When someone has a headache, neck ache or back ache they may think to go to the chiropractor, but rarely do people think of going to the chiropractor for their digestive issues. More and more recent studies are linking an unhealthy “gut” to a lack of health in general. That’s because your digestive system affects your entire body, in much the same way your nervous system does. And guess what, those two systems are intimately linked.
Every section of the GI tract is prone to problems, if it’s not getting the proper messages from the nervous system. Problems with digestion include cramping, bloating, acid reflux, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, and Crohn’s disease. Many people just pop an acid reducing pill or a laxative and call it a day. But persistent problems with your gut can lead to long term chronic disorders and even cancer. The acid in your stomach is corrosive, just like all acid is. The soft tissue in our esophagus was never meant to deal with constant acid, which is why persistent acid reflux can cause the cells in our esophagus to become damaged and sometimes cancerous. It is important to get to the root of the problem, rather than simply masking the symptoms with drugs.
The problem is, as a society, we’ve become very used to just popping a pill and going on with our day. Most drugs used to treat symptoms, can negatively impact other systems and processes of the body. These drugs also cause a dependency on them as our body creates a new “set point” in terms of what it considers “normal.” Let’s look at some of the issues caused by those drugs.
Acid Reducers: Heartburn medications are designed to treat stomach acid and acid reflux. They force the body to create a new balance point in the amount of acid it creates, making them difficult to stop taking and possibly making the underlying cause of the problem worse.
Antibiotics: Often over-prescribed, antibiotics kill off not just bad bacteria but they also destroy the good gut flora that is critical for proper digestion. When your stomach doesn’t have the “good bacteria” it needs to digest food properly, it can cause constipation, diarrhea, and sometimes permanent damage to your digestive health.
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (commonly known as NSAIDs)—Most often prescribed for treating common conditions such as arthritis, this class of drug can cause serious digestive problems with prolonged use. And let’s face it, if you’ve got arthritis, chances are good you are using NSAIDs as a regular part of your life.
Upper cervical chiropractic care takes a different approach to your health. Our goal is to locate and correct nerve interference which may be causing your digestive issues. By doing so, we may be able to help relieve the symptoms of poor gut health, getting you back to a healthy lifestyle that will allow you to eliminate the number of drugs you take to deal with these issues.
So let’s look at how your nervous system controls your digestive system. Most of the control of your digestive system is under the direct control of the vagus nerve which originates in your brain stem. That makes sense when you know that the brain stem is really the control center for most of your vital bodily functions. Remember the old switchboard operators? The operators at the telephone company would be sitting in front of a big switchboard with dozens of cables coming out of it? When a phone call came in, they would take the cable out of one hole and plug it into another to connect the call. Your brain stem is like that telephone switchboard operator. Messages come in from the brain and go out through the brain stem to the nerves to every cell, organ and system in the body, and then messages come from the body and back to the brain. But what happens when there’s a kink in that wire and the messages can’t flow back and forth properly? That’s where the problems begin. Even a slight misalignment can cause common digestive issues.
So as you can see, your digestive organs such as the stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, gallbladder and other aspects of your digestive system work hand in hand with your nervous system and require proper nerve communication with the brain and endocrine system in order to function properly. Neural pathways and the hormonal responses involved in “cueing” the digestive system to function properly are interconnected.
Proper upper cervical alignment is a vital connection between your brain and your organs. So although most people only think of musculoskeletal issues as being those that can be corrected by chiropractic, we need to start considering the fact that pretty much all of your bodily functions are affected by your brain stem and thus the top two bones in the neck.
It’s likely that your primary care doctor, will not be able to diagnose a misalignment or subluxation of the upper cervical area as the cause of your digestive issues. After all, they have not been trained to look for that. At Upper Cervical Chiropractic of Glen Carbon, we use an advanced, 3D imaging system and high tech diagnostics designed to get to the root causes of the many ailments that can be caused by a misalignment of the Atlas and Axis bones in your upper neck.
LouAnn had been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. She felt anxious every time she left her house because she feared an “attack” when she might not be near a bathroom. She had even missed work on days when her symptoms were particularly bad. While under upper cervical care, she experienced a marked reduction in her symptoms, to the point where most days she completely forgets her diagnosis.
A free, non-invasive upper cervical examination could determine whether or not this correction is the answer to alleviate your digestive disorder. Call today for your free consultation at with Drs. Thad and Nikki Vuagniaux at Upper Cervical Health Center of Glen Carbon IL, 618-692-6992.