Heartburn & Digestive Health

Heartburn, chronic stomach pain, and ulcers, can all be linked back to the nervous system.

About Heartburn

Your digestive system is one long tube, which runs from your mouth to your anus, with the primary function of breaking down your food to extract what is needed to make your body work. Heartburn occurs when some food reverses course and moves from the stomach up to the esophagus. Chronic stomach pain (dyspepsia) occurs when the stomach’s powerful acids begin to irritate the stomach lining either from a breakdown in the protective mucous layer or overproduction of hydrochloric acid. This can eventually lead to ulcers, which is when the acids begin to eat the stomach or intestinal wall. Underproduction of stomach acid can lead to problems of nutrient absorption. For instance having enough stomach acid is crucial to calcium absorption.

Person sitting and holding their stomach.
Person lying down and holding their stomach.

The Nervous System

All digestive organs are controlled and regulated by the nervous system, which tells your stomach to produce just the right amount of acid to maintain health and balance. It also controls your mouth, tongue, esophagus, throat, pyloric valve, intestines, pancreas, liver, gall bladder, and other organs to maintain proper body functions.

Chiropractic & Digestive Health

To put it simply, each digestive organ has two nervous signal inputs. One says, “slow down” the other says, “speed up”. These are referred to as the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. An imbalance in these signals can cause malfunctions. For instance, a dominance of parasympathetic signals to the intestine can lead to hyper motility or diarrhea, while a sympathetic dominance can lead to under activity or constipation. Chiropractors pay special attention to balancing these systems by removing interference from spinal misalignment subluxation from both.
In a study, gastroenterologists found 72% of patients with abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and heartburn had spinal subluxations in the area that supply nerves to these organs. Another study of 100 patients with ulcers found that the spine seemed to play a part. The patients were found to have scoliosis at the area of the spine, which supplies sympathetic nerves to the stomach. If the curve was to the left the ulcer was gastric and if the curve was to the right the ulcer was duodenal. Those with “S” curves had ulcers of both types. A pilot study has demonstrated improvements in patients with duodenal ulcer who received chiropractic care. The researchers concluded, “Manipulation to remove spinal dysfunction not only relieves pain, but has a healing effect significantly better than standard drug therapy.”

Sources & References

Protect Your Digestive Health

With proven effects, chiropractic treatments aid patients with poor digestive health or heartburn find relief.