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Digestive enzymes and when to use them?

First of all, three types of enzymes are present in thehuman body and those are metabolic, digestive and food enzymes. They all providehelp when complex molecules such as fats, carbohydrates and proteins need to bebroken down into simple molecules, but when it comes to digestive enzymes inparticular, there are three types – proteolytic, lipases and amylases. The firsttype is necessary for digestion of protein, the second for fat, and the thirdfor the digestion of carbohydrates. The doctors suggest their use in variouscases, but most commonly to those who suffer from cystic fibrosis andpancreatic insufficiency (because the body’s ability to absorb the nutrients isdecreased then), to people who suffer from celiac disease, indigestion or Crohn’sdisease, as well as when gas, bloating and fullness are present after a mealhigh in fat. Aside from this, there is a belief that digestive enzymes boostthe immune system in those who have shingles, and that they increase the chancesof survival when pancreatic cancer is present. There is no enough evidence tosupport either of these two beliefs.

Risk and side effects associated with digestive enzymes

Even though they do not require prescriptions from thedoctor in order to be used or obtained, it definitely does not mean that digestiveenzymes are 100% safe and that no side effects are possible when they are used. Diarrhea,bloating, gas, cramps and pain in the abdomen, and nausea are the mildest sideeffects, unless they are persistent, because medical help should be sought insuch cases. Headache, dizziness, loss of appetite, constipation and fatiguemight also be experienced, but generally, in the majority of cases, thesesymptoms are present until the body adjusts to the changed dosage of digestiveenzymes. It is not impossible that the patient develops signs of allergicreaction, which is also a situation that requires medical help.

Pregnant and lactating women should not use this medicationunless really necessary, and they should definitely not be used beforeconsulting a doctor. Since digestive enzymes might cause negative reactions iftaken in combination with certain anticoagulants, it is recommended to either avoidthis combination, or to consult the doctor in advance, in order to see if thedosage can be adjusted. It is also known that children who suffer from cysticfibrosis are more susceptible to serious damage to the large intestines ifgiven pancreatic digestive enzymes.

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