Candida, Calcium and your Ileocecal Valve

The ileocecal valve is often ignored in discussions of gut health and probiotics. The NorthShore Naturopathic Clinic recently had a good in depth article by Dr. Matsen on the ileocecal valve in their monthly newsletter. I have been struggling with pathological yeasts in my gut after living in an apartment infested with mold in New Zealand in 2005. I have been on the GAPS diet for over two years–my health has improved but I recently discovered we live in an area very high in esmog (wireless technology) which is undermining progress I make with diet. My condition initially improved with the GAPS diet but has levelled off, so it is interesting to learn the ileocecal valve is damaged by lack of calcium. Low frequency electromagnetic fields cause calcium drift, inhibit probiotic growth and melatonin among other things. I have noticed my own ileocecal valve showing up when receiving biodynamic craniosacral therapy sessions and I have been noticing it in my clients who have digestive issues. The ileocecal valve is right next to the appendix which is an important part of our lymphatic system. If the appendix is removed this can cause issues with the ileocecal valve. It is interesting to also discover that the appendix synthesizes and secretes melatonin, similarly to the pineal as I have recently been getting the impression that the appendix is the pineal of the intestinal “gut brain.

The Yeast are Back

By Dr. Matsen of Northshore Naturopathic Clinic

Yeast (also known as Candida yeast) are members of the fungus family; they are normal denizens of your intestinal tract. Their job is to turn you into compost when you’re dead. Candida yeast are strongly inhibited by acidity, and they are content to hide away in the nooks and crannies of your large intestine – wherever the pH is acceptably alkaline. Your main defence against them is billions of acidophilus bacteria (your good bacteria) that maintain an acid pH in your large intestine (colon), which inhibits yeast growth.

Anything that disrupts the pH of your colon and your good bacteria – such as antibiotics, mercury, antacids, chlorinated water, cortisone, etc. – allows the yeast to begin the composting process while you’re still alive. Once they are active, yeast have ways of convincing you that sugar and chocolate are necessary in your diet.

Another way the yeast can become active is when your ileocecal valve is weakened. The ileocecal valve is located between your small intestine and your large intestine. This valve is usually kept closed so that the food you’ve eaten stays in your small intestine long enough to be digested and absorbed fully. It also prevents the good micro-organisms in your large intestine from getting into your small intestine, where their waste products could easily be absorbed. As digestion and absorption are completed in your small intestine, your ileocecal valve opens, and the food passes into your large intestine or colon.

When your ileocecal valve is weakened, the billions of normally “good” bacteria that live in the large intestine get through the ileocecal valve, up into your small intestine – where they’re not supposed to be. There, they can become “Bad Guys” – they steal important nutrients like vitamin B12 and tryptophan before you have absorbed them, and they can also dump toxins into your liver. Once your good bacteria become bad, yeast soon join the party. The alkaline pH of the small intestine allows the yeast to multiply vigorously.

Your ileocecal valve can become weak when your calcium levels are low for more than five days – calcium helps to strengthen this valve. Increasing your calcium intake doesn’t necessarily solve the ileocecal valve problem, because the solution depends on whether the calcium is being absorbed by your body. Vitamin D is required for calcium absorption: it stimulates your intestinal cells to make a calcium-binding protein that dramatically increases your absorption of calcium. Vitamin D is made by your skin when exposed to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun, and then it is stored in an inactive form in your liver.

When vitamin D is released from liver storage, your liver converts it into a weak form of vitamin D, which then activates calcium absorption to a small degree. This might be sufficient activation if you were out in the sun regularly, when your skin can make a lot of vitamin D. Your kidneys convert this weak form of vitamin D into a much stronger form that can improve calcium absorption up to 1,000 times. This strong activation of vitamin D is especially crucial for wintertime when there is little sun around to make vitamin D directly through the skin.

Your kidneys are in charge of regulating calcium levels by altering the activation of vitamin D with the changes in the seasons. Because the kidneys can’t see outside to know what the weather is like, they monitor the ions in the foods and the beverages you’re consuming. The sodium/potassium ion ratio tells the kidneys what to do with regard to the activation of vitamin D.

Your blood contains 3 percent sodium, a percentage similar to that found in the ocean and in animals. Your kidneys maintain a 50/50 ratio of sodium and potassium at all times. Excess sodium in the diet is eliminated through the kidneys, giving a warming effect to your body and making you more active, while an excess of potassium has a cooling effect, which slows you down.

All plants contain potassium; generally, the more sun they’re exposed to, the more potassium they contain. Eat a banana, which has lots of potassium, and your kidneys will think that you’re in Hawaii, and that your skin must be roasting in the sun – making vitamin D – so they stop activating vitamin D. if you’re not actually out in the sun, you could quickly lose your calcium absorption – and within five days, your ileocecal valve could be weak enough to allow your billions of good bacteria to stampede into your small intestine, where they could become Bad Guys.

A vegetarian animal on a high-potassium diet needs access to salt, while a carnivorous animal gets its salt from the 3 percent sodium found in the vegetarian animal that it eats. In the winter, an Inuit would be on a high-sodium animal-protein diet, which would tell the kidneys that the weather is not sunny, so his kidneys would activate the vitamin D much more vigorously.

If your skin is going brown from the sun, you can eat a slight excess of potassium; otherwise you should eat a slight excess of sodium. This is the basis of the concept in Asian medicine of “yin and yang” – warming and cooling. Even though most Asians don’t have high-calcium dairy products in their traditional diets, they generally have much lower incidences of dental cavities and osteoporosis than do Westerners who use dairy – and who also eat a lot of fresh fruit, juices, and salads, even in winter.

The ileocecal valve problem is commonly seen in PEOPLE WHO EAT TOO WELL! That is, they consume too many foods and drinks high in potassium, and don’t consume enough sodium in the form of animal protein or salt. This confuses the kidneys into assuming they are in the hot sun of mid-summer, so they deactivate vitamin D.

While the kidneys’ activation of vitamin D is crucial to getting calcium from the gut to the blood, it is vitamin K that delivers calcium from the blood into the bone. Vitamin K also prevents calcium from sticking in the arteries – thereby reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Vitamin K is found in leafy greens; cooking them slightly and salting them will help prevent ileocecal valve problems when you’re not actually out in the sun.


Vitamin D is crucial for the absorption of calcium. If you’re out in the sunshine and your skin is exposed to the UV rays of the sun, it will make vitamin D. If you’re unable to get regular sun exposure, take vitamin D as a supplement – one capsule of halibut or cod liver oil per day. These sources of vitamin D seem to be more active than the irradiated yeast used in vegetarian vitamin D supplements.

Vitamin D is relatively passive until it’s activated by your kidneys, which change the activation of vitamin D as the weather changes. Sodium in the diet tells the kidneys it’s not sunny, so they activate vitamin D – while potassium tells the kidneys it is sunny, so they don’t activate vitamin D. So, eat according to the climate in which you are living.

If you eat animal products, you get adequate sodium; if you eat vegetable products, you need to add salt. Unrefined sea salt carries myriad trace minerals that buffer the potential side-effects of pure sodium chloride. Salt, however, including most sea salts, has had these important trace minerals stripped off and sold to the industrial mineral market. The salt I recommend now is Nature’s Cargo™ Sea Salt

Symptoms of Ileocecal Valve Syndrome:

Source: Ileocecal Valve Syndrome

  • flu like symptoms
  • headaches, migraines
  • tinnitus
  • diarrhea, constipation
  • bladder infection
  • lower back pain
  • right shoulder pain
  • unexplained thirst
  • nausea
  • excessive gas
  • dark rings under the eyes
  • depression, low energy

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms for any period of time, there is a chance that you are suffering from a dysfunction of your ileocecal valve, the intestinal valve that separates the small intestines from the colon.

More information on the appendix

Rethink Removal of the Appendix

The appendix is an important part of the lymphatic system, which in turn is part of your overall immune system. It is strategically located at the point where the small and large intestines meet, near the ileocecal valve. It provides a “trap” where harmful microorganisms can be captured and destroyed or inactivated by our immune cells. Once you remove the appendix, you lose a part of your immune system.

Research also suggests that the appendix may act as a type of “safe house” where beneficial bacteria from the bowels are grown and stored. In an event where the bowel becomes infected with pathogenic bacteria and is purged, the bacteria from this “safe house” would be used to restore healthy levels in the colon. In earlier times—and even today in many third-world countries where diseases like cholera exist—the ability to quickly re-colonize beneficial bacteria in the colon would be crucial to survival. I suspect it’s just as critical in individuals who experience food poisoning, heavy antibiotic use, chlorinated water, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or many forms of chronic prescription drug use. –

More on the Appendix: Appendix Isn’t Useless At All: It’s A Safe House For Good Bacteria

This Post Has 47 Comments

  1. JW Wasa

    Is there any chance that ICV chronic malfunction would lead to fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes?

  2. Irene Young

    What type of calcium do you recommend?

    1. Harry Taylor

      Calcium Orotate. Our bodies make Orotic and Picolinic Acids to dissolve minerals into ionic form that our cell ion channels can accept easily. Vitamin K2 opens Calcium Ion Channels.

  3. MichaelG

    Thank you so much for this article! This is an amazing source of information. I was suspecting that going pure vegetarian does not really work for me when I live in a cold wet climate of The Netherlands with low amount of sunny days. Following this article my current picture is as follows: eating vegies only > low Vitamin D > low vitamin C > cold in my body rases > ileocecal valve problem > SIBO > low activity of thyroid > immune issues (psoriatic arthritis in my case) rase… So it looks like the climate intolerance is not an issue.. But inadequate diet, diet not according to the climate I live in, is.

    Plus, there is an interesting correlation between ileocecal valve, incorrect posture (forward bended head) and sciatica (my current issues). You may check on YouTube: The Chiropractic Approach: to Digestive Problems.

  4. Bev

    Hi all! Great to read all comments related to ICV. My history started about 30 years ago when I believed all my right sided pain was related to my ovary as I developed endometriosis. I experienced brutal menstrual pain from the age of 13 causing me to black out. Wise family doctor and understanding mother commenced me on contraception pill at the age of 14. Whenever I came off the pill coping with my menstrual cycle was a. Painful challenge.
    20 years ago after 2 laparoscopic laser procedures to decrease severity of endometriosis and to free my left ovary from my bowel I desperately consented to abdominal hysterectomy and removal of my ovaries ! I was heart broken about my decision and histology report indicated right ovary was free from endometriosis at that time! Left one attached bowel for second time did have endometrial tissue evident.
    The most horrible feeling of dread after recovery was that the right sided episodic pain remained. Like plenty of people on the planet I adapted and learnt to live with it!
    At 58year’s of age experienced an unusually severe episode of irritable bowel. I thought I saw some blood in toilet with episode of diarrhoea. Pathology testing of poo sample indicated occult blood leading to colonoscopy. At the time nasty right sided pain during bowel prep. Gastroenterologist reported sigmoid Diverticular disease and histology report tubular adenoma in ielocecal valve.
    Three months ago follow up colonoscopy revealed no more tubular adenoma which is good. I have experienced relentless right sided pain since procedure. General practitioner prescribed antibiotics, blood tests were normal, CT of abdomen and pelvis were normal. Much analysis of having my mind in bowel has led me to determine ICV e place odd extreme irritation. Everything I eat causes some degree of pain in the ICV! I do have referral to consultbwith Gastroenterologist in a few weeks.
    I am so glad after all these yearscof vague and painful episodes of right sided pain I have learnt the cause. I am now at the point where I need help deciding best plan to help heal ICV through natural therapies and diet if possible. After 1st. Colonoscopy GE stated no cause for right sided pain!!!
    I live in West Australia and if there is any advise on where to start with appropriate therapist and or diet advice I would appreciate that! I made a big uninformed decision all those years ago choosing surgery! I do not under any circumstance want to make anymore surgical choices.
    Hope my story informs other! I relate to all those menstrual cycle pain stories! Advice welcome

    1. hellaD

      Wow that is quite a journey you have been on. I am sorry to hear all that you have been through. I don’t have much information about therapists in West Australia but I do recommend that GAPS diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet) it is very helpful for all digestive problems.

    2. Lindsay

      I too have had pain periodically in my ICV valve. Dr. Matsen helped diagnose me probably 30 years ago. It is still cranky from time to time. There is a Dr. In East Australia, Dr. Nirala Jacobi. She is also nicknamed the SIBO Dr. There is a You Tube video where she teaches a 2 minute exercise involving leg rotation to strengthen the valve. I did it last night for the 1st time and am hopeful it may work. Wanted to pass that on to you.

    3. Ann Connelly

      Erik Bakker in New Zealand is fabulous and will help on phone etc

  5. Mel G

    My ICV flareups started 11 years ago after I strained that area doing something stupid. I thought maybe the injury created scar tissue or nerve damage. As I tried various remedies to no avail and the years rolled on, eventually I concluded that maybe the injury was just a coincidence and maybe the issue was simply dietary. My worst flareup occurred one fall when I was eating a banana every morning in yogurt. I came across the potassium/sodium theory and thought, A-ha. Yet adding more sodium to my diet still didn’t stop the flareups. This year for other reasons I went dairy-free and amazingly I’ve had no flareups. I never thought dairy was a problem for me because I wasn’t lactose intolerant, but it must have been the casein. Since going off of dairy I’ve gotten complete relief from joint pain and stiffness in my hands and feet AND ICV flareups. I’d encourage everyone with ICV problems to look into food sensitivities.

    1. Katelyn


      Thank you for sharing! I have a very similar story with my right shoulder and am excited to hear I’m not the only one. 🙂 I’ve also found that eliminating dairy helps – but hasn’t eliminated the pain.

  6. karen conrad

    good info

  7. John

    Thank you for the article. I had my appendix removed 2 decades ago, and approximately 10 years after that I began to experience a terrible “spaciness” and surreal reality, along with fibromyalgia-like symptoms, just to name a few. After experiencing this new traumatic world as my health was failing, I met a doctor of osteopathic medicine, which through muscle-testing was able to determine the systemic-yeast infection (candiasis) that was ruining my life. He has treated with a anti-fungals and an anti-candida diet. Although I eat very healthy, it is extremely difficult to constantly stay away from sugars, dairy, and some wheat, but I do-so most of the time. I also do regular enemas. Life isn’t as painful as it once was, but I haven’t entirely gotten ride of the culprit of candida in my colon. My question is,.. since my appendix has been removed, am I doomed to permanently have a weakened ileocecal valve, and thus never be able to get rid of the candida? Thank you.

    1. hellaD

      Hi John,
      We really appreciate you sharing your experience with us. This is really valuable information.

      I recommend seeing a biodynamic craniosacral therapist for your ileo cecal valve. If there is some scar tissue in the area that is causing trouble BCST will help to get the tissues more fluid, as well as the biotensegrity of the body working together in the most optimal way for your situation. It will also help with releasing other areas in your intestines that may have become paralysed from shock and invasion by candida, this will allow your peristalsis movement to come back into the gut and help to shake off the candida. Doing BCST along with a great diet such as the GAPS, SCD or other opportunistic- microbe destroying diet will allow your gut, including your ileo cecal valve to function optimally.

      1. John

        Thank you so much for the response! I had never heard of the GAPS diet prior to your website. I love the information provided with the diet, and I can’t wait to implement it. I will take heed to the counsel you provided. In addition, I found a BCST a few hours away, so I’m very excited to experience a session with them. Thanks again for your help.

        1. hellaD

          Wow that is great! Please keep us updated on your progress. If you have any experiences with your healing that may be helpful to other readers please post. Also I am happy to help with any GAPS questions you have 🙂

  8. Ray

    What Dr. Masten calls Yeast is actually called SIBO and is not caused by yeast, it’s caused by bacteria that live in the large intestine and due to ileocecal valve’s poor functioning crawl up to the small intestine. Those bacteria produce Methane and Hydrogen gas and there is a SIBO test that is been developed that can measure the gas in the blood and tell you if you have SIBO or not…. but it’s different from Candida.

  9. Ludmil

    You seem to miss an important issue: only defecataion in squat position securely seals the ileocecal valve, between the colon and the small intestine; in the conventional sitting position, this valve is unsupported and often leaks during evacuation, contaminating the small intestine

  10. lori

    This is probably one of the best articles I’ve ever read on Vit. D and also the Ileocecal valve ! Thanks. I want to give you another situation for a seeming valve problem that I never see mentioned.

    During menstruation is the only time I have this problem and usually just the first 24 hours of my period. Sometimes, I get pain on the right side when I have to pass a bowel movement or even have gas, that is SO painful (worse than labor, and I’ve had four!) that I literally come close to fainting. Stabbing with a knife would not be a overstatement for what the pain feels like. The pain usually only lasts during the “event”, sometimes 2 hours sometimes all day (if all day, then on and off).

    But here is the weird thing, I can actually “feel” my liver-or gallbladder- release something prior to the event like maybe anywhere from 2 to 10 hours before this swelling of my lower abdomen and the super-tsunami-pain starts.

    I KNOW this has something to do with hormones and my period, I just am positive about that…but
    how to prevent it? A super bland diet and an enema if I feel it coming on sometimes prevent the pain somewhat but sometimes it’s too late. I always drink slippery elm too.

    I’m on a great diet of low carb, organic, lots of veggies and pastured meats, gluten and dairy free…etc. A strict GAPS diet the week before it starts is also really helpful

    And God help me if I eat baked beans or the like the day before my period starts! I’d probably have to be hospitalized!

    So in conclusion, there is something “up” with that time of the month and the ileocecal valve, since it hurts at NO other time for me..ever. Wonder if any other women have this pain with the valve during menstruation?

    1. hellaD

      Hi Lori,
      Thanks so much for your question and I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to get back to you. I found your experience to be rather mystifying as well! I have been keeping my ears open and recently found this book on castor oil, which has been coming up a lot lately because of it’s beneficial effect on the digestive system — pretty much all of it. The small intestine, liver, gall bladder, the ascending colon in particular as well and the transverse.

      Anyway all you have to do is use a castor oil pack a few days a week and see if it helps as it is also good for menstrual and cramping. I think it must have a lot of minerals.

      Castor oil packs are recommended by the Gerson diet as well as various other detoxing programs, but they have been used traditionally for quite some time. I just found this book about it which is very helpful in understanding the gut and immunity as well: The Oil That Heals: A Physician’s Successes With Castor Oil Treatments

      I just posted an instructable showing how to make and use a castor oil pack here.

      Please let us know how it goes if you try it!

      1. hellaD

        Reply from Lori:

        My pain has since gone away about 90% and I believe it’s because I’ve been doing the GAPS diet and basically eat extremely low carb and NO sugar. I’ve been doing a detox tea by Dr. Schultz and those things combined seems to have knocked my endometriosis and intestinal pain out. I can’t believe the difference in energy and health (very little in the way of colds and flu this year, illness so small I barely notice them, even when others around me are sick). Also, on the GAPS diet basically no more sinus infections! That’s super huge for me as I’ve had quite a few in the last 2 years.

        I always had a good diet but changing to very low carb seems to have made the biggest difference.

        1. Anna

          I have just found this article and agree, it’s the best and most informative I have found so far. I have just read Lori’s post and wanted to comment to say I suffer from exactly the same pain, which is directly linked to my menstrual cycle. I get it on day 2 of my period and the most pain is on the first 24 hours, but I’m still aware of it throughout my period. It comes in waves and when it does its debilitating. I have hunched over in pain and I can only describe it as a severe stitch pain (which doesn’t really do the pain any justice! I’ve never had children so can’t compare). It only started about 6 months ago, and now I’m aware of a constant bubbling in the right side of my abdomen even when not on my period. This ‘bubbling’ isn’t painful, just annoying.

          I went to see my GP who ran a few tests and simply said they don’t know what it is but it’s nothing to worry about. I wasn’t happy with this so asked to be referred to an consultant Gyneocologist as I thought it was GY related. He too said its nothing to worry about but said it was linked to this valve in my intestine, which has led to me doing some research.

          From everything I’ve read it appears diet has a lot to do with this so will definitely try Lori’s recommendation of no carbs etc.

          I just wanted to post to tell lori she’s not alone, and it’d be interesting to see how many other women suffer the same thing.


          1. hellaD

            Hi Anna,
            Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us. I am really curious as to what this is and what the connections are. I bet there area lot more women out there with this issue. I think you are right, though that the diet helps.
            Please keep us posted as to how things go for you if you remember.
            The GAPS or SCD diets are particularly helpful especially in combination with Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. I have had issues with this valve myself and some of it stemmed from my birth when my umbilical cord was cut. It sent a shock through my system which also created the stress/shock affect through my abdomen. The umbilical cord also has ligaments that go to the inguinal ligaments which if they are too tight can cause the ileocecal valve to get twisted.

            It took a lot of sessions to get to the really deep layer of the birth, but I can say it really does help. Healing goes much faster with a combination of cranio and diet. I think also that both of these types of therapy are really good for balancing your hormones as well.

          2. lori

            Anna, thanks for your reply!

            My pain ebbs and flows with each period. One period is worse the next not quite as bad. I failed to mention before that I am perimenopausal and this seemed to start when that started.

            The more research I do the more I am convinced that this is mostly related to endometriosis of the intestine. I only get this pain severely during menstruation. Mildly during ovulation and occasionally with gastroenteritis (which is rare for me, thank God). I do feel the “bubbling” you describe, Anna, all during my period.

            I still stick to the GAPS for the most part but am finding that I now need to take even more measures to cure this like herbs and supplements.

            Next I’m going to look into homeopathic Sepia and use that as well. I’ll do anything to avoid this pain (except surgery or drugs..the only things the MD’s have in their bag – lol ).

            1. hellaD

              I am really curious about that bubbling sensation. I really wonder what that comes from. Do either of you ladies ever use magnesium oil or epsom salt baths?

              1. lori

                I think the “bubbling” sensation is simply gas, fluids, whatever, moving through the intestine. Normally it is not felt, but during the time of inflammation one feels everything going on in there…quite acutely!

            2. Jayne

              Hi there. Interesting blog, and wanted to add to these comments. I was hospitalised 3 months in a row earlier this year with this pain… Worst pain ever. It baffled doctors and they just gave me endone and lots of tests. When the pain started the 4th month I went to a special chiro, who does kinesiology, cranial sacral and a bunch of other techniques. He told me it was the ileocecal valve. In one session he minimised that months pain. 4 more sessions and it has never returned.

              It was the most dreadful pain I have ever experienced and doctors couldnt diagnose.

    2. Ann

      I have had some of the same issues you are describing. I can remember being 15, and having such terrible pain during menstruation. Cramps, but also a terrible pain on the ride side of my abdomen. The pain would be relieved in two days, after I had a bowel movement, also I would have been constipated for the week before my period. That movement was always hard almost rock like stools. Somehow within hours my stomach would feels better. I always wondered if, my uterus would swell and encroach on my intestines making it hard to eliminate and therefore making my own anatomy the cause? In my twenties, I had my appendix removed due to an ectopic pregnancy. I also had an ovary and tube removed on my right side…. the pain got worst . When mentioning to my GYN over the years she would shrug and say maybe scar tissue? However I had it before my surgery. I am through menopause now and I don’t suffer with that pain anymore. I still have mild pain on my right side or sometimes a dull aching throbbing pain every once in a while, which I am investigating today. Looks like ICV could have been the culprit, ICV and menstrual cramps together for all those years. I don’t have any advice for you, just letting you know there are others with the same issues. I hope you have found some relief by now.

      1. Lori

        Ann, thanks for writing! This is probably the only, and the longest running, thread I follow closely.
        This statement, “I always wondered if, my uterus would swell and encroach on my intestines making it hard to eliminate and therefore making my own anatomy the cause? ” sounds a lot like endometriosis to me!

        I am, through research and talking to others, really starting to believe that this pain comes from endometriosis cells. that have lodged and grown on the ileocecal valve or the area around it. It swells around menstruation or ovulation and then anything that tries to “pass by” that area will cause intense pain.

    3. natasha

      My ICV problems are also OBVIOUSLY hormone related, and I have never been able to find ANY information about why that would be. Everyone I have tried to ask about it just looks at me blankly. For the last ten years, for ten days of the month I have had intermittent intense pain (like labor contractions, but obviously starting at my ICV). This begins two days after I ovulate and lasts till the day before my period. I can tell I’m past my “peak” by the timing of the pain, in fact. I just found THIS MONTH how amazing castor oil packs really are for this. They reduced my pain to almost nothing and only two very short instances of it.

      This was also the best article I have seen about vitamin D and the ICvalve. I grew up in Florida and have lived in Minnesota for 23 years now. Each year gets harder here. And my body doesn’t seem to “understand” vit D supplements, even the “best” ones.

      1. hellaD

        Thanks so much natasha for sharing your experience with us. I am so glad to hear that you have found castor oil packs to help to such a degree. It sounds like your body is using up minerals at a very fast rate. Have you tried taking mineral rich baths using Ancient Minerals? This is definitely associated with hormones — also with the fight or flight response which kicks off your adrenals and uses up tons of minerals. This can happen when the body is being attacked on the inside as well. Maybe drinking carrot juice would also be good if they are grown in mineral rich soil.

        The other thing that springs to mind with the ICV is that when fat hits the stomach the ICV squeezes shut to make sure the bile etc will break down the fat before it goes to the colon. Fat is full of hormones and indeed the vitamin D you mention. Which makes me ask if you have ever used fermented cod liver oil? I am similar to you in that I grew up in the tropics and now live in a place with dark winters and the fermented cod liver oil really helps me, along with diet.

    4. kelsey L

      hi there lori! for the last year i have developed a horrid pain as well when my period starts. like it hurts so bad it makes me sick almost. i curl up in bed as the stabbing throbbing pain in my left side just continues…. nothing makes it better…..ive tried everything! always the first 24 to 48 hours of the first part. some times it wakes me up at night to begin, with me covered in sweat. the pain normally starts left side by the kidney and spreads very fast all over my back. if that is worse than labor i guess i will be ok to have kids without an epidural.

      ive had issues the last 10 years, been checked by many… (i get the oh you are fine thing) basically i stopped eating all together except for like 10 food items for 2 years now . my health is starting to fail, teeth hurt now ect(it was failing before in a different way of the pain, sinus issues, leaky bowels, itchy skin, moody crazed swings, ect) i finally found an AK doctor to help, and i did the standard process 21 day purification diet…. omg! i feel so much better! maybe i can update this post when i get my period to let you know if it goes away after you fix the valve malfunction. now when i eat random foods i dont get the “reactions” like i did before! this is such a great article! (i also had my appendix removed)

    5. lori

      An update on my ICV and intestinal pain around that area. I wrote about my pain and how bad it was during menstruation, but what I didn’t talk about is the seriously heavy bleeding I was having with it. I chalked the heaviness up to perimenopause and I just tried to deal with it. (not to be TMI but I’m talking about soaking a full bath towel, cut up and put on TOP of a pad, per period. This went on for a year. I didn’t realize how low my hemoglobin was becoming.

      Finally, the bleeding became so intense that my gums went white and my heart was having issues (I’m normally very fit and healthy) so my husband took me into the ER. My hemoglobin was 4.5 (close to organ failure and death) and it was all from, they discovered, a fibroid tumor in the uterus.

      I had emergency surgery to remove it and SURPRISE almost all the pain (95%) I had been having disappeared from the ICV and intestines!!! I also had 3 transfusions that saved my life!

      Anyway, I still experience mild pain during my period in the ICV, my theory is that hormones make is swell a bit, but it is nothing that it was before. Somehow that fibroid increased my pain in that area 10X. I can’t explain it medically and neither could the Dr.’s, but all I know is that most of that knife like pain is gone.

  11. Sidra

    4 years ago I had my appendix removed. It had died and had adhered to my colon. My health has been nothing but trouble ever since. I am worried about scar tissue and adhesions in that area and problems with the ileocecal valve. I get lots of spasms, buldges, and aches in that area. I also just found out that my right ovary is adeard to the colon as well. The GI wants to do a colonoscopy to look around, but I am worried about that type of proceedure. I take lots of probiotics, do GAPS, and eat really well! Any ideas?

    1. hellaD

      Hi Sidria,
      Wow that is incredible. Yes I understand what you mean about the scar tissue and adhesions. What I would recommend is if you can find a biodynamic craniosacral therapist to work with you. I am a practitioner myself and have done a lot of work with the digestive system and internal organs. I wish that I could give you some sessions.

  12. Val

    Hi Gabriel,

    After drinking lemon juice I always have very sharp pain in the area of ileocecal valve.
    Why is that? Is it the potassium in lemon or acidity It feels like the acid from large intestine is burning the end of my small intestine.
    I also noticed that drinkable yogurt with active cultures helps in reducing and eliminating that pain. Is that from calcium and probiotics?

    1. hellaD

      Hey Val,
      I am not sure why this may be happening, perhaps someone else will have some answers. But I always hear that lemon juice produces an alkaline effect once consumed rather than acidic. I wonder if it somehow causes the ileocecal valve to seize up somehow. I will try to look it up for you.

      I would definitely agree that the probiotics and perhaps the calcium are calming the muscles of the sphincter there, but it would be good to find out more information about this. Thanks for the question. I hope someone will respond with a satisfying answer!

    2. hellaD

      Hey Val,
      I have been having a little look round google searching for ileocecal valve spasms and lemon juice. I haven’t gotten very far, but it seems that lemon juice can cause the gall bladder to release bile which may cause a burning sensation. It seems another thing to consider with this condition is parasites and perhaps doing a parasite cleanse would help your situation. I haven’t tried it myself but have a friend who highly recommends paragon.

      Another thing that might help is perhaps your minerals are imbalanced, and rubbing some magnesium oil into the area may relieve the spasm.

  13. Gabriel

    hi there,

    i’m gabriel from trinidad and tobago and i want to know if chlorophyll liquid good for a malfunction ileocecal valve?

    thanks and take care

    1. hellaD

      Hi Gabriel,
      Thanks for your quesiton. It seems that many people have used chlorophyll with good results for soothing the ileocecal valve. Also it is very important to be sure you are getting enough calcium as that is what helps the valve to stay closed. If you don’t get calcium for 5 days and more then the muscles won’t be able to keep the valve shut.

  14. Hungry Girl in Texas

    I’m cleansing for candida and a closed ileocecal valve. I have a laundry list of what I cannot eat. And hear I find banana is ok. What else can I live on for the next week or 2? Please help.

    1. hellaD

      Many people suggest not eating fruit for the first couple weeks. This site has some good information on avoiding roughage, it is also good to get some biodynamic craniosacral therapy sessions which will help to relax and relieve the sphincter.

      Another suggestion is to start doing coffee enemas as this help to stimulate the liver to help detox the small intestine, also there is a connection with parasites and ICV syndrome and coffee enemas help to clear out parasites from the intestine. The coffee enemas also help to stimulate normal muscle contractions in the intestine. Another helpful thing would be to use mineral oil and rub onto the area topically. I prefer the Ancient Minerals mineral oil.

      Be sure to get plenty of good probiotics too, but I am sure you know that 🙂

    2. Ruth

      I have tried EVERYTHING for candida! The diets, etc. DO NOT work. I recently found out about 100% pure gum spirits of turpentine. Google Jennifer Daniels. The turpentine DOES work!

      1. Marsha

        All your comments and stories are unbelievable. I too had horrific cycles. Wish I’d have known this before an ablation, colonoscopy and a surgery that left me with zero good bacteria and an overgrowth of Candida. The ICV issue began 3 months after severe bleeding. Then a gluten intolerance occurred and my gut was a mess. My acupuncturist diagnosed Candida via muscle testing and rather than be on a strict Candida free diet forever, I too decided to try the turpentine protocol. I’ve been following Walter Last & Bill Thompson (Killing So Sweetly) protocols since February to eliminate as many biofilms and toxins possible to minimize the Herx affect; began the pure gum turpentine this week. Feel great other than loosing weight without carbs. Bills book makes sense and although the supplements aren’t cheap it was more cost effective than seeing my acupuncturist for 2 sessions per week for 15 weeks and his supplements (1st visit, $190). My ICV is acting up so massaging it back into place. Time for acupuncture which helps when it’s cranky and castor packs. Hope this helps. These 2 individuals and Jennifer Daniels are a wealth of knowledge. (BTW, people can react negatively about turpentine. If you have any doubts, read up on where it’s derived, how many recent years and how many centuries it was used before additives were added to make it a poison. )

        1. hellaD

          Hi Marsha,
          We are really interested in your situation and would love to know how you progress with following the pure gum turpentine protocols. I have heard all kinds of good things about turpentine so it would be really helpful for people if you let us know your experience with it. I personally have found that the GAPS (gut and psychology syndrome) diet or the SCD (specific carbohydrate diet) also work amazingly for helping with Candida overgrowth. Castor oil packs are fabulous too!

          1. Marsha

            Hi Hd, I started the 100% pure gum turpentine by starting with 2 drops 2x a week, then 3 drops 3x week, jumped to 1/2 teaspoon for 4 days, then the recommended 1 teaspoon for 5days. The drops were almost addicting, fresh like a forest! The teaspoon dosage, well let’s say by that time I had to hold my breath! Acupuncturist said I was approx 40% clear of Candida. Because of severe weight loss, I began eating butter & coconut oil. Gallbladder duct not happy but milk thistle & dandelion root came to the rescue. I do think the turps helped immensely and moved me along faster than had I not. Stopped the turps a week ago. My stomach now feels sensitive, wondering if it’s all the supplements or Herx? I slowed down on the supplements for a few days, disappointed a slight sensitivity returned today when starting up. Georges aloe Vera juice excellent and helps. Diet is wheat, sugar, dairy free. Listening to Elke Neher subliminal audio for Candida and may try a few rife treatments, looking for a naturopath & biodynamic craniosacral therapist for the icv. Good grief, Candida is an unnecessary tragedy. In my case, 3 yrs ago, doc recommended colonoscopy to rule out the ‘c’ word, which removed what little good bacteria I had. Why don’t docs prescribe probiotics after antibiotics, colonoscopies, radiation, chemo? It would help patients considerably… Thank you for this site, it’s nice to know I’m not alone in this even though I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

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