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September 7, 2005

This week - Questions to ask your doctor about IBS

Hello to everyone -

This week we have a wealth of new Irritable Bowel Syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease research findings, including a very interesting study on the effects of cannabis in the gut. We also have a wonderfully refreshing peppermint green tea recipe - it's perfect on ice for the last of our summer days, and delicious served hot for the upcoming chilly autumn nights.

In addition, we're announcing several new stores that are carrying Heather's Tummy Care products across the country, and we have a special IBS event coming up at the grand opening of a Granola's in Arizona. Hope to see you there!

Best Wishes,
Heather Van Vorous

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Fresh Peppermint Green Tea

Makes 6 Servings

2 cups packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 cups boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons green tea powder

Place all ingredients but tea powder in a teapot, and stir to dissolve the sugar. Let steep 4 minutes, add the tea powder, and let steep 1 minute. Stir well and then strain. Serve hot or chilled.

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.

Fennel Tummy Tea Peppermint Tummy Tea
Fennel & Peppermint Tummy Teas - Now in New Jumbo Teabags!

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

divider September 17th IBS Event at Granola's Grand Opening
I'm so excited to announce a special IBS event with a question and answer session, book signing, recipe samples, and Heather's Tummy Care product demos at the grand opening of Granola's in Chandler, Arizona! The event starts at noon on September 17th and will be held in the digestive health care section of the store. It's Family Health Day at Granola's, and we're thrilled to be a part of it. Please come join us!

5055 W Ray Rd Ste 14
Chandler, AZ 85226

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!

Dr. William Eidelman
1654 N Cahuenga Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Bulk 'N' Natural Foods
3737 Bahia Vista Street
Sarasota, FL 34232

New York
Dr. Sam Schikowitz
56 Navarra Street
Kingston, NY 12401

If you don't have a store in your area carrying Tummy Care products yet, please give them this flyer to ask them.
divider A History of Abuse in Community Subjects with IBS
A recent study in Digestion noted that abuse is associated with irritable bowel syndrome and functional dyspepsia, though the reasons remain unclear and other psychosocial factors may be important. The study surveyed sexual, physical, emotional/verbal abuse as a child (13 years) and adult (14 years) using validated self-report questions. Other psychological variables were assessed via validated self-report.

Results: Adulthood abuse was significantly more common in IBS and/or functional dyspepsia (40%) compared with healthy controls (25%). Abuse was not an independent predictor for IBS or functional dyspepsia when psychological and buffering factors were controlled for in the analyses. Having a diagnosis of depression and using a self-controlling coping style were significantly associated with having a history of abuse. The study concluded that abuse occurring as an adult was significantly associated with IBS and/or functional dyspepsia, but it was not an important factor when psychosocial factors were controlled for in these disorders. Go here for more information about this study...

Differentiation of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and IBS
Differentiating patients with functional bowel disorders from those with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can be difficult. Rectal luminal levels of nitric oxide (NO) are greatly increased in IBD. To further evaluate this disease marker, a recent study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology compared NO in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with those found in patients with active IBD and in healthy control subjects. The study found that rectal NO correlated with disease activity in IBD and collagenous colitis and decreased markedly in IBD patients responding to anti-inflammatory treatment. The study concluded that rectal NO is a minimally invasive and rapid tool for discriminating between active bowel inflammation and IBS and a possibly useful add-on for monitoring patients with IBD. Go here for more information about this study...

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Toward an Understanding of Severity
A recent Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology study noted that Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder with symptoms that range in severity from mild and intermittent to severe and continuous. Although severity is a guiding factor in clinical decision making related to diagnosis and treatment, current guidelines related to IBS do not address the issue of severity. Currently no consensus definition of IBS severity exists, although two validated scales of IBS severity have recently been published. Review of the literature suggests that the prevalence of severe or very severe IBS is higher than previously estimated with a range from 3%-9%. Individual IBS symptoms are important but are not sufficient to explain severity. Rather, severity has multiple components including health-related quality of life, psychosocial factors, health care utilization behaviors, and burden of illness. Go here for more information about this study...

Cannabinoids Show Promise for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Cannabis-based drugs may have potential in treating inflammatory bowel disease, UK researchers report in the August issue of Gastroenterology. "The system that responds to cannabis in the brain is present and functioning in the lining of the gut," lead researcher Dr. Karen Wright, of the University of Bath, explained. "There is an increased presence of one component of this system during inflammatory bowel diseases -- Crohn's and ulcerative colitis. Cannabinoids, which we make ourselves, as well as synthetic cannabinoids, can promote wound healing in the gut, which is extremely interesting given that inflammatory bowel disease involves damaged gut linings."

Although no data are available yet, she added, relevant case studies of the use of cannabinoids are taking place in the UK and a clinical trial is being conducted in Germany. Go here for more information about this study...

Biofeedback Helpful in Outlet Dysfunction Constipation
Biofeedback training appears useful in improving the symptoms of constipation due to difficulty in evacuating the rectum, according to Italian and US researchers in the July issue of Gastroenterology. Lead investigator Dr. Giuseppe Chiarioni said, "In our open study we were able to show that unresponsive constipation with slowed colon transit secondary to paradoxical contraction of the pelvic floor on straining -- so-called pelvic floor dyssynergia -- may be successfully treated by biofeedback therapy."

Dr. Chiarioni of the University of Verona and colleagues note that they evaluated the approach in 52 patients, all of whom had delayed whole gut transit. All received five weekly biofeedback sessions directed at increasing rectal pressure and relaxing pelvic floor muscles during straining as well as practice in defecating the balloon. The researchers conclude, "Our data suggest that, for outlet dysfunction constipation, at least, biofeedback does provide a specific benefit."

"Our study," Dr. Chiarioni added, "should prompt the development of teaching programs devoted to the training of skillful biofeedback therapists." 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!

Because our Peppermint Oil Caps have the added benefits of fennel and ginger oils, they are truly unbeatable for preventing abdominal pain, gas, and bloating!

divider Questions to Ask Your Doctor When You're Diagnosed with IBS
"What should I ask my doctor about IBS?"

One of the most frustrating aspects of IBS for many people is simply getting a valid diagnosis in the first place. For too many folks, this takes so much time, energy, doctor's visits, and money that by the time they're actually given a diagnosis, they're exhausted. It's such a a great relief to finally have an official name for what's wrong with them that they don't continue to ask for help from their physician.

While no doctor can control your IBS for you (only you have the power to do that), it can be very worthwhile to have a doctor on your side to help you learn about and evaluate all of the different research and treatment options for IBS. In general, once you've found a suitable doctor and established a good working relationship, he or she should educate you about Irritable Bowel Syndrome and treat it as they would any other chronic disorder, with a focus on managing your symptoms.

So what can you fairly expect your doctor to do?

1. Acknowledge the pain of IBS

2. Hold an empathetic and non-judgmental point of view

3. Educate and reassure you

4. Set reasonable goals for managing your IBS symptoms

5. Help you, the patient, take responsibility

6. Know his or her limitations and refer you to specialists if necessary

What you cannot fairly expect from your doctor is a cure. Currently there isn't one.

So what should you ask your doctor about Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

1. Do my symptoms truly match those of IBS and the Rome II Guidelines?

2. Have you run the diagnostic tests necessary to rule out:

Colon cancer
Inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis)
Bowel obstructions
Food allergies
Celiac (a genetic, autoimmune disorder resulting in gluten intolerance)
Bacterial infections
Intestinal parasites
Ovarian cancer

3. What prescription drugs (if any) do you recommend for me, and why? What if they don't work? What about side effects?

4. Are there any new medical options for Irritable Bowel Syndrome on the horizon?

5. How should I keep myself informed about current IBS research?

6. Should I schedule a follow-up visit with you? When?

7. What about stress management and IBS?

8. What about alternative therapies and IBS?

9. Do you know of any Irritable Bowel Syndrome support groups in my area?

10. What do you think is the best way to comprehensively manage my symptoms?

Once you're confident that your physician has properly diagnosed you with IBS and given you the medical information you need, there are also avenues you can pursue on your own to help yourself successfully manage the disorder: follow the explicit IBS diet guidelines and IBS safe recipes; learn stress management through hypnotherapy for IBS or yoga practice for IBS; learn about natural, non-drug IBS treatments; and come join the IBS community to ask questions on our expert-moderated (and very friendly!) IBS message boards.

- 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 43,000 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.


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