I have explained some of my health story in the past. In sharing my story, I hope to help others who are frantically googling “digestive problems” all day long. People who (like me) are looking for some flicker of hope via the testimony of someone who has been there and successfully tackled the difficulty and mystery of digestive distress. In the past couple weeks, I have stumbled upon some information that my explain the underlying issues of my gut woes. Namely, a chronically dysfunctional Ileocecal Valve as well as Leaky Gut.
Ileocecal Valve. What is it?
Simply put, it is the connection between your small intestine and your large intestine. The valve can get irritated, or get stuck in the open or closed position. Neither is good. With open valves, the waste gets passed back and forth between the intestines which can throw off your gut biome and encourage things like dybiosis and SIBO. When it’s closed, waste does not move through your system and creates a lot of problems like constipation, toxicity, etc. Click Here for a good explanation of the problem.
Something to be expected with ICV syndrome is a Leaky Gut. This is when the tight junctions in the intestinal wall begin to breakdown or separate. The explanation can get pretty technical but basically, the lining of your intestine begins to let pieces of waste/food pass through the “wall” into the bloodstream. You body perceives this passage as an invasion and the immune system responds with symptoms like bloating, food intolerances, fatigue, and a whole host of other problems. These can worsen over time if not immediately addressed.
Well, I’m happy (and hopeful) to be able to address it.
After 10 years of struggling to find a reasonable explanation for my digestive distress (bloating, constipation, and pain in my lower right side) and increasing food intolerances, I think I’ve finally stumbled upon the answer. And with the help of a recommended Chiropractor and Naturopathic Doc, I am on the path to healing.
How did I get here?
The ICV problem is often attributed to food allergies, stress or anxiety, spinal pressure on the nervous system, and parasites.
It is likely that my proclivity for anxious thoughts, my apparent inability to chew my food completely, a genetic history of digestive upset, and a brief tussle with a parasitic infection have all contributed to where I am now.
Fortunately for me, it could be a lot worse. My ability to pinpoint major food intolerances through out early adulthood, adopting the paleo diet for the past 4 years, and maintaining a relatively clean and healthy lifestyle have kept me mostly healthy until now.
The problem is that my efforts alone haven’t been enough. I like to compare it to a Wildfire. My digestive problems are like a raging California brush fire in the middle of Santa Ana season (VERY BAD). And all the while, I’ve been trying to douse it with the pitiful stream of a garden hose. Let’s just say, it’s not going to do the job.
Over the years, I have seen more and more food intolerances creep in and I’m not happy about it. This (assumed) diagnosis carries a lot of hope for me. I am looking forward to the day when I can eat apples, cauliflower, raw salads, nuts and seeds, and coconut flour treats without the wrath of my inflamed colon. It’s just not fun.
What do I do now?
ICV is treated through diet and spinal manipulation. Leaky Gut is treated through diet and supplementation. My anxiety is treated through meditation, mindfulness, professional counseling, and low intensity exercise. Hopefully, this three-pronged approach will really get everything in working order.
Supplementation with Apex Energetics RepairVite programs which includes a gut healing blend, Digestive support, probiotic, and Vitamin D.
An Elminiation Diet, which is somewhat of a marriage between a Candida Cleanse and AutoImmune Paleo.
In addition to Strict Paleo (no grains, legumes, dairy) there is no high glycemic fruit, nightshade vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, mushrooms, alcohol, caffeine, or sugar.
Most non-starchy vegetables plus roots and tubers, Low glycemic fruit, meats, fish, fermented foods, coconut, herbs and non-nightshade spices, tea, olive oil, olives, and apple cider vinegar.
Chiropractic Adjustments to realign my spine to release tension surrounding the ICV and neck, both places that influence the nervous system’s role in digestion, including ICV function.
It’s going to be a long 3 months but I am so incredibly excited to be attacking this problem.
What does this mean for the Clean Plate Blog?
Well, I’d like to share the progress of my story so that other people who experience this issue can gain a bit of understanding about the process of dealing with these problems (Which may look different for someone else. Our guts are unique!).
I will likely do a weekly Leaky Gut Update and (hopefully) end with a non-Leaky Gut synopsis.