The Ileocecal valve (ICV) is located in the digestive tract in between the small intestines and the large intestines. It is positioned near the appendix in the lower right side of the abdomen. The main function of the ICV is to open and close periodically in order to let food move through the digestive tract. As the ICV is closed, food remains in the small intestines in order for nutrients, vitamins and minerals to be absorbed. Once the nutrients are absorbed, the ICV opens and lets the remaining portion enter the large intestines so that water is then absorbed. The food that is in the large intestines has considerably more toxins in it than the food in the small intestines do to the amount of digestion/breakdown that has already taken place. After nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and water have been absorbed from the food, it is then excreted from the intestines dying bowel movements.
Occasionally, certain foods, a lack of nutrients, a lack of proper nerve supply, or even a misalignment of the joints in our body can cause the ICV to dysfunction. When this dysfunction occurs, the ICV will either remain open, or remain closed, and an imbalance in the digestive system begins to lead to many problems in the body. One problem that stems from ICV dysfunction is malabsorption, a problem where your body is unable to take all of the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and water from the food that you eat. Even though you may be eating the right types of foods, have a healthy diet, and taking high quality supplements, if your ICV is dysfunctional, you can still have absorption problems.
Another problem that can arise from the ICV not working properly is toxicity. If the valve is “stuck” in a closed position, the food that is being digested sits in the small intestines to long and continues breaking down. When food is not removed from your body through bowel movements, it begins to rot and putrefy. The toxins from the rotting food are then absorbed through the walls of the small intestines. As this happens, your liver becomes overloaded and stressed as it tries to keep the intestines clean and handle the toxins. Patients that experience liver congestion as a result of ICV dysfunction often report symptoms such as waking up at night to go to the restroom, neck stiffness, knee pain, acid reflux, heartburn, burping, flatulence, and stomach pain after eating. When the ICV is “stuck” in the open position, the previously digested food in the large intestines is able to back up into the small intestines and once again provides a toxicity problem, also contributing to liver congestion.
Symptoms from ICV dysfunction can include the above liver congestion symptoms as well as, shoulder pain, low back pain, malabsorption, chest pain, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, pseudo bursitis, pseudo sacroiliac pain, ringing in the ears, nausea, faintness, pseudo sinus infection, headaches, sudden thirst, dark circles under the eyes, and more.
Since the ICV receives information from the digestive system, nervous system, and from hormones in the body, these three systems must be evaluated in order to restore proper ICV function. Quantum Neurology™ Rehabilitation is specifically designed to rehabilitate ALL portions of the nervous system, including those that go to the digestive system. As a Quantum Neurologist and Functional Nutritionist, Dr. Chase Hayden has had many patients report significant improvements in their digestion as well as the symptoms associated with ICV dysfunction by following his recommendations. By decreasing the inflammation of the ICV through diet modification and nutritional supplementation, and rehabilitating the associated spinal nerves, you too can see a change in the symptoms that you are experiencing. To contact The Hayden Institute and speak to a representative of our office in regards to your digestive stress, click HERE.
Those experiencing ICV dysfunction often benefit from avoiding the following foods until their nervous system has properly been evaluated and rehabilitated.
- Roughage Foods (high fiber content)
- Potato Chips
- Corn Chips
- Spicy Foods
- Whole Grains
- Caffeinated Beverages