Many people turn to drugs for digestive relief from heartburn, acid reflux, bloating, gas, irritable bowel, constipation, diarrhea, and other digestive symptoms. These can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, and digestion issues can lead to other health problems such as toxicity, poor skin, body pain, bad breath, body odor, and much more. While digestion issues are becoming more prevalent, chiropractic offers a powerful solution.
Many times we want to take something to control symptoms. However the symptoms are present to communicate to you that something is wrong; they are an alert as well as a mechanism to try to get you back to neutral. In fact with digestion, you could experience symptoms in which the body tries to rid itself of an invading organism. A lot of times people will take something to try to stop that symptom. Who do you think is healthier – the person that gets rid of the invading organism right away or the person who holds it inside for hours or even days?
With chiropractic, we work with the spine and nerves in the body to improve function. The spinal nerves control the speed your food passes through you, the amount of blood flow to the digestion organs, an increase or decrease in the amount of digestive juices secreted, and other functions of the digestive process. Any interference to this nerve flow could show up as back pain or as digestive symptoms. Any chronic undetected spinal misalignments (called subluxations) can have significant effects on the absorption of nutrients and digestive processes.
Chiropractors work with the nerve system to allow the body to heal itself. Through specific adjustments, chiropractors restore nerve flow, and the function of the organs is enhanced. By taking pressure off the spinal cord, the connection between the brain and the body is strengthened. This not only decreases symptoms, but also improves quality of life immensely.
The vagus nerve innervates the digestive organs and therefore stimulates the digestion process. This nerve travels out of the brain stem and near the atlas bone in the neck. There are also nerves coming from the thoracic, lumbar, and sacral regions that control digestion.
Many studies have shown the effectiveness of chiropractic care in resolving digestive disturbances. In a unique study, scientists surgically created an artificial vertebral subluxation in rabbits. Within 30 seconds, there were changes in the stomach and duodenum that could cause the upper GI tract to become susceptible to dysfunction.
Yet another large study on 5607 patients found many reported improvements in digestion with chiropractic care. It has relieved symptoms such as abdominal pain, stomach, ulcers, colitis, constipation, and gastritis.
A 2008 study looked at three different infants with infrequent bowel movements from once a week to once every 3 or 4 days. Their parents had tried different laxatives, dietary changes, cod liver oil, and mineral oil without any results. The infants underwent chiropractic care ranging from three weeks to three months. All three had almost immediate improvement and by the end all three had bowel movements at least once every day.
In another published case study a young women with IBS symptoms once or twice a week for several years noticed an easing of symptoms after one adjustment. Soon she was symptom free and 2 years later as the report was being published she was still without digestive problems.
So much evidence points to the fact of chiropractic care providing relief as well as taking care of the underlying problem. While drug therapy alone may be able to provide temporary relief, it can lead you to believing that your problem is gone simply because the symptom is gone. It’s not unusual to hear of people who are taking prescription or over the counter medications for years and years.
At Relief Plus Chiropractic our advice is to avoid drug therapy and surgery as much as possible. A change in diet and nutrition may be necessary, and it is prudent to look into a system of health care that looks at the underlying cause rather than masking symptoms. Chiropractors are trained to find areas of the spine causing nerve irritation and affecting your internal communications. A spinal adjustment will allow the body to heal and help prevent future problems from happening again.