One of the more common secondary problems I talk to patient's about in the office is problems with their digestion. The National Institute of Health estimates approximately 70 million people in the U.S. suffer from digestive problems, accounting for roughly 20% of the population. This is a staggering number.
Let's take a look at some of the more common types problems, traditional approaches to solve them, and what chiropractic can bring to the table that is all together different.
The Most Common: Acid Reflux and Indigestion
So many people suffer from this problem it is now bordering on "normal"....which it is NOT. The pharmaceutical industry sells nearly $100 million in drugs per year simply to treat digestive problems. Do these drugs ever truly fix the problem? I think you know that answer. It has become a very profitable business for them. Aside from prescription medication, there are a wide array of over-the-counter drugs also available including things such as Rolaids and Tums. They all do the same thing, they aim to treat the symptom, yet ignore the cause of the problem.
The Most Serious: Crohn's Disease
Crohn's Disease is a type of Inflammatory Bowl Syndrome (IBS) involving chronic ulceration of the digestive tract. This is a long term health condition, and one that is potentially left threatening if left untreated. With this condition, your body is trying to heal the ulcerations, and ultimately creates scar tissue. This scar tissue severely limits the normal function of your colon. The most common treatments for this problem are anti-inflammatory medication, anti-spasmodic medication, as well as surgery. The continued issue once again is they continue to ignore what is causing this condition in the first place.
How We View These Problems in Chiropractic
As a chiropractor, our approach and philosophy around these problems is starkly different than the traditional approach. We are always in search of a cause, and not in treating the symptoms. First and foremost, we aim to restore normal nerve supply to your digestive organs. This will allow the necessary communication from your brain to those organs on how to function normally. We do this through specific adjustments to your spine in the affected areas. Generally, it involves nervous system interference in either you middle back, lower back, or upper portion of your neck. In any event, proper nerve supply to your digestive organs is paramount to them functioning in a normal manner. Finally, we do not discount the role of a healthy well balanced diet. You can't feed your body garbage all day, every day, and not expect some sort of consequence. A diet full of whole and healthy foods (mostly fruit and vegetables), along with very little processed foods, is also an important component.
In closing, the solution to many health problems lies not in external solutions, but rather getting your body healthy and well functioning on the inside. Many of us are always looking for the quick fix.....and it is rarely there. Getting and staying healthy takes consistent work. No one said it is easy, but the payoff is well worth it so that you can...
LIVE well. BE well.