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Chiropractic and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease – FACTS

Functional Gastrointestinal Disorder, FGID, is a term used to describe a wide range of symptoms as they pertain to the gastrointestinal system. Inflammatory Bowel Disease, IBD, falls under the umbrella of FGID.

IBD involves chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. There are two types of IBD: Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. IBD is usually diagnosed via lab testing, endoscopic procedures, and imaging. Some common test used are stool studies, colonoscopy, endoscopy, x-ray, CT scan, and MRI.

Disorders of IBD are characterized by symptoms of abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, loss of appetite, or rectal bleeding. In some cases, it can be debilitating and life threatening. The severity of the symptoms can be mild to severe.

Poor dietary habits and stress are contributing factors to developing IBD. One possible cause could be a compromised immune system. When bacteria or a virus invades the body, a healthy immune response would allow the body to fight it off. An immune system that is not functioning properly will cause an abnormal immune response by attacking cells in the digestive tract, therefore producing episodes of the previous mentioned symptoms at varied intensity.

The nervous system controls and coordinates all functions of the body and structural shifts in the spine can occur that obstruct the nerves and interfere with their function. It is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct. Chiropractic care aims to remove the structural shifts to decrease the pressure on the internal organs to improve digestive function.

Chiropractic Helps Elderly Man with Frequent IBD

The 98-year-old man in this study had been experiencing frequent bowel movements for over two years due to inflammatory bowel disease. His bowel movements occurred nearly every hour, for a total of 8-9 times a night. He did not experience this during the day.

The chiropractor examined him and found posture changes and structural shifts in his neck, upper back, mid back, low back, pelvis, and sacrum. Structural shifts were also noted in the right shoulder and jaw. Range of motion, thermal scans, and x-rays confirmed the findings. These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.

Following chiropractic adjustments, he experienced resolution of the frequent bowel movements and he also experienced improvement in his posture.

The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in this population.


Resolution of Hyperfrequent Nightly Bowel Movements in a 98-Year-Old Male Following Chiropractic Care: A Case Study. David Cameron, DC & Chaz Kountz, DC. Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research ˜ Volume, 2020.

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