Ileocecal Valve Problems and Natural Treatments

| Modified on Jul 16, 2022

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

Castor Oil Pack

3 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

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

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

Thank you, very helpful information!!!

Replied by Harshal


There is nothing to panic for the ICV. Few of the recommendation will help

a) Have a garlic raw with empty stomach. 2-3 piece [Leaves]. Better if roasted for 2 min.

b) Having a lime water or buttermilk. [Water + Curd] would have cleansing effect.

c) Seasonal Grapes or dry grapes would help in rejuveline.

d) Yoga - Kapalbharti and Pranayam would be of great relief

Replied by Carol B
(South Carolina)

When you did the detox with the castor oil, did you get diarrhea and feeling terrible?

Replied by Kern
(Asheville, Nc)

If you had read the castor oil detox correctly, the person did NOT drink the castor oil, but MADE a PACK that she laid on her abdomen over the ICV valve. This will not cause diarrhea or "feeling badly".


The castor oil pack caused me to feel horrible! I put it on the right side and within the hour, I had pretty bad nausea and upset stomach. I guess it's not for everyone.

Replied by Lynette
(Washington, D.c.)

I was just diagnosed with ileocecal valve syndrome, by having my first colonoscopy. Now what type of diet is good for ICV? Is this something I should worry about? Can it be cured, and if so how?

Please help!!!! Thanks in advance

Replied by Sarah

Thank you for this note! I keep having this pain and I have to go get adjusted which helps but it would be great to fix the problem myself.

Replied by Patricia E
(North Carolina)

Thanks so much. The info really helps.

Replied by Charity
(Faithville, Us)

The problem with cures is the killing off of the problem has side effects, I have quit many a good solution way too soon due to side affects of healing. Ginger calms the stomach, heals the liver, and helps the whole body run smoothly

Replied by Darryl S.

It tells me that your body, specifically the liver, is holding a lot of toxins which explains your symptoms.

Chlorophyll Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Galen (Atlanta, GA) on 03/19/2021

Was reading through these cures and decided to post given that no one had mentioned a great remedy for a stuck valve. The massaging of the area (4 or 3 fingers down from belly button, then 4 or three fingers to the right) with moderate pressure pulling up and toward the left shoulders is a good start.

But here's a trick I learned many years ago....taking soft gels of chlorophyll OIL a little before eating helps keep the valve from sticking. I find taking one at a meal is all it takes. Very hard to find the oil. Standard Process, a Naturopathic brand makes an excellent one. (your Chiro or Naturopathic doctor can order it for you.) I am a health food store owner who was raised with natural medicine....

Replied by Marsh

This massage technique was recommended by my massage therapist who teaches at massage school and knows the body extremely well. For the past 3 weeks, my gut has been uncomfortably bloated between lower ribs and from left to right in between hip bones off and on. Yesterday it moved to the ICV area. Started massaging it, no pain throughout the night or this morning. It also helps to massage the entire stomach (from lower ribs to pelvic bone) in clockwise circle to move gas. I've found that deglycyrrhizinated licorace, slippery elm coats membranes to ease discomfort. Most of all follow the heal your gut diet for repair.

Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice

Diagnosing a Stuck Ileocecal Valve

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5 star (1) 

Posted by marsh (colorado) on 07/31/2021

A person with an open ileocecal valve will feel better when stationary and worse when moving around. Someone with a closed valve will feel worse upon rising or being inactive and better when moving around. (NeuroHealth Chiropractic, 2013)

Dietary Changes

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4 star (1) 

Posted by Lindsay (Bc., CA) on 03/05/2015

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.

Replied by Angie
(Minot, Nd)

This is just like my experience. Same triggers and dietary issues. I have found that massaging the valve area daily using a firm ball really helps. I find the valve area between right hip bone and belly button. It will likely be tender if it is the issue. I use the ball to push in and up to the left, not too hard, but somewhat firm. I do this a few times and then take the ball about four inches left and roll it back towards the valve while applying pressure. Essentially, this unsticks the valve and then helps stool to move through. Found online, but I prefer ball instead of hand as easy to roll along. I also follow up with rolling ball in an arc from lower right, over top of navel and down to left side. You can also find an area about two inches below navel and slightly to left that you can massage. You may feel it when you find it and it may make you have the urge to go. Look up abdominal massage and massage for ileocecal valve for videos.

Replied by Wendy
(Columbus, Oh)

My functional medicine specialist also recommends rubbing/massaging the upper part (not the sides) of each thigh, back and forth from the knee to top of thigh. I do it when I'm sitting on the toilet, and rub with the part of the palm closest to the wrist. Seems to help. And, of course dietary choices are a factor

Replied by Lisa

Have you tried epsom salt baths and foot soaks as a means of getting magnesium? There are also magnesium oils to spray on bottom of your feet.

Massaging the Thighs

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Posted by Christel (Northern Ireland) on 10/08/2016

For Ileocecal Valve Incompetence, my kinesiologist told me to massage my inner and outer thighs 10x every day, start from the knees up, it helps to close the valve and has stopped my diarrhea.

Replied by Pmsmom

Silly question for you, what if the ICV is closed? Would the massage help?

Replied by Merrin From Mundaring

My chiropractor diagnosed me with ICV closure problems/sluggish bowel and suggested daily SELF-MASSAGE from right knee up thigh (hip pain), elbow to upper arm (both sides), stomach left to right (to get things shifting along) THEN left knee, thigh to hip. In addition, eliminating bread, rice and pasta definitely helps me. I'm definitely trying the Castor Oil "warm" packs.

Multiple Remedies

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

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 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.


Joann mentioned a magnesium spray as opposed to a magnesium oil spray. I looked on Amazon called Ease. Is this what you were talking about?

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.

Replied by Dianne

Hi....late in the conversation...but maybe help for new readers. Have been reading (and hearing) a lot about eating Paleo....really, eating clean and the basics. makes sense...just so hard for us to CONVINCE our brains to do it!!

Replied by Z
(Olympia, Wa)

Yikes, be careful of that Paleo diet if you have ICV issues. I attempted to start the Auto-immune Paleo Protocol recently and my digestion issues flared up immediately. The Paleo diet includes many of the roughage foods that aggravate the valve, as in reliance on nuts and seeds, and for me particularly, upping the meat quantity with already weak digestion basically put a lock on my intestines, nothing was moving through. Additionally, that diet contains LOTS of foods that can feed SIBO, which many folks with IVC issues likely have. Consider beginning with the GAPS diet first, or other diet that focuses on broths, and simple easy to digest foods. Should also be anti-candida.

Replied by Avril
(Southampton Uk)

Yes, I have had yellow diarrhea. Found cutting out all grains, chilli, and ginger helped. Also used tissue salts, reflexology and Eft. Supplements are necessary and Kinesiology to find the underlying cause. Thanks for the other tips everyone, will try them.

Replied by Pmsmom

Wondering if anyone is battling the stuck 'closed' issue? I have had the feeling like my intestines are paralyzed, forgetting how to eliminate. Tried the tea "smooth move" and it only made things worse: bloated, headache, side pain, lower back pain. Massage doesn't seem to help. I recently read The Gut Health Protocol, am eating fermented foods, with probiotics, taking slippery elm, magnesium (spray, topical). I feel desperate!

Also, what is EFT? And tissue salts? Thank you for your time!

EC: Hi Pmsmom,

EFT is the acronym for Emotional Freedom Technique and refers to a set of tapping techniques. Tissue salts refers to the Schuessler cell salts. Search Google for more info on both!

Replied by Sherri


Could it be that since it is 'stuck closed', all of those things are just creating a 'traffic jam'?

I had my massage therapist do the massage for me. She had never heard of the ileocecal valve prior to my request, but she is very experienced and took the time to learn the technique, then did the massage on me. I also had her do the pyloric valve. (By the way, this is all new to me.....Just found out this is a prime cause of my serious digestive issues)

It was not instantaneous relief, but a process that evolved over several days. I have a lot of relief now! So, try having an experienced massage professional work on you.

I also have basically been forced, by my body's severe reactions, to do what I call a semi-fast. Eating very little. Baked pumpkin, butternut squash, other winter squashes, mashed cooked carrots, (all organic!) mixed with grass-fed bone broths, (beef / chicken / turkey) has been the bulk of my diet for several weeks now. This combo contains lots of nutrition, yet gentle on digestive system. Also take minimal supplements.....

Check out this resource that my Mom sent to me. This is how I first learned about these valves and their importance.

Best to you!

Replied by Pmsmom

Thank You Sherri! Read the article and watched the videos, wow! So glad you shared this with me, I have searched for so long and haven't found anything nearly this helpful!! This gives me hope!

Replied by Sherri


So glad it helped you! I, too, was totally amazed by this information. I have made more adjustments & feel I am making progress now.

My Mom is also having digestive issues and her massage therapist & her chiropractor (they work together in same practice) recognized the valves are part of her issue.

So, she did what any self-respecting 83-yr-young lady would do & she "Googled" it. This website was one of the results. I am so thankful for that chiropractor & the massage therapist for pointing us both in the right direction. And am so glad you were able to benefit from it, as well. Please share!

I plan to also get acupuncture treatment and reflexology treatment for these 2 valves. I have had much success with acupuncture for other issues & feel it will help with this, as well. Am keeping my eyes open for other modalities that will be of benefit & will share them here if I do, so please bookmark & check back.

Take care.....

Replied by Pmsmom
(Hastings, Ne)

I'm having less problems with the IVD, and cranking up vitamin C has helped with daily elimination. Now I'm a bit concerned as I noticed a slight bulge at my navel. It's distorted it, but it's not painful. After I poke around it is painful, and trying lay on either side is uncomfortable but not excruciating. My guess is adhesions: one laperoscopy 30 years ago, and 3 c-sections. Been trying castor oil packs, but it's not a quick fix. Lots of pinching/ripping pains. This year has been worst on my health. At least I feel like the valve thing is getting better!

Replied by Joann
Replied by Sherri

Update....I have added hydrochloric acid (HCI). Also have learned to chew my food properly, rather than 'wolf' it down! Still having to be very cautious with food choices. Just added inulin this week, a PRE-biotic, at the suggestion of a chiropractor.

And, I was told about black salve for internal use. Did my research. Decided to try it. Found & bought Best On Earth brand capsules, been taking for a few weeks and really feel they have been a BIG help in major improvement in my digestive issues, as well as overall health improvement.

Stay positive!

Replied by Ann

I had a twisted ICV, totally shut and it was excruciating. My friend channels and angel in spirit who told me to put pressure on the valve with my fingers for ten seconds. Then take right hand and briskly rub down left arm 3x fast. It popped the valve open. I had to repeat for awhile when it shut, but it saved me.

Replied by Raphael
(Nairobi, Kenya)

Have been sick for more than 10yr. Until last yr. I went for Ex ray the problem was detected. but no proper medication. I need your advice.

Replied by KT

I have been using cayenne pepper to restore the peristaltic action in the "dead zones" of my GI tract. It took a long time for the erosion to occur and it is taking time to rebuild and replace but I have seen improvement in the last few years. Here is a link that is informative and I would encourage to use all four spices as I have been doing.

Replied by Forge On!
(Midwest Of Usa)

Hey Raphael.....Medication usually not the answer. Dietary changes / lifestyle changes / & other drug-free approaches are what helped me and others. Please, check this out & re-read suggestions & results already posted above. (My other posting 'name' is listed as 'Sherri'.....)

Replied by Leslie

Magnesium citrate helps me a can get it on Amazon. Slippery elm pills take 2-4 perday and marshmellow pills. Food...I have to be careful. I take a special aloe vera and mix in a liquid herb named 'meanga' 20 minutes before I eat. Learning how to manipulate the valva is so important. I hope I helped. I know how painful it can be...oh sugar...not good..i still have a little honey in my tea. good luck. watch the video's on u-tube on the illeocecal valve. Very helpful. Warm Regards, Leslie

Replied by Tom H

Hi Leslie, my wife had the exact same problem. She went to doctor after doctor and nobody could help. As it turns out, she had parasites (Worms). I hope that helps.

Replied by Rsw

Hi Tom,

Did your wife use a parasite cleanse like Hulda Clark's or something else? Thanks!

Replied by Pmsmom

I have not posted in some time, had terrible trouble with bowels, thinking it was the valve. Turns out, after several doctors and specialists, $$$, I found a study by Johns Hopkins regarding nerve/fibromyalgia issues studied over 20,000 people, that Vitamin D was toxic in patients with any type of nerve/fibromyalgia! I showed the specialists and they were shocked, I stopped the 5000iu a day of the D, and with in a month my issues were resolved. I had not been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, but had some symptoms. I had also been diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia. Still deal with some nerve pain, but turmeric helps a ton.

Keep researching for yourself, don't think anyone else is going to dig for you...I love my doctor, but he couldn't put it all together.

Replied by KT

Bravo for you, Pmsmom, nothing else need be said!! <>< <3