Natural Treatment for Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction

The Sphincter of Oddi is a central gate to many liver, gallbladder and pancreas problems. Many scientists believe that the Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction (SOD) is a culprit of the pancreas diseases and it is the common source of chronic pain after gallbladder removal.

Around the common bile duct, pancreatic duct and the duodenum wall there is a muscle valve called the Sphincter of Oddi. The Sphincter of Oddi, named after Ruggero Oddi, an Italian anatomist who discovered this structure in 1887. The Sphincter of Oddi controls moving of the bile from the liver, and gallbladder and pancreatic juice from the pancreas into the duodenum.

Normally, when semi digestive food moves from the stomach into the duodenum sphincter of Oddi opens. Large amount of the gallbladder bile and alkaline pancreatic juice is released to digest this food. When no food in the duodenum, sphincter of Oddi is closed so the bile from the liver is collected in the gallbladder.

Regulation of this complicated work is under control of nervous system and special blood messengers – digestive hormones. Stress, fasting, “harsh” liver cleansing, gallbladder removal, bad eating habits, alcohol, some medications, and recreation drugs badly influence in proper regulation and work of the sphincter of Oddi.

Spasm or blockage of this muscle valve may cause pancreatic juice goes backward, thereby increasing the pressure inside the pancreatic duct. Digestive enzymes shut inside the pancreas, begin to digest their own pancreas, initiate inflammation, pain, and finally the death of pancreatic tissue. Thus, chronic pancreatitis is developed.

Tumor, gallbladder stone, or scaring can make an anatomical blockage of the sphincter of Oddi. It happens relatively rare. However, more often can be functional, temporal spasms of the sphincter of Oddi without any abnormality in the tests. The common reason for sphincter to be spasmodic is irritation of it by the “aggressive” bile and pancreatic juice.

What could make bile and pancreatic juice “aggressive”, corroded, and irritated? Let’s explain that.

The liver’s most important functions are producing and releasing bile and removing the toxins from our body by dividing them into water-soluble and fat-soluble wastes.

Water-soluble wastes move into the blood and the kidneys eliminate them from the body.

Bile serves to eliminate a variety of the toxic, fat-soluble wastes substances from the body. These substances include cholesterol, bile pigments, toxic chemicals, drugs, heavy metals, etc.

Hepatitis, fatty liver, Candida-yeast overgrowth, parasites, congestion, inflammation, infection of the gallbladder, high body’s acidity, poor eating habits, alcohol can cause the bile to be thick and acidic, therefore make it difficult for it to move through the ducts.

When the bile and pancreatic juice are getting acidic, they also become very “aggressive”, irritated, and corroded for the ducts, sphincter of Oddi, and small intestine causing jerky movement; “wrong way traffic” – bile/pancreatic juice refluxes in the stomach, ulcers and even cancers.

No surprise, it causes loss of appetite, nausea, gas, bloating, heartburn, attacks of pain, especially after “bad” foods or bad food combination. Pain can be last for 30 minutes to several hours and even bring person to ER.

Therefore, the goal of treatment has to be focus on root of the problems such as biochemical, acidic changes in the bile and pancreatic juice. In the normal situation, the bile and pancreatic juice are very alkaline fluids. However, if whole body is getting acidic, the bile and pancreatic juice also became acidic and “aggressive”.

Checking saliva and urine pH with litmus paper at home may show acidic condition of the body especially if saliva and urine pH repeatedly less than 6.6.

What can naturally normalize the alkaline condition of the bile and pancreatic juice?

Only minerals and bicarbonate from food and water can naturally neutralize the whole body acidity.

For this purposes, European doctors have used healing mineral water for a long time. Treatment with healing mineral water (balneology) is a part of education in some European medical schools. There are many healing mineral spas all over the Europe.

Most famous and researched mineral water is water from hot spring in the small Czech town Karlovy Vary. Karlovy Vary healing mineral water attracted millions visitors all over the globe. It was distributed by barrels and bottles many years ego. Demand of this water was so high hence, the mineral salt had manufactured there by vaporizing the spring water in 1764. It was a good option for people, which cannot visit Karlovy Vary or wanted ongoing the healing course at home.

Dissolving this salt in the water produces mineral water with the same healing value.

Karlovy Vary healing mineral water has been object for serious medical study for hundreds of the years. First medical book about that water have a laxative effect was dated by 1522. Later, a large number of medical papers confirmed the healing action of this water in many digestive disorders.

European doctors showed that drinking mineral water makes bile and pancreatic juice less acidic, liquid, and less “aggressive”. It naturally improves digestion, alleviates the pains and cramps, and lessens gas and heartburn.

This water may dissolve the gallbladder stones and expel them; it also is very beneficial for persons with sphincter of Oddi dysfunction, chronic pancreatitis, and hepatitis.

What else can make the bile and pancreatic juice less irritated for the sphincter of Oddi?

Herbal medicine is the oldest way to eliminate digestive problems. Chinese medicine, Hindu system – Ayurveda, European herbology offer many healing herbs for digestive disorders. Some of them increase amount of the bile, promote its easy elimination, decrease spasms and pain. The simple example is peppermint tea. Knowledgeable medical practitioner can customize the herbal remedies for any digestive problems.

No question, food is the important, safe and cheep medicine for sphincter of Oddi dysfunction.

Food needs to be alkaline and full of the natural digestive enzymes. Some vegetable blends or juices are good for these purposes. Warm vegetable soups are also helpful for many digestive problems. Some persons with sphincter of Oddi dysfunction suffer from Candida-yeast overgrowth, food sensitivity, and allergy. Appropriate diet changes are necessary to correct these conditions.

Stress can lead to spasm of the sphincter of Oddi as well. Worsening sphincter of Oddi dysfunction after mental or physical stress can be seen very often. Consulting, relaxation, meditation, medical hypnosis, listening the custom hypnoses CD at home, acupuncture, massage are some natural ways to alleviate the stress.

It would be wise to stop drinking alcohol temporary for a few months to improve condition because the alcohol interrupts the normal function of this muscle valve. Upper abdominal pain after alcohol consumption is typical for sphincter of Oddi dysfunction.

Unfortunately, there is not simple and safe test for diagnose early stage of the SOD now. Therefore, any kind of pain in the upper stomach area after heavy meals can be the alarm bell of the sphincter of Oddi dysfunction.

By author’s opinion, strategic position of the sphincter of Oddi involves it in many digestive diseases and disorders. On the other hand, sphincter of Oddi dysfunction by itself leads to many digestive symptoms.

Natural treatment of the early stage can avoid serious problem in the future and improve the quality of life.

It is important to work with a knowledgeable, licensed medical professional.

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

How Alternative Medicine Can Help With Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction

The Sphincter of Oddi, named after Ruggero Oddi, an Italian anatomist who described this structure in 1887, is the muscle 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 accomplished 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 may cause bile and pancreatic juice to back up.

If a tiny amount of bile gets into the pancreatic duct, serious trouble can ensue. Bile can activate digestive enzymes inside the pancreas and these enzymes start to digest their own pancreatic cells, causing pain, congestion, inflammation and even the death of pancreatic tissue. This is referred to as pancreatitis.

The blockages of the Sphincter of Oddi by tumors, large gallbladder stones, or scars after inflammation, certainly need surgery. The number of individuals with these problems is relatively small, but millions of Americans suffer from occasional transient spasms of the Sphincter of Oddi with pain, nausea and bloating. In most situations, their tests are normal and these individuals get labeled with acid reflux disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), stomach flu, food poisoning or other diseases.

Many of those ppersons have type III Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction (SOD). According to statistic 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.

A lack of proper treatment of Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction can later cause serious complications like pancreatitis and gallbladder inflammation.

Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction can affect children, women after age 40, overweight individuals and people after abdominal surgeries. For example, statistics show that almost 20% of individuals with pain after gallbladder removal have the Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction.

Why does the Sphincter of Oddi become spasmodic? The answer depends on many reasons if we put 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 make the Sphincter of Oddi spasm:

• Stress, depression and anxiety

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

• Drugs, some medication, alcohol and nicotine

• Harsh, intensive and repetitive “liver cleansing”

• Hormonal imbalance such as lower thyroid function or menopause

• “Aggressive” acidic bile with sand, sludge, gallbladder stones and more

Usually we can see combinations of these factors in predisposed individuals with overweight issues, 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 acidity in the whole 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 increases as well. Bile acids are very aggressive substances; they irritate the wall of the Sphincter of Oddi causing muscle contractions – spasms.

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

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 right below the rib cage. Pain can be severe in nature, bring people to the hospital and require pain medication. But in many cases, pain may be mild and usually does not need painkillers. Symptoms of Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction are divided as biliary pain and pancreatic pain.

Symptoms of Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction Biliary Abdominal Pain include:

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

• Pain radiating on the back at the lower tip of the scapula or right shoulder

• Pain accompanied often by bloating, nausea and vomiting

• Pain precipitated by fatty food or alcohol intake

• Pain varying in intensity and lasting anywhere from 15 minutes to 4-5 hours

Symptoms of Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction Pancreatic Abdominal Pain include:

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

• Pain radiating directly through the abdomen to the back

• Pain accompanied often by bloating, nausea, and vomiting

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

Non-drug holistic approaches may be helpful. Holistic remedies for healing of the Sphincter Oddi Dysfunction Type III are widely used in many countries throughout the world.

The healing program of the Sphincter Oddi Dysfunction type III may include some actions:

• Healing Customized Diet

• Drinking healing mineral water prepared from genuine Karlovy Vary spring salt

• European Whole Body Cleansing through the Restoration of Friendly Intestinal Flora and Colon Hydrotherapy

• Anti-Candida Program

• Acupuncture

• Herbal Medicine

• Nutritional Supplementation

• Chiropractic Manipulations

• Visceral Massage

• Relaxation, Meditation, Hypnosis, Custom Hypnosis CDs

Healing courses of alternative and holistic medicine can be used separately or as complementary approaches to traditional medicine.

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