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November 20, 2003

Hello to everyone!

Welcome to the special Thanksgiving edition of the IBS Newsletter. This issue is just packed with terrific recipes, travel tips, nifty ideas for keeping your digestion stable while still enjoying the holiday, plus the latest in IBS news and research. I feel stuffed already!

Since Thanksgiving is traditionally centered around food (and lots of it), I decided to offer a whole banquet's worth of everyone's favorite turkey-day recipes. For the turkey itself, choose just the white meat (and no skin!) to keep your fat content low, and your digestion stable. Add a little cranberry sauce instead of gravy, and get a good soluble fiber basis from the stuffing. If you make traditional mashed potatoes with soy or rice milk instead of dairy, they'll be a terrific low fat, high soluble fiber foundation for the meal as well. And don't skip dessert! There's no need to when you have a wealth of digestion-friendly pies and more to choose from. Here's a quick list of helpful hints:

* Keep your portions small so you can have a taste of everything without overloading your gut.

*Take a soluble fiber supplement like Acacia right before the meal, as this will keep your digestion stable. Remember, it's soluble fiber (which soothes and regulates the GI tract) that allows you to safely add insoluble fiber foods.

* If the meal is higher in fat than it should be for IBS, try taking an enteric coated Peppermint Cap before you eat. This will increase your bile production (which digests fats) and help prevent the abdominal cramps, bowel dysfunction, and pain often triggered by fatty foods. It's also a terrific way to get the powerful anti-spasmodic and pain-relieving benefits of peppermint without triggering heartburn or GERD.

* Eat at a leisurely pace, chew thoroughly, and make sure you're breathing deeply so you don't rush through dinner. Take the time to enjoy the conversation and catching up with family members just as much as you enjoy the meal.

* Make a point of drinking your most helpful herbal tea - Fennel for bloating, Peppermint for cramping, Ginger for nausea - all day long, both before and after the meal. This will help prevent problems in the first place. If you're having Thanksgiving away from home, take your own tea with you.

* Check here for lots more helpful tips and tricks for safe Thanksgiving feasting.

Now you're ready to mix and match any of the recipes below with your own traditional favorites, and please the whole family while keeping yourself stable, happy, and healthy for the holiday!

Best Wishes,
Heather Van Vorous


Thanksgiving Special!

Old-Fashioned Bread Stuffing with Dried Apricots and Currants

Rosemary Raisin Bread Stuffing

Orange Corn Bread

Squash Rice Casserole (from SharonMello)

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Stuffed Acorn Squash (from Karin)

Sweet Potato, Carrot and Ginger Soup (from Kerrie)

Five Minute Pumpkin Pie

Paradise Apple Cake (from SharonMello)

Double Decker Sweet Potato Pecan Pie

And for those leftovers...

Refreshing Turkey Salad (from Shell Marr)

For hundreds of delicious recipes, come visit the IBS Recipe Message 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 Free Fibromyalgia AWARE Magazine for IBS Newsletter Subscribers!
I'm delighted to announce that I am collaborating with the National Fibromyalgia Assocation to provide patients with more avenues for finding reliable information on IBS and fibromyalgia - two chronic illnesses that often overlap. The National Fibromyalgia Association has graciously offered to provide my IBS Newsletter subscribers with a free copy of their latest issue of Fibromyalgia AWARE magazine. Simply email your mailing address to Lauren Glick at and you will receive your free issue of Fibromyalgia AWARE magazine in the next few weeks.

Fibromyalgia AWARE magazine has been an important publication for patients, medical professionals, FM friends and family. It is the only consumer publication focusing on fibromyalgia and overlapping conditions on the market today. Created by FM survivors and the top FM medical professionals in the country, Fibromyalgia AWARE magazine offers the most reliable information on the illness, treatment, and research. Most importantly, Fibromyalgia AWARE gives patients the hope and motivation to live well with FM.

divider Doctors Unmoved by Bowel Misery
The distress and discomfort of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) earns little sympathy from many doctors, according to a UK survey. The majority of US doctors interviewed believed that IBS, while unpleasant, was not a serious medical condition, while four out of five admitted that they did not follow established treatment guidelines.

Nearly a third of the doctors said that IBS was mainly a psychological problems, instead of a genuine physical complaint. Support groups say that some doctors still have little time for patients complaining of IBS symptoms. Check here for more information...

Outlook Affects IBS patients
People's perception of their bowel disorder affects how they cope with the condition, researchers have found. If they believe their Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is due to an external factor, and that it can be controlled, they cope well. But if they believe it is caused by psychological factors, they are less likely to cope with IBS.

Researchers from the University of Kent interviewed over 200 patients with IBS. They were asked about their symptoms and what they believed about the causes and the severity of the disorder. Patients were also asked to what extent people believed their IBS can be controlled or cured, how they coped with it and how anxious or depressed they were.

It was found that those who believed it could be controlled or cured were likely to accept their IBS and have a better quality of life. But those who thought IBS was a very serious illness with potentially serious consequences suffered more anxiety and depression. They also had a lower quality of life. Check here for more information...

Clinical Trials to Continue for Cilansetron, a New IBS-Diarrhea Drug
Solvay Pharmaceuticals announced that headline results from the first two large placebo-controlled phase III efficacy studies show convincing evidence for the patient benefits of cilansetron, a novel drug developed for the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome with predominantly diarrhea (IBS-D). In view of favorable clinical findings, Solvay will expedite compilation of registration dossiers for major territories, beginning with submissions in Europe and the United States in the first quarter of 2004.

Solvay is running a full phase III clinical program with cilansetron, a 5HT3 antagonist for the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome with predominantly diarrhea. Together with our preferred-provider quintiles, more than 4,000 patients have been entered into phase III clinical studies. Cilansetron was created by Solvay's own in-house drug-discovery efforts. In two Phase II placebo controlled clinical studies and two Phase III placebo controlled clinical studies conducted in the US, Europe and other countries, cilansetron has shown clinical benefits in both males and females. Check here for more information...

Aloe Plant's IBS Healing Powers Tested
Millions of people could benefit from pioneering research at three south west Wales hospitals which are investigating the medicinal properties of a desert plant. Neath, Morriston and Singleton hospitals are the first to trial aloe vera as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which affects around 20% of the UK population. Aloe vera is a native plant of southern Africa. More than 250 IBS sufferers in the region are taking part in the two-year study, which will cost £50,000. Check here for more information...

Gender Differences In Brain Response To IBS Pain
A new UCLA study shows that different parts of the brain are stimulated in reaction to pain depending on gender. The research, which represents the largest gender-comparison study of its kind, focused on people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), one of the nation's most common chronic medical conditions. The findings may help develop and target better treatments for IBS and other illnesses.

"We are finding more scientific differences between men and women as we improve research methods and broaden study populations," said study co-author Dr. Emeran Mayer, UCLA professor of bio-behavioral sciences, and medicine, physiology and psychiatry. "This growing base of research will help us develop more effective treatments based on a new criteria: gender." Check here for more information...

Combo Treatment Best for IBS
Since 1983, several studies have shown that months of psychotherapy can help some patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common yet baffling intestinal disorder believed to be largely influenced by stress and anxiety. But a 50% reduction in symptoms after just two weeks?

That's what is being reported in a new study detailing the latest spin in the "mind-body" approach to treating IBS: A collaborative effort in which both a gastrointestinal specialist and a psychotherapist simultaneously treat the patient with coordinated care. Check here for more information...

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

divider On the Road or In the Air with IBS
"I'm traveling home for Thanksgiving. How can I stay stable during the trip?"

As usual with IBS, the best defense is a good offense, and for traveling this just means taking some time to think things through in advance. It will be well worth your while to make careful but flexible plans, take some simple precautions, and prepare to ask questions or make special requests on your trip to get your dietary and stress management needs met. By the way, feeling guilty about somehow being "difficult" in this regard is not allowed. Taking care of your health is a legitimate priority and that's that.

For the travel itself, whether car, plane or train rides, bring your own food and a soluble fiber supplement such as Acacia. Do not assume that the meals being provided by travel services, or the tourist restaurants along your route, will offer any safe choices whatsoever. Odds are they won't. It's very important that you are extra careful to follow the IBS dietary guidelines from the first day of your trip to the last, as travel is virtually always upsetting to your body even if you're not immediately aware of the effects. This physical stress can quickly rear its ugly head in the form of an IBS attack if you allow it, so concentrate on prevention at all costs. The power of precautionary measures is what will enable you to enjoy your vacation, not suffer through it.

In addition to taking dietary precautions, maintain your stress management program while traveling, or at least a modified version of it, to the best of your ability. You may have to replace morning aerobics with evening walks, find a quiet corner of your bedroom to regularly practice meditation or yoga, or ensure in advance that if you're staying in a hotel room it's in a quiet location so your sleep is uncompromised. Do whatever it takes, and feel free to substitute any alternative that works for you.

If exercise is key to your IBS management as well, make it a priority of your trip. Take your work out clothes and shoes with you and unpack them first so they're staring you in the face. If you don't have the option of exercising as planned once you're actually on holiday, change tactics and adapt - find any variation that works and run with it. Maintenance is the key here and flexibility will get you everywhere.

Disruptions to your sleep cycle are common when traveling, particularly if you change time zones. Make an extra effort to overcome this potential trigger as quickly as possible. If you can, pack your own pillow whenever you travel, and you'll likely sleep much better. As a daily rule, try to go to sleep earlier than you think necessary and get a little extra rest - this will definitely minimize your risk of attacks. Even scheduling a few naps here and there can make a world of difference. After all, family holidays are supposed to leave you happily well-rested!

Looking for more travel advice? Check our fabulous IBS message boards!

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 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