Your Digestive System
Your digestive system is actually one long tube that starts at the mouth and continues through the throat, esophagus, stomach, duodenum and intestines (and other organs), which are modifications of this tube. It has one overriding goal: to break down your food (digestion) and extract energy and nutrients from it (assimilation) and send the waste products down through the intestines to be eliminated.
Your Esophagus & Stomach
After you chew and swallow food, it travels down the esophagus (Latin for “I swallow”) to your stomach where one of the most powerful acids found in nature – hydrochloric acid (HCL) – dissolves your food. HCL is so strong that if it were ever to escape from your stomach, it could dissolve your heart, lungs, liver, veins, arteries and every other organ in your body! You would eat yourself alive! What keeps the acid from escaping? It is a thick layer of mucus that covers your stomach’s inner walls.
Dyspepsia & Ulcers
Chronic stomach ache, also called nervous stomach or dyspepsia, is a common stomach condition. Another is an ulcer, which occurs when the powerful acids and digestive juices start to eat through the stomach and intestines, which is a very painful condition.
Pyloric Stenosis/ Heartburn/ Gastritis
Pyloric stenosis is a tightening or shrinking of the pyloric valve that connects the esophagus and the stomach. Heartburn occurs when food reverses course and jumps from the stomach through the pyloric valve, up to the esophagus. Gastritis is a term used to describe inflammation of the stomach walls.
The Medical Approach
Digestive troubles are often poorly understood. As one major medical text has state: All [digestive tract disease] symptoms arise from disordered function, but…our knowledge of normal alimentary tract function is so incomplete.
Medical care is often directed at treating symptoms with drugs. Treating symptoms alone, however, apart from the risk of the side effects, can lead you into the false belief that your problem is gone merely because your symptoms are gone. It is not unusual to hear people with digestion problems “living on” over-the-counter remedies, or prescription drugs, for years.
Medicine is an extreme form of healthcare. As a general rule it is always best to avoid medical drug therapy and surgery as much as possible and investigate first and foremost more natural, gentler forms of healthcare.
The Chiropractic Approach
Your chiropractor analyzes your body for subluxations. Subluxations are distortions in your body that interfere with your internal communications, irritate your nerves and often cause physical and mental disturbances, which can most certainly include those of the digestive system. In fact, every organ and gland in your digestive system needs to receive proper communication from your nerves. A subluxation can affect your digestion, assimilation and elimination.
Correction of Subluxations
Utilizing the art of Chiropractic adjustments, your Doctor of Chiropractic will correct or relieve you of your subluxations; this will result in more balance and improved function of your glands and organs.
Hydration, drinking enough water, can correct many digestive problems, including ulcers, constipation, colitis and dyspepsia. Many people (especially the elderly) are dehydrated and don’t know it. With aging, the sense of thirst may diminish so many people do not drink as much water as they should. They will drink coffee, tea and juices, which may assuage their thirst, but which will not re-hydrate their body.
As early as 1921, it was discovered that spinal abnormalities could cause stomach, esophagus, duodenum and intestinal disorders. In a later study, 87% of a group of adolescents suffering from duodenal and/or gastric ulcers were found to have “pelvic distortion” and “blockage” in the spine. Spinal care helps those having difficulty swallowing and “abdominal nausea”. The famous research R. Maigne has written that relief of the nervous system helps digestive pains and “pseudo-ulcers”. Others find chiropractic care helps abdominal pain and digestive problems “dyspepsia and epigastric distress”.
A large study involving 385 chiropractors in seven countries collecting information on 5607 patients found that 26% reported improvements in digestion with chiropractic care. Chiropractic care has relieved abdominal pain, stomach ulcers, gastritis, colitis and spastic constipation, according to other researchers.
The digestive system can weaken, work improperly and fall prey to a multitude of diseases. The job of the chiropractor is to ensure that the stomach and the rest of the digestive system (as well as all the other organs of the body) are receiving an unobstructed nerve supply. This promotes body harmony, enhanced ability to cope with stress and improved resistance to disease.
Remember, if your nerves are impinged upon by subluxations, no amount of drugs will relieve the pressure. A chiropractic spine adjustment is what your body needs.