signs and symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseaseUlcerative colitis (UC) is one of the most common of all of the inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs).  All of the IBDs are a result of chronic inflammation in the digestive tract. Chrohn’s disease can affect any part of the digestive tract and UC affects only the colon and rectum.1

Ulcerative Colitis causes sores (ulcers) in the lining of the large intestine (colon). This process begins with inflammation of the lining and the more inflammation there is, the worse the symptoms can be. UC can affect people of any age, but most people are diagnosed by age 30.1

A single cause has yet to be identified for these extremely painful conditions. It has been shown that chronic inflammation within the body and lowered immune response, seem to trigger and/or exacerbate the condition.1

Some of the main symptoms include: severe stomach pain/cramps, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding. Other symptoms that may occur are widespread joint pain, skin rashes, eye problems, weight loss, anemia and eventually liver disease. Additionally, those who have had UC for 8 years or more have a higher chance of developing colon cancer.1

Traditional medical treatment includes diet modification recommendations and medications to reduce/control the intestinal inflammation. These medications often include prolonged use of steroids and other substances that overtime will compromise our immune and nervous systems further and allow the disease process to continue.

Chiropractic care has also been shown to be very effective with the management of this condition. Instead of simply treating the symptoms, spinal adjustments help to correct the physiological dysfunction within the system as a whole. “When we become overly stressed, our bodies store this stress physiologically and when these patterns persist, the body begins to exhibit symptoms. In terms of a digestive disorder like UC, our body is letting us know that the parasympathetic and sympathetic

[nervous system] activity are seriously out of balance….An adjustment to the bones and soft connective tissue will relieve this pressure and the nervous system messages can begin to coordinate more easily with the actual digestive tract. When the body is addressed as a whole entity a true sense of balance can begin to unfold.”2

A case study provided by Dr. Erin Elster, D.C., shows that spinal adjustments can indeed have an effect on IBDs. This case involved 60 year old female whom had been suffering from a form of inflammatory bowel disease known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS for 5 years. She had bouts of diarrhea and constipation and had lost over 20 pounds due to the illness and a highly restricted diet. She also had been diagnosed with acid reflux disease and had constant neck and shoulder tightness for over 10 years. Within the first two weeks of receiving chiropractic adjustments, she experienced decreased neck tightness and fewer episodes of the diarrhea and bowel pain. After one month of care, she claimed to have normal bowel function and had been able to eat more that she had been able to for 6 months. She incidentally noticed that the acid reflux had subsided as well.3

The chiropractors at Total Health Systems of Macomb County are trained to assess the spine and nervous system to detect and reduce the effects of spinal misalignments which can cause neurological stress and dysfunction to the digestive tract, which can result in this type of IBD.

Because of the extremely complex nature of UC and other IBDs, we offer other complimentary treatments for these conditions as well. In addition to the exemplary chiropractic care provided at Total Health Systems of Macomb County, there are also medical doctors and a registered nurse who manage the Wellness Program, which not only deals with UC, but many other physiological and metabolic disorders of the body. In addition to nutritional counseling and supplementation, a main part of the treatment of digestive disorders thourgh this program involves the use of the medical food UltraInflamX from Metagenics, Inc., which is a specially designed blend of nutrients to reduce chronic inflammation.

A case study by Robert H Lerman, MD involved a 57 year old female with Crohn’s disease, Grave’s disease, osteoarthritis, and osteopenia. She underwent a treatment protocol with the medical food and diet modification for 16 weeks. At the end of the trial period, the patient stated that she had not felt this well as far back as she could remember. She went from having 3-5 loose bowel movements a day to having 1 well-formed bowel movement per day. She also reported an excellent level of energy and no joint pain. This and other similar case studies by Dr. Lerman suggests that a “protocol of combining an inflammatory-modulating medical food (UltraInflamX) and prescribed diet may be beneficial for patients with a Crohn’s disease and symptoms related to other immune-inflammatory conditions”.4

If you or someone you know suffers from Ulcerative Colitis or any form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, please call Total Health Systems of Macomb County today to schedule an evaluation with one of our highly trained healthcare specialists. THERE IS HOPE – SO DON’T WAIT ANOTHER DAY!



  1. (keywords: ulcerative colitis
  2. Dr. Kendra Burke: Chiropractor and Certified Doula
  3. Dr. Erin Elster: Chiropractor, Boulder CO.
  4. Case #1271: A Case Study Evaluating the Effects of an Inflammatory-Modulating Medical Food and a Nutritional Supplement Containing a Proprietary Blend of RIAA, Vitamin D3, Selenium, and Zinc in a Patient with Crohn’s Disease. Robert H. Lerman. Functional Medicine Research Center, Gig Harbor, WA.