IBS & the ICV (Irritable Bowel Syndrome & Ileo-Caecal Valve)

June 17th, 2013

by Rosemary Dean, owner of Down To Earth Health in Melrose


Where is the ICV?
This valve is located in the lower left hand part of the abdomen, and acts like a trapdoor between the Small Intestine and the Large Intestine.

What is it’s function?
It should remain closed most of the time and only open as food passes into the large intestine. This would then ensure that the waste left over from the food we eat keeps progressing on it’s way through the large intestine (bowel) and is then eliminated from the body.

What can happen when it doesn’t work properly?
It may stay open too long or it may stay closed and only open irregularly. Either way the food remains (now waste material) in the small intestine for too long a time. The job of the small intestine is to absorb nutrients from your food. If the waste is stuck here then more and more toxicity gets absorbed into the blood stream through the small intestine. It can also slow down the progress of waste material through the colon (large intestine) creating numerous symptoms that seem completely unrelated.

This valve is also known as the “Great Mimicker” as when it is out of balance it can create symptoms in the body seemingly unrelated to the digestive system;

  • Joint pain in any part of the body, (shoulders can often be affected first)
  • Muscular aches & pains
  • Pinched nerves causing nerve pain including sciatic type pain down the leg that is worse when sitting or driving.
  • Headaches especially at the back of the head near the base of the skull on the left side. This may then expand to the left side of the head and forehead.
  • Migraines too are often caused by a mal-functioning ICV causing a build-up of toxicity in the body.
  • Sinus problems that are feeling inflamed, painful, congested.
  • Allergies, often thought to be related to dust, cat/dog hair, mites
  • Loose Bowels/Diarrhoea/ Constipation and other Bowel/Colon problems such as IBS, Crohn’s Disease, Spastic Colon
  • Asthma-like symptoms such as shortness of breath, tightening of the chest ets.

A large number of my clients come to me with IBS, rebalancing it during their sessions with me along with recommendations to do at home is the reason I have had so much success in helping so many people with this condition.

How healthy is your Large Intestine?
These are some of the problems your intestine may have, it is now a complete list.

  •  It may be too toxic due to years of mal-functioning
  • It may have been used to a poor diet without enough good fibre
  • You may not chew properly which causes the whole intestine (large and small) to have to work much harder than it should to propel food forward). Your mouth has teeth for a reason.
  • You may have had to have antibiotics in the last few years which disrupts the good levels of bacterial flora and your digestion.

The Nerve Factor
Every part of the body has a nerve supplying it. The 12th thoracic nerve on the right hand side is the main nerve that helps your ICV to function. If this nerve is being irritated near the spine, the muscles of the ICV will not be able to work properly as the nerve message cannot get through.
This is one of the reasons why a few treatments will be required to restore balance and to help you create new healthy habits.

Emotional Element
The gut otherwise (large intestine, bowel) is linked to stress and emotional upset hence the colloquial “gut reaction or feeling”. With Kinesiology I can test to see if there is an imbalance occurring with your ICV and an emotion stress going on either presently or in your past that still has a link to your digestive health. Emotional traumas such as divorce, bereavement or stress at work/family can have a direct reaction on the ICV causing it to work ineffectively.

Putting it all together and what to do next
Now that you’ve read about what symptoms can occur with an ICV out of balance, if you feel it may be one of the causes of your problems, why not get in touch with me or book an appointment. I would be delighted to help you recover better levels of health and enjoyment in life. I look forward to hearing from you.