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Pancreatic Digestive Enzymes Deficiency

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“You are what you eat”. Everyone knows this saying. And many people take this adage to heart and try to eat nutritious foods regularly to stay healthy. But for optimal health, it is necessary for a body to be able to digest and absorb the nutrients in food. When a person lacks the necessary pancreatic enzymes for digestion, the body has difficulty digesting food and absorbing important nutrients.

Most digestion and absorption occurs in the small intestine, using a mixture of digestive enzymes from the pancreas and hepatic bile. Digestive enzymes consist of amylase, protease and lipase. Food cannot be properly digested when enzyme production is low. Likewise, individual digestive enzymes must be strong enough to digest whatever is eaten. Insufficient enzymes or the formation of weak enzymes can interfere with proper digestion, which can lead to a variety of chronic conditions throughout the body.

A healthy pancreas is essential for optimal digestion and absorption. Good health is impossible without adequate digestion.

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Improper exocrine function of the pancreas

Before the small intestine begins digesting food, pancreatic enzymes and liver bile are mixed in a small cavity called the ampoule of the father. These digestive enzymes are then released into the duodenum, or the first part of the small intestine, where they begin digesting food.

The “exocrine function” of the pancreas describes the process of pancreatic production of enzymes. Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough active digestive enzymes for proper digestion to occur. When food is not digested properly (indigestion), valuable nutrients are lost instead of being absorbed into the bloodstream. This lack of absorption can lead to malnutrition.

Pancreatic digestive enzymes can only function in an alkaline environment. But “chyme,” or the thick semi-liquid mass of partially digested food that moves from the stomach to the duodenum, is acidic because it’s immersed in stomach acid. To counteract the acidity, the pancreas releases a large amount of minerals and bicarbonates that neutralize the chyme. If the pancreas cannot release enough bicarbonates and minerals to neutralize the acid, the digestive enzymes lose their power and cannot break down food properly.

Currently, an estimated 58% of Americans suffer from some type of digestive disorder. These enormous numbers indicate that poor exocrine function of the pancreas is not a hereditary problem but a lifestyle problem. It is known that many factors contribute to the development of digestive problems, such as: B. chewing food poorly, “eating on the go”, eating late in the day, and smoking after meals. Prolonged alcohol consumption is a particularly big factor in pancreatic problems. All of this can lead to insufficient enzyme production.

Certain dietary habits can also tax the body’s digestive capacity, such as excessive consumption of alcohol, refined carbohydrates, sugar, and bad fats. Problems are also caused by eating a lot of meat and a predominantly “cooked” diet. Cooked and processed foods have lost most of their natural enzymes — enzymes that make it easier for the human digestive system to do its job. Consumption of foods that do not contain enzymes is a major factor contributing to dysfunction of the exocrine pancreas and indigestion. Unfortunately, Americans tend to eat cooked or processed foods and not get enough healthy raw foods.

dr Edward Howell, a famous American nutritionist, addresses the problem of poor pancreatic function in his book, Enzyme Nutrition. He cites numerous animal studies showing how animals fed low-enzyme diets suffer from pancreatic enlargement. dr Howell posits that the pancreas needs to get bigger to make larger amounts of digestive enzymes.

More enzymes help compensate for the huge amounts of pancreatic enzymes necessary to digest foods that don’t contain naturally occurring enzymes. The pancreas of the modern man (or woman) works equally hard and exhausts itself. It should come as no surprise, then, that it has become commonplace for the elderly to experience decreased secretion of digestive enzymes as well as a decrease in hydrochloric acid production.

Acid is another factor that affects the functioning of the exocrine pancreas and can cause indigestion. Acidic food, an acidic lifestyle, and an acidic environment can cause an “acidic” pancreas. An overly acidic pancreas occurs when the body’s pancreatic juice does not contain enough minerals and bicarbonates because the body is using them elsewhere to maintain a healthy blood pH. Blood normally has a pH of 7.4, which is slightly alkaline. This slight alkalinity is necessary for the proper functioning of brain, lung and heart cells.

The pancreas is a particularly alkaline gland because digestive enzymes in the pancreas are only active in an alkaline environment. Acid literally destroys the functioning of the pancreas, leading to indigestion, a lack of vital nutrients and a lack of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Poor digestion caused by excess acid can be the underlying cause of many diseases and disorders.

Symptoms of defective exocrine pancreatic function include:

o abdominal cramps

o Bloating and abdominal distension

o Fullness that lasts 2-4 hours after eating

or flatulence

o Alternating constipation and diarrhea

o weakness, fatigue

o Food sensitivities, allergies and more.

Persistent dysfunction of exocrine pancreatic function can cause a condition of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is a condition caused by a lack of digestive enzymes. It is commonly associated with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), celiac disease, and candida yeast overgrowth. Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency can also be caused by acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis, the two most common diseases of the pancreas. Prolonged alcohol consumption can also cause fewer digestive enzymes to be produced.

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency can develop as a symptom of chronic pancreatitis after some abdominal surgeries and hereditary diseases such as cystic fibrosis.

If inadequate pancreatic exocrine function and pancreatic insufficiency are not treated early enough, the patient may develop pancreatic failure. Pancreatic failure occurs when pancreatic function falls below 10%, causing severe metabolic disorders, sudden weight loss, and malabsorption syndrome.

Treatment of pancreatic problems

The treatment of abnormal pancreatic exocrine function, pancreatic insufficiency and pancreatic failure is complicated. Treatment may require several different treatment methods performed by several different naturopaths. Treatment will almost certainly involve an overhaul of the patient’s lifestyle, beginning with examining eating habits and addictions.

To help people with diseases of the pancreas, we have been successfully using non-drug and non-surgical methods for 30 years. They include:

o A diet of healing foods

o Drinking healing mineral water made from real Karlovy Vary Thermal Spring Salt (available in the US)

o Botanical medicine

o Acupuncture and point massage

o Nutritional supplements

o Hypnosis in the office or self-hypnosis at home with a customized CD

o Colon hydrotherapy to restore a friendly intestinal flora

The above treatments are safe and effective and can be combined with medication, surgery, endoscopic procedures, physical therapies, etc.

In addition, European doctors have been using real Karlovy Vary thermal salt for 250 years to prepare healing mineral water and to treat patients with diseases of the pancreas. Many European books and articles scientifically confirm the effectiveness of the mineral water treatment and it is easy to use at home – just dissolve the salt in a glass of warm water.

An internet search for “Scientific explanation of how Karlovy Vary medicinal mineral water can help people with diseases of the pancreas” can give you more information on this topic. Information is also available at

Alternative therapies can improve the quality of life and life span of patients with pancreatic insufficiency and even patients with pancreatic failure.

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

Thanks to Peter Melamed Ph.D.

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