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Food & Recipes

Special Events

Rx News & Research

Ask Heather ~ Can dogs have IBS?

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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!

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April 14, 2004

Dogs, Diarrhea, & IBS?

Hello to everyone -

This week we're announcing the very first annual IBS get-together in Las Vegas (yeah, baby!) Plus, our "Ask Heather" column features a special letter from a furry little guy named Sammy, and we've got a wealth of new digestive health research findings. All that and a terrific spring recipe for mango chicken as well - enjoy!

Best Wishes,
Heather Van Vorous

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

ShellMarr's Poached Mango Chicken

Makes 2 servings

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 8 oz. each)
2/3 cup mango nectar or juice (such as Goya brand)
1/2 cup fat free chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons fresh gingerroot, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
Thin lime slices (optional)
Cooked basmati rice for serving

With a mallet, gently pound chicken breasts until they are relatively flat and of even thickness overall (this will help the chicken cook evenly). In a 10- to 12- inch frying pan, stir together mango nectar, broth, lime juice, ginger, and cinnamon. Add chicken to broth mixture and simmer gently, covered, over medium heat until meat in the thickest part is no longer pink; cut to test (15 to 20 minutes). Transfer chicken to a platter and keep warm.

Bring cooking liquid to a boil over high heat; then boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1/2 cup (2 to 3 minutes). Stir cornstarch into 2 tablespoons of water and pour the mixture into the pan. Return to a boil and stir until the sauce is thickened. Season to taste with salt.

Spoon sauce over chicken. Garnish with lime slices, if desired. Serve over cooked rice.

Thank you to ShellMarr, one of many magnificent recipe goddesses on the IBS Recipe Exchange Board. For oodles of other delicious recipes, come visit the 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!
Come one, come the IBS Fall Sprawl! Yep, it's official - 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.

New IBS Support Groups are Meeting!
If you missed the last newsletter, you might not know that there are two new IBS support groups now meeting in the US - one in Baltimore, Maryland and the other in Decatur, Texas. The Baltimore group is being led by Jen, who's planning a fabulous spring picnic on April 17th for the very first meeting. It's an IBS-friendly potluck, so bring your favorite digestion-friendly recipe (stumped for ideas? There are hundreds of delicious options right here!). So come join the Baltimore IBS Support Group and let Jen know you'll be seeing her soon at the picnic.

The Decatur group, known as FibroCOURAGE, is led by Carolyn, and she warmly welcomes everyone with fibromyalgia and/or IBS. Carolyn's group meets the first Tuesday of every month at the Fit-n-Wise Community Wellness Center, in the Training Zone Cafe. Their next meeting will have lots of info and planning for the upcoming International Fibromyalgia Awareness Day on May 12. Come join the Decatur IBS & Fibromyalgia Support Group and say hello to Carolyn.

If you're interested in starting an IBS Support Group in your own area, please come look for your city and state on the main IBS Support Board. We'll see you there!
divider Psychosocial Factors are Linked to Functional GI Disorders
It is widely accepted based on volunteer studies that levels of psychological distress are similar in those with functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and health in the community, while increased psychological distress in outpatients is largely explained by health-care seeking. This study aimed to determine if psychological distress, life event stress, or social support is associated with functional GI disorders in a population-based study. The study concluded that, contrary to current dogma, psychosocial factors were significantly associated with functional GI disorders in this community sample. This suggests that these factors may be involved in the etiopathogenesis rather than just driving health-care utilization. Check here for more information about this study...

Women More Sensitive to Pain Than Men
Blacks and whites have about the same sensitivity to pain, but women appear to be more sensitive to it than men. That's what Duke University researchers report in the April issue of the Journal of Pain.

"Many pain medications are addictive and have unpleasant side effects, so it's important for physicians to be able to understand exactly how much pain their patients are experiencing," lead researcher and psychologist Dr. Tavis Campbell said in a prepared statement.

"This research supports well-established findings of slightly higher sensitivity to pain among women compared to men, but revealed no difference between whites and African-Americans," Campbell said. Check here for more information...

Catching Colon Cancer in Women Can Be Tough
Women are up to twice as likely as men to have inadequate sigmoidoscopy exams due to inadequate depth of insertion, a concern raised by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

The study also found that failure to achieve adequate depth of insertion during sigmoidoscopy increases as patients, both men and women, age. The findings suggest a patient's age and sex are important factors when doctors are considering which colorectal cancer screening method to use.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy is one of the most common colorectal cancer screening tools. A sigmoidoscope -- a 60-centimeter-long flexible tube about the thickness of a finger -- is threaded into the patient's rectum and lower third of the colon. The sigmoidoscope has a tiny video camera that lets the doctor to examine the wall of the colon for any abnormalities, such as cancer or polyps.

This study included a review of more than 15,000 sigmoidoscopies. It found the percentage of sigmoidoscopies examinations that failed to reach 50 centimeters into the colon increased from 19 percent in women aged 50 to 59, to 32 percent in women aged 80 or older. For men, those percentages were 10 percent in the younger group and 22 percent in the older group. Check here for more information...

Faulty Gene for Crohn's Disease Found
Canadian researchers have isolated a gene that predisposes people to Crohn's disease, a painful disorder that strikes young people and that has sharply increased in frequency in recent years. The discovery will have an immediate impact, allowing researchers to distinguish more readily between Crohn's and ulcerative colitis, both inflammatory bowel diseases.

"The diagnostic benefits will be immediate," said Katherine Siminovitch, a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. "That's important because you really want to catch these diseases in the early stages . . . then you can start a therapy that might put patients in remission and even eradicate the disease."

Dr. Siminovitch said, however, that development of new drugs based on this genetic finding is a long-term prospect; new treatments are probably a decade away. Check here for more information...

Yogurt Prevents Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea
Clinical Question: Is yogurt effective in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea?

Synopsis: Probiotic agents are effective in preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Controversy exists about whether commercially available yogurt products are similarly effective. A total of 202 hospitalized patients receiving oral or intravenous antibiotics were randomized (concealed allocation assignment) to receive vanilla-flavored yogurt (8 oz twice daily for eight days) or usual care without yogurt supplementation.

The authors found that patients receiving yogurt reported less frequent diarrhea. In addition, patients ingesting yogurt daily reported significantly fewer days with diarrhea. Check here for more information...

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

divider Can Dogs Have Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Although I receive a tremendous number of thank you letters from people with IBS (and a heartfelt thank you to all who have sent me these notes), I recently received a letter unlike any other. I'd like to turn this week's "Ask Heather" column into a "Dear Heather" so that I can share this letter with you all.

Dear Heather:

This may be one of the most unusual letters you will ever receive. But here goes...your book The First Year: IBS saved the life of our family dog.

dog with IBS

His name is Sammy and he is an eight year old Shih Tzu whom we love dearly. All of his life he has had problems our vet couldn't isolate, but then two years ago the problems escalated. For 18 months we tried several drugs and diets but nothing worked. He was throwing up daily, losing weight and muscle tone and losing all interest in food.

On September 30, 2003 he was so sick we were up all night. However, that same day, while at our local library, I saw your book. Throughout the long night my husband and I took turns reading the book from cover to cover --- WOW!!!

October 1 we introduced a soluble fiber supplement into his lowfat dogfood. We also began experimenting with the high soluble fiber food list in your book. We have found that he loves bananas, carrots, rice cereal, and sweet potatoes. So when he's having a finicky dogfood day, we go to your list and are very successful getting some nourishment into him.

We are extremely happy to report that 5 months later he is doing great. We have been mostly able to control him with diet. We still give him one steroid tablet every 8-10 days but that is after slowly weaning him off from one tablet daily. He has regained weight and muscle tone. And when he does have an upset stomach we give him a few drops of oil of peppermint.

Before your book we were at the point of making a hard decision to put him out of any more misery. We are so very glad that fate intervened and brought us your book.

Just thought you'd like to know that the guide works for animals as well as humans.

Our sincere thanks,
Vicki and Mark Burton

I'd like to give a great big thank you to Vicki and Mark for sharing their story, and a hug and kiss to Sammy the dog too!
~ Heather

On a related note, I was very surprised to hear from someone else recently who had a dog that had been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The dog had alternating constipation and diarrhea, and his vet had recommended enteric coated peppermint oil capsules, which the dog owner was consequently ordering from us. Apparently dogs can and do get IBS, and some of the treatments are the same for animals as they are for humans. I never would have guessed!

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 million visits each year, and our newsletter is sent to over 22,000 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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