatments, particularly in the field of gut neurotransmitter agonists/antagonists, so hopefully further medications will be forthcoming.

To learn more about medications as well as non-drug approaches to successfully managing Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms, find all you need to know with The First Year: IBS, an essential guide to successfully managing Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

You can also check the IBS treatment cheat sheet, with Tummy Care products noted for the best symptom matches. Many products help multiple symptoms, so even if a particular symptom is not checked it may well be a secondary benefit of a product.

~ Heather

Did you miss the recent "Ask Heather" and medications for IBS pain?

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