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Ileocecal Valve Problems and Natural Treatments

Last Modified on Oct 31, 2015

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.

Additional Pages of Interest:
Digestion Remedies

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Posted by Desi (Canada) on 02/27/2014

[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

Replied by Susan

[YEA]   Thank you, very helpful information!!!

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Posted by Lina (Riverside, CA) on 06/16/2014

[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(:

Replied by Michelle
Peoria, IL

Question-how much slippery elm do you take? My daughter has had severe pain for over a year that traditional drs haven't figured out but our chiropractor thinks is Ileocecal Valve Incompetence problems. It's interrupting her life as she feels like crap, has no energy, dark circles, 'kidney' pain (that's not her kidneys), and she's only 18. It's been a nightmare. But palpating/massaging hasn't made any significant difference except to cause it to hurt more. Suggestions?
Replied by Anon

Hi Michelle,

I have ileocecal valve issues also...had a CT scan with contrast about 6 months ago in the ER, and my diagnosis was fatty illeocecal valve. Never heard of the ileocecal valve before then. I am 53. My symptoms were body aches, stomach issues and side pain radiating to the hip just like an ovarian cyst (have had those in the past also).

I now believe I have an intolerance to nightshade plants (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, egg plant, paprika). Since stopping them about three months ago my digestive issues have improved by about 80 percent. Please read about nightshade intolerance. It can cause a LOT of symptoms including General body pain.stopping them for a couple of weeks can't hurt, and might really help!


My body aches and side pain have finally gotten better this month! I started taking magnesium 200 mg, and vitamin D 5,000 IU's in two doses a day. (Total of 400 mg mag, 10,000 iu of D). I have also been soaking in a tub with a couple of cups of Epsom salts (good transdermal source of magnesium) for 15-20 mins three times a week.

The acceptable blood level of D is 30 or higher...and six months ago I was at 37. After I take 10,000 iu of D for a few months I will cut back to 5,000 and see if the body aches return.

Magnesium and D are cheap, and worth a try to see if they may help. Buy a good quality mg...not oxide. Citrate or threonate are good.

I wish your daughter well, she is far too young to be having this kind of horrible pain issue. I hope she finds her answer. She's lucky you are advocating for her! :-)

Replied by Lindsay
Bc., CA

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]   I have had on and off ICV problems for 35 years. I do get tired of it. I have a dull pain near the area of my appendix but just a bit higher when it acts up. It started with eating lots of rice crackers and popcorn. Now I cannot tolerate too much raw vegies, nuts or scritchy, scratchy food! So annoying! If I don`t pay attention my liver starts to get sore. Taking cal/mag helps too but I can't tolerate any form of magnesium (yes including l-threonate) or I get diarrhea. I was just hoping for any new ideas. I miss not being able to eat salads as often as I would like. I will give the Castor Oil a try.
Replied by Sean

Hello, you may need to do a parasite and/or candida cleanse to help clear up the open ileocecal valve. Nutrition can help but this issue stems from emotions. One of the best tools for this is NET (Neuro Emotional technique). This can close the valve by clearing stress in the body and get rid of symptoms in 20 minutes.

Additionally, nutrition response testing is effective for testing parasites, candida, bacteria, heavy metals etc..

Be well, SEAN

Replied by Rochelle

Yes, parasites do travel between the valve, and it cause great pain. Parasites/constipation to feed them is the reason behind most issues that lead to disease. Check out Hanna's Herb Shop in Colorado. I've been using her products and books for two decades. These all natural, restorative formulas will change your lives. I've had great help with many conditions over the years. Blessings!
Replied by Emma

I would like more information on a formal diet for icv and diet recommendation. Basically what to eat on a daily basis. Thanks
Replied by Eloise

Magnesium maleate is not diarrhea causing.
Replied by Joann

You can avoid the diarrhea and absorption issues when taking oral magnesium by using topical magnesium, which goes right into the skin. Just spray it on. It's called magnesium oil by some brands. I tried the oil, and it irritated my skin. Just found and tried a new brand on Amazon, which doesn't irritate my skin. It's magnesium spray not magnesium oil. I can feel my nervous system is calmer and feel my muscles more relaxed, which diminishes spasms and also relieves any spasm pain quickly for me.

About 80% of population is magnesium deficient. It needs to be replenished every day. Stress reduces it. Drinking fluoridated water reduces it. Hard to get enough from food because it's depleted from the soil even in much of the organic food. Fortunarely this topical mag works.

Replied by Robert Henry
Ten Mile, Tn.

HI U JOANN, , , , , , , , , , , , , you are right in what you say, however there are many magnesium compounds as you can see from this site.

Most folks use magnesium chloride flakes to make their spray and maybe that was the compound you were looking for. But you are right about getting magnesium transdermally is the absolute best way to go.

You have helped lots of people with your post and I applaud you.


Replied by America
Wheatland Ca

I too have problems with Ileocecal Valve Incompetence (ICV). I suffer from diarrhea I am worried because when my ICV is acting up, my diarrhea is yellow. Does anyone else have that problem? Tried castor oil treatment that helps and so does massaging the area. I have suffered for years, I finally found out what I had doctors were no help.