What is IBS? How do you know if you have it?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is the most common chronic health disorder in America, affecting more people than asthma, diabetes, and depression combined. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a physical – not psychological – disorder.
IBS is characterized by its symptoms: lower abdominal pain or discomfort, diarrhea, constipation (or alternating diarrhea/constipation), gas, bloating, and nausea. IBS is not a disease. It’s a functional disorder, which means that the bowel simply does not work as it should.
Because other conditions, including inflammatory bowel diseases, celiac, and colon cancer, can mimic IBS symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor for tests and a firm diagnosis. If you really do have IBS, there is no cure, but there are ways to prevent or relieve symptoms and lead a happy, healthy life.
Who’s Heather? What’s Heather’s Tummy Care?
Heather’s Tummy Care was founded by Heather Van Vorous, who has had IBS since age nine. It took her nearly 20 years to get a diagnosis, accurate IBS information, and find helpful treatments. This struggle is what led her to found a company dedicated to serving other people with IBS, with a focus on the successful management of symptoms through simple, safe, effective products. If you have IBS, she wants you to know that you are not alone. Heather’s Tummy Care offers you education, empathetic support, and a full range of medical foods for the dietary management of IBS symptoms.
With IBS, Focus on Symptom Prevention. Key Treatments to Your Specific Needs.
Diarrhea? Constipation? Alternating D and C?
Choose Heather’s Tummy Fiber, a certified organic, prebiotic, 100% soluble fiber from acacia senegal that improves bowel stability. Don’t let the word “fiber” scare you. Most people don’t realize there are two different kinds of fiber, insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber (think wheat bran) is a common IBS trigger, but soluble fiber is key to stabilizing bowel function gone awry.
Soluble fiber helps soothe and regulate bowel motility, and relieves and prevents IBS abdominal pain and cramping by stabilizing intestinal contractions. Because it helps stabilize bowel motility from either extreme, and also helps regulate water content in the bowel, Heather’s Tummy Fiber alleviates BOTH diarrhea and constipation. Typically, diarrhea resolves at a lower end of the dose range, constipation requires the higher end, and alternating d and c resolves in the middle of the dose range. Tummy Fiber has to be taken twice daily, every day, to work properly. It can be added to liquids, moist foods, or used in cooking and baking.
Heather’s Tummy Fiber also:
- Is a prebiotic – actively increases good gut flora in the bowel
- Is a slowly (not rapidly) fermenting prebiotic, and significantly bifidogenic
- Has excellent gastrointestinal tolerance, so will not cause bloating and gas
- Slows down colonic fermentation, actively decreasing gas and bloating
- Has no FODMAPS – No fructans, galactans, polyols, fructose, lactose
- Has no gluten, sugar, salt, artificial sweeteners, citric acid, oxalates, or yeast
- Is a whole foods soluble fiber, not a manufacturing by-product
- Is organic and natural, not synthetic.
- Nothing but pure acacia senegal, the highest acacia grade available
Tummy Fiber will not compromise normal bowel function at all once it gets IBS symptoms under control – it will simply keep things in that normal state. A soluble fiber supplement is meant to keep your GI tract running smoothly, comfortably, and pain-free on a day-to-day basis, now and forever. Heather’s Tummy Fiber is not a drug, it is not a laxative, it is not an anti-diarrheal medication. It’s simply an organic, prebiotic soluble fiber supplement with absolutely nothing else added, and it normalizes bowel function naturally in the same manner as soluble fiber foods. It is considered a medical food for the dietary management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms.
Pain? Spasms? Cramping?
P is for pain, and P is for peppermint. Peppermint is a smooth muscle relaxant and pain killer, making it ideal for both preventing and relieving IBS spasms and cramps.
Focused on pain prevention? Choose Heather’s Tummy Tamers, enteric coated peppermint and fennel oil capsules formulated for intense bowel soothing. Peppermint oil capsules, as part of the diet, have been clinically proven to help IBS symptoms even in children. A survey of clinical trials actually declared peppermint oil capsules the “drug of first choice” for IBS patients.
Menthol and methyl salicylate, the main active ingredients of peppermint, have calming effects on the stomach and intestinal tract. They also have powerful analgesic (pain-killing) properties, which are mediated, in part, through activation of kappa-opioid receptors, which help block pain signal transmission. As a result, peppermint helps relax the gut and stop the bowel spasms that can cause such excruciating IBS pain.
Peppermint is such a powerful smooth muscle relaxant that it can relax the upper GI tract as well as the lower bowel, and trigger heartburn in people who are susceptible. To prevent this, Tummy Tamers are heavily enteric coated (with 50% more enteric coating than the industry standard) so they do not dissolve in the stomach. Instead, they pass through the digestive tract intact until they reach the intestines.
For this reason, Tummy Tamers are often very helpful for people with both reflux and IBS who cannot tolerate peppermint in other forms. Tummy Tamers must always be taken on an empty stomach, and they have a delayed effect, as they have to reach the small intestines before they dissolve. They are quite powerful, so start with just one a day, and work up to three a day as needed. Heather’s Tummy Tamers are naturally caffeine free, gluten free, very low FODMAPS.
Need help with IBS pain RIGHT NOW? Go to Heather’s Tummy Tea Peppermint for immediate bowel soothing. This tea is unique because it is specially formulated to contain a very large leaf size and the highest possible volatile oil content (both factors are integral to the quality and potency of peppermint). Have sips from a very strong, very hot cup of Tummy Tea when you’re in the midst of an IBS attack and you need help fast.
We contract farm our organic peppermint fields to ensure the most recent possible harvest date, and we package our tea for minimal volatile oil dissipation. It is the volatile oils in peppermint (whether extracted into peppermint oil capsules, or brewed from high volatile oil tea) that make it so effective for the dietary management of IBS pain and spasms. Heather’s Tummy Tea Peppermint is naturally caffeine free, gluten free, very low FODMAPS, and packaged as bulk loose tea or in unbleached jumbo teabags.
There is a world of difference between Heather’s Tummy Teas and typical store brands. Most teas are meant to be enjoyed as a “nice hot cup of tea”, for simple drinking pleasure. This is NOT the case with Heather’s Tummy Teas, which are medicinal strength, and specifically meant to relieve IBS symptoms.
Bloating? Gas? Trapped Gas?
Choose Heather’s Tummy Tea Fennel for immediate bloating support. Fennel is an ancient herb that has anti-spasmodic properties, and is a carminative – an agent that prevents the formation and helps the expulsion of gas in the gastrointestinal tract. It also stimulates the production of gastric juices.
As a result, fennel assists in the dietary management of IBS symptoms, and is exceptional for IBS bloating, gas and abdominal pain. Fennel is also a traditional digestive aid for colic, heartburn, indigestion, and stomachaches. It is a great choice for people who simply cannot tolerate peppermint due to heartburn issues.
Clinical studies have shown that fennel, as part of the diet, helps regulate contractions of the small intestine and aids gas expulsion. Fennel also relaxes the gut, which can relieve spasms of the GI tract
Heather’s Tummy Tea Fennel is unique because it is formulated to contain a high volatile oil content and whole (never milled) seeds. Both factors are integral to the quality and potency of fennel. Our certified organic fennel is harvested and packaged to be as fresh as possible; and it is processed for minimal volatile oil dissipation. It is the volatile oils in fennel that make it so effective for the dietary management of IBS symptoms, particularly bloating and gas.
Heather’s Tummy Tea Fennel is naturally caffeine free, gluten free, and packaged as bulk loose tea or in unbleached jumbo teabags.
Heather Van Vorous has had IBS for over 30 years. She is a health and special diet cookbook author, and the developer of organic medical foods for managing IBS symptoms. She is the author of Eating for IBS: 175 Delicious, Nutritious, Low-Fat, Low-Residue Recipes to Stabilize the Touchiest Tummy and The First Year: IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)–An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed