Last Modified on Jun 20, 2014
The Ileocecal Valve - Functions, Issues and Treatments
The ileocecal valve is a sphincter muscle located at the intersection of the small intestines and large intestines. Positioned near the appendix, the ileocecal valve functions to open and close the passageway between the intestines to facilitate the movement of food through the digestive tract. When the ileocecal valve is closed, food remains in the small intestines allowing the body to render and absorb nutrients. Periodically, though, one of several factors may cause dysfunction of the ileocecal valve causing it to remain open or remain closed, which results in an imbalance in the digestive system and rest of the body.
Depending on the actual ileocecal valve issue, different symptoms are presented. Nonetheless, several common issues include joint pain, circulation problems, muscle aches and pains, pinches nerves and whole body arthritis. Additionally, ileocecal valve issues may cause a sudden stabbing pain in the low back or leg, a standing curvature, sharp or dull headaches, migraines, chronic sinus infection, allergies, dark circles under the eyes. Loose bowels, colon syndromes, burning leg pain, asthma-like symptoms and general GI discomfort may also be caused by ileocecal valve dysfunction.
Several factors influence the function of the ileocecal valve. Eating certain foods, not getting enough nutrients, having an improper nerve supply and even misalignment of the joints contribute to dysfunction of the ileocecal valve. Additionally, the way food is chewed, the texture and quality of food consumed, emotional stress and travel may affect the ileocecal valve.
Natural Ileocecal Valve Issue Remedies
Diet is one of the best remedies for treating ileocecal valve issues. Avoiding bread and other dense foods prevents sticking of the ileocecal valve. Likewise, avoiding caffeinated, spicy and sugary foods maintains effective functioning of the valve. Supplements including vitamin B12 and vitamin C support the functioning of the digestive system and bile acid absorption. AFA blue green algae also helps digestion and effective functioning of the digestive tract. Some of our readers also report having the area massaged in order to get food moving again is most effective.
Continue reading below for more tips from Earth Clinic readers.
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[YEA] Stuck Ileocecal Valve: I've had this problem for years now and no Dr. could figure out what the pain was all about. I just recently had a Bio Feed back session done where I was told my ICV was not working properly, thus the stabbing pain in my belly button area and diaphragm ( not the usual spot on the right side by the hipbone but still...) She recommended I go home and do a cure/detox with a so-called "Castor Oil hot pack" discovered by Edgar Cayce ( You can Youtube it). Recommended 3 days in a row on, 3 days off, for 2 weeks. Only took 1 hour at night laying in the couch with the warm castor oil pack and heating pack on my tummy. Today is the day after my 2nd treatment and I am literally painfree already. Its a great detox for not just ICV issues...I think my liver is smiling today too. Good luck and I hope this tip helps you all get better xoox
[YEA] I've been suffering with ICV incompetence for over four months now starting out with random headaches that lead me to see my nutritionalist who confirmed my icv was not working properly and tracked it down to my lower back being out of place. I now am going to the chiropractor and things are slowly getting better as well as starting yoga to strengthen my lower back/core. Anyone suffering from this, here are some treatments: avoid spicy food, see a chiropractor, take slippery elm capsules (aids digestion), castor oil packs, and self massaging the area. Also what helped me was the information in the book Gut Feeling by Gary Richer. It will help you pinpoint the cause of your icv problems as well as helpful treatments and self-massages you can do. Hope this helps please feel free to email me with any questions(:
I've sucessfully utilized a number of the posting on earthclinic but I still have a problem that I'm not sure how to correct. Frequently my ileocecal valve sticks shut. This valve is located between the small and large intestine and it serves two purposes. First, it acts as a block that prevents the toxic contents of the large intestine from backing up into the small intestine. Second, it keeps the food products in the small intestine from passing into the large intestine before the digestive processes have been completed. When this valve sticks shut, feces stays in the small intestine unable to move any further. This backup causes constipation.
I know that spicy or roughage type foods can irritate the valve and cause it to get stuck as can emotional trauma and stress. But mine seems to get stuck almost every day at least once.
I've modified my diet, eliminating caffeinated foods, spicy foods, alcohol, and popcorn, all with minimal effect. I massage the site (right abdomen just in front of the large pelvic bone), and drink lots of water. I've tried taking chlorophyll, 2 tabs two hours apart for a total of 3 times. When nothing seemed to be happening, and I felt somewhat constipated, I also drank a herbal tea before bedtime that in the past has promoted gentle evacuation. Wow, this led the next day to tremendous diaharrea, inflamation, bleeding etc. Obviously too much "cure". Any suggestions you've found that worked?