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Food & Recipes

Special Events

Rx News & Research

Ask Heather

About Us

IBS Hypnosis Program
Gut-directed hypnosis is one of the most effective ways to help relieve all IBS symptoms! Results can last more than 5 years.

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Fennel Tea for IBS

Fennel Tummy Tea for IBS Bloating & Gas

Fennel has anti-spasmodic properties and it stimulates the production of gastric juices. Fennel tea is the best for relieving bloating and gas!

Did you miss the latest
IBS newsletter and Blueberry Cornbread?

Past issues
are posted here!

IBS Peppermint Caps
Try Peppermint Caps

Peppermint Caps are the best for abdominal spasms, cramps and pain!

Hot Packs for IBS

Delicious Recipes
for IBS!

Learn how to eat well and feel better

Cold Packs for IBS

Cold Packs for IBS Picnics
Re-useable ice packs for all your summertime fun!

IBS Peppermint Tea
Try Heather's
Peppermint Tummy Tea

Peppermint is a smooth muscle relaxant and has pain-killing properties. Our tea is large leaf with a high volatile oil content - much stronger than tea bags!


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June 29, 2004

Hello to everyone -

This week we're planning a fabulous Fourth of July picnic, and reminding everyone of the very first annual IBS get-together in Las Vegas (yeah, baby!) Check the "Ask Heather" column for special ideas for an IBS-safe (and totally delicious) holiday cookout, and as always we've got a wealth of new digestive health research findings. Enjoy!

Best Wishes,
Heather Van Vorous

Note: Did a friend send you this newsletter? Sign up here for your own free subscription. divider

Fourth of July Cookout!
Louisiana Barbecued Catfish Sandwiches with Sweet & Sour Slaw

Serve these sandwiches topped with the slaw, a handful of baked potato chips on the side, and a cool herbal ice tea, and you've got the perfect Fourth of July picnic! The secret to the slaw is that by cooking the cabbage, its sulfur compounds off-gas (sulfur can trigger IBS gas and bloating) and its insoluble fiber is broken down so that its effect on your GI tract is greatly minimized. Plus, the sandwich is served on a French baguette, which provides a nice soluble fiber basis. All in all, this recipe is the perfect example of why how you eat for IBS matters just as much as what you eat!

Makes 4 Sandwiches

1 1/2 pounds catfish fillets
1/4 cup bourbon (the alcohol will cook off)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup whole grain mustard
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 Teaspooon cumin

Two 12" long narrow French bread baguettes, halved horizontally, toasted

Rinse and dry the catfish fillets and set aside. In a small bowl combine remaining ingredients, and microwave on high for 5 minutes, or until slightly reduced. Coat catfish with 1/2 cup barbecue sauce. Barbecue catfish over medium coals until golden brown on both sides until cooked through. (Or, alternately, heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, spray with cooking oil, and saute catfish until cooked through on both sides.)

Halve baguettes horizontally and toast lightly. Top with catfish, remaining barbecue sauce, and wilted slaw to form sandwiches.

Sweet and Sour Wilted Cabbage Slaw
1 1/2 cups finely shredded green cabbage
1 1/2 cups finely shredded red cabbage
1 small carrot, finely shredded
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon celery seed, crushed

In a small bowl stir together vinegar, sugar, and celery seed until sugar dissoves. In a large non-stick skillet sprayed with cooking oil saute onion until softened. Add cabbage and carrot and cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until tender. Add vinegar mixture and salt and pepper to taste.

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.

divider Come Join Us in Las Vegas for the IBS Fall Sprawl!
If you haven't yet heard the news, members of the IBS community are planning the first annual IBS get-together in Las Vegas. They'll be taking Vegas by storm on the weekend of October 15-18, 2004. Who is "they", exactly? Why, the fabulous and friendly folks on the message boards and members of this very that includes you!

They think it would be wonderful to meet in person and have a little (or a whole lot) of fun in Las Vegas, so pack your soluble fiber and come hang out! They're still in the early stages of planning, and more information will be coming your way as events unfold. The IBS Fall Sprawl is being coordinated by three wild-n-crazy gals from the boards: Jen, Kandee, and Mags. If you would be interested in attending the Fall Sprawl (or if you just have questions), drop by the Vegas message board. Please note that these three wonderful women are doing all of the coordinating for this event. Though I definitely hope to be able to attend, I'm not directly involved in any of the planning, and I'm not sponsoring the event, so please direct all questions and comments to the Vegas board; I won't be able to personally answer any concerns about this subject.

Disclaimer: Though I'm delighted to announce the Vegas get-together, and to host the Vegas message board forum, the IBS Fall Sprawl is being organized and run by members of the IBS message board community completely independently of and Heather & Company for IBS, LLC. I cannot warranty or guarantee any outcome or success of this event. Please direct all inquiries about the event to members of the Las Vegas forum.

divider IBS - An Evidence-Based Approach to Diagnosis
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) represents one of the most common reasons for primary care visits and consultation with a gastroenterologist. It is characterized by abdominal discomfort, bloating and disturbed defecation in the absence of any identifiable physical, radiologic or laboratory abnormalities indicative of organic gastrointestinal disease. IBS is a costly disorder, responsible for significant direct and indirect costs to patients and society. Much of the cost attributed to IBS arises from the time and resources used to establish the diagnosis. Historically IBS has been viewed by many as a diagnosis of exclusion rather than as a primary diagnosis, and many patients with typical symptoms will undergo an extensive array of diagnostic tests and procedures prior to the eventual diagnosis of IBS.

Recent reviews addressing the management of such patients have cast doubt on the necessity for this degree of testing. Current best evidence does not support the routine use of blood tests, stool studies, breath tests, abdominal imaging or lower endoscopy in order to exclude organic gastrointestinal disease in patients with typical IBS symptoms without alarm features. Serological testing for celiac sprue in this population may eventually prove useful but validation of studies indicating an increased prevalence of this disease in patients with suspected IBS is needed. Check here for more information...

Do you agree with this study? (Having heard from countless people who have been misdiagnosed with IBS, I certainly don't!) Do your own diagnostic experiences reflect or contradict the opinions in this news article? Come share your views (and see what others have to say) on the IBS Message Boards

Relationship Between Previous Antibiotic Use and H. Pylori Infections
A chronic bacterial infection in people is Helicobacter pylori, the cause of peptic ulcers. It is estimated that one in ten Americans develop a peptic ulcer at some time in his or her life. H. pylori weakens the protective mucous coating of the stomach and duodenum, which allows acid to get through to the sensitive lining beneath, irritating the lining and causing the ulcer. H. pylori is able to survive in stomach acid because it secretes enzymes that neutralize the acid. This mechanism allows H. pylori to make its way to the "safe" area--the protective mucous lining. Once there, the bacterium's spiral shape helps it burrow through the lining.

Now it appears that antibiotic use makes it harder to get rid of peptic ulcers, according to a new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Not knowing the relationship between previous antimicrobial treatments and infection with drug-resistant H. Pylori, researchers sought to determine whether previous antibiotic use causes antibiotic resistance of H. Pylori. Check here for more information...

Abdominal Bloating: Relation to Menstrual Cycle
Abdominal bloating and visible abdominal distension are commonly reported by patients with IBS, although its pathophysiology is not well understood. Several recent findings suggest that abdominal bloating may be related to visceral hypersensitivity: (1) bloating without distension is associated with lowered rectal pain thresholds; (2) bloating is reported as worse in the premenstrual and early menses phases of the menstrual cycle; and (3) rectal sensitivity is increased during menses compared with the other phases in women with IBS. If abdominal bloating is related to visceral hypersensitivity, it is not clear whether this is due primarily to visceral hyperalgesia (ie, increased pain perception to noxious visceral events) or to a hypervigilance towards expected aversive events arising from the viscera. Check here for more information...

Celiac Disease: Where We Are and Where We Are Going
Celiac disease (CD) is an immune-mediated enteropathy triggered by the ingestion of gluten-containing grains (including wheat, rye, and barley) in genetically susceptible individuals. CD is one of the most common lifelong disorders worldwide. This condition can manifest with a previously unsuspected range of clinical presentations. These include the typical malabsorption syndrome (chronic diarrhea, weight loss, bloating) and a spectrum of symptoms potentially affecting any organ or body system. Because CD is often atypical or even silent on clinical grounds, many cases remain undiagnosed and become exposed to the risk of long-term complications, such as osteoporosis, infertility, or cancer. There is also a growing interest in the social dimension of CD, because the burden of illness related to this condition is doubtless higher than previously thought.

Many aspects of CD were discussed during this year's Digestive Disease Week (DDW) meeting that may help pave the way for future breakthroughs concerning the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and, most important, alternative treatment options. Check here for more information...

Calcium Seems to Protect Against Colorectal Cancer
Taking calcium supplements helps prevent polyps in the colon, a risk factor for colorectal cancer. And the supplements seem to offer the most protection against the advanced polyps most strongly associated with invasive colorectal cancer, according to a new study.

"In an earlier publication, we showed a reduction in polyps [with calcium intake]," said Dr. John A. Baron, a professor of medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, and senior author of the study that appears in the June 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

"There was less than a 20 percent reduction, overall," he added. "Now, we find when we look at more advanced [polyps], it is a much more marked reduction, suggesting that calcium might have a more pronounced effect in preventing advanced [polyps]." Check here for more information...

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

divider Fourth of July Picnic Special!
"My family is planning a big cookout for the Fourth of July. How can I make a holiday picnic that's safe for IBS?"

Ahhhh, summer picnics! Just about everyone loves cooking and eating outside on a beautiful sunny day, and fireworks at night just add to the fun. But, picnics are traditionally full of foods that are IBS triggers, from beef burgers and hotdogs on the grill served with greasy fried potato chips, to high-fat potato salads on the side, plus dairy ice cream for dessert. Fortunately, it just couldn't be any easier to adapt summer cookout foods to the IBS diet, without sacrificing one bit of flavor or fun.

Start with the grilled barbecue catfish sandwiches in the recipe section above. Or, simply coat skinless chicken breasts with your favorite bottled brand of barbecue sauce instead. Watch out for high fructose syrup in the sauce, and if you have problems with acidity from cooked tomatoes try adding a pinch of brown sugar (sugar neutralizes the acid - that's the secret to the barbecue sauce recipe above). You could also try grilling soy hot dogs or purchased veggie burgers (but check the ingredients to make sure there's no dairy). Use a fresh-baked, high quality white bread or buns for a good soluble fiber basis to your meal.

Serve big baskets of baked potato chips or baked corn chips for extra soluble fiber (without the added fat of fried chips). Make your family's favorite potato salad recipe but just substitute fat-free mayonnaise, and spike the salad with fresh lemon juice and herbs for extra flavor. If you add hardboiled eggs simply use just the whites and discard the yolks. (You can modify macaroni salad the same way.) To play up the Southern theme of the barbecued catfish sandwiches, try making a sweet potato salad, or even candied sweet potatoes. If you been working on increasing your tolerance to beans, go ahead and add barbecued baked beans to the picnic as well.

For beverages, try brewing luscious iced herbal teas instead of soda pop, or go all out and make these fabulous Virgin Strawberry Daiquiris. If you brew Peppermint or Fennel teas (or even a blend of the two) you'll get tummy benefits in addition to a great drink!

For desserts, your options are as delicious as they are limitless. Serve angel food cake (it's dairy and fat free), the Strawberry Shortcake favorite from a recent newsletter (and feel free to use peaches or apricots instead), any kind of fruit sorbet or soy/rice milk ice cream, or the ever-popular Peppermint Fudge Cake. You can absolutely have your Fourth of July sweet treats and eat them too!

Still looking for more great recipe ideas? Check the IBS Recipe Exchange.

One of the most popular previous IBS Newsletter columns was the Seven Sneaky Deadly Sins of the IBS Diet. Wondering what they all are? Check here...

1. Coffee (yes, decaf counts)
2. Yogurt (it's the safest dairy product for IBS...isn't it?)
3. Alcohol (just one glass of wine is okay, right?)
4. Vitamin supplements (they're good for you, aren't they?)
5. No insoluble fiber foods (they're triggers, so you just don't eat them, right?)
6. Too low a dosage of soluble fiber supplements
7. Not drinking enough water (doesn't soda pop count?)

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 over 2.5 million visits each year, and our newsletter is sent to over 23,000 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.

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