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Heather's IBS Newsletter ~ For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

December 28, 2005

Red flag symptoms, plus ginger for IBS!

Hello to everyone -

This week we have a very interesting new research article about the helpful effects of ginger on IBS symptoms. We've also got a deliciously fast and easy salmon recipe that uses fresh gingerroot, so you can start reaping the health and taste benefits of ginger right away. Plus, for those folks who just can't get enough, everyone's all-time favorite gingerbread for dessert!

We're continuing our special holiday media sale for just another four days. The IBS Audio Program 100™ and the IBS Cooking Show are both on sale, but only through December 31.


Best Wishes,
Heather Van Vorous

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Wok-Steamed Teriyaki Ginger Salmon

When you don't have much time to cook this is a fast and easy way to make a safe, nutritious dinner. What a bonus that it's incredibly delicious as well! Make sure you serve this with plenty of white rice for your soluble fiber foundation.

Makes 6 Servings

1 1/2 lbs. fresh salmon fillets
one small bunch green onions (scallions), cleaned
1/3 cup fresh gingerroot, unpeeled, sliced into thin coins

fresh white rice for serving

Teriyaki Sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin OR white wine
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh gingerroot
2 minced garlic cloves
2 tablespoons honey

Combine all teriyaki ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Place fish fillets on top of green onions on a steamer tray, and sprinkle with the ginger coins. Steam, covered, just until fish flakes, about 8 minutes. Transfer to serving platter, discard green onions and ginger. Top with spoonfuls of teriyaki sauce and serve with rice.

Can't get enough ginger? Try Heather's Fabulous Holiday Gingerbread 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.

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

IBS Acacia Tummy Fiber

Organic Acacia ~ Pure Soluble Fiber

The prebiotic fiber that relieves both diarrhea and constipation!

divider Pharmacological Basis for Use of Ginger in GI Disorders
A recent Digestive Diseases and Sciences article noted that ginger (rhizome of Zingiber officinale) has been widely used for centuries in gastrointestinal disorders, particularly dyspepsia, but its precise mode of action has yet to be elucidated.

This study was undertaken to study the prokinetic action of ginger and its possible mechanism of action. Phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of saponins, flavonoids, and alkaloids in the crude extract. These data indicate that ginger contains a cholinergic, spasmogenic component evident in stomach fundus preparations which provides a sound mechanistic insight for the prokinetic action of ginger.

In addition, the presence of a spasmolytic constituent(s) of the calcium antagonist type may explain its use in hyperactive states of gut like colic and diarrhea. Go here for more information about this study...

Gut Motor Function: Enteric Infection & Inflammation
A recent article in Clinical & Experimental Immunology noted that an alteration in gastrointestinal (GI) motility occurs in a variety of clinical settings which include acute enteritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Most disorders affecting the GI tract arise as a result of noxious stimulation from the lumen via either microbes or chemicals. However, it is not clear how injurious processes initiated in the mucosa alter function in the deeper motor apparatus of the gut wall. Activation of immune cells may lead to changes in motor-sensory function in the gut resulting in the development of an efficient defence force which assists in the eviction of the noxious agent from the intestinal lumen.

This review provides information on the immunological control of gut motor function and its role in host defence in enteric infection, but also provide a basis for understanding pathophysiology of gastrointestinal motility disorders such as in IBS. Go here for more information about this study...

Zelnorm Fails to Win Approval in Europe
A panel of experts decided not to recommend Novartis AG's Zelnorm drug for irritable bowel syndrome in the European Union, hitting the company's shares and prompting it to launch an appeal. The European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) adopted the negative opinion following a review which began in October last year.

Zelnorm -- which is also known as Zelmac in some countries -- was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2002 for use in women with constipation relating to IBS. However, safety information was added to Zelnorm's packaging in the United States in 2004, warning of the effects of diarrhea and alerting patients to a condition where blood flow to the intestines is reduced.

Recommendations from the agency's committee are normally endorsed by the European Commission within 90 days. Go here for more information about this study...

Go here for more information about Zelnorm...

Peppermint Relieves IBS Symptoms
A recent IBS treatment guide by American Family Physician noted that, given the absence of a cure and the adverse effects of medications, patients with IBS often turn to complementary therapies such as peppermint. Peppermint possesses antispasmodic properties and has long been associated with improvement of digestive function. Peppermint leaves contain oils that have mild anesthetic properties, relieve nausea, and relax smooth muscle spasticity caused by histamine and cholinergic stimulation.

A systematic review identified five trials that showed that peppermint oil relieved IBS symptoms. Three of these trials showed statistically significant benefit of peppermint over placebo. A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study of enteric-coated peppermint oil involving 110 patients showed 79 percent with less pain, 83 percent with decreased stool frequency, and 79 percent with less flatulence. Go here for more information about this study...

Go here for more information about enteric coated peppermint oil capsules...

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 Red Flag Symptoms
"I saw your newsletter article a few months ago about IBS misdiagnoses. What signs might indicate I actually have something other than IBS?"

In general, any symptoms that do not dovetail with the Rome II Criteria for diagnosing IBS should be considered red flags, and should prompt further medical investigation. In a nutshell, this means any symptoms other than bowel dysfunction (diarrhea, constipation, or alternating) in association with abdominal pain, possibly with gas and/or bloating.

The American Academy of Family Physicians recently published a very helpful chart with symptoms that are not typical of IBS. If you have any of these red flag symptoms, and you're not sure that you've had the tests necessary to rule out illnesses other than IBS, please make sure you see your doctor again for a more thorough examination. Most studies show that the vast majority of IBS diagnoses are accurate and that most people with IBS do not also have other serious diseases. But, it's always better to have a very firm diagnosis and subsequent peace of mind.

Chart copyrighted by American Academy of Family Physicians.

Once you're certain that you do not have any red flag symptoms, and you do in fact have a solid diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome is, check here for an overview of treatments for IBS so you can begin to successfully manage the disorder.

~ Heather

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