Irritable Bowel Syndrome/Question


How are you heather? Was hoping you could help.  I have been using activated charcoal with great success to alleviate bloat and gas with certain foods I eat.  Mostly when i travel and eat out at restaurants that i know may be problematic. My doc just gave me some supplements to treat low thyroid and adrenals, but they seem to cause a lot of bloat (they are herbal in nature).  i know if i take the charcoal it will help with the gas, but do you feel it may also have an impact on the efficacy of the ingredients in the supplements?  what if i space it out with meals...charcoal before, food then the supplement?  would appreciate any feedback.

Kind Regards,


Hi Russ - I'm so sorry, I can't answer this question as it depends on pharmaceutical knowledge of your prescriptions. I would ask your doctor and your pharmacist about taking your supplements with the medications, or how you should space them out. They would have accurate information for you.

My apologies,

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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Heather Van Vorous


I can address questions regarding diet, cooking, recipes, and non-pharmaceutical supplements (soluble fiber, herbal, probiotics, etc.) for IBS. I can supply information sources about diagnostic guidelines, symptoms, and the medical pathology of IBS, but I cannot give a diagnosis or analyze test results a patient has obtained. I would prefer not to answer questions about prescription drugs and diagnostic tests. PLEASE DO NOT TELL ME YOUR SYMPTOMS AND THEN ASK ME TO DIAGNOSE YOU!


I'm the founder and CEO of, an organization dedicated to serving people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. My goal is to offer education, support, and help that allows people with IBS to successfully manage their symptoms through lifestyle modifications.

I'm the author of Eating for IBS, the only explicit dietary guide and cookbook for people with bowel disorders. Eating for IBS then led to my second book, The First Year: IBS, a comprehensive view of the disorder and every way to successfully manage it. Together, these works have become the two best-selling, best-reviewed IBS books in America.

My writing has led to an ongoing Canadian clinical research study of the groundbreaking dietary guidelines for Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Eating for IBS; this work also led to my inclusion in the 4th edition of Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare. Today's Dietitian has featured my IBS dietary guidelines, and my work has reached gastroenterologists and internists. I'm the author of "Heather's IBS Newsletter", which is free to subscribers and is published twice monthly. As a result, I've become recognized as the foremost patient-expert on IBS in America. I've personally had IBS since age 9.

I now teach classes on managing IBS through lifestyle modifications, I developed the Heather's Tummy Care line of organic medical foods for the dietary management of IBS, and I'm planning to work with corporate HR departments to offer employee IBS education programs. I host Heather Cooks!, the Seattle television cooking show for good digestive health, which is now available on DVD and also on the HelpForIBS YouTube Channel.

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M.A. 1996
B.A. 1992

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Inclusion in Marquis Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare

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

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

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