Are you in a pain cycle?

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Poor GI Function and Chronic Inflammation are two areas of research found to contribute to some health disorders including chronic joint pain, fibromyalgia, autoimmune disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and obesity.

The connection is through the nervous system and the main regulator of both systems is the Vagus nerve. It is the “shut off” valve that controls the inflammatory response and also controls many functions including digestion and sensations of hunger.

Through research, we are beginning to understand more about the importance of the digestive tract, gut flora and its impact on our overall health. Simply stated, when we have poor digestion this can lead to a condition known as leaky gut. When the lining of the digestive tract is inflamed, fissures open in the lining allowing partially undigested food particles, toxins and bacteria to slip through the lining directly into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, our body considers them foreign bodies and our immune system produces antibodies against the invaders, leading to an inflammatory response.

“Allergies can develop when the body produces antibodies to the undigested proteins that are derived from previously harmless foods. These antibodies can get into any tissue and trigger an inflammatory reaction the next time that food is eaten according to holistic health practitioner Dr. Zoltan Rona, “If this inflammation occurs in a joint then autoimmune arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis) may be the result. If it occurs in the blood vessels then vasculitis (or inflammation of the blood vessels) is the resulting autoimmune problem.

If the antibodies end up attacking the lining of the gut itself, the result may be colitis or Crohn’s disease. If it occurs in the lungs, asthma is triggered on a delayed basis every time the individual consumes the food that had triggered the productions of the antibodies in the first place.

I see this often in my practice. A patient doesn’t respond to care and complains of symptoms visit after visit. Inflammation caused by dietary habits and leaky gut causes a vicious cycle of pain in the body that is hard to pinpoint or correct without changes to the patient's diet.

One way to help keep the digestive tract stay healthy and aide in breaking the inflammation cycle is to make sure we aren’t eating inflammatory foods and help support the gut through certain supplements, drinking the proper amount of water and spinal adjustments.

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Dr. Wayne M. Fichter Jr. is a chiropractor at Natural Spine Solutions. The business is located at 3913 Schreiber Way in Coeur d’Alene. (208) 966-4425.

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