Can a malfunctioning ileocecal valve cause IBS? - IBS Network

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Can a malfunctioning ileocecal valve cause IBS?

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When I first introduce myself and my line of work I usually get strange looks. Firstly because people don’t know what I do – I am a Systematic Kinesiologist which is virtually unknown in this country, I might as well be saying I’m a dingle hopper. Secondly I specialise in bowels. That always gets an odd look or a nervous laugh. What do you say to a woman who works with poo?

But heres the thing with health. If your digestion isn’t functioning properly then everything else in the body will struggle. Its why I specialise in this field, because improving the digestion has such a dramatic impact on peoples wellbeing.

One of the biggest issues I see in the clinic is an ileo-cecal valve malfunction.

The ileo-cecal valve is positioned in between your belly button and your right hip bone. If you have pain there it is likely your ICV isn’t working properly.

This valve is the connection between the small intestine and the large intestine or in other words it’s the doorway between the dining room and the bathroom. It does actually act like a doorway, opening when waste is ready to enter the large intestine, closing when it’s done.

If we are stressed or eating the wrong food, this doorway can get stuck closed or remain open resulting in the small intestine reabsorbing the waste that should be in the large intestine. This can result in a multitude of symptoms – exhaustion, joint pain, wind, bloating, constipation, IBS, Crohns Disease, bad breath, hormonal imbalances, shoulder pain, pelvic pain, back pain, tinnitus, headaches, bad skin, the list is endless.

As a Kinesiologist if I find someone with an ileo-cecal issue I will correct it using a number of techniques.

Firstly I use muscle testing to identify exactly what each individual body needs to repair as each of us are unique and require different support. I work with herbs, vitamins, minerals, fibre and proteins that will strengthen the bowel.

I look at food sensitivity testing to see which foods are weakening and which foods will support the digestion so we can create a tailored diet plan. I also stimulate certain acupuncture points and use a physical massage technique for correcting the valve itself.

And the results have been incredible.

Here are my three top tips for supporting your digestion;

Number 1, water water water. Dehydration is responsible for many digestive problems.

Number 2 – up your fibre! We need 35-50 grams a day. When I say fibre I mean steamed vegetables and wholegrains. I don’t mean wheat. Because of the way modern wheat is processed, it scratches the bowel, depletes the body of nutrients and the high gluten sticks to the lining making it difficult to excrete. If the ICV isn't working properly it will struggle with raw foods. If you find fruit bloats you out or your symptoms worsen, your ICV could be the cause.

And number 3, make sure you’re consuming oils. Flaxseed, hemp or olive in their rawest form. Oils act like lube in the bowel and keeps everything moving. I’ll stop there.

24 Replies

This is very interesting to me because I definitely sometimes have soreness/low grade pain in this area. I do have diagnosed IBS -D maybe mine is stuck open?

I do not eat most grains with occasionally rice flour and nut flours, and I do not use cows milk but goats milk, coconut milk and almond and hazelnut milk.

Do nuts scratch the bowel?

Yes unfortunately they do when the bowel isn't functioning optimally. I recommend restricting raw foods, spicy foods and nuts for two weeks after an ICV correction and reintroducing these foods slowly once the bowel is less irritated.


this is very interesting! I have parkinson's as well as IBD-C -- one aggravates the other. I have not been able to complete the prep for a colonoscopy twice. The prep left with with an aggravated obdurator internus. I was referred to a physical therapist who specializes in abdominal pain. She really helped me. But I still have pain and difficulty. What you're saying makes sense!

Very interesting indeed. Ive tried everything else under the sun for the past 20 years. So why not, hope you re based closed. Or got a clinic close by etc that one can visit. Live in The lovely Nwest. Will email your goodselves

Hi PatV, does your physical therapist work with the valves and have you experienced an improvement in symptoms as a result? I'd be interested to hear more.

Hi Suli, unfortunately we are not in the North , we are based in Portsmouth. Of course you would be very welcome to come down and see us by the seaside!

Blimey Pompey Portsmouth hey, thats like going to abroad, thats how far it is lol. On a serious note Laura, you will understand unlike other non IBS sufferers. That for people will IBS, Travelling is a no no. Due to symptoms, meds, fear etc etc. And a lot do not leave the confines of there rooms, let alone there houses. For me too, sounds weird, but it is daunting, with how my IBS is at the moment. Was hoping you would be closer. Turns out you couldnt pick a further place in the whole of England lol

But where theres a will theres a way, as the old saying goes. And what you say makes alot of sense and when a person has tried it all, then there is nothing to lose trying something else. If nowt else, the seaside as you say plus the fresh air might help :-)

Hence ive noted down your email. Will have to find a patch a spell when my IBS is manageable. Probs start of the New Year and come to see you guys.

Just to ask tho, you did say you were based in Portsmouth. Does this mean you are solely based there? And your treatment is there and there alone. Just saying, because if you did travel tour the country. Mobile clinics as such, it would seriously really help so many people. Like i said, IBS patients and Travelling, well the alarm bells start ringing. Anxiety etc......

Anyway let us know. If not, then like i said, will have to brave it to the south coast :-)


Oh Suli, I really admire your tenacity.

Check out the Association of Systematic Kinesiologists,

Fingers crossed there is one in your area. I'm unsure if other kinesiologists specialise in ICV corrections but certainly worth investigating.

If they don't I look forward to seeing you in sunny Portsmouth :)

Wishing you all the very best, Laura

Cheers Laura. Will do just that and if not, then ill be in touch.

Thankyou again. Seriously people that offer a helping hand are worth there weight in, well lets just say its immeasurable. Thankyou

Take care

This sounds very interesting.. I live in Poole so not too far away!...I have always had pain in my lower right side of belly, my symptoms even caused me to endure removal of a healthy appendix on my 21st birthday (many years ago) ive just turned 40 so been suffering a loong loong time! things have flared up for me since i had my son 3 years ago, more noticibly lower back pain which at times is unbearable. I was found to have ulcers in my illium during a recent colonoscopy which im guessing is around the area you describe?

Im assuming your service would be a course of treatments? due to my family commitments and being carer as well as mum to a severely autistic child im a little restricted time wise but will contact you to discuss things as does sound really reaching desperation point these days :(

Hi sickandsore, we do recommend a course of treatments, usually clients see improvement between 1-3 sessions. Here are my contact details if you would like to discuss further

I kept thinking it was a trapped nerve. I have that pain in that area like soreness for two years now. I started having gas, blood mucous frequent bowel movements in the mornings. And I stumbled on the valve thing. It's sounds exactly like the pain I have. In fact I had surgery in 1998 for that area. And it came up as inflammation. I'm going to do the massage and other things I have found on here thanks!

Delighted to be of service :)

Wife suffering.

We are trying to figure out what she is dealing with and with all her symptoms we feel it is a grumpy ICV. Our big issue is we are in canada Toronto specifically and we can't find anyone who understands much about it or is able to offer any solutions. I am wondering if you have any incite here. We are 5 days into a modified soft food diet as you suggest is there anything else we should be looking at?

Thanks for any info you can offer.

Systematic Kinesiology was born from Applied Kinesiology which originated in the USA. I have found a Canadian Kinesiology association, unsure if the practitioners specialise in ICV work but might be worth investigating? All the best, Laura

Hi, i have been having icv issues for a few years, now. When i went to my doc he indicated that it's possibly icv just where the location where the pain is stemming from.

So I found that certin beers cause it to flare up, along with coffee an other food. I really like to cure this as it's such a pain...

I done alot of looking around and i see a huge list of what i shouldn't be eating or drinking, but i don't see any list of what type of diet i should be on to help correct icv.

Does anyone have a specific diet that I could go on for a few week to see if this will correct the icv issue?

I recommend avoiding wheat, milk, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, spices, nuts, seeds and raw food. Lightly steam or cook your vegetables and fruit, soak your nuts/seeds, make soups, stews and food that is very easy to digest. Reduce meat. Chicken and fish are fine. Priobiotic goats yogurt is good. Drink plenty of filtered water. We recommend this type of diet for two weeks after an ICV correction. Good luck!

Thanks. I appreciate your response. I started to take probiotics pills that seem to help. I'll try your suggestions and let you know how well it works. One last question, after a few weeks in hopes of correcting icv, can I go back to all my normal fav foods?

yes but I would recommend staying away from wheat, sugar, cows milk and alcohol

Thanks, I am lactose intolerant so cows milk isn't an issue. What about Rice, Soy,or Almond milk?

rice and almond milk great (if you don't have intolerances to them), be careful not to overdo soya because of the estrogen affect.

His there. I think I have this valve problem. I have always been bothered with my bowel since a child and as an adult I have been told I have IBS d. A few years ago now I started to get a pain in my lower tummy below belly button but to the right near pelvic bone. I was checked in relation to my womb and all those bits but at the time the specialist told me they thought it was more related to my bowel. I went to see about my bowel but had also just been diagnosed with a liver condition and the specialists kind of dismissed my bowel and wanted to concentrate on the liver. 2 years on I'm still getting pain in my side. I don't eat gluten anymore and that seems to have helped a little but I'm still struggling and some days it just makes me so tired to walk with the dull ache...does this sound like I could have this. The pain is always in the same place on my right side.

Sounds like it could be ICV related. I would see an ICV specialist if you can find one near you. We are all based in south england.

Wishing you well, Laura

Thank you for your article. It gives me hope. I can't find a practitioner in NW ENGLAND who accepts patients with ileocecal valve problems. Could you help me find one. I have been trying for ages

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