Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis & Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Most patients that enter our office come in for reasons other than tummy troubles, but find out the amazing benefits chiropractic can have for any number of digestive and constipation issues. Many of these patients feel that their “problems” are just an inconvenience and that they can live with the occasional stomach cramping, constipation and work-day diarrhea! They think rectal bleeding is normal, that blood in the stool is OK and that missing school or work because of these difficulties is just part of life!
We hate to burst your bubble. It’s not normal. Symptoms of digestive distress usually are indicators that there is malfunction somewhere within the system.
Your digestive system is essentially a long tube with minor modifications from your mouth to the other end. The system is efficient when it functions normally by extracting nutrients, digesting food, and absorbing water. These are all used for energy that your body will use throughout the rest of today and tomorrow.
Many children and adults, however, suffer from a malfunction of the digestive system. In fact the three most common conditions affecting intestinal function that we see in our practice are irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Although not the same, they all have a great deal in common and escalate in severity.
A number of studies have actually shown that Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are essentially neurologically based. This means that the nervous system is no longer able to control the normal function of the intestinal are.
Your nervous system runs your whole body and all its functions: your immune system, heart, healing ability and even your digestive system. All these function under direct orders from your nervous system. If there is interference with its normal function, your body will not work the way it should. We call this interference a vertebral subluxation. It means that the nervous system is no longer able to control the normal function of your intestinal area.
A subluxation that has caused this scope of damage has usually become a pattern the body has learned. It’s a habit—a bad one! A chiropractor will, in all likelihood, place a patient suffering with digestive difficulties on an intense schedule of care in order to get a handle on this bad habit as quickly as possible. Our profession has had a great deal of success in helping people with these three afflictions. We are in fact changing neural programming. However, it’s not treatment for these conditions. Rather, the emphasis is to correct subluxations and make the body function normally.
Seeing a chiropractor is crucial, but there area number of other things you can do for yourself or your child.
- A hot water bottle placed on the stomach area relives abdominal cramping.
- Slippery elm relaxes intestinal muscles and reduces cramping.
- Multi-vitamin and mineral complex capsules containing copper, manganese, seleniumand potassium are all important because these diseases are characterized bymalabsorption (Catalyn and Trace Minerals B12 available in this office).
- Vitamin E is essential in the repair of epithelial tissue of the intestinal tract and acts as anantioxidant.
- Vitamin A (approximately 50,000 IU per day unless you are pregnant) aids in the repairof epithelial tissues. You may take this in capsule form, but we suggest raw carrots putthrough a juicer. The carrots should be peeled if they are not organic. The skin containsmost of the chemicals and pesticides which can irritate your intestine.
- Calcium and magnesium, at least 2,000 mg daily.
- Vitamin C, in very high does combined with bioflavonoids is essential as it minimizesinflammation.
- Garlic is known for preventing free radicals from attacking the intestinal lining. Vitamin B12 and folic acid.
- Probiotics and Prebiotics to promote a healthy balance in the gut for proper nutrient absorption (LactEnz, ProSymbiotic available in this office from Standard Process).
Dietary SolutionsDrink lots of fluids. Steamed or distilled water is excellent; clear, fresh spring water is also wonderful. Herbal teas and fresh juices are terrific. And cabbage and carrot juice are great. Chewing papaya seeds will be helpful, as they contain enzymes which may aid in digestion. Eliminating all dairy foods from your diet will be of tremendous help. Dairy foods are difficult to digest and they are mucus-producing.
Avoid alcohol, caffeine and carbonated beverages such as Pepsi or Coke.You probably don’t realize this, but if you spill a can of Coke on a freshly waxed floor, it will eat the wax right off the floor. Imagine what itdoes to your insides!
Chocolate, eggs, foods with artificial additives or preservatives, or fried or greasy foods, as well as spicy foods and tobacco, are very irritating to the digestive system. As well, try