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Addresses: diet, stress management, yoga, hypnotherapy, travel, work concerns, social events, restaurants, holidays, children with IBS, support groups, and more!

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January 29, 2003

Comfort Food Special!

Tuna Casserole

4-6 Servings

3 c. dry macaroni or wide noodles
1 1/2 c. diced mushrooms
1 c. diced sweet white onion
1/2 c. diced celery
1/4 t. celery seed
1/2 t. salt
10-12 oz. pkg. silken tofu, drained
2 (6 oz.) cans white tuna in water
1 1/2 c. plain soy or rice milk
Baked Lays potato chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water with 2 teaspoons salt until tender. Drain.

While pasta is cooking, saute mushrooms, onion, and celery in a large nonstick skillet sprayed with a little cooking oil. Cook over medium high heat until very tender and golden, and liquid released from mushrooms has evaporated.

Puree cooked veggies in a blender or food processor with celery seed, salt, and tofu.

In a 9" square baking pan or casserole dish, combine cooked noodles, pureed veggie/tofu mix, and drained tuna. Stir to mix well. Add soy milk and stir gently. Top with crushed baked potato chips as desired.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown.

Serve with ketchup.

Hello to everyone -

This issue brings comfort in the dark days of winter!

First, the exciting debut of our community IBS Message Boards. These boards are warm and friendly places, so come join us today for help and support!

If you're browsing the boards while hunkered down inside on a cold and blustery winter's day, you're likely craving foods that are comforting as well. One of these best-loved traditional favorites is Tuna Casserole, which many folks remember fondly from their childhoods for the crushed potato chip topping. Typically, this recipe is made with a high-fat, dairy-based canned soup mix, plus lots of whole milk as well. There's a healthier alternative, though, and the result is just as delicious - as well as very fast and easy to prepare.

The basis of Tuna Casserole is the noodles, which give the perfect soluble fiber basis for a digestion-friendly meal. Canned white tuna fish adds heart-healthy oils and protein, and soy milk replaces the dairy for extra nutrition. The real secret, though, is to saute a blend of fresh mushrooms, celery, and onions and then puree the mix with silken tofu. The insoluble fiber of the fresh veggies is thus minimized but the good nutrition remains. The creamy result is a perfect stand-in for the canned soup mix, with none of the trigger foods but all of the flavor! The final touch? Baked potato chips, crumbled over the casserole for a golden, crunchy topping just like you remember. Delicious!

Best Wishes,
Heather Van Vorous

Equalactin is the only fiber supplement I'm aware of that focuses exclusively on helping Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferers, and I am happy to welcome them as our first IBS Newsletter sponsor. I strictly limit advertising in this newsletter by only accepting sponsors whose products I can personally endorse because I believe they have been credibly established as genuinely helpful for people with IBS.

As many of you are already well-aware, soluble fiber can often minimize all symptoms of IBS. Equalactin is a non-allergenic fiber that is comparable in its effects to soluble fiber.

Clinical trials of Equalactin have documented its effectiveness at relieving chronic diarrhea, constipation, and the pain associated with bowel dysfunction. Equalactin comes as chewable tablets, and is widely available in drugstores throughout the US. People outside America can order Equalactin from, which ships internationally.

Special News - IBS Message Boards for Diet, Recipes, and Yoga!
They're finally here! These long-awaited interactive boards are friendly, supportive places with three separate forums to post questions and share information. One is for everyone following the IBS Diet, so that they may share dietary ideas, questions, and suggestions. The other is just for all you cooks out there (from beginner to gourmet!) who have asked to share IBS Recipes. Both boards have several moderators who are personally experienced with the IBS diet, and who will help me ensure that board messages have accurate information and remain supportive and focused. I have also had quite a few readers ask about following the IBS diet in conjunction with other health issues such as gluten intolerance, pregnancy, diabetes, or polycystic ovarian syndrome. The boards are the perfect place to address these concerns and share helpful ideas with others in the same situation. Some of our moderators have special interests in these areas as well, and are happy to share their experiences.

The third board focuses on Yoga for Digestive Health, and welcomes all levels of yoga experience, from new students to seasoned instructors. I have heard from several yoga teachers in the past who personally have IBS and are very familiar with helpful poses and practices, and I hope to hear from them if they would like to help moderate this board. So pour yourself a nice hot cup of peppermint or fennel tea (both very soothing for IBS), pull up a comfy chair, and join us. We're delighted to have you!

To become a new member of the boards and start reading and posting, just click here.

If you'd like to browse the boards only (you won't be able to post until you register), click here.

Please note that the boards are going live with this newsletter. I may be overwhelmed by the initial response so if you contact me about any problems, have patience - I will get back to you!
A special thank you to my readers for several of these news articles!

"Big Fat Lies - The Truth about the Atkins Diet"

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has published a recent Nutrition Action Health Newsletter in rebuttal of a New York Times Magazine article that supported the Atkins diet. The Health Newsletter sought out experts in nutrition, medicine, and obesity research to give well-supported information about low carb versus low fat diets, dietary factors in obesity and cancer, the role of saturated fats, and the glycemic index. Click here for more information...

IBS: At Least 4.6% of People With IBS May Have Undetected Celiac
A study explored people who were diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome and found a sevenfold increase over the normal population in the number of people with IBS who have celiac disease. The study conclusion was that all patients with irritable bowel syndrome should be screened for celiac disease. Click here for more information...

Hypnosis Soothes Indigestion and Reduces Need for Medication
Curing chronic indigestion may be as easy as closing your eyes, relaxing, and imagining your symptoms going away. A new study shows hypnotherapy can ease the pain, nausea, and bloating caused by an upset stomach and help prevent future episodes. Researchers found hypnotherapy provided both immediate and long-term relief to people with persistent indigestion and eliminated the need for anti-indigestion medications as long as a year after treatment.  Click here for more information...

Nutritional Therapy for Children with Crohn's Disease
Nutritional therapy may be a more effective treatment than steroids for children with Crohn's disease, according to two studies presented at Digestive Disease Week. Click here for more information...

IBS Symptoms are Sensitive to Psychological Stressors
Stress-triggered IBS symptoms may operate through an enhanced responsiveness of the emotional motor system, a network of brain circuits that modulate arousal, viscerosomatic perception, and autonomic responses associated with emotional responses, including anxiety and anger. The aim of this study was to test the primary hypothesis that IBS patients show altered perceptual responses to rectal balloon distention during experimentally induced psychological stress compared with healthy control subjects. Click here for more information...

Can Birth Control Pills Help or Hurt IBS?
"My 16 year old daughter had been suffering from IBS. She was taking a number of medications, watching what she was eating, and nothing helped. Then I realized that about 1 to 2 months prior to her symptoms worsening she had been placed on a birth control pill that is also prescribed for acne. I looked up the drug and found that common side effects were abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and nausea. We took her off the pill three weeks ago and she is virtually symptom-free. Neither her pediatrician nor her gastroenterologist had made the connection. She still has IBS, but now with the proper diet she is off all medications." - Sherri C.

This situation points up the widely varying degree of side effects people with IBS can experience from prescription drugs, including birth control pills. For many women, birth control pills actually help control menstruation-associated IBS attacks. IBS often worsens right before and during menstruation, as the prostagladins that trigger uterine contractions can also increase colonic motility. Excess prostagladins can not only cause menstrual cramps, but intestinal cramping and diarrhea as well. Birth control pills often reduce or prevent both menstrual cramps and their associated IBS attacks.

However, there is always the risk that the potential side effects of a drug, which for birth control pills can include abdominal cramping, diarrhea, bloating, and (most commonly) nausea, will far outweigh the potential benefits to IBS. In addition, many drugs, including several types of birth control pills, contain lactose as a filler ingredient. For people who are sensitive to dairy products, lactose can trigger IBS attacks.

This is an area where it's crucial to get the advice and opinion of your doctor, but it's important to do your own research as well. In terms of a person's reaction to any prescription medication, including birth control pills, IBS can be a highly individualized disorder. Trust what your body is telling you above all else. 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 will soon have other IBS services available. Heather Van Vorous, an IBS sufferer since age 9, is the company founder and president.

Our websites receive over 250,000 unique visitors each year, and our newsletter is sent to over 11,000 people twice monthly. Every week over 100 new people join our mailing list. Heather & Company and Heather Van Vorous offer the following...

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Clinical research study based on Eating for IBS diet underway in the private gastroenterology practice of Dr. Noel Hershfield in Calgary, Canada

Dietary information used by the Radiology Department of the Cancer Centre in Birmingham, England, for treatment of radiation enteritis

Information requested by gastroenterologists and family physicians across the USA, Canada, UK, and Australia for IBS patient distribution

The "Authorized Expert" for Diet & Nutrition at the IBS Association and IBS Self Help Group forums

Finalist for an IACP Julia Child Cookbook Award 2001 - Eating for IBS

#17 on the Library Journal's Cookbook Bestseller list for 2000 - Eating for IBS

Work with corporate HR departments to offer employee IBS education programs.

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Over 4,000 personal thank you letters received from readers worldwide for IBS dietary 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 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 and Company. All rights reserved. BBB Business Review