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In this Issue...

Food & Recipes

Rx News & Research

Ask Heather

About Us

IBS Hypnosis Program
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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
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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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July 13, 2004

This week ~ Cigarette smoking and IBS

Hello to everyone -

This week we're celebrating summer gardens with a delicious dinner of halibut and fresh herb sauce, a light and tasty dish that comes together in just minutes. We'll also learn why smoking is just as bad for your digestion as it is for your lungs, and as always we've got a wealth of new digestive health research findings. Enjoy!

Best Wishes,
Heather Van Vorous

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Broiled Halibut with Easy Summer Herb Sauce

6 Servings

6 T fresh lemon juice
4 T extra virgin olive oil
3 T chopped fresh basil
3 T chopped fresh chives
3 T chopped fresh parsley
Six 6-ounce halibut fillets
Olive oil for brushing
Basmati or white rice for serving

Puree first five ingredients in a food processor or blender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Preheat broiler, and place fish fillets in a broiling pan. Brush fish fillets very lightly with olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper on both sides. Broil fillets just until opaque in center, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer halibut to serving plates and spoon herb sauce over fish. Serve fish with rice.

*Note - You can substitute different combinations of fresh herbs to suit your taste, or to use what you have growing in the garden. Fresh dill, cilantro, mint, and tarragon are all delicious!

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 Acacia Fermentable Fiber Prevents Clostridium Difficile
Fermentable fiber (soluble fiber) promotes the growth of resident gut microbes, which modify the environment of the gastrointestinal tract and thus prevent colonization by Clostridium difficile. Fermentable fibers such as Acacia (gum arabic) that support the growth of indigenous intestinal bacteria, particularly acidogenic bacteria, yield large amounts of short-chain fatty acids with decreased gut pH. These factors contribute to the prevention of growth and toxin elaboration by C. difficile. Check here for more information...

Check here for more information about the prebiotic effect and other benefits of Acacia Fiber.

High Protein Diet May Affect Female Fertility
Eating a high protein diet may make it more difficult for women to conceive, say American researchers. Dr David Gardner, of the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine in Englewood, said diets containing 25 percent protein disrupt the development of early mice embryos and may have a similar impact in humans. "Although our investigations were conducted in mice, our data may have implications for diet and reproduction in humans," Gardner told a fertility meeting.

"These findings, together with similar work carried out in cows means that it would be prudent to advise couples who are trying to ensure that the woman's protein intake is less than 20 percent of their total energy consumption," Gardner told the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. "The available data certainly indicate that a high protein diet is not advisable while trying to conceive," he added. Check here for more information...

Drug-Free Ways to Treat IBS
Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition that affects 10 - 25% of the general population. Along with pain and suffering coupled with medical expenses, IBS exacts a toll on social and job-related activities. The most popular method of dealing with IBS is through prescription drugs. Popular prescription drugs include anti-diarrhea drugs, anticholinergic (antispasmodic) drugs, and Tricyclic antidepressants. But these drugs can take a heavy toll on the liver, with risks outweighing the benefits. Alternative therapies for IBS have increased in recent years, and the following treatments are outlined in the May 2004 article "Relieve IBS Holistically" from the Taste for Life Magazine as having demonstrated considerable success:

ACUPUNCTURE. Research on acupuncture's role in alleviating IBS symptoms has shown promise, with one studying showing acustimulation to "significantly increase the threshold of rectal sensation of gas, desire to defecate and pain" as well as reducing rectal sensitivity in IBS patients.

HYPNOTHERAPY. Another increasingly popular treatment, hypnotherapy reduces the sensory and motor component of the gastrocolonic response in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. These effects may be involved in the clinical efficacy of hypnotherapy in IBS.

Check here for more information...

Check here to learn about gut-directed hypnotherapy for IBS.

Brain Activity During Distention of the Descending Colon
Brain-gut interaction is considered to be a major factor in the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome. However, only limited information has been provided on the influence of gastrointestinal tract stimulation on the brain. Our aim in this study was to determine the specific regions of the brain that are responsible for visceral perception and emotion provoked by distention of the descending colon in humans. We concluded that distention of the descending colon induces visceral perception and emotion. These changes significantly correlate with activation of specific regions in the brain including the limbic system and the association cortex, especially the prefrontal cortex. Check here for more information...

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Linked to High Rates of Surgeries
People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are more likely than other people to undergo several types of surgery, including gallbladder removal and appendectomy, a new study shows. Many of these operations are probably unnecessary, according to a related editorial.

Of the six surgeries studied, gallbladder removal, appendectomy, hysterectomy, and back surgery were all significantly more common among IBS patients than among other subjects, note Dr. George F. Longstreth, from Kaiser Medical Center in San Diego, California, and Dr. Janis F. Yao, from the Permanente Medical Group in Pasadena, California. The strongest link was with gallbladder removal, which was twice as common among patients with IBS as those without the condition.

"Although it is impossible to know how much of the surgical predisposition we identified resulted from misdiagnosis, consideration of our findings with those of other studies suggests that diagnostic error is an important factor," the researchers note. Check here for more information...

New Risk Information on Zelnorm for IBS for Women
New risk information will now appear in the labeling for the drug Zelnorm, or tegaserod maleate. This medication is used for the short-term treatment of women with irritable bowel syndrome whose primary bowel symptom is constipation.

The new labeling will contain a warning about the serious consequences of diarrhea in these patients, including hypovolemia, hypotension and syncope. The labeling also warns that patients on Zelnorm who develop hypotension or syncope should stop taking the drug. And patients who have or frequently experience diarrhea should not be started on Zelnorm.

The labeling will also contain a new precaution on ischemic colitis in patients receiving Zelnorm. Although a causal relationship has not been established, the drug should be discontinued immediately if the patient develops symptoms of ischemic colitis. These include rectal bleeding, bloody diarrhea, or new or worsening abdominal pain. Check here for more information about Zelnorm...

New List of the 20 Most Antioxidant-Rich Foods
A variety of veggies, fruits and nuts battled it out this month for the top spot on a new list of the 20 most antioxidant-rich foods, ranked by nutrition scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Antioxidants fight damage to cells from rogue molecules called "free radicals." Experts believe this assault on cells may fuel killer diseases such as heart disease and cancer, and even aging itself.

The new Top 20 list, published in the June issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, "is a relative ranking of the capacity of foods to interfere with or prevent oxidative processes and to scavenge free radicals," explained list co-creator Ronald L. Prior, a USDA nutritionist and research chemist based in Little Rock, Ark. Prior and his colleagues used the most advanced technologies available to tabulate antioxidant levels in more than 100 different types of fruits, vegetables, berries, nuts and spices.

The Top 20:
1) Small red beans (dried).
2) Wild blueberries.
3) Red Kidney beans.
4) Pinto beans.
5) Blueberries (cultivated).
6) Cranberries.
7) Artichokes (cooked).
8) Blackberries.
9) Prunes.
10) Raspberries.
11) Strawberries.
12) Red Delicious apples.
13) Granny Smith apples.
14) Pecans.
15) Sweet cherries.
16) Black plums.
17) Russet potatoes (cooked).
18) Black beans (dried).
19) Plums.
20) Gala apples.

Looking for ways to safely incorporate these healthy foods into your IBS diet? Check here for hundreds of recipes.

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

divider Smoking and IBS
"I smoke, and I'm wondering if that is having an effect on my IBS?"

Well, you probably already know the answer to this one. Just like alcohol and caffeine, tobacco is a drug that hits extra hard if you have IBS. Tobacco - whether smoked or chewed - is a powerful GI tract stimulant, irritant, and carcinogen. Since people with IBS have unusually sensitive digestive tracts by definition, and we're prone to severe over-reactions of the gut from normal stimuli (like food, or simply waking up in the morning), it's easy to see why tobacco is one of the worst triggers for all IBS symptoms. That's really the least of it, though, as tobacco has far more severe effects on your GI tract than just exacerbating Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Tobacco has harmful effects on virtually all parts of the digestive system. It can cause heartburn and reflux (two conditions that folks with IBS are already more likely to develop), because smoking weakens the esophageal sphincter, thus allowing acidic stomach contents to flow upward into the lower part of the esophagus. While most ulcers are associated with an infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria, or irritation from anti-inflammatory medications, smoking doubles your chance of developing an peptic ulcer, and then interferes with its healing and promotes ulcer recurrences. The increase of ulcer perforation from smoking may be as high as 10-fold. Smoking is also thought to increase the risk of Crohn's disease, and to lead to the development of gallstones.

Nicotine, the addictive element (and a poison) in tobacco, can cause a weakening of the lower esophageal sphincter, increase stomach acid production, and decrease pancreatic production of sodium bicarbonate, a substance that neutralizes stomach acid. In addition to the nicotine, cigarette smoke contains over 400 toxins and 43 known carcinogens, all of which are entering your bloodstream and making their way through your digestive tract. Finally, the extra air swallowed during smoking can cause belching, bloating, and gas.

And, of course, smoking is also known to increase the risk of cancer, including cancers of the digestive tract such as colon, bladder, pancreas, kidney and stomach. Long-term cigarette smoking increases the risk of colorectal cancer for two main reasons: inhaled or swallowed tobacco smoke transports carcinogens to the colon, and tobacco use appears to increase colon polyp size. In general, the bigger the polyp, the greater the chance it will become cancerous. Studies indicate that 12% of fatal colorectal cancers may be directly attributable to smoking.

Setting aside the serious disease risks of smoking, for just plain old IBS the effects of tobacco can be immediate and downright violent. Tobacco irritates the lining of the intestines, which can cause diarrhea, intestinal cramping, pain, bloating, and gas. Nicotine can cause nausea and stomach cramps. Smoking also decreases the efficiency of food digestion and metabolism, which can cause altered bowel movements (already a problem for people with IBS) and bloating. Nicotine withdrawal can cause both constipation and diarrhea. So yes, in a nutshell, tobacco can (and almost certainly will) affect your IBS, and not for the better. If you needed yet another reason to quit smoking, now you've got one.

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.

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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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