Our nervous system is very complex. It’s a collection of nerves and specialized cells known as neurons that transmit signals between different parts of the body (read more). The question is: Can abnormal nerve function affect digestion?
Yes, abnormal nerve function anywhere in the spine can alter digestion. If abnormal messages are sent to the brain, then the brain can activate the body’s fight-or-flight response. The fight-or-flight response is the system in your body that keeps you safe in dangerous situations, like running from a bear. The fight-or-flight response stops bodily functions that are not necessary in an emergency such as digestion. In a normal situation that is not stressful, the digestive system sends signals to the brain and the brain’s response is what causes digestive enzymes and muscle contraction. In stressful situations this is inhibited.
Did you know that abnormal nerve function in your lumbar can make muscles compress the abdomen, causing abnormal digestion and discomfort? It’s true! All of the muscle around your stomach is controlled by the brain. Abnormal nerve function can greatly affect digestion and discomfort.
Are spinal problems aggravating digestive problems in infants – like acid reflux – more commonly found closer to the baby’s head or closer to the baby’s lower back? Typically if an infant comes to the office having troubles with acid reflux, it’s more common that the spinal problem would be closer to the baby’s head.
Chiropractic care’s primary focus is on restoring and maintaining the health of your nerves, muscles and joints. Adjustments can help to restore normal movement, ease pain, and prompt higher function of your brain and nervous system. That being said, do you believe that chiropractic care is a treatment for digestive problems?
If you had to guess what is the most common deficiency in the American diet, what would you say? Is your first guess fiber? If so, you’re correct! A healthy fiber recommendation is 25-30 grams per day. Many Americans are shocked to find that they are only getting between 8 and 15 grams per day. Low fiber can result in constipation/digestive issues. If you are low in fiber, add it into your diet gradually. Going from 5 grams of fiber to 30 is large jump and not recommended in a short period of time. Between cutting back on alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and adding fiber into your diet, you should be on the road for improved digestive health!