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Chiropractors/chiropractic care for gastroparesis


My son is 17, has Down syndrome and has recently been diagnosed with idiopathic gastroparesis.  Thanks to a popular social network a local chiropractor has reached out to us and has offered to adjust my son.  He is stating that he can help with alleviate his symptoms possibly altogether and is promising these results in a two week timeframe.  I, however, am skeptical.  Please bear in mind that I have had adjustments myself but not for an internal problem, sciatic nerve issues.  I do know that chiropractors do awesome work for those with neck and spine issues.

There are many questions I would need answered before treating your son. The diagnosis of idiopathic gastroparesis means "unknown stomach weakness"  The visceral contraction power and motility is reduced.  The first question should be; what is causing it?  Adverse medication effect?  Food intolerance response?  Is it a sudomotor denervation?  The point is, whatever the treatment, there is an element of experimentation because the diagnosis is unknown.  A chiropractic physician may want to try spinal manipulation or adjustments of the spine because of the low risk and possibility for improvement.  It is healthy and beneficial to have a pain free and mobile spine.  In most cases, spasm and weakness in extremities can improve with properly delivered chiropractic treatment.  There is very low risk in trying chiropractic treatment.   

However, treatment may be unsuccessful if the true etiology is not found. Certainly, a spine related segmental problem may contribute to the stomach problem. There are other causes to investigate as well.  Autoimmune disease tests or genetic markers may lead to a diagnosis.  IgG/IgA mediated food sensitivities should be investigated, as well as referring your son for testing of possible drug or other toxin interactions.  The top four foods to look at are corn, wheat, milk and soy.

The diagnosis may be as the result of multiple factors, with a spinal problem or misalignment being a part of the problem.  If the chiropractor is too pushy or discounts other possible causation, you should look for another chiropractor.  There are many chiropractors with amazing treatment skill, and ethics.  Let me know how your son is doing as well as any change in diagnosis.


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Jerome M. True, DC, FIACN


General musculoskeletal pain mechanisms, Evidence-based neuromusculoskeletal therapies, General chiropractic treatment options.


25 years of experience with back and neck disorders, Chiropractic neurologist, Success with non-surgical treatment of cervical and lumbar radiculopathy, Neurology textbook author.

Florida Chiropractic Association, North American Association for Laser Therapy, American Association of Spine Physicians.

Myelopathy, Radiculopathy, and Peripheral Entrapment Syndromes, Journal of Athletic Training, Conservative Management of Sports Injuries,

Doctor of Chiropractic (Cleveland Chiropractic College), Diplomate of the American College of Chiropractic Neurology, Fellow International Academy of Chiropractic Neurology.

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Professional athletes, High net-worth patients, Physicians and Professionals.

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