Heather's IBS Newsletter for Irritable Bowel Syndrome ~ July 28, 2009

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Acacia Senegal
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Brain-gut attacks:
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From passed out in pain to symptoms all gone!


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Ask Heather » Special Series! IBS Basics: Do I really have IBS?

Special Letter » Instant relief for bloating and gas!

New Stores & Store Sales » Get Tummy Care locally and on sale!

Research & Press » Why is gluten intolerance more common now?

IBS Recipe » Lavender Lime Spritzers - Delicious and digestion-friendly!

Hello to everyone ~

We're at the end of our special sale that is exclusive to the IBS newsletter!

We're offering a special 10% discount code good only until July 31. If you use this promo code, which can be applied to any order whatsoever, you'll automatically receive a second 10% discount code for your next purchase. The second code will be good until the end of August.

**Simply click through here to add items to your cart and get your discount code automatically after you confirm your shipping information upon check out! (This link is the only way to get your special discount.)**

If you prefer to shop at a local store, and have already taken advantage of our 50% rebate for first-time local purchases, we'll refund 10% of the purchase price of any Heather's Tummy Care products bought locally during July or August. Simply send us your receipt (Heather's Tummy Care, 80 S. Washington St. Suite 304, Seattle, WA, 98104) and we'll send you your rebate.

If you haven't yet purchased from a local store, for your first purchase locally we'll refund 50% of your purchase price - up to a $50 rebate! Just send us your receipt (Heather's Tummy Care, 80 S. Washington St. Suite 304, Seattle, WA, 98104) and we'll send you your rebate.

Whether online or at local stores, we continuously strive to offer the highest possible quality products (certified organic, high volatile oil, prebiotic, jumbo tea bags, and more) at the lowest prices. Plus, everything has a 100% money-back guarantee!

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!


Lavender Lime Spritzers

There's nothing better in the summer than a batch of this syrup in the fridge, ready to make an extraordinarily refreshing drink on a moment's notice. The syrup will keep, chilled, for at least a week. You can adjust the ratio of syrup to lime juice as you like, to make the drink sweeter or tarter.

These spritzers are wonderful on their own or for a sweet note after a light summer meal. The fennel is terrifically helpful for gas and bloating, and lavender is a general relaxant with mild sedative properties. Together, they make a drink that's not only delicious, but very digestion-friendly. The syrup is also lovely added to decaf black, green, or herbal ice teas.

1 tablespoon Acacia Senegal Tummy Fiber
2 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed fresh lavender blossoms, washed and chopped
1/2 cup Tummy Tea organic fennel seeds
1/2 cup fresh lime juice

Make a simple syrup by combining Tummy Fiber, water, sugar, lavender, and Tummy Tea fennel seeds in a medium saucepan or microwave-safe bowl. Stir and heat until sugar dissolves, bring just to a boil and then remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature, then chill until cold. Strain syrup, pressing hard on solids.

For each large glass, add 2-4 tablespoons of syrup (to taste) and 2-4 tablespoons of lime juice (to taste). Top glass with filtered water, stir well, and add ice if desired.

For a delicious summer treat, serve the spritzers with my World's Best Guacamole!

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! Get Eating for IBS, and find the answers to all your questions.

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divider Make Your Symptoms Disappear

Dear Heather,

I can't stress enough how much your Tummy Teas have helped with my IBS symptoms.

When I'm having an especially bad spell with bloating, constipation and pain a couple cups of really hot strong Fennel Tummy Tea will make most symptoms disappear.

Thanks to you and your web site.

Seattle, WA

Thanks Sandy! I love the teas, too. And for anyone who's curious about fennel, check the delicious recipe above. ~ Heather

Did you miss the recent letter from Carole, whose symptoms were so bad she would pass out from pain?

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.

    Heather's Fennel Tummy Tea       Heather's Peppermint Tummy Tea

Fennel Tummy Tea Peppermint Tummy Tea

Compare for yourself! The pictures above show the huge difference in the quantity and quality of tea per teabag. The price comparison here is even more shocking!

divider Maybe You Have Celiac Disease: Study Confirms Four-Fold Increase

A Minnesota study using frozen blood samples taken from Air Force recruits 50 years ago has found that intolerance of wheat gluten, a debilitating digestive condition, is four times more common today than it was in the 1950s.

The findings contradict the prevailing belief that a sharp increase in diagnoses of wheat gluten intolerance has come about because of greater awareness and detection, and raises questions about whether dramatic changes in the American diet have played a role.

"It's become much more common," said Dr. Joseph Murray, the Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist who led the study. No one knows why, he said, but one reason might be rapid changes in eating habits and food processing over the last half century.

"Fifty years is way too fast for human genetics to have changed," Murray said. "Which tells us it has to be a pervasive environmental influence."

But rates of other immune diseases have also increased a lot. One theory is that modern, clean living, which has resulted in fewer infections, parasites and microbes in our bodies, causes the immune system to turn on healthy tissue instead. Or it might be the modern diet, Murray said.

"The types of food we eat now are different," he said. Go here for full article.

Go here for info about celiac, IBS, and wheat.

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

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New Stores and Special Events with 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. Plus, there are a number of store special events and sales!

New Stores and Store Sales!

7119 E. Shea Blvd
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

All About Health Market & Wellness Center
207 S. Michigan
Big Rapids, MI 49307
231 527 1111

Health Care Pharmacy - 10% off all Tummy Care products through August!
628 N. Old St. Mary's Rd
Perryville, MO 63775

Village Market 10% off all Tummy Care products through August!
5002 University Dr.
Collegedale, TN 37315

West Virginia
Autism Recovery Resource Center
2401 S. Canawak St Suite 101
Beckley, WV 25801
304 255 2550

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

divider IBS Basics - Do I Really Have IBS? How Do I Know?

One of the most common questions people ask me is, "Do I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome?" While I cannot possibly diagnose anyone, I do think it's critically important to give people the fundamental information they need to get a proper diagnosis.

A tremendous number of people with other disorders are mistakenly told they have IBS when they do not. This can lead to years of misery, serious complications from undetected diseases, and other awful problems. The good news here is there is simply no need for this to ever happen to anyone. IBS is a very clearly defined disorder, diagnosed by symptoms and tests of exclusion.

So let's do a series of IBS Basics:

What exactly is it?
What are the symptoms?
What other problems can mimic IBS and need to be ruled out?
What tests do I need for a diagnosis?

What exactly is IBS?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is the most common chronic health disorder in America, Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, affecting more people than asthma, diabetes, and depression combined.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a physical - not psychological - disorder that affects mainly the bowel, which is also called the large intestine. The bowel is the part of the digestive system that makes and stores stool. IBS is characterized by its symptoms. There is no cure for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but there are many very effective ways of controlling and even eliminating IBS symptoms.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is not a disease. It's a functional disorder, which means that the bowel simply does not work as it should. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is characterized as a brain-gut dysfunction.

What are IBS symptoms?
I can't stress enough that your symptoms must match those of the IBS diagnostic criteria before you accept an IBS diagnosis.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is characterized by its symptoms: continuous or recurrent lower abdominal pain or cramping (from mild to excruciating) in association with altered bowel motility (diarrhea, constipation, or both).

Attacks may strike suddenly at any time of day or night, and may occasionally - though not typically - wake you from a sound sleep. Gas and bloating are common, but vomiting isn't, though it can occur due to nausea from the pain.

Upper GI symptoms are not a typical part of the syndrome. For women, attacks are often associated with menstruation. Passing blood, running a fever, swollen extremities, and joint pain are not symptoms of IBS, and are red flags for other disorders.

IBS is diagnosed in part by the official diagnostic criteria known as the Rome Guidelines (to learn all about this, the brain-gut dysfunction, and IBS, check the The First Year: IBS, an essential guide to successfully managing the disorder.

What else needs to be ruled out for an IBS diagnosis?
In essence, the diagnosis of IBS is a process of exclusion. There is no medical test available that will be positive for IBS; instead, your doctor will test you for all other illnesses that can mimic IBS symptoms, and if those tests are negative, and if your symptoms fit the Rome Guidelines, you'll then be diagnosed with IBS. In particular, it's important that the following diseases are excluded before you accept a diagnosis of IBS:

Colon and carcinoid cancer
Inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis)
Bowel obstructions
Diverticulosis / Diverticulitis
Food allergies and fructose intolerance
Celiac (a genetic, autoimmune disorder resulting in gluten intolerance)
Bacterial infections and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
Intestinal parasites
Ovarian cancer

What tests does an IBS diagnosis require?
As a rule, all possible physical, structural, and infectious abnormalities of the GI tract need to be unquestionably eliminated before you agree to an IBS diagnosis. This requires a physical examination, preferably by a board-certified gastroenterologist, and may include the following studies:

Complete blood count, sedimentation rate, and chemistries
Stool for ova, parasites, and blood
Liver function tests
Rectal exam
Abdominal x-rays
For women, a gynecological exam including CA-125 blood test for ovarian cancer

Other diagnostic studies should be minimal and will depend on the symptom subtype. In general, the specific medical tests needed to rule out disorders other than IBS will depend upon your age (the older you are, the more tests you'll need), health history, family health background, and specific symptoms.

I think these are the most important points to remember about IBS:

* IBS is a functional disorder in which the bowel doesn't work as it should.

* IBS can cause cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.

* IBS does not damage the bowel or lead to any other disorders/diseases.

* IBS cannot be self-diagnosed.

* A doctor should diagnose IBS based on your symptoms and the elimination of other possible diseases through various medical tests.

* Stress and diet (particularly fats, insoluble fibers, and GI irritants) can trigger symptoms, but the underlying pathology of IBS is caused by a brain-gut dysfunction.

Once you have a firm IBS diagnosis, please take heart. While there is no cure (except possibly gut-directed hypnotherapy), there are many ways to successfully manage - and prevent - all IBS symptoms. You can control your IBS, not vice versa.

Coming next: IBS Basics continues, with questions to ask your doctor, what IBS patients need (but don't get), and treatments for IBS symptoms.

~ Heather

Did you miss our recent "Ask Heather" and brain-gut attacks?

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