At our clinic we screen all patients for digestive disturbances and possible requirements for digestive support. Many patients have digestive problems- gas, bloating, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, etc. and some patients have diseases of the digestive tract such as chron's, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and others. All of these conditions are indications of digestive difficulties. Digestion is the first step for using our life sustaining foods that we eat. If digestion is working poorly then we are guaranteed of absorbing much less of our food into our blood and cells! Digestion is vital to optimal health and we do everything we can to get digestion working smoothly and correctly.
We screen all patients for possible needs for digestive enzymes. Stomach enzymes such as hydrochloric acid and pepsin are frequently needed by patients. Pancreatic enzymes that support the breakdown and absorption of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins are needed also. Occasionally bile salts are needed to help emulsify fats and support the functioning of the liver and gall bladder. Sometimes we recommend broad-spectrum plant based enzymes for a while to help a patient digest and absorb their nutrients well. In the long run, I try to assist each patient in making their own digestive enzymes better. What can be done to help the stomach make its own acids and pepsin? What can be done to assist the pancreas in making pancreatic enzymes at appropriate levels? What can be done to help the liver and gall bladder release its bile salts? I ask myself these questions all the time.
Often the answers to these questions involves ridding the body of infections that may be affecting the stomach, liver, or small intestines. Occasionally the answer may be to detoxify the liver and encourage the flow of bile with specific herbs. Often a patient is lacking in a certain micronutrient that is needed to manufacture an enzyme.
Frequently we supplement patients with digestive enzymes in the beginning of treatments and as the patient becomes healthier we no longer need to give digestive support. When the stomach, liver, pancreas, and intestines heal and we have adequate nutrition it is uncommon to need permanent digestive support. Please feel free to call with questions.