Irritable bowel syndrome is the most common condition that affects the gastrointestinal tract. About 10-15% of people struggle with this condition on a global basis. That having been said, there are varying degrees of symptoms, with about 40% of Irritable Bowel Syndrome patients reporting mild symptoms only. However, about 1 in 4 patients will deal with severe IBS symptoms.
What are the symptoms of IBS? How may the neck be connected to dysfunction in the gastrointestinal system? Is there a natural way to get help if you suffer from IBS? Read on to learn everything you need to know about this condition and a natural therapy that offers hope.
What Are the Symptoms of IBS?
Since the degree of IBS can differ from person to person, the severity of the symptoms can as well. Some of the more common symptoms of this condition include:
- Abdominal pain – Cramping in the abdomen is the most common symptom of IBS. It can range from mild to severe and may occur in various parts of the abdomen since the intestines cover a lot of ground inside the body.
- Changes in Bowel Habits – This can refer to diarrhea or constipation. In fact, some patients refer to IBS-D or IBS-C to indicate which symptom is more common for them. Some patients even experience both in an alternating pattern.
- Bloating – A person who isn’t pregnant may suddenly look like they are carrying in their third trimester thanks to severe bloating.
- Feeling of Incomplete Bowel Movement – It is not uncommon following a bowel movement to feel as though it was not complete or to experience additional discomfort rather than relief.
- Mucus in Stool – White colored mucus may appear in the stool in larger amounts than would occur normally.
To get a diagnosis, you would need to exhibit certain symptoms and patterns over a period time. Your doctor may also wish to rule out certain more serious bowel conditions by means of diagnostic imaging or even a colonoscopy.
What Is the Underlying Cause of IBS?
While researchers are not 100% sure of the cause of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, there are a number of theories. The primary theory is a dysfunction of how the brain and gut are communicating and working together. Thus, the function of the CNS (central nervous system) may play a primary role in the onset of IBS. Here are a few more things that serve as increased risk factors, triggers, and contributors in other ways:
Emotional or physical trauma – Victims of child sexual abuse or physical abuse are more likely to suffer from IBS as adults.
- Mental illness – Patients who suffer from clinical depression or an anxiety disorders are also more likely to have IBS.
- Bacterial infection – Getting certain bacterial infections in the digestive tract may lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Changes in gut bacteria – There are both bad and good bacteria in the gut. Changes to the types of bacteria in the gut or the amount of bacteria can lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms.
- Food sensitivities – Certain food sensitives may lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome such as a long-time sensitivity to gluten.
IBS also seems to run in families so there may be a genetic predisposition to the condition.
Boosting the CNS to Help with IBS
As a result of the clear connection between the CNS and IBS, we’re going to take a look at a way to boost the central nervous system naturally. We’d like to introduce you to a niche in the chiropractic field called upper cervical. What makes upper cervical chiropractic a great way to boost CNS function?
- Brainstem – The brainstem plays a key role in the central nervous system. Not only is it responsible for things the body does without our conscious commands (like breathing and blood pressure regulation) but it also is the communication hub between the brain and all of the signals that come from the rest of the body and along the spinal cord. The brainstem is surrounded by the C1 vertebra (atlas). As a result, a misalignment can put pressure on the brainstem and inhibit its proper function.
- Blood Flow – The vertebrae in the cervical spine each have tiny loops of bone called vertebral foramen. These serve the purpose of providing safe passage for the vertebral arteries which supply blood to the brain. Thus, a cervical misalignment has the potential to affect blood flow and the amount of oxygen that the brain is receiving. This can certainly disrupt proper CNS function.
- Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) – CSF can begin to pool in the brain if a misaligned vertebra keeps it from draining properly. This can cause intracranial pressure and other side effects. Without the CFS properly clearing away toxins and lubricating the brain, CNS function will not be optimal.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
If you suffer from IBS, you want to be certain your CNS is functioning at its best. Upper cervical chiropractic is one way to do that. It is no wonder that case studies involving patients with IBS and an upper cervical misalignment have ended up in complete resolution of symptoms. In one study, a patient not only had Irritable Bowel Syndrome go away after upper cervical intervention, but she also saw a reduction in the frequency of her symptoms related to anxiety and depression.
If you are suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, we encourage you to make an appointment with an upper cervical chiropractor in your area. The natural help that the gentle adjustments provide for your CNS may be just what your gastrointestinal tract needs in order to function better.