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Food & Diet

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July 9, 2003

Hello to everyone -

Our newsletter celebrates summer gardens today with a fantastic (and fantastically easy!) Tomato Basil Omelet. If you've given up omelets for breakfast, you're in for a real treat. This dish eliminates the high fat egg yolks, cheese, and butter used in so many omelet recipes. Instead, we've livened up the flavor with fresh basil leaves (finely shredded to minimize their insoluble fiber) and garden tomatoes just bursting with the taste of sunshine on the vine. Omelets are a snap to make in non-stick skillets, and you just need a touch of cooking oil spray to prevent sticking. For a great soluble fiber basis to this dish, serve the omelet with a thick slice of fresh sourdough toast.

As always, the IBS newsletter is chock full of articles on the latest GI health research, news, events, and questions from the IBS community. I hope you find this issue both delicious and enlightening!

Best Wishes,
Heather Van Vorous

Summer Basil & Tomato Omelet

This is a fast, delicious, high protein breakfast meal. Serve it with a fruit smoothie and some sourdough toast for a morning feast!

Makes 1 Serving, easily doubled or tripled

4 organic egg whites
2 tablespoons finely chopped ripe tomatoes
1 tablespoon finely shredded fresh basil
1 tablespoon finely diced sweet white onion
1 small garlic clove, mashed

In a small bowl combine egg whites with tomatoes, whisking until lightly frothy. (Beating the tomatoes in with the eggs will infuse the entire omelet with a luscious tomato flavor!) Set egg mixture aside.

Heat a small non-stick skillet over medium heat, and spray with cooking oil. Add onion and garlic, and sautee until golden. Remove onion and garlic from pan. Add egg mixture to skillet, and immediately top egg mixture with reserved onions and garlic, and basil. When edges of the omelet are slightly crisp, carefully roll omelet up from one side with a rubber spatula to completely enclose filling, turn omelet over, and cook on other side for an additional 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately.

For more fabulous recipes, click here for the IBS Recipe Board! A Special Farewell!
I would like to thank Michael Mahoney and the IBS Audio Program 100 for their sponsorship of the IBS newsletter this past quarter. I've actually heard from quite a few readers, both personally and on the IBS Hypnosis Message Board, that they've had wonderful results from the Audio Program and have also really enjoyed the hypnotherapy process.

If you're a new subscriber, I'd urge you to listen to the online audio samples of the program, and also to review the spectacularly impressive results hypnotherapy has shown as a treatment for IBS in clinical research trials. In particular, for stress and anxiety related IBS symptoms, the IBS Audio Program is hard to beat. So check out the program and the research, and drop by the message board to see for yourself what others have to say about this truly effective method of treatment! Crohn's Article for - We Want You!
Susanna Haines, a journalist with (the website for Health magazine), is writing an article on nutritional care for Crohn's disease. Her focus is "real solutions" for Crohn's sufferers - namely, nutritional and dietary suggestions that readers could incorporate into their own lives if they suffer from the disease. She would really like to include a few personal testimonials from people to personalize the article and make it more engaging than a dry medical statement.

To this end, Susanna has asked for some feedback from my readers with Crohn's (or Crohn's and IBS both, but her article is strictly about Crohn's so unfortunately, information from someone who "just" has IBS won't help her).

She'd like comments on two topics:

1. "Is there one bit of advice regarding diet and nutrition that has been the absolute best advice you have gotten?"

2. "What is your favorite recipe from Heather?"

If you can contribute to Susanna's article by Friday, July 11, please email her at Provide as much personal information as possible for quotation purposes. When the article is published I'll feature it in the IBS newsletter.

Thank you all! NOTE: For all article links, please refresh your browser page if the article does not appear when you click on the link. For Medscape and Cardiosource articles you may have to register in order to view articles (registration is free).

Inflammatory Bowel Disease and IBS: Separate or Unified?
Both irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases share symptoms of altered bowel habits associated with abdominal pain or discomfort. Irritable bowel syndrome has been referred to as a functional bowel disorder, which is diagnosed by a characteristic cluster of symptoms in the absence of detectable structural abnormalities. Inflammatory bowel disease is a heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by various forms of chronic mucosal and/or transmural inflammation of the intestine. In this review, the authors discuss recent evidence suggesting several potential mechanisms that might play a pathophysiologic role in both syndromes. Possible shared pathophysiologic mechanisms include altered mucosal permeability, an altered interaction of luminal flora with the mucosal immune system, persistent mucosal immune activation, alterations in gut motility, and a role of severe, sustained life stressors in symptom modulation. It is proposed that similarities and differences between the two syndromes can best be addressed within the framework of interactions between the central nervous system and the gut immune system.

Based on recent reports of low-grade mucosal inflammation in subpopulations of patients meeting current diagnostic criteria for irritable bowel syndrome, therapeutic approaches shown to be effective in inflammatory bowel disease, such as probiotics, antibiotics, and antiinflammatory agents, have been suggested as possible therapies for certain patients with irritable bowel syndrome.

Chronic Slow Transit Constipation: Pathophysiology and Management
Patients with idiopathic slow-transit constipation can be divided into 2 subgroups:

1. Patients with normal proximal gastrointestinal motility and with onset of constipation in connection with childbirth or pelvic surgery. This subgroup may benefit from consideration of surgical treatment;

2. Patients who have a dysfunctional enteric nervous/neuroendocrine system and exhibit colonic dysmotility as part of a generalised gastrointestinal dysmotility. Surgical approach in this subgroup seems to be unhelpful and medical treatment appears to be a better approach. Click here for more information...

Glycemic Load, Carbohydrate Intake, and Risk of Colorectal Cancer
Evidence suggests that high circulating levels of insulin might be associated with increased colorectal cancer risk. This study examined the association between dietary intake and colorectal cancer in 49,124 women participating in a randomized, controlled trial in Canada. The study findings did not support the hypothesis that diets high in glycemic load, carbohydrates, or sugar increase colorectal cancer risk. Click here for more information...

Risk Factors for Chronic Constipation
Many factors have been associated with the occurrence of constipation, particularly poor diet and lack of exercise. However, this study found that multiple medications seem to be an important contributing factor. A large number of clinical and therapeutic factors were independently associated with chronic constipation over and above age and gender. Primary neurological diseases were strongly associated with constipation but accounted for few cases. Opioids, diuretics, antidepressants, antihistamines, antispasmodics, anticonvulsants, and aluminum antacids were associated with the highest risk among medications. Click here for more information...

Sex-Related Differences in IBS Patients
Women have a higher prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and possible differences in response to treatment, suggesting sex-related differences in underlying pathophysiology. The aim of this study was to determine possible sex-related differences in brain responses to a visceral and a psychological stressor in IBS. The conclusion was that male and female patients with IBS differ in activation of brain networks concerned with cognitive, autonomic, and antinociceptive responses to delivered and anticipated aversive visceral stimuli. Click here for more information...

Irritable bowel syndrome in primary care: The patients' and doctors' views on symptoms, etiology and management
Patients and family physicians have different perceptions of the efficacy of diagnostic and dietary interventions in IBS. This study concluded that physicians should explore the patients' expectations and incorporate these in their approach to IBS patients. Click here for more information...

Looking for the latest IBS research and news?
Click here for the IBS Newsletter Archive

Weather & IBS
"Is it my imagination, or are the heat and humidity of summer really affecting my IBS?"

It's not your imagination at all. The climate in which you live can make a substantial difference in the frequency and severity of your IBS symptoms. Hot, humid weather in particular is actually a stress factor in and of itself, because 1) heat stresses the body, and 2) air pressure changes from humidity affect the levels of serotonin in the body. Over 90% of that serotonin is in your gut, and current research has demonstrated that serotonin plays a strong role in the underlying pathology of IBS. In addition, the effects humidity have on the gut's levels of serotonin can significantly reduce your pain tolerance level, and research studies have also discovered that people with IBS have a lower threshold for gut pain in the first place. We sometimes even experience normal gut functions as painful. So, the end result of all this is that those muggy days of summer are indeed likely to cause your IBS symptoms to flare, and to make it more difficult for you to maintain day-to-day stability.

Unfortunately, since you can't control the weather, the best bet is to try everything possible to keep yourself comfortable in spite of it. Invest in window air conditioners for your home if you don't have central air, or escape to air conditioned public places (movie theatres, libraries, malls, anywhere) whenever possible. Try to keep your time outside to the cooler mornings and evenings. Keep plenty of cool liquids (particularly helpful herbal teas like peppermint and fennel) on hand, and drink them frequently throughout the day. Be especially careful to not tax your digestion further with heavy, greasy, or large meals. And, if at all possible, get extra sleep, as even minor sleep loss can cause fatigue and a corresponding lower stress-tolerance level, which will just make a bad situation worse.

If hot, humid summers are affecting you to an extreme degree, you may want to consider the drastic step of moving to a different region. If your local climate is seriously compromising your health, a move could be well worth it. Heather & Company is dedicated to serving people with IBS. Our mission is to offer education, services, and products that allow people with IBS to successfully manage their symptoms through lifestyle modifications. We currently offer the books
Eating for IBS and First Year IBS, web site resources, seminars and classes, and Heather Cooks!, a healthy cooking show on the internet and television. We also host the only patient-expert moderated IBS Message Boards on the internet with forums for diet, recipes, hypnotherapy, yoga, plus Crohn's and  Colitis. We will soon have other IBS services and products available. Heather Van Vorous, an IBS sufferer since age 9, is the company founder and president.

Our websites receive over 900,000 unique visitors each year, and our newsletter is sent to over 16,000 people twice monthly. Every month over one thousand new people join our mailing list. Heather & Company and Heather Van Vorous offer the following...

The world's best-selling and best-reviewed books for IBS

The internet's largest IBS newsletter

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Developed the first and only comprehensive IBS dietary guidelines and recipes

Excerpts and recipes from Eating for IBS licensed by Novartis Pharmaceuticals

Included in 4th edition of Marquis Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare

Clinical research study based on Eating for IBS diet underway in the private gastroenterology practice of Dr. Noel Hershfield in Calgary, Canada

Dietary information used by the Radiology Department of the Cancer Centre in Birmingham, England, for treatment of radiation enteritis

Dietary information featured in Today's Dietitian 2003 cover story, "IBS: Suffering in Silence"

Information requested by gastroenterologists, family physicians, and dietitians across the USA, Canada, UK, and Australia for IBS patient distribution

The "Authorized Expert" for Diet & Nutrition at the IBS Association and IBS Self Help Group forums

Finalist for an IACP Julia Child Cookbook Award 2001 - Eating for IBS

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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 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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