This is a personal story, because it happened to me this past month. Most of the best medical stories are anecdotes rather than research papers, so here's an anecdotal case study for you!
Just like many people in the Peoria area and around the country, I had a case of the flu in January. It involved several days of feeling exhausted, achy, and feverish, so I spent a couple days laying around without much energy to move. That's pretty typical for the flu, and there were no other health escalations or worries.
However, I noticed that as soon as I started feeling better I had diarrhea with early morning and late evening abdominal cramps. This is unusual. Many times people will talk about the "stomach flu", but the truth is that real influenza does not cause gastrointestinal problems. If you're nauseated or throwing up, you probably don't have the flu. Influenza is an upper respiratory illness only.
I had never experienced this pairing of symptoms, so I thought I'd keep an eye on it. So I noticed that the diarrhea just did not improve at all over the next couple weeks. Frankly, I had thought that once my body recovered from the flu, then it would work on healing whatever it was that was causing my diarrhea. But it now didn't seem so simple.
So I embarked on what I consider to be a fairly typical way to address diarrhea using non-pharmaceutical methods. First, I drank plenty of water to make sure that I didn't dehydrate. Then I started changing my diet, one item at a time. I started eating more fiber like bran cereal, then stopped when it made no change. I went several days without drinking a beer. I increased my intake of whole fruits and vegetables like bananas. (I do not drink coffee or cola so I didn't have to change my caffeine intake. I had not recently taken any antibiotics.)
But, nope. Nothing was making it better. It was now about four to five weeks of diarrhea, loose stools. There was no blood in my stool and I didn't have a fever, so I assumed that my colon was still healthy and I didn't have an infection. This was just flat-out mysterious.
There were other remedies that I was ready to try, such as a 24-hour liquid diet to rest the bowels, neutroceuticals, and pharmaceuticals.
But then I remembered something important, which made me feel a bit foolish. I hadn't yet tried chiropractic care. And I'm a chiropractor! Sometimes we all miss what's right in front of us. So, I started looking at my own symptoms in a whole new light, and tried to process my case as though I was a patient.
My diarrhea had begun after the flu, but what if it wasn't related to the flu at all? What if it was caused by simply lying around in a bed and saggy couch for several days in a row? What if that poor posture for several days had affected my spinal lumbar curve? What if, even though I didn't have low back pain, the lumbar curve problem was irritating the nerves that leave my spinal cord to tell the colon what do?
We know that the nervous system acts as a muscle inhibitor. In other words, when the nerves are functioning properly, they tell muscles NOT to contract. And when the nerves are not functioning properly, the muscles will contract on their own just because that's what they like to do. We also know that people can have spinal problems without having pain, because pain is a poor predictor of low-level nerve irritation.
So, I now theorized, I might be experiencing a chiropractic problem, where my nerves were inhibited due to a postural problem, allowing the muscles of my colon to move the food through WAY TOO FAST instead of compacting the foot into nice, proper, solid stool.
I received an Activator Methods chiropractic adjustment, and the diarrhea cleared up, like magic. That night I had no gassy feeling and the following morning I had no diarrhea at all. Just a perfect bowel movement.
The diarrhea returned the following day, as sometimes happens with longstanding problems. Spinal or muscular habits don't usually disappear immediately, but take a couple of repeated reminders to form proper habits. So I returned for a couple more Activator Methods chiropractic adjustments, and I'm happy to state that the diarrhea has now cleared up entirely.
Some might say that's coincidence, but mild cases of diarrhea don't typically linger for 5+ weeks, and more severe cases of diarrhea don't typically respond to chiropractic care alone. So I think it's very likely that my current theory is correct (even though it took me far too long to think of it!). I think my poor posture initiated a cascade effect where my spinal problem gave me no pain but only one symptom: diarrhea. And rather than treat it with drugs, I only needed to treat it with chiropractic care after all.
Chiropractic and diarrhea. They might not be unrelated after all.
Retired Army Staff Sergeant Shilo Harris credits chiropractic care with saving his life.
Last month, Staff Sgt. Harris was featured in the Illinois-based The State Journal Register with his story of war wounds and injuries, his long path of surgeries and suffering, his dark journey with opioid medications, and his eventual recovery thanks to chiropractic care.
Here is his story in his own words:
The greatest compliment a patient can give to his or her doctor is to spend the time to sit down and write out a recommendation for the office. With so many demands on our time these days, it's deeply appreciated whenever someone wants to spread the word about their chiropractor.
A patient in this office recently wrote the following:
My life used to be one where the main focus was on how much pain I was in. I had been to several chiropractors but always ended up stopping treatment after not really seeing improvement, and many times ended up being in more pain and laid up for days after an adjustment. I received a recommendation for Dr. Johnson and it is one of the best choices I've ever made. He is an amazing doctor, incredibly personable and actually listens to you. He's patient and explains everything very clearly and his adjustments are precise and targeted. I always leave his office feeling better then when I arrived and long term I have absolutely had improvement. I would not have the increased mobility, reduced numbness and significantly reduced pain if not for him. I would highly recommend him to anyone and everyone, from infants to the elderly. My quality of life has vastly improved and no longer am I constantly thinking about how much pain I'm in. As long as he is practicing, I will be his patient.
That's a fantastic and heartfelt testimonial, and it's extremely heartwarming! Here's hoping that all of our patients will be able to find the same benefits from chiropractic care for their own conditions.
Read all the other good things our patients have to say!
Here's yet another excellent patient testimonial to share. This patient was suffering from debilitating low back pain and has experienced amazing results through chiropractic care in this office! Once the patient's low back condition was resolved, he was released from further care. He was ecstatic that he didn't feel pressured to continue care when he didn't feel it necessary, and wrote the following glowing testimonial:
I do not usually write a testimonial for a Doctor and certainly not for a Chiropractic Doctor. I have had my experience with others and just simply never went back because of their way of doing business.
I am thrilled that he received such positive results and decided to share them. This testimonial, along with many others, can be found at the Johnson Family Chiropractic of Peoria patient testimonial page.
Three patients recently wrote testimonials online for this office, really quite glowing reviews. I wish to thank them all for their kind words and say how thrilled I am that chiropractic care has helped each of them. For each of them to sacrifice the time to write their thoughts... that's highly appreciated.
The reviews can all be found on Google Maps. Here's one of the reviewers:
I have been a patient here for over a year now and am grateful to have found this practice! Dr. Johnson is an excellent doctor. He takes time to ask lots of questions in order to determine the root of an issue, and is always glad to explain his findings. Adjustments are gentle, safe, and produce immediate results. There is no cracking, popping, or twisting. I trust Dr. Johnson not only with my own health, but my baby's too. My son had a couple of adjustments in his first year of life that helped him to sleep better and fight off an ear infection without antibiotics. I highly recommend Dr. Johnson. He will take great care of you!
Here's a second reviewer:
I have been a patient of Dr. Johnson since he moved into his office on Prospect. My previous chiropractor was shortening his hours and becoming increasingly hard to see due to his upcoming retirement. He started sending me to Dr. Johnson. I was skeptical at first. Where was the neck cracking, the technical jargon, and the manual back popping that would leave me aching for days? I quickly learned with Dr. Johnson that a gentle approach is the way to go. His methods and tools are focused and low impact, which leave me feeling results instead of painful side effects. He is hands down the best doctor I have ever had in the realm of helping me understand and maintain my own health and treatment. He is never too busy to break down a process or explain exactly why my lower back is twinging. He listens to my concerns, and takes them seriously. He is excellent at pinpointing events and behaviors that create and trigger back pain. I had been seeing a chiropractor regularly for my lower back and shoulder issues for years. With a relatively short amount of time with Dr. Johnson, my chronic issues have subsided to a point where I can care for myself at home by following his simple advice. I really thought I was going to have to have an adjustment once a week for the rest of my life, but now I just go in for the odd twinge or injury once or twice a year. Some other reasons to make an appointment with Dr. Johnson: He is incredibly respectful, polite, and professional. He enjoys good tea, so you know he's trustworthy. He is absolutely hassle free to schedule with. I love knowing that my very reasonable bill helps support his beautiful family. He plays excellent music. He doesn't mind when I drop in just to say hello, because even when I'm not in pain, he's just a nice person to see. I can't say enough good about him. He'll take good care of you.
And here's the third success story:
I came to Dr. Johnson after suffering neck pain after a car accident. I expected to receive the big powerful loud cracking adjustments that I’d received from other providers in the past (the ones that leave me very sore, but eventually help some). When I didn’t get that type of adjustment, I’ll have to admit, I was a little skeptical at first. But, the methods that Dr. Johnson uses, instead, seemed to leave me with little soreness, and great relief! His precise and gentle methods are exactly what I needed. He’s pleasant, funny, professional, respectful, and most importantly, effective. After working with him, I’m now nearly entirely pain free. My only regret is that I didn’t go to him for treatment sooner! Thanks, Dr. Johnson!
It's incredibly thrilling to hear these success stories, and to watch people improve with chiropractic care. Every day I receive further reminders that the Activator Methods technique of chiropractic care actually does work, and can provide life-changing results for real people with real pain.
Unless otherwise attributed, all content is written by Kyle Johnson, DC, of Johnson Family Chiropractic of Peoria.
All images used are under Creative Commons license.
Although every effort has been made to provide an accurate description of our chiropractic care and its benefits, the information given on this website and blog is not intended to be, nor should it be interpreted as, medical advice for any condition.
If you have any questions regarding your condition, you should seek the help of Dr. Johnson in person, so that he may properly assess your condition.
This blog is provided by Johnson Family Chiropractic of Peoria, PC, proudly located in Peoria, IL.