Did you know that more than 20 million Americans suffer from chronic digestive problems and that 1 out of 4 surgeries address digestive complaints? Digestive problems describe a wide range of ailments that include pain, bloating, constipation, reflux, and various inflammatory diseases.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common digestive issues in the US. This painful, and sometimes debilitating condition affects 1 in 10! The good news is that relief can be found outside medication.
Let’s learn more about digestive problems and how chiropractic care can help restore the balance in your gut—and your quality of life!
Common Digestive Problems
Digestive issues can occur almost anywhere in your digestive tract—from your throat to your bowel. Here are the most common complaints.
Stomach acid is an important part of digestion, but when it moves back up your throat it causes a lot of pain and discomfort—known as heartburn. When this occurs frequently, it is referred to as GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease).
This complaint is usually treated with antacids, which reduce the acidity of your stomach acid. Unfortunately, they also reduce its effectiveness and can hinder the full digestion of your food.
Further down the digestive tract, at the end of your bowels, constipation (difficulty passing hard stools) can cause a lot of trouble. This complaint worsens with age but can affect anyone from babies to the elderly.
Chronic constipation leads to secondary problems like hemorrhoids (piles) and incontinence. Medication to treat constipation can cause terrible cramps, unpredictable bowel movements, and bloating.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Inflammation and your bowel are not a good combination! A weakened immune system or a compromised nervous system can lead to inflammation throughout your digestive tract. In serious cases, it causes disease.
The most common types of IBD are Crohn’s Disease (swollen lining of the digestive tract) and Ulcerative Colitis (sores along the lining of your intestines). Both are extremely painful.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
When your digestive system gets irritable, it doesn’t behave as it should. Stress, diet, and a hindered nervous system can lead to a wide range of digestive complaints known as IBS.
Diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and cramps are the typical symptoms of IBS—and more and more people are experiencing this painful and limiting syndrome every year!
How Chiropractic Care Can Help Relieve Digestive Issues
Most people associate chiropractic care with sore joints and recovery from injury, but it’s so much more! Your chiropractor’s goal is to restore the balance in your body—this includes your bones and muscles, but also supports your hormones and your digestion!
Chiropractic care not only targets the root cause of your digestive issues, but it also reduces your need for medications—which often have negative side effects.
Boost Your Nervous System
Your nervous system controls the rhythmic pulsing of your digestive tract to the enzymes that are released as your food goes down. Your nerves send and receive messages to and from your brain that ensure digestion takes place. So the health of your nervous system plays a vital role in the functioning of your digestive tract!
Your chiropractor will examine your vertebrae (the bones of your spine) and make adjustments to ensure that they are optimally aligned. Even the smallest misalignment can place pressure on specific nerves and prevent them from functioning optimally. This treatment restores balance in your digestive system—and your body as a whole!
Stretches and Exercises
Chiropractic care also strives to identify weaknesses and improve them. Through specific stretches and exercises your chiropractor will guide you as your build strength in the muscles that support your digestive tract—your core.
You’ll also learn what types of exercise (mild to moderate) to engage in to reduce stress and promote healthy movement of food through your intestines.
Chiropractic care is a holistic approach. Your chiropractor will get to know you and your health and advise you on small (and big!) lifestyle changes you can make to support your digestive system and heal from the inside out—without any drugs! You’ll get tips on diet, sleep, hydration, and exercise.
Chronic digestive problems are so much more than bloating and gas after a spicy meal—they indicate a body that is out of balance and inflamed. Take your first step towards healing and contact Integrated Health, your local chiropractor in Atlanta, GA. Let us help you restore your digestive health—and your quality of life!