Irritable Bowel Syndrome/changing order


QUESTION: Hi Heather,i started the program appro 1 week ago and I am concerned because I am having stronger pains in my stomach and am experiencing extreme gas. I have started the 1 tsp,on thurs. As known with the condition some people can have fiber and some cannot have it. I have been living 4 years now doctors did not do anything to help me thru this condition. I have tried fiber before and felt more discomfort as I am feeling right now. Do you recommend I stick with the fiber ? Could I please have some advice with this problem.
Thank you

ANSWER: Hi Ila - I'm a bit confused. When you say you started the program, are you talking about Eating for IBS dietary changes, or that you are using Acacia Tummy Fiber?

If it's the fiber alone you are referring to, please make sure you start with 1/2 teaspoon twice daily, and if you are prone to bloating add it right into moist foods. Sometimes, with IBS, just having a big glass of liquid (even water) can cause bloating. You don't have to take the Tummy Fiber with liquid, so avoid that and sprinkle it over anything wet in your meals.

Do make sure you drink enough fluids throughout the day, as soluble fiber needs water in your gut to work.

There is a big difference in IBS with soluble vs insoluble fiber. Many - actually almost all - people with IBS struggle with insoluble fiber. But soluble fiber is helpful - it regulates bowel motility and helps prevent pain/spasms, as well as relieve diarrhea AND constipation.

If you're confused about the two types of fiber, check here and here

Please let me know if this helps.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Heather,

I am having many issues with fiber both ways, I stopped taking the fiber and feel a extreme difference, I don`t have gas as much and the discomfort as much. I also tried the sample of the peppermint tea and love it and feels good as of now. So I have chosen to change my order I am on the Diet kit #2 and I am changing it to Tummy Teabag kit peppermint & Fennel Teabags, peppermint caps as to I feel this will be a good start as of now.

Hi Ila - this sounds like a good plan. Concentrate on the soluble fiber foods if you can't do the supplement. That is just fine.

The peppermint caps will work best to prevent pain, spasms, cramps, bloating. Just make sure to take on an empty stomach. And the teas you can use any way, however often, you wish - with or without foods, etc.


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
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