Some people don’t really like chewing food which makes them swallow big pieces into their stomach. This often results in bloating, gassiness, and acid reflex. The digestive tract is there to do its work but the discomfort caused by unpleasant gases can irritate you and others near you.
What Causes Gases and Bloating?
Gases and bloating occur when there is a problem in the digestive tract. The right kind of enzymes is needed for the right problem. Bloating is caused when there are insufficient enzymes for digestion. Air trapped in the tract can also cause gas.
What do the Digestive Enzymes do?
The digestive enzymes are the solution to get rid of those noxious gases. Enzymes are responsible for carrying out chemical reactions in the body. Digestive enzymes work on breaking down the components of foods. The fats, carbohydrates, and proteins contained in foods are broken down as a part of digestion and the additional enzymes can make the process efficient.
The pancreas produces digestive enzymes to help them pass to the small intestine. Not being able to produce the enzymes for digestion makes you gassy and bloated. Some people will have a deficiency of these enzymes so that they have to take alternative enzymes on prescription.
Different Types of Digestive Enzymes
Different digestive problems need different enzymes to treat the condition. There may be a difficulty digesting complex carbohydrates, cruciferous vegetables, legumes, lactose, protein, or fat. All nutrients will require varying enzymes to treat the problem caused. The digestive enzymes that can be found naturally in foods are diastases, amylases, invertases, and proteases.
Amylase will be needed to treat digestion problem if you are having problems in digesting complex carbohydrates. Legumes and cruciferous vegetables can be difficult to digest for which you may need a supplement containing alpha-galactosidase.
Lactose intolerance can make digestion problematic which needs something containing lactase. For protein, you may need protease or bromelain for easing digestion. Fats can also be difficult for some people to digest. This will need lipase for treating the underlying problem.
What is Gluten Sensitivity?
Gluten-containing foods can cause problems for the stomach. This may also be referred to as gluten intolerance. The symptoms include bloating, diarrhea, headaches, abdominal pain, fatigue, skin problems, depression, and weight loss. Eating gluten-containing foods can trigger the symptoms as early as 2 hours. Such intolerance usually develops in early childhood. However, it can also manifest later in life. It is also observed that having gluten intolerance later in life lasts permanently.
Celiac disease is caused by gluten intolerance in the body which can get severe. A gluten-free diet is, therefore, the first-line treatment for treating the symptoms. Celiac disease which does not even respond to a gluten-free diet leads to a life-threatening condition. It may take up to 2 to 3 weeks for the symptoms of celiac disease to start disappearing. It may take 3 months to restore healthy small intestine function.
Gluten rich foods include wheat, wheat germ, rye, barley, bulgur, couscous, farina, and graham flour. Some researchers have found that a pill can be helpful in treating celiac disease symptoms. This is done by preventing gluten from being ingested in the body. It is not wise to avoid gluten if you do not suffer from celiac disease.
What are the Benefits of Digestive Enzymes?
Medication cannot always be sufficient for the treatment of irregular bowel syndrome. Therefore, digestive enzymes come into a role which can also be used as a part of lifestyle change. Doctors often prescribe medicines for treating constipation, diarrhea, stomach discomfort and pain. Although the medicines can be prescribed in combination with lifestyle changes such as reducing stress, regular exercise, and healthy diet, it may still not work. In this case, the doctor will look for other options to treat the symptoms and discomfort caused by them. Irregular bowel movements should not persist for longer periods of time as the condition may become severe.
Are there any Side Effects of Using Digestive Enzymes?
The side effects of digestive enzymes are reports commonly. The effects can range from rare to serious and should be taken care of. The common side effects are bloating, gas, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, stomach discomfort, greasy stools, headaches, vertigo, and weight loss. All these effects can cause discomfort but are not that severe. More severe side effects include having allergic reactions, breathing difficulty, swelling, and hives. Stomach pains can also get severe if not treated sooner.
Who Needs Digestive Enzymes?
Digestive enzymes are needed for people having signs of digestive discomfort. Look for other symptoms if you are having persistent bloating. There is something wrong with your gut if you feel itching after having a meal. You may also be having excessive gases. Bloating also makes you have smaller meals as you feel full most of the time. Individuals having stomach discomfort more often can take digestive enzymes after looking for the safety of ingredients included.
Natural Foods Containing Digestive Enzymes
Raw Honey – Honey is highly nutritious and can help you fight many diseases. The digestive system can also benefit from the ailing properties of honey. Raw honey contains all 4 digestive enzymes and is highly effective for aiding digestion.
Ginger – Ginger has several health benefits. It is a natural healer and can also aid digestion. It has been used as traditional medicine since ancient times. Ginger helps the foods to move smoothly through the digestive tract and make bowel movements regular.
Pineapple – The tropical fruit is eaten in a variety of ways. It is healthy and contains enzymes that aid digestion.
Papaya – Papaya contains proteases to aid protein digestion in the body. It is advised to eat ripe papaya in its raw form. This saves the digestive enzymes from being destroyed in the cooking process.
Mango – Mangoes are rich in amylase enzymes which help in breaking down carbohydrates for better absorption in the body.
Bananas – Bananas are healthy for the digestive system. They contain the enzymes that aid digestion. Hence, they are commonly included in the diet when you are having stomach problems. Bananas are nutritious as they help your body work well.
Avocados – Avocados are one of the healthiest fruits. It can be eaten in salads or spread on toast. It can be a part of a healthy diet as diet watchers want to consume few calories and more nutrition.
More Facts on Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes are produced by different organs such as the liver, pancreas, small intestine, stomach, and salivary glands.
The supplements available containing digestive enzymes are made up of extracts from animals and plants. Other microbial sources are also used for producing supplements.
The bowel syndrome can be treated with the help of digestive enzymes from natural foods as well as supplements although such studies are not conclusive. There is a connection however in between bowel function regularity and the digestive enzymes.
Is It Safe to Take Digestive Enzymes Supplements?
It is better to take precautions while choosing a supplement. You should look for ingredients in the supplement that may not suit your body. Food sensitivities can cause problems. This is why the ingredients such as gluten, soy, and dairy should be noted if there are mentioned on the label pack. A supplement should be taken with a meal to make them absorb within the body.