Ileocecal Valve Syndrome

Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

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Ileocecal Valve Syndrome. Ron Levine/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Often called The Great Mimicker, the Ileocecal Valve Syndrome (ICV) is often overlooked due to its many symptoms which are related to many other disorders and imbalances.

The Ileocecal Valve is located between the ileum (last portion of the small intestine) and the cecum (first portion of the large intestine). Its function is to allow digested food materials to pass from the small intestine into the large intestine. The ileocecal valve also blocks these waste materials from backing back up into the small intestine. It is intended to be a one-way valve, only opening up to allow processed foods to pass through. Additional names for this valve formed by two folds of the mucous membrane include Bauhin's valve, ileocolic valve, and valvula coli.

How Ileocecal Valve Syndrome Works

When the ileocecal valve is stuck, open waste products can back up into the small intestine, much like a backed up kitchen sink drain. This disturbs digestion and creates unhealthy toxins which are absorbed into the body. When the ileocecal valve is stuck, closed waste products are prevented or constricted from passing into the large intestine.

Symptoms of Ileocecal Valve Syndrome

This disorder is often overlooked by medical professionals. A dysfunctional ileocecal valve can result in a combination of symptoms, including those listed below:

  • Right shoulder pain
  • Right side pelvic pain
  • Low back pain
  • Pain surrounding heart
  • Flu symptoms
  • Tinnitus
  • Nausea
  • Syncope / Near syncope
  • Headache
  • Bad breath
  • Face pallor
  • Dark circles under eyes
  • Dizziness
  • Bowel disturbances (diarrhea / constipation)

Causes of the Intestinal Disorder

Emotions and dietary habits both play a role in this intestinal disorder which either prevents or allows the body to heal. This is not surprising considering that the location of the ileocecal valve, the Solar Plexus Chakra, is related to the digestive organs. The Solar Plexus Chakra is the third Chakra located in one's abdomen right above the belly button and is considered an energy center that maintains personal power, self-esteem, and confidence

Stress and the "fight or flight" response known as SNS can also largely affect the nervous system as blood rushes to other organs and muscles throughout the body. Additionally, the bowel is considered the place where emotions are being held in and when there is a release, an emotional release may also occur. Those with a closed ICV may be considered to have deep seated emotions that need to be let loose in order to heal properly.

Additional physical imbalances related to the Solar Plexus Chakra may include:

  • Stomach ulcers
  • Intestinal tumors
  • Diabetes
  • Pancreatitis
  • Indigestion
  • Anorexia/bulimia
  • Hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Adrenal imbalances
  • Arthritis
  • Colon disease

Things to Consider in Preventing the Digestive Disorder

  • Hydration: Dehydration is a precursor to a stuck ileocecal valve. One should drink plenty of water to help heal ICV.
  • Emotions: Emotions can make us sick to our stomachs. Keeping a balanced and healthy emotional state is key.
  • Food: One should limit or eliminate certain foods from their personal diet to keep ICV away, such as carbonated drinks, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, raw foods, and hot spicy foods.
  • Eating Schedule: In addition to what one eats, it's important to keep a watch on what one's consumption habits are. There are several habits that can develop, such as overeating, eating too frequently, eating too quickly, eating sensitive foods, and under-chewing food.

Ileocecal Valve Syndrome Treatment Options

The following suggestions may aid in the ICV healing process, from what one consumes to different exercises that can be performed in daily life or with the guidance of a doctor.

  • Chiropractic adjustments
  • Applied Kinesiology
  • Homeopathy
  • Temporary elimination diet. Foods to be avoided for two to three weeks include:
    1. Roughage foods: Popcorn, nuts, potato chips, pretzels, seeds, whole grains
    2. Raw fruits and vegetables: Celery, bell peppers, cucumbers, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes
    3. Spicy foods: Chili powder, hot peppers, salsas, black and cayenne pepper, paprika, cloves, cinnamon
    4. Stimulants: Liquors, alcoholic drinks, cocoa, chocolate, caffeine products