Heather's IBS Newsletter for Irritable Bowel Syndrome ~ November 3, 2009

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Ask Heather » Restaurant Survival Guide! How to eat out without passing out.

IBS Recipe » Irresistible Breakfast Bread Pudding

Research & Press » IBS Expert Interview! Michael Mahoney

Special Letter » Gone are the days of making a beeline for the bathroom!

Enjoy this week's newsletter!

Best Wishes,
Heather Van Vorous

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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!


Irresistible Breakfast Bread Pudding

This delicious bread pudding is a childhood favorite of mine, jazzed up with a twist of rum and raisins. It's a terrific breakfast, snack, or dessert recipe, and it couldn't be faster and easier - or more irresistible! You can whip everything together in just minutes the night before, refrigerate overnight, and then pop the dish in the oven the next morning.

Bread pudding is the perfect comfort food for a chilly day, but traditionally it's made with trigger foods like dairy and egg yolks. My recipe uses soy milk and egg whites for digestive stability instead. The high soluble fiber basis comes from the bread and the Tummy Fiber, and gives a foundation that allows you to safely add a splash of rum and the insoluble fiber of raisins.

Makes 6-8 servings

6 Cups stale white bread, cut or torn into 1 inch pieces
1/3 Cup chopped raisins
2 Tablespoons Tummy Fiber Acacia
4 Tablespoons rum or 1 Tablespoon rum extract
4 egg whites
1/3 Cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon salt
3 1/2 Cups soy or rice milk

Lightly spray a 2 quart casserole dish with cooking oil. Place the bread cubes in the dish and scatter the raisins over. In a large bowl, whisk together all remaining ingredients, and pour over bread cubes.

Press bread down a few times so tops are coated with liquid. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour, or overnight. Preheat oven to 350F. Uncover and bake bread pudding for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown on top. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Delicious hot, warm, or chilled!

The perfect drink with this pudding is a hot cup of Sweet Ginger Chai 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! Get Eating for IBS, and find the answers to all your questions.

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

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divider Gone Are the Days of Making a Beeline for the Bathroom!

Dear Heather,

I hope this is the correct place to send you a personal note of thanks.

I suffered from innumerable stomach complaints all through my childhood, but IBS was never diagnosed.

When I was in my early twenties, my internist told me I had a "spastic colon" due to stress, and she prescribed anti-spasmodic pills to take at the onset of pain. I never knew, though, when that would be, and by the time I felt pain and took a pill, it was too late to do any good. I soon stopped taking the pills.

I suffered for years and years and years until I stumbled upon your site. (I am now 47.) I cannot begin to tell you how extremely thankful I am to you. Changing my diet - and changing the order in which I eat foods - has been a lifesaver. I never, ever would have discovered that on my own.

I was a little hesitant at first and showed your suggestions to my (different) internist. He had me check it out with a registered dietitian at our local hospital. She gave me the "okay" to start my new diet using your IBS Diet Cheat Sheet guidelines.

Gone are the days that I would be driving, miles from a bathroom, and would experience immediate, excruciating, cramping pain that would come in spasms that I knew could only be relieved by diarrhea. I would try to drive as doubled over with pain as I was. I cannot begin to tell you how miserable I was.

I never knew when it would hit me or where I would be, and so I lived in a lot of fear of doing things out in public. Because I would have diarrhea almost every day, I was always making sure I knew where the closest bathroom was located. I wonder sometimes how many nutrients my body was actually able to absorb with all that diarrhea.

Ever since I found your site (about two years ago) and followed your advice, I have been normal. It is an incredible feeling. I can't believe people who don't have IBS actually live this way every day.

I am beginning to take a normal stomach for granted, and I know I shouldn't given my past history.

You have made it possible for me to do things in public again without the nagging fear that I may have to make a beeline for a bathroom with unbearable pain and diarrhea. I am so absolutely indebted to you. You really changed/saved my life.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Ellen O.

Thank you so very much, Ellen! I'm so happy you're doing better! ~ Heather

Did you miss the recent letter from Patricia, who hasn't had one attack since?

~ Heather's IBS Kitchen Kit ~ 20% Off!
For the Dietary Management of Abdominal Pain, Diarrhea, &, Constipation

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* Organic Tummy Fiber for IBS
* Eating for IBS - the Groundbreaking Dietary Book for IBS
* Heather Cooks! The Delicious IBS Cooking Show

divider IBS Expert Interview: Michael Mahoney

I had the recent opportunity to interview Michael Mahoney, one the United Kingdom's leading clinical hypnotherapists. Michael has specialized in treating IBS patients for over twenty years, and is the developer of the clinically researched and acclaimed IBS Audio Program 100TM for at-home hypnotherapy.

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about hypnotherapy for IBS, and Michael's terrifically helpful answers.

1. How does hypnotherapy fit into the current research showing that IBS is a brain/gut dysfunction?

IBS has been designated primarily as a functional disorder, which simply means that there are no physiological factors that can be pinpointed as the "cause" of the disorder. However, it has been found that IBS patients present with different brain configurations shown via PET and MRI scans than those individuals who do not have IBS. So to say that there is "nothing" physically detected may be somewhat debatable.

The brain-gut connection in IBS has shown that there is indeed something faulty with the way the gut - the enteric nervous system within the gut - and the brain "speak" to each other.

The American Gastroenterological Association and the Foundation for Digestive Health and Nutrition point out that with IBS, "It is no longer reasonable to discriminate between physiological and psychological factors; both are operative in IBS. It is likely that dysregulation of the "brain-gut" neuroenteric systems, rather than the presence of structural disease, promotes the development and persistence of IBS."

This dysregulation of the "brain-gut" neuroenteric systems is commonly known as the brain-gut connection, or more simply the mind-body connection.

Let me give you a simple example of this.

Imagine you are asked to stand up and do a quick presentation to a group of 50 people and this is not a usual part of your everyday life. You may feel your stomach churn (often described as butterflies in the stomach) and that is a direct result of a thought. It doesn't matter if the presentation is a week or a month away, the thoughts will create a physical response, too. They may even get more intense as the day of the presentation gets closer.

Each thought creates a physical response. So, between the thought and the physical response something has to happen.

For the IBS patient, this strong brain-gut component becomes faulty. Nerves in the gut can produce hypersensitivity, and dysregulation of motility - resulting in diarrhea, constipation or alternation, pain in the gut, and other symptoms of IBS.

Just the thought of having to go out of the home, or not being near a bathroom, can start the IBS symptoms going. For some people, the symptoms come out of the blue without any active thought at all, clearly indicating a dysregulation of the brain-gut communication.

These mind/body responses happen inside you, in your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and your physical being. Imagine these responses like a flow of dominos: you have the thought, the dominos begin to fall, and the physical/emotional response is complete when the last domino falls.

If you stop the flow of the dominos (thoughts and emotions) by taking one out, the ones in front keep standing. Even better, add a few dominos in (with new positive thoughts, suggestions and ideas) and the flow of the dominos is changed each time. So too is the physical or emotional response changed and improved.

A great many people with IBS routinely and unconsciously have learned a method of managed thinking that results in negative thoughts much more readily and easily than positive thinking.

The protocol of the hypnotherapy in the IBS Audio Program 100 works in a way to reverse these 'automatic' learned responses which result in IBS symptoms.

Each session is designed for a specific aspect of the IBS condition. By providing imagery and different thought patterns, the brain communicates by creating new neural pathways to respond to the brain in the gut. The gut is regulated by new, learned subconscious thoughts in the brain. This is what hypnotherapy can do.

New thinking patterns and learned responses created by the subconscious mind gradually become a part of the learned experience. An IBS patient's current IBS symptoms are regulated via improper learned responses, and the wonderful thing is, if you have learned one thing, you can learn to do something else. You simply need to replace it with something better.

The simple examples above give an insight into what happens on a subconscious level, though the process itself of course is much more complicated. Hypnotherapy sessions are geared to create new pathways within the brain to regulate IBS symptoms, and this is wide in scope, because the sessions allow the person to use their own subconscious mind to determine which symptoms need to be addressed.

This includes not only the physical symptoms of motility issues, such as diarrhea, constipation and alternation, but also bloating, abdominal and stomach pain, sleeplessness, anxiety over travel, and anything else that is specifically needed by the user.

2. Is hypnotherapy suitable for me whether I feel "stressed out" or not? What if stress and anxiety just aren't my biggest triggers?

Many of my in-person hypnotherapy patients, as well as users of the at-home program, have reported that their symptoms came 'out of the blue' and were not really triggered by anything stressful, nor were they particularly anxious individuals. Quite a few have said they were just going about their normal day, even relaxing, watching TV, when they were struck by IBS symptoms.

From that initial "episode" there would be quite a bit of time until the next one, until they came closer together, and in most cases, not only became more frequent, but more intense or painful and perhaps longer in duration. I have had many patients who are actually quite laid back in temperament, and it is only because they have IBS that they would even consider themselves under stress - the stress of having IBS.

This is mentioned to me by patients continually - that they never really had anxiousness or stress until they had IBS. It's sort of a chicken - egg conundrum.

The upshot is that an IBS sufferer need not be concerned in the least that they "need" to be stressed or anxious in order to consider the hypnotherapy program. Of course, stress and anxiety issues are presented as part of the various aspects of the condition, but certainly not essential ones in order to see benefit from the sessions. It is much more likely that stress can make IBS worse at times once you have it.

Thank you Heather, for the opportunity to share some of my insights, and I wish everyone well on their journey to feeling better!

See what Michael's patients have to say about the IBS Audio Program!

Thank you so much, Mike! Next time we'll have part two of our fabulous interview with Michael Mahoney. ~ Heather

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 Restaurant Survival Guide

My Most Important Restaurant Rule: A little bit of planning goes a long way...

The easiest way to eat safely for IBS at restaurants is to make sure you choose a good prospect in the first place. This obviously eliminates most (if not all) fast food restaurants and burger joints, but leaves you a tremendous wealth of traditional American, ethnic, and vegetarian places.

It's important that, if you're eating out with friends, you speak up and make it clear that the restaurant of choice needs to serve food you can actually eat. Don't be afraid to make yourself heard. You deserve a little special consideration here, and this means that you should have veto power if everyone else wants to eat at a place that simply won't work for you.

Remember that going out to eat is as much about socializing as it is about eating, so rest assured that your real friends will be happy just to be with you, regardless of which particular restaurant you choose. If someone is consistently less than gracious about catering to your special dietary needs, feel free to drop them from your social circle. Anyone who doesn't consider your good health a reasonable priority is really no friend after all.

Before you venture out to eat, you may want to simply drive by all your favorite local restaurants and gather every take-out menu available (even easier - see if those restaurants have their current menus posted online). Take them home and look them over and see what your options are, and you can begin compiling a list of restaurants that you know have safe meal choices for you.

When you read the menus you're looking for low fat, high soluble fiber meals (if you're unsure about the dietary guidelines for IBS, check Eating for IBS).

At traditional American restaurants, this might mean grilled chicken (skinless white meat only) or broiled seafood with a rice or pasta side dish, a pasta primavera, or a veggie fried rice.

Watch out for words like "crispy", "crunchy", "creamy", and "rich", which typically signify fried or dairy items, both of which are major IBS triggers.

Pay attention to sauce descriptions - you're on the lookout for butter, cream and oils.

If you have any questions, phone the restaurant and ask for details. Once you're in the habit of doing this you will never cease to be amazed at the trigger foods restaurants sneak into the most innocent-sounding dishes. Just because they don't list an ingredient you're trying to avoid (especially cheese) in the meal description does not mean it isn't there. Trust me, you should always ask.

Make notes right on the take out menus if you like, and find out if dishes can be easily altered to make them safer for you. It's usually a very simple matter for a restaurant to leave the cheese off a dish, saute something with less oil, add extra rice or pasta or a baked potato, and put sauce on the side.

Before you leave for the restaurant, or as soon as you arrive, take a dose of your Acacia Tummy Fiber or a Tummy Tamers peppermint oil capsule.

Once you're actually at the restaurant order an extra basket of dinner rolls or a cup of plain white rice to give you a safe soluble fiber basis. For the rolls, choose the white bread, not whole wheat, to avoid risky insoluble fiber.

Remember to eat any green salads last, not first (and with a fat-free dressing), and watch out for creamy soups that start a meal (like clam chowder). Be very suspicious of the appetizers, which for some reason I've never understood are often deep fried at all kinds of restaurants. Skip those entirely unless you can find a low-fat choice hiding between the cheese sticks, tempura, and onion rings.

One great trick is to take along Peppermint or Fennel Tummy Tea Bags to restaurants. Try to order mint or fennel tea first, and if they don't have it just order hot water and brew your own. This can be incredibly helpful. I promise the waiter will not hassle you about it, and you will greatly minimize your risk of an attack.

Coming next...part two of the IBS Restaurant Survival Guide!

~ Heather

Did you miss our recent "Ask Heather" and Hypnotherapy For IBS - Yes, It Works

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