Pancreatic enzymes: What are they and which are the symptoms of their deficiency?

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Digestive disorders are a very common phenomenon as they negatively affect many’s daily lives. Sometimes, however, the symptoms are much more serious and pancreatic enzymes play an important role, as they may not be produced sufficiently. But what are pancreatic enzymes and how do you know if you need to take a supplement?

What are pancreatic enzymes?

Pancreatic enzymes, also known as pancreatin, are a group of enzymes that includes: lipase, amylase, trypsin and chymotrypsin. Some medical problems can cause the pancreas to produce less enzymes than needed for food digestion. So, today there are several nutritional supplements available that usually contain lipase, amylase and protease and are aimed at better digestion.

Symptoms of pancreatic enzyme deficiency

If you notice any of the following symptoms, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor. Most people have only one or two of these symptoms, which are signs of malnutrition:

  • Significant weight loss while eating normally
  • Severe cramps after meals
  • Excessive gases
  • Steatorrhoea (fatty stool with strong odor)
  • Frequent indigestion

Who is experiencing deficiency?

Usually, the cases where pancreatic enzyme deficiency is observed are pancreatic cancer, large pancreatic cysts, chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis. Many people with pancreatic cancer find it difficult to digest food properly, resulting in rapid weight loss. Some studies show that taking pancreatic enzymes can increase body weight in these cases.

Generally, if you have a medical problem affecting the pancreas, this does not necessarily mean that you should also take pancreatic enzymes. When and if you need them and will benefit you can only be said by your  doctor that knows your medical history. That’s why it is wise not to make spontaneous decisions alone as you may be burdening your body.

How to take them?

Your doctor will most likely advise you to take pancreatic enzymes right before your meal, as they are active for about an hour. It is very important to avoid storing it in a warm place, such as your pocket, a window facing the sun or a hot spot.

Pancreatin: Side effects

Possible side effects of taking pancreatin / pancreatic enzymes are blood sugar decreasing , stomachache, dizziness, headache and unusual bowel movement.

So observe your body, any changes in your weight and if you are often suffering from digestive disorders. If you feel something is wrong, seek help from a specialist!

Find at Vita4you supplements with pancreatin!

 

Bibliography

https://columbiasurgery.org/news/2013/12/20/what-you-need-know-about-pancreatic-enzymes

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-254/pancreatic-enzyme-products

 

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