Most people have some form of digestive malfunction. Unfortunately, most people assume their digestive problems are not important. S/he usually thinks along these lines: “I just have heartburn,” or “It’s too bad that I had to be born into a family who’s always constipated,” or “ Certain foods always give me gas.” Digestive disturbances should not be ignored in the early stages when they are the easiest to correct, because they can lead to more serious problems.
Many people who develop a burning in the pit of the stomach take antacids to “neutralize the excess acid.” This approach accepts digestive failure as normal. If a particular food bothers you but not other people, it may be your digestive system that is malfunctioning, so don’t blame the food.
Different forms of digestive disturbance (such as burning and gas, with an associated bloated feeling) have specific correlations with what is wrong in the digestive system, and with what can ultimately develop. Burning in the stomach region, or so-called “heartburn,” usually indicates either too much or not enough hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid is necessary for digestion, but the concentration of the acid must be correct for normal function. A too high concentration can cause ulcers. When too much acid is present, it irritates the lining and causes a sore, which is an ulcer. The sore can become large enough to bleed and, ultimately to perforate the wall of the stomach or small intestine.
A very similar burning sensation in the stomach area can be caused by too little hydrochloric acid. Too little hydrochloric acid can possibly cause more problems then too much, because hydrochloric acid is necessary for protein digestion, calcium metabolism, and other factors. If protein is not properly digested, the body suffers from not having the basic building blocks necessary to make new tissues and chemicals. The body will age more rapidly and function poorly in many respects.
Hydrochloric acid production is regulated by the nervous system. Too much or too little hydrochloric acid indicates that the mechanism controlling acid production is out of balance and should be returned to normal by a doctor trained in correcting the body’s nervous system.
Sometimes the burning sensation that develops in the upper portion of the digestive system is the result of a hiatal hernia, which can develop when the diaphragm does not function properly. There is an opening in the diaphragm through which the esophagus goes to join the stomach. If this opening enlarges, a small portion of the stomach can protrude into the chest cage. Acid is not held in the stomach, it is allowed to pass into the esophagus, thus causing a severe burning pain around the chest as well as many other symptoms.
Applied Kinesiology evaluation and treatment have been very successful in correcting hiatal hernias because of the ability to improve muscular function. The diaphragm is a muscle, and like any other muscle can be returned to normal by correcting the energy patterns.
The small intestine is a great workhorse in the digestive system. Many complex chemical actions important in the digestive process take place in this area. If there is a problem in the stomach because of too little hydrochloric acid, the first phase of protein digestion is decreased. A relative hypoproteinemia (lack of protein in the blood stream) develops. These lowered protein levels cause the body to go into a “protein sparing” effect, which means that the body reduces its use of protein to make new tissue and other items normally manufactured from protein. Digestive enzymes are made
from protein, so if you lack protein the digestive enzymes become weak and cannot digest and absorb protein. A vicious circle develops.
When digestion is poor whether in the stomach, small intestine, or large intestine the body fails to break food down into small parts for absorption. The food becomes putrid when this occurs, and gases can form. This causes the bloated gaseous feeling and rumbling a person may experience when the digestive system is not functioning correctly. This is not just an uncomfortable situation; it is a situation in which the body fails to absorb nutrients for the processes of life. A person can eat nutritious food, but if his/her digestive system fails to break it down and use it properly, nutritional deficiency can result, leading to disease.
There is a valve, the ileocecal valve, between the small and large intestines that controls passage of the small intestine’s contents into the large intestine. This valve can dysfunction in two ways. First, and most common, is the open ileocecal valve, syndrome. Let’s call the small intestine the kitchen area of the body, and the large intestine the garbage area. If the ileocecal valve does not adequately control the flow of material, the small intestine becomes contaminated because the material that passed into the large intestine regurgitates into the small intestine. In essence, the garbage area contaminates the kitchen area. The body becomes toxic and any weak area such as a hip joint, heart, or sinuses can develop symptoms.
The second form of ileocecal valve syndrome is the closed variety. In this situation, the valve becomes spastic and does not allow material to pass from the small intestine to the large intestine. Food becomes putrid in the small intestine, and toxic material is again absorbed by the body.
Many people suffer from constipation. The general public typically thinks this means that the bowels do not move frequently enough. There is another type of constipation, however, which is just as significant but often ignored, this is colon stasis. In other words, waste material stays in the colon for a long period and eventually the body re-absorbs toxic material. Many times colon stasis is the first phase of more significant problems, such as colitis, diverticulosis, and diverticulitis.
Many factors are involved in normal colon function. Three items generally considered necessary for normal bowel activity are adequate water, an irritant, and adequate bulk. Most laxative preparations are based on one or more of these three basic ingredients. Others factors, however, are important for normal colon action, including normal control by the nervous system and other energy patterns of the body. When one has a tendency toward constipation or colon stasis, a doctor knowledgeable in Applied Kinesiology should make a thorough evaluation. This evaluation is indicated whenever a stool has odor, or when the stool is not frequent and voluminous. The normal bowel movement has no foul odor. Dysfunction should be suspected whenever a strong odor is commonly present.
The major emphasis is that whenever digestive dysfunction is apparent, it should be evaluated and corrected immediately. If left alone it can lead to more serious trouble. There is evidence that colon cancer develops from colon stasis. Arthritis can develop from tissues that are not repaired and rebuilt adequately at the joint surfaces because of a lack of protein. Ulcerative colitis can develop and progress to the point that portions of the colon must be surgically removed.
To prevent these and other serious consequences of digestive disturbance, it is important that the condition be corrected early, rather than just treating the symptoms with patent medications. A doctor trained in Applied Kinesiology can locate and correct the causes of faulty digestion.