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If you are reading this, you’re probably interested in healthy living. Some people have had health problems that held them back at work, at school, in sports and hobbies, even social interactions and family time. Many of us take a “big-picture” approach to health: use a number of separate approaches to keep yourself healthy, knowing your efforts will build upon each other. Trust that if you take care of your body, it will perform effectively and help you create a life you love.

But, there are some people who love the nitty-gritty details of exactly “how it’s made.” For those of us who are analytical types, here’s an intriguing experiment to explain how neurospinal health can affect organ systems like the gastrointestinal tract.

After intentionally creating arthritis and cervical spine degeneration, researchers in China noted biochemical changes in the stomach lining of rats. Spinal degeneration in the neck is associated with about 20 different classes of disorders, such as high blood pressure, heart rhythm disorders, dizziness, vision problems, and digestive symptoms. This experiment gives a logical explanation for both common heartburn and indigestion, as well as more severe, life-altering, difficult-to-manage digestive disorders.

What happened in the experiment? As a result of creating spinal degeneration, the levels of three specialized proteins increased with time. Higher levels of these proteins signaled tissue damage within both the nervous system and digestive tract. These proteins included a pro-inflammatory cytokine (IL-1-beta), which activates another protein (caspase-3) to induce nerve cell death. A third protein (c-Fos) was also measured. The c-Fos protein is an indicator of nerve cell activity; it was increased in both the spinal cord and stomach wall, indicating irritation within both of these tissues. Increased levels of c-Fos have previously been connected to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and Crohn’s disease. For comparison, there was a control group of rats who were not subjected to spinal degeneration, and their protein levels remained unchanged overall throughout the study.

The researchers noted that “neck-stomach” syndrome is a relatively new understanding of digestive disorders. They explain that “when the sympathetic nerve is irritated by nerve roots, degenerated disc and facet joint disorders due to osteophytes, cervical muscle overexertion and/or injury, the irritation reaches to the brain cortex by nerve reflex and produces a higher or lower sympathetic irritability, and then results in multiple dysfunctions of the neck, upper limbs, cardiac and gastrointestinal reflexes, etc.”

As a conclusion of this experiment, the authors recommended that both the digestive tract and the central nervous system be investigated as sources of gastrointestinal problems. By correcting neurospinal dysfunction, we can improve the capability of the central nervous system and indirectly solve problems like acid reflux, constipation, heartburn, and IBS. Based on my years of experience with patients, the health of the neurospinal system impacts the function of the entire body. It is the foundation of health.

We often work with chronic and complex health problems that have frustrated patients for months or years. Pediatric issues like colic, reflux, poor sleep, and irritability often have digestive dysfunction as an underlying factor, and neurospinal correction can help frazzled parents to find a solution. For people with digestive disorders, our insights and skills can be the missing piece of the puzzle. For a private 15-minute consultation, please call our office in Eagan, MN, at 651-757-5096.

Source: Song et al., 2007. Neck-Stomach Syndrome. World Journal of Gastroenterology 13(18): 2575-2580.

Dr. Barbara Kaiser, Eagan chiropractor
Dr. Barbara Kaiser focuses on identifying and correcting neurospinal dysfunction. For Chiropractic in Eagan near Apple Valley and Burnsville MN, contact Dr. Barbara Kaiser at 651-757-5096 today.

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