How Alternative Medicine Can Help With Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction

The sphincter of Oddi, named for Ruggero Oddi, an Italian anatomist who described this structure in 1887, is the muscular valve that regulates the flow of bile and pancreatic juice into the duodenum (beginning of the small intestine). Regulation of the sphincter of Oddi is achieved through the nervous system and the blood by special messengers: digestive hormones.

If there is no food in the intestine, the sphincter of Oddi valve remains closed. Bile is retained in the gallbladder and pancreatic juice is retained in the pancreas. Spasms or blockage of this valve can cause bile and pancreatic juice to build up.

If a small amount of bile enters the pancreatic duct, serious problems can occur. Bile can activate digestive enzymes within the pancreas and these enzymes begin to digest their own pancreatic cells, causing pain, congestion, inflammation, and even death of the pancreatic tissue. This is known as pancreatitis.

Sphincter of Oddi blockages from tumors, large gallbladder stones, or scarring after inflammation certainly need surgery. The number of people with these problems is relatively small, but millions of Americans experience occasional transient spasms of the sphincter of Oddi with pain, nausea, and swelling. In most situations, their tests are normal, and these people are labeled acid reflux disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), stomach flu, food poisoning, or other illnesses.

Many of these people have sphincter of Oddi (SOD) type III dysfunction. According to statistical information, the prevalence of sphincter of Oddi dysfunction in the general population is 1.5%. It can mean that 4.5 million people in the US suffer from SOD.

Lack of proper treatment for sphincter of Oddi dysfunction can later lead to serious complications such as pancreatitis and gallbladder inflammation.

Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction can affect children, women after 40 years, people who are overweight, and people after abdominal surgeries. For example, statistics show that almost 20% of people with pain after gallbladder removal have sphincter of Oddi dysfunction.

Why does the sphincter of Oddi become spasmodic? The answer depends on many reasons if we take into account the very complicated regulation of this sphincter by the nervous system and special blood messengers: digestive hormones. Here are some examples of what can cause a sphincter of Oddi spasm:

• Stress, depression and anxiety

• Bad eating habits, such as “eating on the go,” eating while watching television, irregular diets, dieting, fasting, and wrong food combinations, such as mixing fatty foods with starches and sugars.

• Drugs, some medications, alcohol, and nicotine

• Hard, intensive and repetitive “liver cleanse”

• Hormonal imbalance such as lower thyroid function or menopause

• “Aggressive” acid bile with sand, mud, gallbladder stones and more

Usually we can see combinations of these factors in predisposed people with overweight problems, sedentary lifestyles and stress for long periods of time.

The standard American diet, which is full of processed and acidic foods (meat, sugars, alcohol, animal fats, white flour, etc.) causes heartburn throughout the body. The standard American diet leads to acidic conditions in the bile and pancreatic juice as well. The bile becomes acidic and the amount of bile acids in the bile also increases. Bile acids are very aggressive substances; they irritate the wall of the sphincter of Oddi causing muscle contractions, spasms.

3 to 4 liters of mixed pancreatic juice and bile travel through the sphincter of Oddi daily. The acidification of these fluids makes them very “aggressive”, corroded and irritating to the surrounding tissues, particularly the sphincter of Oddi. Considering that bile is a vehicle for removing toxic chemicals such as bile pigments, heavy metals, drugs, medications, and poisons from the body, and that the bile ducts and gallbladder often harbor parasites, there is no question that the sphincter of Oddi is an easy target for irritation. Furthermore, alcohol, unhealthy foods, irregular eating and improper food combinations also cause chaos in the normal functioning of the Sphincter of Oddi.

The most common and prominent symptom of sphincter of Oddi dysfunction is upper abdominal pain. This is often experienced as a sharp pain in the middle of the abdomen, just below the rib cage. The pain can be severe in nature, putting people in the hospital, and requiring pain relievers. But in many cases, the pain can be mild and you usually don’t need pain relievers. Symptoms of sphincter of Oddi dysfunction are divided into biliary pain and pancreatic pain.

Symptoms of biliary abdominal pain with sphincter of Oddi dysfunction include:

• Biliary pain felt in the middle or right part of the upper abdomen

• Pain radiating down the back to the lower tip of the scapula or right shoulder

• Pain often accompanied by bloating, nausea, and vomiting

• Pain precipitated by the ingestion of fatty foods or alcohol

• Pain that varies in intensity and lasts between 15 minutes and 4-5 hours

Symptoms of pancreatic abdominal pain with sphincter of Oddi dysfunction include:

• Pain localized in the upper abdomen on the left or right side

• Pain that radiates directly through the abdomen to the back.

• Pain often accompanied by bloating, nausea, and vomiting

• Pain precipitated by incorrect combinations of foods with protein / fat / starch / sugar or by consumption of alcohol

Holistic non-drug approaches can be helpful. Holistic remedies for curing sphincter of Oddi type III dysfunction are widely used in many countries around the world.

The sphincter of Oddi type III dysfunction cure program may include some actions:

• Personalized healing diet

• Drink healing mineral water made with genuine Karlovy Vary spring salt

• European cleansing of the whole body by restoring friendly intestinal flora and colon hydrotherapy

• Anti-candida program

• Acupuncture

• Herbal medicine

• Nutritional supplementation

• Chiropractic manipulations

• Visceral massage

• CD relaxation, meditation, hypnosis, personalized hypnosis

Holistic and alternative medicine healing courses can be used separately or as complementary approaches to traditional medicine.

The information in this article is presented for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment, and advice of a licensed and qualified medical professional.

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