Your Digestive System
Your digestive system is a long tube that begins at your mouth and ends at your anus. It has one overriding goal: to break down your food and extract energy and nutrients from it. Your throat, esophagus, stomach, duodenum and intestines are modifications of this tube,
Your Esophagus & Stomach
After you chew and swallow your 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'd eat yourself alive! What keeps the acid from escaping? A thick layer of mucus that covers your stomachs inner walls.
Dyspepsia & Ulcers
Chronic stomachache, 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 - a very painful condition.
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 stated: 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's not unusual to hear of people "living on" over-the-counter remedies, or prescription drugs, for years. 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 spinal column for vertebral subluxations, a condition that damages your nerves and can interfere with proper communication between your brain and your internal organs, including those of the digestive system. The vertebral subluxation complex can interfere with your body function and lower your resistance to disease. Every organ in your digestive system - mouth, tongue, throat, esophagus, pyloric valve, stomach, intestines, glands, pancreas and others - needs a healthy nerve supply from your spine.
Correction Of The Subluxation
With a spinal adjustment, your doctor of chiropractic will correct or relieve your vertebral subluxation; you'll be more balanced and function more efficiently.
Along with spinal health it has been discovered that drinking 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. Coffee, tea and juices may assuage thirst but they do not hydrate the body as water does.
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 ulcer were found to have pelvic distortion and blockage in the spine.* Spinal care helps those with dysphagia (difficult swallowing) and abdominal nausea. The famous researcher R. Maigne has written that relief of the nervous system helps digestive pains and pseudo-ulcers; others find spinal adjustments help "dyspepsia and epigastric distress". In one fascinating study, scientists surgically created an artificial vertebral subluxation in rabbits. Within 2 1/2 minutes there were changes in the stomach and duodenum. These changes could make the upper gastrointestinal tract vulnerable to disease and dysfunction.Of 100 people with stomach and duodenal ulcers, 86 had spinal abnormalities of the area that sup- plied the stomach with nerve fibers." Spinal misalignment have been found to produce disease by irritating the nerves that supply various organs. Correction of the spinal problem relieved 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 vertebral subluxations, no amount of drugs will relieve the pres- sure. A chiropractic spinal adjustment is what your body needs.