The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a study on October 26, 2017, documenting the case where a woman suffering from hypothyroidism and irritable bowel syndrome was helped by chiropractic.
The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck which controls how the body uses energy. The thyroid has an effect on every organ of your body and can therefore create a number of varied health problems when it is not working properly. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, “Hypothyroidism, also called underactive thyroid, is when the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough thyroid hormones to meet your body’s needs.”
The study authors report that in 2011, hypothyroidism affected approximately 10% of women and 6% of men under the age of 65 in the United States. This condition is more than twice as common in women than in men. Some of the problems associated with hypothyroidism include fatigue, weight gain, puffy face, trouble tolerating cold, joint and muscle pain, constipation, dry skin, dry, thinning hair, decreased sweating, heavy or irregular menstrual periods, fertility problems, depression, and a slowed heart rate.
From the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus website comes the description: “Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a problem that affects the large intestine. It can cause abdominal cramping, bloating, and a change in bowel habits. Some people with the disorder have constipation. Some have diarrhea. Others go back and forth between the two. Although IBS can cause a great deal of discomfort, it does not harm the intestines.” Estimates in the U.S. put IBS as affecting between 10 and 15% of the population, with little more than half ever being diagnosed.
In this case, a 34-year-old woman who was 22 weeks pregnant presented herself to a chiropractic office with her chief complaints being low back pain, hip pain, and upper back pain. Her medical history revealed that the woman also suffered from irritable bowel syndrome, which was medically diagnosed in 2013, and secondary hypothyroidism, which was medically diagnosed in 2014. She was prescribed Nature-Throid by her medical doctor, which she had been taking since her diagnosis.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included a postural examination, spinal range of motion tests, spinal palpation, and paraspinal thermography. Since the patient was pregnant, no x-rays were taken at that time, but neck x-rays were performed 4 months after the woman gave birth. The initial findings of the examination led to the determination that subluxations were present and specific chiropractic adjustments were started.
After two months of care, the patient reported that she noticed great improvement in all of her complaints including her irritable bowel syndrome. Upon a yearly visit to her MD for a thyroid test, it was reported that her thyroid levels had returned to normal, and she was taken off of her thyroid medication.
In the study conclusion, the author described the premise of chiropractic, by explaining, “Chiropractic is an art, science, and philosophy that is created on the vitalistic premise that the human body is a self-healing and self-regulating organism and observes that the cause of disease is from inside the body. D.D. Palmer, the discoverer of chiropractic stated that living organisms are born with an innate intelligence that runs through the nervous system and allows the body to heal itself when given the right conditions. Interference with the nervous system would affect one’s ability to heal and adapt to the environment, resulting in disease. This interference is termed ‘vertebral subluxation’.”