There are many supplements and remedies for the treatment of IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome). One of the suggested remedy for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is the use of digestive enzyme supplements. In this article we will study the mechanism of action of digestive enzymes and precautionary measures before taking digestive enzyme supplements for the treatment of IBS.
What are Digestive Enzyme Supplements?
Our body makes several types of proteins to digest the complex food and convert into simpler soluble products. Digestive enzymes are complex proteins and are made in stomach, pancreas and small intestine to facilitate the digestion of food. A list of digestive enzymes (and functions) are produced inside the human body are given below, these are all natural digestive enzymes produced inside the body.
- Enzyme Amylase for the digestion of complex sugars. This enzyme helps to convert complex and larger sugar molecules into smaller soluble molecules.
- Lipase enzyme helps to break down fats into smaller units such as fatty acids and glycerol.
- Pepsin enzyme is produced in Stomach and helps in the breakdown of proteins into small units.
- Lactase enzyme for the digestion of sugars found in milk such as lactose.
- Trypsin which helps to break down proteins into amino acids, the enzyme is produced in small intestine.
The best digestive enzyme supplements are in the form of pills or digestive enzyme tablets or digestive enzyme capsules. Some of these supplements contain a combination of digestive enzymes. In most of the cases, the supplements of digestive enzymes are formulated by adding probiotics in them. These supplements are available online and were initially made for the people with pancreatic disorders. As many digestive enzymes are made in pancreas, the enzymes for digestion of food are not produced and such people suffer from various digestive concerns.
IBS Treatment With The Help of Digestive Enzymes:
The irritable bowel syndrome is also known as IBS. Most of the types of digestive enzyme supplements are used in the treatment of IBS as these supplements aid in speedy digestion of food and optimize the process of breakdown of fats, proteins and carbohydrates into their smaller soluble units. It is however important to note that digestive enzymes during pregnancy are not allowed. Also the intake of digestive enzymes on empty stomach can be harmful as well.
Digestive enzyme Benefits as supplements for IBS:
There are various potential benefits of digestive enzyme supplements especially for the people with certain digestive concerns. The potential benefits of digestive enzymes are:
- Digestive supplements promote the digestion of food
- Help in the breakdown of fats, proteins and carbohydrates
- Reduce the likelihood of bloating, indigestion and constipation particularly after the intake of meals.
- Promote colon health and supports its function.
- Digestive enzymes for GERD are also proven significant.
The diagnosis of IBS is made on the basis of some prominent symptoms. The main symptoms shown by the patients of IBS are:
- Frequent diarrhea
- Constipation and bloating
- Indigestion and nausea
Digestive Enzymes Side Effects:
Since there are many digestive enzymes health benefits, the commonly reported side effects of using the supplements of digestive enzymes are mentioned below:
- People taking digestive enzyme supplements often report stomach cramps and nausea
- Some digestive enzyme supplements are made from sources such as cow and pig. There are some supplements which are made from plants and fungi such as yeast. The selection of such digestive enzyme supplements therefore is always important and one has to be very careful while selecting such supplements.
- People taking digestive enzyme supplements also report side effects such as headache, frequent sore throat, and upset stomach.
- Some allergic reactions are often produced which result in breathing difficulties, swelling in face, eyes and lips etc
Other Conditions Treated by the Digestive Enzyme Supplements:
The digestive enzyme natural supplements are used for the treatment of some other health concerns such as:
- Cystic fibrosis
- Chronic pancreatic insufficiency such as pancreatitis
- Pancreatic tumors or cancers
- Removed pancreas or removal of some of its parts
- Shwachman diamond syndrome
- Celiac disease which is a serious genetic autoimmune disease triggered by the intake of gluten protein. The intake of gluten results in damaging villi of small intestine.
- Crohn’s disease which is an inflammatory bowel disease resulting in moderate to acute inflammation of digestive tract.
Digestive Enzymes and Weight Loss:
As far as weight control is concerned, the digestive enzymes can also play a significant role. For example, lipase enzyme help to breakdown fats into smaller units. As we consume fat rich diet it is important to burn the calories of else excessive fats will be stored in the body causing a person to get obese. Taking lipase supplements ensure faster rate of fat metabolism and hence reduces the risk of fat accumulation in blood vessels. In the same way, enzymes to breakdown proteins such as protease also help to breakdown proteins and release out the toxins. The accumulation of toxins in the body can intervene with the fat metabolism and can make a person obese as well. Hence the supplements of digestive enzymes can be used to reduce weight.
The Bottom Line:
The use of digestive enzyme supplements is common for the treatment of various disorders of digestive system. In most of the cases, the digestive enzyme supplements are used for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome known as IBS. The pills are often chewable and are digestive enzyme supplements are available online. In most of the pills, combination of digestive enzymes is used to boost up the rate of digestion in the body. However, there are certain limitations of using such supplements as they can also result in allergic reactions.
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