Irritible Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis
Over the years in practice I have been astonished by the large number of people who have come to me suffering with digestive problems. The most common conditions we see at our clinic are Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Although different, each of these conditions have much in common. If you suffer from any one of these conditions you may experience gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal cramping, low back pain and even blood in the stool. Having any of these symptoms tells me that your body’s digestive system is not functioning the way it is designed and programed to function. In other words, it is malfunctioning and this is absolutely not ok!
Science of Digestion
To understand these conditions you must first know that the digestive tract is essentially a long muscular tube that begins at the mouth and ends at the other end of your body. Under normal circumstances, the tube undergoes a forward wave-like muscular contraction called peristalsis, which pushes the food along for the purpose of digestion. Each section of the intestinal tract specializes in a specific task. The stomach secrets enzymes to break down food, while the small intestine specializes in absorbing nutrients into the bloodstream. Various small accessory organs, such as the pancreas and gall bladder, secrete enzyme juices to support digestion. The large intestine and colon is the final stretch of the intestinal tract and functions to absorb water and store waste before elimination. The brain and spinal cord controls each part of the digestive system through an intricate network of electrical wires called nerves, which reach out and connect to every part of the intestinal tract.
The Role of the Nervous System
The central nervous system controls every part of you. Think of the brain as the computer that runs your health program. It runs every part of the digestive process, from the secretion of enzymes to the contraction of the intestinal tube. It does this by sending instructional messages over the spinal cord and nerves to every cell, tissue and organ of your body. If there is nothing interfering with the nervous system, and the messages from the brain can get to every part of your body, then you should experience optimal function and the best health of your life. This is called normal!
If there is interference to the nervous system, then the digestive system will not function the way it is designed and programed to function….it will malfunction. And this is not ok!
Nerve Interference: The VERTEBRAL SUBLUXATION
If, however, there is anything interfering with the function of the nervous system and the messages are not able to reach the digestive organs, then the system will malfunction.
The most common cause of interference to the nervous system is a vertebral subluxation. A vertebral subluxation is when one or more of the vertebrae of your spine become misaligned and puts pressure on the nerve roots existing the spine.
The intestinal tube looses its ability to contract (peristalsis) and push food forward and as a result the plumbing of the digestive system quickly begins to back-up. This is why you will get gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, cramps, etc.
Chiropractic Can Help!
Seeing a chiropractor is a must if you or someone you know suffers from digestion issues. Only a highly trained chiropractor can detect and properly correct an underlying subluxation. At our office we perform a very thorough new patient exam designed to determine the cause of your health issues. So don’t suffer any more! Give us a call! We can help!
Nutrition and Diet
While seeing your chiropractor it is important to also ensure that you are eating healthy. Consume a healthy diet of vegetables, lean meats, healthy grains, etc. Avoid process foods as much as possible. I recommend a diet high in fiber and daily intake of a high fiber supplement to assist with digestion mobility. As nutritional deficiency is a concern with patients who suffer from severe digestion conditions I also recommend vitamin supplements such as a good multi-vitamin and a daily nutritional supplement drink. Be mindful of what you consume and if you struggle with diet and nutrition please let us know and we will schedule time aside to discuss your eating habits. There are plenty of resources available!
Written by Dr. Mike Schultz & Mandy Westoby