Crohn's Disease and Chiropractic

This section was compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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Chiropractic Research Results for Crohn's Disease

The Resolution of Chronic Colitis with Chiropractic Care
Leading to Increased Fertility

J Vertebral Subluxation Research 2003 (Aug 31); 4 (4): 1–5

The patient had her chronic condition of colitis relieved and relatively simultaneously became pregnant after giving up on allopathic fertility treatments for 7 years.

Long Term Remission and Alleviation of Symptoms in Allergy
and Crohn's Disease Patients Following Spinal Adjustment
for Reduction of Vertebral Subluxations

J Vertebral Subluxation Research 2003 (Mar); 4 (4)

Of the 17 patients who received spinal adjustments, 12 showed long-term and stable remission of their symptoms and of these, 9 experienced an alleviation effect. We found that vertebral subluxation is a common and characteristic finding in patients with allergies and Crohn's disease.

Complementary Practitioners' Views of Treatment
for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Can J Gastroenterol 2002 (Feb); 16 (2): 95–100

Almost all chiropractors used spinal manipulation, whereas herbalists and health food store employees suggested a wide range of different treatments. Chiropractors rated their treatment as moderately effective; herbalists and health food store employees viewed their recommendations as very effective.


Chiropractic Research Results for Ulcers

Indigestion and Heartburn:
A Descriptive Study of Prevalence
in Persons Seeking Care from Chiropractors

J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1996 (Jun); 19 (5): 317–323

Indigestion and mid-back pain are commonly experienced in this population. A person with indigestion is more likely to report mid-back pain. Relief of indigestion by manipulation is more common among those who report mid-back pain. Further research is needed to understand differences between subgroups and differences compared with other studies.

The Use of Spinal Manipulative Therapy in the Treatment
of Duodenal Ulcer: A Pilot Study

J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1994 (Jun); 17 (5): 310–313

Chiropractic practice often includes patients with gastrointestinal problems who report some relief of their symptoms after treatment; however, the physiological basis for these results has yet to be established. The normalization in segmental trophic innervation of the mucosal layer of the intestine, and positive reaction of the whole body, are under discussion as a possible mechanism for the treatment effect.


Other Management Approaches for Digestive Disorders

Acccording to the Merck Manual, modern allopathic medicine does not know the cause of Crohn's, and states that "no cure is known". The treatments they offer are paliative (occasionally reduce symptoms), but also have potential side-effects (anticholinergics) or are addictive (opium tincture). Because of that, Chiropractic care may be the only effective and non-invasive treatment option available.

Ulcerative Colitis/Inflammatory Bowel & Omega-3 Fatty Acid Page
A Chiro.Org article collection

This page lists several articles from the excellent Alternative Medicine Review and other journals, discussing nutritional approaches to management.

The Causes of Intestinal Dysbiosis: A Review
Alternative Medicine Review 2004 (Jun); 9 (2): 180–197 ~ FULL TEXT

Alterations in the bowel flora and its activities are now believed to be contributing factors to many chronic and degenerative diseases. Irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis have all been linked to alterations in the intestinal microflora. The intestinal dysbiosis hypothesis suggests a number of factors associated with modern Western living have a detrimental impact on the microflora of the gastrointestinal tract. Factors such as antibiotics, psychological and physical stress, and certain dietary components have been found to contribute to intestinal dysbiosis. If these causes can be eliminated or at least attenuated then treatments aimed at manipulating the microflora may be more successful.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Series

   Part 1: Ulcerative Colitis--Pathophysiology and Conventional
and Alternative Treatment Options

Alternative Medicine Review 2003 (Aug); 8 (3): 247–283 ~ FULL TEXT

Ulcerative colitis (UC), a subcategory of inflammatory bowel disease, afflicts 1-2 million people in the United States, and many more worldwide. This article reviews potential unconventional treatments - transdermal nicotine, heparin, melatonin, DHEA, probiotics, fiber, dietary changes, botanicals, essential fatty acids, and other nutrients - that may be considered in conjunction with conventional approaches or as part of a comprehensive alternative treatment protocol.

   Part 2: Crohn's Disease--Pathophysiology and Conventional
and Alternative Treatment Options

Alternative Medicine Review 2004 (Dec); 9 (4): 360–401 ~ FULL TEXT

Conventional medications are not curative but can contribute to resolution of acute flare-ups and help maintain remission. Because significant side effects are associated with many these medications, more natural interventions to help maintain remission should be considered. Associated nutrient deficiencies, dietary interventions, and nutrient and botanical supplementation are discussed.

The Pathogenesis, Clinical Implications, and
Treatment of Intestinal Hyperpermeability
Alternative Medicine Review 1997 (Oct); 2 (5): 330–345 ~ FULL TEXT

Normally, the gastrointestinal epithelium provides a semi-permeable barrier which allows nutrients to be absorbed while preventing larger, potentially toxic, antigenic, or pathogenic molecules or organisms from crossing into the bloodstream. Pathogenically increased intestinal permeability predisposes the individual to diffusion of antigenic food molecules and translocation of bacteria and/or yeast from the gut to extra-intestinal sites, including mesenteric lymph nodes, liver, spleen, and systemic circulation. This can be secondary to drugs, microbial overgrowth, radiation, stress, alcohol intake, enteral/parenteral nutrition, or injury. Increased intestinal permeability occurs commonly with diseases including inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, asthma, eczema, food allergies, alcoholism, trauma, and surgery. Glutamine, phosphatidylcholine, flavonoids, soluble fiber, and fish oil, as well as probiotic organisms, including Lactobacilli and Saccharomyces boulardii can assist in correcting this abnormal permeability.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Gut Reaction
Nutrition Science News (March 2000)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)—also called spastic colon—is considered by most allopathic physicians a "functional" bowel disorder. By this, diagnosticians mean that while the gastrointestinal tract is not operating well, no anatomic or pathologic cause can be found. Common tests used to examine the stool of patients with IBS usually result in no significant findings: no blood, no excess white cells, no parasites, no bacteria. Sigmoidoscopy to explore the colon and common laboratory exams usually reach the same conclusion: no organic disease. In some cases, though, a stool exam may reveal such things as improper digestion, imbalance of beneficial bacteria or the presence of certain types of intestinal parasites that are not considered pathogenic but may present symptoms, suggesting an underlying cause of IBS. Food choices may also play a role in the cause of IBS.

Chinese Herbs Soothe Irritable Bowel
Nutrition Science News (March 1999)

Traditional Chinese herbal remedies do what modern medicine can't for people with irritable bowel syndrome, according to researchers at the University of Western Sydney Macarthur in New South Wales, Australia. At this time, no effective pharmaceutical treatment exists for the painful gastrointestinal condition that affects between 10 and 20 percent of both the U.S. and Australian populations.

The Probiotic Solution for Colitis
Nutrition Science News (December 2000)

Colitis, or irritable bowel disease (IBD), is a group of conditions characterized by gut-wall inflammation. Conventional medicine generally addresses IBD symptoms with steroids and other drugs. Probiotics, or "friendly" bacteria, address the root cause, most importantly by acting antagonistically toward pathogenic bacteria that cause intestinal inflammation. Valuable probiotics include various species of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. In addition, certain foods have been shown to initiate or aggravate IBD symptoms.


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Updated 6-24-2022

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