Irritable Bowel Syndrome/Malabsorption


Hi Heather and Merry Xmas!
I am following your protocol and taking the acacia and doing much better, but still a bit gassy and bloated, even after cutting down on the simple carbs which I thought were the problem.
One issue I kind of overlooked because it was pretty gross(sorry) is undigested food in my stool. This seems to go away only if I take really good quality digestive enzymes. I believe this is called malabsorption? Is this related to IBS or is it a pancreas or possibly gluten issue? I am not celiac but have been trying to eat gluten free lately which has also helped.

Merry Christmas Sue!

I'd keep taking enzymes as they're helping you. You could have a GI doc run some tests as well.  IBS is not associated with risks of actual malabsorption disorders but you can have both. Maybe more likely is that the spasms of IBS cause matter to pass too quickly through the gut, especially insoluble fiber.

Try gradually increasing your acacia, which will stabilize the bowel contractions.  And make sure you cook, chop, peel and even purée insoluble fiber foods for a bit. That breaks down the fiber before you even eat it.


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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