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October 23, 2003

This week ~ Acupuncture, constipation, diarrhea, & IBS

Hello to everyone!

This issue brings quite a number of IBS breaking news stories, and as always a terrific digestion-friendly recipe as well.

First, I am really excited to announce the debut of our own pure, organic, soluble fiber supplement! Heather's Organic Tummy Fiber is made from powdered Acacia, a natural plant dietary fiber that is completely soluble - it contains no insoluble fiber at all. Soluble fiber has a traditional and historical use for managing digestive health: it soothes and regulates the digestive tract, helps prevent cramping by stabilizing intestinal contractions, promotes normal bowel function, and aids BOTH diarrhea and constipation.

Our Acacia is not only pure soluble fiber, it contains no additives, fillers, colors, sweeteners, or flavors. Acacia dissolves completely into water and is tasteless, odorless, colorless, grit-free, and non-thickening. Best of all, clinical studies have shown that Acacia increases good gut flora - it's actually considered a prebiotic, and is significantly bifidogenic (which means that it selectively supports the growth of probiotics - beneficial bacteria - especially bifidobacteria). Acacia has also has been shown to have excellent gastrointestinal tolerance and to slow down colonic fermentation, which decreases gas and bloating. Like all dietary fibers, Acacia is completely safe and healthy for daily, lifelong use.

I'm very hopeful that Acacia will be significantly better tolerated than other commercial soluble fiber supplements such as psyllium, inulin, and guar gum, and much less likely to cause bloating and gas. I have had terrific results from it and I believe that many others will too! To learn more about Acacia, check here.

Now, if you're ready to start cooking, as the weather gets colder and days get shorter my thoughts often turn to hearty stews for dinner. So today we have a delicious recipe for an old-fashioned Country-Style Chicken and Dumplings one-dish meal that's certain to keep you warm on a chilly fall night! Traditionally, this is a very high fat recipe, but we've significantly reduced the fat while still keeping the great taste. My favorite part of the stew is the dumplings themselves - they're light and airy, cooked to perfection in the rich chicken and vegetable broth, but they're not only trigger free, they're actually a great soluble fiber base for the meal. The addition of root vegetables, which are at their peak in the fall and winter, adds more soluble fiber, great nutrition, and the old-fashioned flavor of traditional country stews. Enjoy!

Best Wishes,
Heather Van Vorous

[1] These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. divider

Country-Style Chicken and Dumplings

6 C fat free chicken or veggie broth
3 lbs. skinless, bone-in chicken breasts
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 large carrots, peeled, cut in 1/2" chunks
2 celery ribs with leaves, cut in 1/2" chunks
1 small rutabaga, peeled, cut in 1/2" chunks
1 bay leaf
1 t dried savory
1/2 t salt
1/2 t black pepper

1 C all-purpose white flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
2 T non-hydrogenated soy shortening (such as Organic Spectrum or Soy Garden)
1/2 C plain soy milk blended with 1/2 t vinegar
1-2 T chopped fresh (or dried) parsley
2 T chopped fresh (or dried) chives

In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, bring the broth to a boil and add all remaining "Chicken" ingredients. Simmer until the chicken is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove the chicken from the broth and when cool enough to handle pull chicken meat from the bones, cut into bite-size chunks, and add back to broth. Discard bones and bay leaf.

For the dumplings, sift and whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt in medium bowl. Rub chilled shortening into dry ingredients with your fingertips until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the clabbered soy milk (soy milk and vinegar mixture), parsley, and chives with a fork to make a soft dough.

Return broth to a simmer. Drop dumplings by rounded tablespoons (will make about 10-12 dumplings) into the simmering broth to make a single layer. Cover the pot and simmer gently until dumplings are cooked through and no longer doughy (do not undercook!), about 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

For more delicious recipes like this one, come visit the IBS recipe board!

Are you just learning how to eat for IBS? A little intimidated at the thought of special IBS recipes? Don't worry! Come see the diet section, and find the answers to all your questions.

divider New IBS Support Group in Tacoma, Washington!
A new IBS Support Group is meeting for the first time on Thursday, November 13th, at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. We'll meet from 7:00 - 8:15 pm in the Trimble Forum, in Trimble Hall. Amber Brock is the group moderator, and she's a UPS student. I'll be giving an overview of IBS and ways to manage it, and then we'll just have an open (and fun!) discussion, plus some Peppermint Fudge Cake. All are welcome, so if you're in the Tacoma area please come join the group. See you there!

divider Fat and Fructose May Contribute to IBS Symptoms
Two new studies exploring the role of diet in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) suggest that fat and fructose may contribute to symptoms of the gastrointestinal disorder that affects more than 1 in 10 Americans.

One study showed that patients with IBS and fructose intolerance who eliminated fruit and other fructose-rich foods from their diet experienced an improvement in symptoms. Another study showed that people with functional gastrointestinal disorders, about half of whom had IBS, consumed a diet with a higher proportion of high-fat, low-carbohydrate foods than their healthy counterparts.

Neither study proves cause-and-effect, researchers stressed. But both studies, presented here this week at the 68th annual scientific meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology, point to the need to work with patients to identify possible dietary triggers of gastrointestinal symptoms, they said. Check here for more information...

Three in Four People With IBS Also Have Functional Dyspepsia
More patients than thought may suffer from multiple functional gastrointestinal disorders, according to researchers who found that nearly three quarters of people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) also have functional dyspepsia.

"Physicians need to realize that many patients seeking care for gastrointestinal symptoms are likely to have more than one clinical disorder," said lead researcher Ashok K. Tuteja, MD, from the Department of Gastroenterology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Check here for more information...

Fennel, intestinal spasms, and infantile colic
Despite its benign, natural course, colic is a significant problem in infants and imparts a psychological, emotional, and physical burden to parents. Dicyclomine hydrochloride is the only pharmacological treatment for infantile colic that has been consistently effective. Unfortunately, 5% of infants treated with dicyclomine hydrochloride develop serious side effects, including death. Fennel seed oil has been shown to reduce intestinal spasms and increase motility of the small intestine. Check here for more information...

Measuring Treatment Effects in IBS Trials
An American College of Gastroenterology 68th Annual Scientific Meeting presentation reported that there is no single therapeutic approach to IBS. Most patients (ie, those with mild symptoms and minimal impairment) with IBS can be managed at a primary-care level. Fewer than 25% of patients with IBS have more severe symptoms with significant lifestyle impairment requiring management by a gastroenterologist, and 5% of patients with IBS have such severe and incapacitating symptoms that they require referral to a center with multispecialty capability. Goals of therapy should focus on symptom management rather than cure.

It would seem intuitive that investigators performing therapeutic trials for IBS would measure changes in individual IBS symptoms, such as abdominal pain, bloating, and bowel habit satisfaction in order to determine therapeutic efficacy. Reliance on changes in individual symptoms, however, may not be as sensitive an endpoint as global IBS symptom relief, likely due to the nonspecific, variable, and subjective complaints that are common with IBS. Check here for more information...

Images Show a Snub Really Is Like Kick in the Gut
The feeling is familiar to anyone who has been passed over in picking teams or snubbed at a party -- a sickening, almost painful feeling in the stomach. Well, it turns out that "kicked in the gut" feeling is real, U.S. scientists said on Thursday. Brain imaging studies show that a social snub affects the brain precisely the way visceral pain does.

"When someone hurts your feelings, it really hurts you," said Matt Lieberman, a social psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who worked on the study. "I wouldn't want to be quoted as saying that physical pain and social pain are the same thing, but it seems that some of the same things are going on," he said in a telephone interview. Check here for more information...

Molecular Alterations In Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Novel research shows that alterations in serotonin signaling in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract are present in patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). These data shed light on the alterations in gut motility, secretion, sensation, as well as the clinical manifestations of IBS, which include abdominal discomfort, pain, bloating, constipation and/or diarrhea. Check here for more information...

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

divider Acupuncture and Irritable Bowel Syndrome
"Can acupuncture really help IBS?"

Yes, it can. Both the National Institutes of Health Consensus Panel and the World Health Organization, using different criteria, have identified many different conditions as appropriate for acupuncture treatments, including several that directly pertain to IBS:

Abdominal pain
Muscle cramping

In addition, acupuncture has also been deemed effective as a means of stress reduction, and at addressing related problems that are often triggers for IBS symptoms, such as:

Premenstrual syndrome
Menstrual cramps

At least one study has directly investigated the use of acupuncture versus relaxation therapy in IBS patients. This research found that patients' quality-of-life and gastrointestinal symptom scores were equally improved in both groups, with a statistically significant reduction in abdominal pain. However, when the patients were followed for a 4-week period post-trial period, only in the acupuncture group did pain reduction persist.

Furthermore, a significant reduction in stress perception was also observed in the acupuncture group, but not in the relaxation group. The conclusion drawn was that acupuncture is an effective form of treatment for IBS, particularly the pain and stress symptoms, and that its benefits exceed those of standard relaxation treatment.

If acupuncture interests you it's a good idea to go ahead and try it. The risk is certainly negligible and the rewards may well be great!

If you'd like to learn more about acupuncture before you try it, check the First Year: IBS for detailed information on acupuncture as well as other alternative therapies for IBS. 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 1.5 million visits each year, and our newsletter is sent to over 18,000 people. Every month over one thousand new people join our email list. 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 click here to 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.

© 2003 Heather & Company for IBS, LLC. All rights reserved. BBB Business Review