Have you ever awakened with a headache for no reason at all? Do you have dark circles under your eyes or ringing in your ears? Do you suffer from bursitis or carpal tunnel syndrome? Do you enjoy eating popcorn, nuts, and seeds? If so you could be suffering from ileocecal valve syndrome (ICV).
The ileocecal valve is a sphincter located between the ileum (the last portion of your small intestine) and the cecum (first portion of your large intestine). Its purpose is to allow digested food materials to pass from the small intestine into your large intestine and to keep waste matters from backing up into your small intestine. It is intended to be a one-way valve, only opening up to allow processed foods to pass through.
In Applied Kinesiology (AK) ICV syndrome is known as the “great mimicker” because of the amount of symptoms that are caused by its dysfunction. Ileocecal valve dysfunction can show in two ways: by being stuck in an open position or being stuck in a closed position.
When the ileocecal valve is stuck open, waste products can back up into the small intestine (much like a backed-up kitchen sink drain) disturbing your digestion and creating unhealthy toxins that are absorbed into the body. If the ileocecal valve is stuck closed, waste products are prevented or constricted from passing into the large intestine. Unfortunately, the medical profession often overlooks this disorder. Ileocecal valve dysfunction can result in a myriad of symptoms, including:
Sudden low back pain
Pain around the heart
Pseudo sacroiliac strain
Pseudo sinus infection
Dark circles under the eyes
In AK theory, it is believed that many symptoms of ileocecal valve dysfunction occur as a result of absorption of toxic products by the ileum that have been regurgitated from the colon. In an open ICV, a combination of dehydration and fluid retention may exist. Fluid retention is the body’s natural method of attempting to reduce the effects of the toxicity by diluting the toxins with water. A major complaint of a patient may be peripheral nerve entrapment, such as the carpal tunnel condition. I personally have successfully treated many patients with carpal tunnel syndrome simply by addressing ileocecal valve syndrome.
What causes ICV? The most common causes of ICV are diet, allergies, parasites, and stress. As an applied kinesiologist, I look at the patient’s structural, chemical, and emotional states and address each one accordingly. Treatment usually includes spinal manipulation, acupressure to specific points related to ICV, and a low-roughage diet for two weeks. Ileocecal Valve Syndrome Diet is a low roughage diet. Foods most likely to irritate the ICV are: coarse cereals, chips, popcorn, nuts, seeds, spicy foods, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol. In the case of an open ICV, I will often have the patient take chlorophyll tablets to help soothe and heal the bowel. For a closed ICV, often a calcium supplement is needed for a couple of weeks. For ileocecal valve treatment, place a cold (not ice) pack over the cecum, which is on the lower right side of your abdomen where your appendix is. Allow the pack to slowly come to room temperature.
I have often said that if I could do but one technique in my office, it would be ICV treatment. It is surprising how many symptoms can be alleviated by restoring function to a dysfunctional ileocecal valve. I recommend finding an Applied Kinesiologist in your area who can evaluate you to ensure that this important valve is operating properly.
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