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June 18, 2003

Hello to everyone -

Our newsletter today debuts a slightly new design, but as always the focus is on good digestive health! To begin, we have a fast and easy (just 10 minutes in the kitchen) seafood dinner that 's perfect for hot summer nights when you don't much feel like cooking. Chinese Black Bean Steamed Cod is an exceptionally light and flavorful fish dish very similar to what you'd find in a Chinese restaurant, but with almost no fat at all.  It's delicious served over fresh white rice, which provides a soluble fiber basis for GI stability. The fresh gingerroot in the recipe adds a zesty note and also serves as a digestive aid.

As always, the rest of the 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

Chinese Black Bean Steamed Cod

4 Servings

1 1/2 lb. cod fillets
1 large bunch green onions

Clean the green onions (also called scallions or spring onions), reserve one onion for garnish, and leave the other onions whole. Place fish fillets on top of whole green onions in a steamer tray and steam, covered, until fish just flakes (about 8 minutes). Transfer fish to serving platter and discard steamed green onions. Top fish with spoonfuls of black bean sauce. Finely chop reserved green onion and sprinkle on fish. Serve with cooked white rice.

Black Bean Sauce:
1/4 C Chinese black bean garlic sauce (Lee Kum Kee brand is best)
1/4 C water
1 T minced peeled fresh gingerroot
1 t roasted sesame oil
2 T mirin or Sherry
2 T brown sugar

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir well.

For more fabulous recipes, click here for the IBS Recipe Board!
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).

The Brain, the Gut, the Food, and the Bacteria? Update on Treatment of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
Despite being the most prevalent gastrointestinal disorders seen in gastroenterology practice, functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) continue to be difficult conditions to understand and manage, for both clinicians and patients. Given these circumstances, it has not been surprising to note the ongoing increase in interest in FGIDs, as reflected by the number of high-quality abstracts submitted and presented at this year's Digestive Disease Week (DDW) meeting, as well as by the number of attendees at sessions focusing on these disorders.

Presentations during this year's meeting proceedings covered the wide spectrum of intensive research that is ongoing in the field, and provided interesting new data about various aspects of these disorders. This overview focuses on those key presentations that provided updates and new information about the effect and efficacy of available and commonly used treatment options for functional GI and motility disorders. Click here for more information...

Influence of Body Posture on Intestinal Transit of Gas
Patients often note that body posture may affect their abdominal bloating, distension, and flatulence, but whether changes in position have objectively demonstrable effects, either beneficial or deleterious, has not been investigated. This study aimed to determine the effect of body posture, upright versus supine, on intestinal transit of gas loads. It concluded that body posture has a significant influence on intestinal gas propulsion: transit is faster in the upright position than when supine. Click here for more information...

Slow Down, You Eat Too Fast - Slow Eating Cuts Acid Reflux Risks
Fast eating, not just fast food, can increase the risk of acid reflux after meals, according to a new study. Researchers say people who eat their food quickly are more likely to suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Click here for more information...

Constipation, Laxative Use, and Colon Cancer
The aim of this study was to determine whether bowel movement frequency and laxative use and type were associated with risk of colon cancer in white and black men and women. It concluded that there is a positive association between constipation and increased risk for colon cancer. Women, especially black women with constipation, seem to be at the highest risk. Fiber commercial laxatives appeared to exert a protective effect in a small subgroup. Click here for more information...

High Prevalence of Bacterial Overgrowth in Celiac Patients with Persistence of GI Symptoms after Gluten Withdrawal
Celiac disease is a gluten-sensitive enteropathy with a broad spectrum of clinical manifestation, and most celiac patients respond to a gluten-free diet (GFD). However, in some rare cases celiacs continue to experience GI symptoms after GFD, despite optimal adherence to diet. The aim of our study was to evaluate the causes of persistence of GI symptoms in a series of consecutive celiac patients fully compliant to GFD. The study showed that small intestine bacterial overgrowth affects most celiacs with persistence of GI symptoms after gluten withdrawal. Click here for more information...

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Yoga for IBS
"I've heard that yoga can help reduce pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Is this true?"

Yes, it is! Yoga is considered a form of moving meditation, and is actually a term that encompasses over one hundred different disciplines. Yoga (the Sanskrit word for "union") as it is commonly understood refers to hatha yoga, a system of physical and mental exercises. Hatha yoga rests on three foundations - exercise,  breathing, and meditation - with the goal of joining together the body and mind into a state of balance and harmony. The interplay of these three elements and the studied repetition of each is considered key to achieving their benefits.

Yoga has been proven to provide a variety of significant health benefits, both physical and mental. It can help alleviate or manage many chronic health conditions, including not just Irritable Bowel Syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases, but also: back pain, arthritis, depression, diabetes, asthma, migraines, and substance abuse. It has been shown to increase the efficiency of the heart and slow the respiratory rate, lower blood pressure, and contribute to the reversal of heart disease. In terms of overall physical fitness yoga improves posture, muscle fitness, circulation, coordination, range of motion, and flexibility. As a stress management technique yoga is superb; it promotes relaxation, reduces anxiety, improves sleep patterns, and helps stabilize digestion, including IBS symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, and pain. Yoga is also beneficial for preventing or minimizing menstrual cramps, which often exacerbate Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Though yoga produces measurable physiological changes in the body, and an alteration in brain-wave activity reflecting an induced state of deep relaxation, science cannot yet explain exactly why this is true. While the beneficial effects of yoga are undisputed, no one quite knows what produces them. Practice may promote the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, or many of the benefits may be the result of physical and mental stress relief. There are currently several studies in progress by the Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health that hope to produce some clear answers on the subject.

For people with IBS and IBD, yoga is perhaps most beneficial for its ability to reduce the stress, anxiety, and pain of chronic illness. Regular practice will indisputably improve your physical and mental fitness, promote relaxation, and give you a sense of control over your health and well-being. As with other stress management techniques, the more your practice, the greater your improvement.

Still wondering about yoga for IBS? Come ask questions on the IBS Yoga Board! 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 800,000 unique visitors each year, and our newsletter is sent to over 15,000 people twice monthly. Every month over one thousand new people join our mailing list. Heather & Company and Heather Van Vorous offer the following...

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

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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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