By: Chandler Grega
As a young third grader, I came home from school approximately every two weeks with the same complaint, “My side hurts.” After many doctor visits and x-rays later, the recurring verdict was that I was experiencing gastrointestinal problems (for the sake of this blog and my lack of, “expert” vocabulary, we’ll call it constipation). Chiropractic care has cured my discomfort of constipation, and I hope this post encourages you to seek treatment if your journey sounds anything like mine!
I had Gastrointestinal Problems
The Pain was Unbearable
When I was growing up, I spent a lot of my time playing basketball. I was very active and loved double headers every weekend.However, after long basketball tournaments, I started to notice pain in my side and low back; pain that made it hard for me to get comfortable without applying some sort of heat to the ache. It got to the point to where I couldn’t spend the night at my friends’ houses, because I would wake up in the middle of the night experiencing severe pain and vomiting. (My dad got tired of picking me up at 3:00 AM every weekend). I needed to see a doctor.
We Could Not Determine What Was Wrong
When I went to my pediatrician I was told to drink Miralax—a constipation remedy that would help me digest food and see improvement in my bowel movements. She also told me to make sure I was drinking plenty of water.
After drinking Miralax twice a day and seeing little to no improvement, my parents took me to every doctor they could think of. I finally ending up at a specialist out of Kansas City. The specialist made me go to the hospital for a test that traced how this horrible tasting dye went from my mouth, through my stomach, and out the other end! Then, they would take x-rays every 10 or so minutes.
When the results came back, there was good news and bad news. The good news is that there were no obstructions at all! They were able to see that dye go all the way through my system. However, the bad news was that I was still having the same problem with constipation, and we still didn’t have any answers on fixing it.
After our last appointment with my pediatrician, the doctor told me that I would have to drink Miralax every day for the rest of my life or hopefully “grow out of” the constipation episodes.
My Parents Decided To Visit a Chiropractor
My parents and I were frustrated at the inability to cure my constipation. To prevent the episodes, they made me choke down Miralax every morning, and I hated it! But what was even worse were all of the enemas, weird oils, and other odd treatments we tried in the midst of my constipation episodes to try to stop the pain.
When I was in the fifth grade, my mom started a new job. After all of the countless times her secretary saw her leaving work to come home and take care of me, she finally asked if my mom had ever taken me to see a chiropractor for my constipation issues. If you know my mom, you would know that she laughed at the thought of constipation being related to having your back, “popped”. (She has since learned that it is, “adjusted”, not, “popped”). Her secretary explained that Dr. Steven Baca had spoken to her secretary’s group about all of the nerves that are related to different parts of your back and spine and that getting me checked out might be worth a shot. Since we were desperate for answers, my mom immediately made me an appointment with his colleague, Dr. Steven Loehr.
Chiropractic Adjustments Improve My Constipation and Overall Health
At my first appointment, Dr. Loehr was not only able to see all of the poop in the x-ray, but he could also pin point all of the misalignments in my back that were the source of the discomfort. He explained that playing basketball and being physically active caused my sacrum to become misaligned which initiated the constipation. It also moved in such a way that my sacrum was pressing on all of the nerves that connect to my gut, and the pressure was triggering the pain in my side and low back. Luckily, Dr. Loehr was able to adjust my back The spinal adjustment stopped the pain, and his advice has also been successful in preventing the constipation.
Changing My Diet Has Helped My GI Issues
Dr. Loehr has also impacted me to change my diet. Gastrointestinal problems are directly linked to the food you put into your body. He encouraged me to cut back on dairy and be smarter about the eating choices I make. Although it was hard at first (and I didn’t completely trust his advice in the beginning) I am almost completely dairy free now. I haven’t been constipated in over two years!
Prevention is Key
Ever since my first few visits with Dr. Loehr, it has become extremely easy to feel when a constipation, “episode” is about to occur, and I know what it is from and exactly what to do. I visit the chiropractor. Immediately after a chiropractic adjustment, I feel relief. Within a few hours, I see improvement in my bowel movements. But, the most important part of chiropractic care is to be proactive. My advice to you from experience is DON’T WAIT!! Don’t wait until you can feel the pain creeping in. It’s important to make regular check ups to keep your body healthy. Think of it like the dentist; you don’t only go when you have a toothache, you schedule teeth cleanings and regular check ups to prevent the toothaches.
Even though my testimony specifically relates to constipation, there are so many other cases that you might not realize chiropractic care can cure. Please Contact us today to see if chiropractic can help your gastrointestinal issues today, or learn more about chiropractic adjustments by clicking here.