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Pancreas is both endocrine and exocrine gland in the humanorganism. As an endocrine gland, the certain cells (known as Islets of Langerhans)secrete insulin and glucagon, and some other pancreas cells secrete pancreaticpolypeptide and Somatostatin. Exocrine pancreas secretes alkaline fluid anddigestive enzymes, such as: trypsin, chymotrypsin and pancreatic amylase and lipase.

Pancreas enzymes aid digestion of the food we eat. Theseenzymes are necessary to supplement if people suffer from the pancreas insufficiencyor pancreatitis (inflammation of pancreas). Patients suffering from several differentdiseases might also need pancreas enzyme supplements. Some of these conditionsare: cystic fibrosis, pancreas cancer or tumor, duodenal tumor, pancreatic orbiliary duct blockage or narrowing, post-pancreatectomy and post-gastrointestinalbypass surgery.

About Pancreatin Tablets

Pancreatin supplements are usually found as coated tabletsor capsules, and can be both prescription and non-prescription medications. Thesetablets may be produced from animal or plant sources, such as beef, pork,pineapple and papaya. Every brand of pancreatin tablets is different, since itcontains different amount of enzymes. When you find the brand that works for you– use it, and do not substitute those tablets with some other brand, because itmay not work. Always consult your doctor in order to establish the appropriate doseand type of pancreatin supplements for you.

It is recommended to take these tablets with plenty offluids at mealtimes. Do not crush or chew the tablet, simply swallow it,because otherwise it could not work properly. If it’s difficult to swallow thecapsule, try mixing the content with some pureed banana, sweet potatoes orapplesauce and swallowing it.

Enzymes should be taken at the beginning of each meal orsnack to function properly. Multiple enzymes should be taken at the beginning,in the middle and in the end of the meal. Always use pancreatin supplementswhen eating meat, dairy products, bred, desserts and snacks.

Adverse Effects

The most common unwanted effect of these supplements isconstipation. In some cases, patients reported nausea, diarrhea and abdominalcramps.

Some people might be allergic to ingredients that are usedto make pancreatin enzymes (beef, pork, pineapple, papaya). These patientsshould not use pancreatin supplements.

If kept in the mouth, pancreatin tablet (or capsule) mightstart to decompose and release enzymes in the mouth, causing irritation and ulcerations.

Warning

Do not use pancreatin supplements in children suffering fromcystic fibrosis. It may lead to a severe condition of the large intestine,known as fibrosing colonopathy.

Be aware that you should use the appropriate dose of thesesupplements. Start with smaller doses and then gradually increase it if necessary.Improper dosage of pancreatin supplements could lead to unwanted weight loss.

Avoid using magnesium and Calcium antacids with thesesupplements, since enzymes could decrease the efficacy of antacids drugs.

Avoid mixing open capsule of pancreatin enzymes with dairyproducts (milk, ice cream, custard, etc.), because this way enzymes might bedestroyed before they get into the stomach.

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