Malfunctioning Pyloric Ileocecal Valves And How To Fix Them
I learned something very helpful from my recent thermography. After weeks of intense intestinal distress, I now know (at least in part) what the cause was and how to fix it. Turns out my symptoms (bloating, burping, gas, feeling full after eating only a little, abdominal pain, fever spikes, spastic diarrhea, insomnia – feeling weak, toxic and just generally awful) were due in large part to my pyloric and ileocecal valves’ having become sluggish. What a relief to get this information. And the fixes works quickly: I feel better immediately after doing them! We’ll get to these shortly, but first some information on the functions of those valves and what can go wrong if they’re not working properly. For information on thermography, see Inflammation and What You Don’t Know CAN Harm You. PYLORIC VALVE
The pyloric valve is a sphincter-type valve that controls the opening between the bottom end of the stomach and the beginning of the small intestine. It’s located about 2″ above the navel, more or less in the center of the body. The pyloric valve’s principal function is to control the flow of partially digested material from the stomach into the duodenum, the topmost section of the small intestine, where most of the nutrients get extracted from what we eat. When the valve is working well, it opens slightly a few times a minute to allow a small amount of food to move into the duodenum. Its secondary function is to prevent bile from flowing back from the small intestine into the stomach (bile reflux). When the pyloric valve is malfunctioning, as it does in many people – even some who aren’t aware they’re having a problem, it creates discomfort and many serious medical problems. Malfunctioning of this valve includes spasms that prevent it from opening or closing completely. Bloating: Symptom of a Pyloric Valve That Isn’t Opening Properly
When the valve spasms, it becomes inflamed. You can experience pain as food tries passing from your stomach into your small intestine. If the spasms are severe, you may become nauseated and experience violent vomiting as your stomach attempts to clear itself. The usual symptoms of a spastic pyloric valve that isn’t opening properly are bloating and a sharp pain after eating. If the valve isn’t closing properly, bile can flow back into the stomach from the intestines. The Mayo Clinic says, “Bile reflux can be difficult to distinguish from acid reflux…. and the two conditions may occur at the same time.” Bile reflux can lead to some serious issues, including damage to the stomach and esophageal linings, bleeding ulcers, and Barrett’s Esophagus. (Thermal Imaging of the Southwest, 2013) Bile Reflux: Symptom of a Pyloric Valve That Isn’t Closing Properly
“When the (pyloric) sphincter is contracted, it holds food in the stomach, allowing the digestive juices to do their work. This breaks down the food into a substance called “chyme.” Once the food has broken down, the sphincter opens and allows it to enter the duodenum. The time the food spends in the stomach allows the body to absorb more of the nutrients. “As long as the sphincter is healthy, it serves as a one-way door to the intestines, and that keeps your digestive system moving smoothly.” – New Health Guide, 2014 The malfunctioning, constricted pyloric valve shown on this thermogram is visible inside the black oval in the center of the body: Thermogram of a Pyloric Valve in Distress
When the pyloric valve is constricted and inflamed, blood flow increases to that area. When the valve doesn’t close properly, allowing bile to flow back into the stomach and attack the stomach lining, blood flow to this area increases. It is the increased heat in the distressed area, caused by this additional blood flow, that the thermographic infrared camera captures on the image.
“Dr. Gregory Melvin, a board-certified thermography-reading doctor, notes that ‘Most conditions are detectable with infrared imaging. When the pyloric valve is under distress, it creates a specific and unique thermal image, making it fairly obvious.’” (Thermal Imaging of the Southwest, 2013)
The ileocecal valve is a sphincter-type valve located at the junction of the end of the small intestine and beginning of the large intestine. Its purpose is twofold: 1) To retain the contents of the small intestine long enough for the digestive process to be completed, and 2) As a barrier to prevent bacteria laden material in the large intestine from ‘back flowing’ into the small intestine and contaminating it.
When the ileocecal valve is closed, the partially digested food stays in the small intestine, where the body renders and absorbs nutrients. Once material has been allowed to pass through the ileocecal valve to enter the large intestine, the valve closes again to prevent back flow from the large intestine.
HEALTHY FUNCTIONING OF THE ILEOCECAL VALVE
When the ileocecal valve is functioning normally:
It remains closed most of the time, opening only when food is ready to pass from the small intestine into the large intestine for further processing.
It opens briefly to allow the contents of the small intestine to exit into the large intestine.
After food has moved through it, it closes again quickly to prevent contents of the large intestine from leaking back into the small intestine.
WHEN THE ILEOCECAL VALVE MALFUNCTIONS – REMAINING OPEN OR CLOSED An ileocecal valve sticking in the open position allows a backwash of watery waste material from the large intestine to get absorbed back into the small intestine. This is serious because the small intestine is where the process of creating blood to fuel the body begins. A valve stuck in the open position can cause frequent diarrhea leading to dehydration and lack of energy A valve sticking in the closed position can cause tightness in the bowel movements or constipation. Both conditions create a toxic condition and cause imbalances anywhere in the body where there is blood. (Minckler, undated) (Pollard, undated) Dysfunction of the ileocecal valve, remaining either open or closed, causes organs and/or muscles to become more susceptible to developing problems. A person with an open valve will feel better when stationary and worse when moving around. Someone with a closed valve will feel worse upon rising or being inactive and better when moving around. (NeuroHealth Chiropractic, 2013) FACTORS AFFECTING ILEOCECAL VALVE FUNCTIONING These include:
Consuming insufficient nutrients
An improper nerve supply
Misalignment of the joints
Not chewing food well enough
– Pollard, undated DIETARY TIPS TO KEEP YOUR ILEOCECAL VALVE WORKING WELL Some foods to avoid:
Bread and other dense foods to help keep it from sticking
Spicy and sugary foods
Supplements that support the functioning of the whole digestive system include:
AFA blue green algae
– Earthclinic, 2015 “This very important anatomical structure does an unheralded job. The Ileocecal Valve is such a major cause of digestive symptoms for people that the problem has reached epidemic proportions; yet, outside the chiropractic profession, its function and importance are practically unknown. “Problems with an open ileocecal valve (Ileocecal Valve Syndrome) are extremely common in today’s society yet its symptoms are often misdiagnosed. Very few health practitioners understand the significance of the ICV in digestive problems.” (Pollard, undated) Image of a Healthy Ileocecal Valve
LOCATING YOUR ILEOCECAL VALVE This is where your ileocecal valve is found – on the RIGHT side of your body, about 4 fingers (c. 2″) below your navel and 4 fingers to your right side, just inside your pelvic bone:
An image of a malfunctioning ileocecal valve is visible in the thermogram below, on the right of the body, just inside the hip bone. Thermogram Showing a Blocked Ileocecal Valve
ALCOHOL AND ILEOCECAL MALFUNCTION Consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol will stress the ileocecal valve, causing it to stick in the open position. This result is one of the main causes of hangovers. (Minckler, undated) ILEOCECAL VALVE SYNDROME
Click here to see a larger version of this chart if you’re unable to read the small print in the one above. Problems with the ileocecal valve (sticking in the open or closed position) cause such a variety of symptoms, the valve has been called the “great mimicker” by the chiropractic profession. Its symptoms can manifest far from the valve itself. Interestingly, symptoms of an open or closed ileocecal valve are very similar. They include (Pollard, undated) (True Vitality, 2015):
Diarrhea or constipation
Heart palpitations and feeling of the heart fluttering
Chest pain during activity