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The First Year: IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)--An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed Paperback – October 15, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Statistics show that Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is the second leading cause of worker absenteeism in the U.S., according to Van Vorous (Eating for IBS), who has lived with the condition since she was nine, but because her severe abdominal pain was dismissed by her pediatrician, was not diagnosed until seven years later. And although IBS studies are currently underway, sufferers in the past found themselves either ignored or stigmatized. Because she had to work out her own strategy for dealing with IBS, Van Vorous is a "patient-expert" in other words, she's well qualified to write this informative and reassuring guide. She advises those suffering from IBS symptoms abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea, for example to first obtain an accurate diagnosis. Once other illnesses are ruled out and the syndrome has been properly diagnosed, a patient with IBS can lead a normal life by maintaining proper eating habits, learning to manage stress, using prescription medication and dietary supplements when necessary, and even utilizing alternative therapies such as acupuncture. Van Vorous draws on medical research, her own experience with IBS, and other patient anecdotes to support her suggestions. Accessible and clearly written, with recipes for colon-kind foods and advice for parents who have children with IBS, this is an excellent resource for people learning how to live with the syndrome.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The second installment of the publisher's new "The First Year" series, this text on Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) walks the reader through the first year of diagnosis. As with the authors of other titles in the series, Van Vorous is a "patient-expert"; she is also the author of Eating for IBS and founder of eatingforibs.com. In a conversational style, she explains how to manage symptoms by breaking the year into manageable steps. She includes diet guidelines that feature some appetizing recipes and suggestions for eating out. She also discusses relaxation techniques and some alternative therapies. Personal stories from other IBS sufferers are sprinkled throughout, as are tips for children with IBS. An especially useful chart on medications is also provided. This book differs from William Salt's Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the Mind-Body Brain-Gut Connection (LJ 10/15/97) and other guides to IBS by prescribing a first-year-only timetable of steps, focused mainly on diet. Salt's book focuses more on lifestyle and stress management issues. Recommended for any health collection. KellyJo Houtz Griffin, Eatonville, WA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: The First Year
  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 2005 edition (October 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569245479
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569245477
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"Who's Heather? And why is she dedicated to serving people with IBS and Irritable Bowel Syndrome?"

I have had IBS for more than thirty years, beginning in childhood, although I was undiagnosed for the first six years (and told by my pediatrician to "quit whining" as the pain was "all in my head"). I had no choice but to try and learn how to control the disorder on my own, which took many years of (often excruciating) first-hand experience and a great deal of research.

I'm now a health and special diet author with a particular interest in helping others with bowel disorders. I'm the founder of HelpForIBS.com, the largest IBS organization in the world, and I developed the Heather's Tummy Care line of certified organic medical foods for preventing and relieving IBS symptoms. My mission is to offer education, support, and tangible help that allows people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome to successfully manage their symptoms through simple, safe and effective lifestyle changes.

I have a special focus on the Eating for IBS diet plan, and offer comprehensive IBS diet information as well as an IBS Diet Cheat Sheet excerpted from Eating for IBS on my website diet section here HelpForIBS.com/Diet/

My published work includes 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.

I also created and hosted the digestion-friendly cooking show Heather Cooks! for Seattle television and DVD. Cooking shows are now available on YouTube at the Help for IBS channel. I write the twice-monthly email "Heather's IBS Newsletter" which currently has over 180,000 subscribers. I also authored the very popular "Heather's IBS Diet Cheat Sheet", which recently celebrated five years of success and over one million patient downloads.

My writing has led to an ongoing Canadian clinical research study of the groundbreaking dietary guidelines 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 I regularly exhibit at the international Digestive Disease Week conference to reach gastroenterologists and internists. As a result, I've become recognized as the foremost "patient-expert" on IBS in America.

For far too many years I thought I was the only person in the world with Irritable Bowel Syndrome - but now I know for a fact that I am not alone. Today my goal is to reach every single person with IBS who's looking for help. I want them to learn how to manage their symptoms as successfully as I have, and I want them to have happy, healthy lives.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

164 of 170 people found the following review helpful By leftoverpasta on July 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book (and Van Vorous' other work) has helped me tremendously. My symptoms were debilitating. When I was diagnosed, I asked my gastrenterologist if there were any diets in particular that might have an impact. He said "It's different for everyone." And while that is true to some extent, he didn't even mention that caffeine and alcohol were triggers, let alone fats and insoluble fibers. When I discovered this book and started following the guidelines, my condition improved dramatically.

Before I discovered this book, I could not have gone near a half-cooked, let alone raw, vegetable without getting sick. Whole grain cereal, oatmeal, or pasta would have caused excruciating pain. But after first following the guidelines to the letter, I was eventually able to incorporate more of these foods--in the right amounts, combinations, and at the right time of day--into my diet. For those who have critiqued this diet because it tells you to eliminate insoluble fibers, you need to reread the title. This is titled "The First Year." You don't have to eat like this forever, just until your gut is is under enough control to tolerate such foods.

And the fact is that you're never going to be able to go on Atkins diet, but you don't have to eliminate insoluble fibers completely. You do, however, have to limit your portions, eat your insoluble fibers after you've consumed a good soluble fiber base, and recognize that certain times of day are worse when it comes to eating insoluble fiber. For me, the morning is the worst time, so I don't have salads or raw vegetables for dinner. That simple.

Another critic claimed that this diet is not good for the constipation form of IBS.
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56 of 60 people found the following review helpful By "nwrasor" on November 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book actually has a section called "What to eat when you can't eat anything" - for someone without IBS that sounds stupid - for someone with IBS it can bring tears to your eyes because you can be there everyday. You are hungry, you don't feel good, all you want to do is eat something - anything - and not get diarrhea and stomach cramps. The list provided in this book is only the start of a fantastic new journey toward being able to eat. It's so fantastic. Almost like being able to walk again!! And, that is just the beginning. The book is very easy to understand, very sensitive to your situation (unlike any doctor you've seen, humm!) and it gives you knowledge that WILL make your days more normal - identifies the triggers (foods) that activate the ibs and helps you work around them. Forget the doctors and the tests and the medicines - this book is all you need (well, along with EATING FOR IBS). I've had it for four weeks and for four weeks I've been able to figure out what to eat at a restaurant and be able to get on the back of a motorcycle and go on a long trip without fear! Try that with ibs! Thank God for Heather and the fact she has found an answer and shared it with so many of us. If the book cost a thousand dollars, it would be worth it! Get it, read it, your life WILL change. You CANNOT eat like everyone else, this books shows you how to eat for you......
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By M. Forman on January 17, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was diagnosed in Apr07 and didn't find this book until Jan08. I wish I had it earlier! It has all the necessary information and recommendations all in one place. She addresses key priorities, medications, holistic approaches, nutrition, organization, information resources, self-motivation, exercise and remind you that you can still have a life with RA. This book has it all and provides a good basis for someone to be able to plan and take control of their own future care. I especially like that she provides empowerment to the individual and remind them to use the support of their "team". This book reminds me to see beyond other people's misconceptions and be able to plan for a very mobile future!
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful By warmdusk on November 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
I truly benefited from this book. I have been having problems digesting since high school probably due in part to the stress of a hard childhood and now young adulthood. Anyway, I bookmarked the pages listing safe foods (soluble fibers) versus the unsafe foods (INsoluble fibers, red/dark meats, fats, dairy, etc). This book has changed my life. I have the knowledge to be able to choose my meals wisely. Amazingly, my acne breakouts have come to a screeching halt with the start of the IBS diet. It turns out those unsafe foods were actually causing my adult acne! I highly recommend this book.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is a real godsend for anyone suffering from IBS, in addition to Heather Van Vorous's other book, Eating for IBS, which has fantastic recipes. I had IBS-like symptoms for several years, and recently suffered a severe bout with it. While waiting to see a gastroenterologist I discovered Heather's book at my local library and decided to give the dietary guidelines outlined in the book a try. At this point, my condition was worsening and I had nothing to lose. Was I surprised to find that after only a few days of changing my eating habits by eating more soluble fiber I noticed a significant improvement. I felt considerably better, had more energy, and was able to freely go places I was afraid to go before. I felt like I was getting my life back. In addition to the wonderful dietary information, the book is also well documented and researched. It is very easy to read and understand, and the chapters are broken down into manageable segments on different aspects of coping with IBS. The author also stresses getting a correct diagnosis before assuming one has IBS. Due to this encouragement, I went ahead and had blood work and a colonoscopy, and was very surprised to learn I did not have IBS after all, but a condtion called celiac sprue which is a gluten intolerance. Even though I did not have IBS, the information in this book did help initially to improve my condition, and I am still following certain aspects of it (ie. soluble fiber) with the exception of wheat. I would encourage everyone out there who thinks they have IBS, but have not been tested yet to seek out a diagnosis. Don't assume as I had for years that you have IBS without eliminating the possibilities of other conditions.
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