Common Symptoms of Digestive Enzyme Deficiency

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Common Symptoms of Digestive Enzyme Deficiency

Picture courtesy of BASF on flickr

Are you suffering from malnutrition? If you are suffering from digestive enzyme deficiency, there’s a good chance you are.

It’s hard to believe someone who eats three full, healthy meals a day and takes a multivitamin every morning could be malnourished. But it’s more than possible, especially if your digestive system doesn’t get the enzymes it needs to fully do its job.

Digestive enzymes take the foods we eat and break them down into the nutrients our bodies need to stay strong and healthy. Unfortunately, our bodies don’t always produce enough enzymes to digest food properly.

Even if you eat properly, being careful to consume nutrient-rich foods every day, it won’t do you much good if your body can’t make the best of those nutrients. Also, your body can’t digest food properly without enough enzymes. Not only can improperly digested food seep into the bloodstream and adversely affect on your immune system, it can also gather in the bowels and become toxic, which can result in many ailments and diseases.

What are the Symptoms?

It’s hard to count just how many health problems and symptoms can be caused by a deficiency of digestive enzymes. Some of the possible symptoms include:

  1. Bloating
  2. Constipation
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Dull skin
  5. Fatigue
  6. Hair loss
  7. Hair thinning
  8. Headaches
  9. Indigestion
  10. Insomnia
  11. Joint pain
  12. Mood swings
  13. Rashes
  14. Weak nails
  15. Weight gain

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Also, if you find yourself craving certain foods, this can be a sign that you are suffering from digestive enzyme deficiencies. Food cravings are often your body’s way of telling you that you aren’t getting enough of something it needs.

Chronic enzyme deficiencies have been linked to a variety of health problems, including:

  1. Acne
  2. Allergies
  3. Arthritis
  4. Chronic Fatigue
  5. Depression
  6. Hay Fever
  7. Heart Problems
  8. Hypoglycemia
  9. PMS
  10. Psoriasis
  11. Sinus Infections
  12. The Common Cold

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Making sure your digestive system gets the enzymes it needs to digest food properly is one way to put an end to minor ailments, prevent more serious health problems, and improve your overall health.

Treatment Options

While our bodies produce enzymes naturally, it usually isn’t enough to digest all of the enzyme-deficient foods we eat. So it’s necessary to find other ways to give your body the enzymes it needs.

For the most part, foods naturally contain the enzymes your body needs to properly digest them. Unfortunately, cooking and pasteurization usually kills those enzymes.

Eating foods like raw fruits, vegetables and nuts can help somewhat. However, most foods only contain enough enzymes for you to digest those specific foods. They won’t help you to digest other foods that are lacking in enzymes. Also, raw fruits and vegetables must be grown in nutrient-rich soil to have the most benefit.

The best solution is to take a plant-based digestive enzyme right before every meal. It is suggested that you take one of these enzyme supplements no more than 10 minutes before you eat. You can also sprinkle enzyme powders directly on your food.

Anyone, of any age, can benefit from taking supplemental enzymes. But it is especially important for those 50 years old or older.

There’s seems to be no end to the list of symptoms, illnesses and diseases that can be caused or worsened by digestive enzyme deficiency. But supplemental enzymes are a quick and easy way for you to give your body the enzymes it needs, and improve your health and wellbeing.

Recommended Enzymes

I recommend these enzymes from Life Extension.. Just click on that link and read the reviews left by other customers. I have not found one single complaint, which doesn’t happen often.

Sources:

http://www.betternutrition.com/enzyematichealth/columns/askthenaturopath/697
http://www.healthynewage.com/symptoms.html
http://www.purehealthsystems.com/enzyme-deficiency.html
http://www.afibbers.org/resources/digestivewellness.pdf

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10 Responses

  1. Jenn says:

    Charles thank you for this article. Very informative and I learnt a few things.

    Can you please recommend good plant-based digestive enzyme supplements? There are so many to choose from!

    • Charles W. James says:

      Hi Jenn,

      Yes I can. I will update my article with a new “Recommended” section as soon as I have a chance.

      Take care,
      Charles

    • Mike says:

      Jenn….I’m taking Ultimate Enzymes Veggie Caps from Black Hills Health Products, http://www.the healthnuts.net. I looked into comparisons on the internet and they seemed to be the highest in activity units. Cost is $50/bottle of 270capsules, plant based. I take 2/meal/snacks and one in between meals and these capsules have completely eliminated my gastro and other problems after many years of going to doctors with no diagnosis. It is just unbelievable to me how one could go thru so many tests and so many doctors and the only thing they could come up with was severe lactose intolerance. lactase tablets alone would not come close to solving my problems and quite by accident I hit upon enzymes on the internet. Good luck!

  2. Mike says:

    I recently discovered that I have been enzyme deficient for a very long time, not with any physician assistance, however. Many years ago I developed severe gastro distress (rumbling, dia, bad gas, etc) which came on all of a sudden. It was accompanied by a severe craving for sugary foods, severe tiredness after eating, sinus problems, lower back pain, mood swings, and a thick whitish coating on my tongue. I determined that the conditions were much worse when eating sugary foods. Doctors only determined that I had become severely lactose intolerant, however, taking lactase tablets or limiting milk products only minimally improved my symptoms. After years of seeing doctors, having a multitude of tests done, all to no avail, i accidentally came across digestive enzyme defincieny on the internet. A few months ago I started taking an enzyme called Ultimate Enzymes, along with extra lactase tablets, and as long as I take these every time I eat something my symptoms are almost a non issue. The white stuff on my tongue has completely disappeared, as well as the gastro problems, and I feel like a new person. Gone are the sugar cravings and when I do eat sweets as long as I take the enzyme tablets I’m fine. Various sites downplay taking enzymes but I’m one example of the medical world not diagnosing problems and the enzymes correcting them. Why did this condition develope all at once is a good question. I remember waking up one night long ago with the gastro and sugar craving issues and have lived with them until this recent enzyme revelation.

    • Charles W. James says:

      I’m glad that you found how to control your symptoms. It looks like gut dysbiosis (opportunistic and bad bacteria overgrowth in your gut) – this happens when your good bacteria becomes too weak to keep those others under control.

      There could be many reasons why this happened in the 1st place: antibiotics, vaccines, low stomach acid allowing undigested foods to go further in the digestive chain, gluten etc…

  3. Liz says:

    Does anyone know where/how to get tested for enzyme deficiency? I live in France but the person I am enquiring for is in England. Doctors in both countries have literally ignored her pleas for help and she has been going from one antacid treatment to another for the best part of her 25 years of age!

    • Charles W. James says:

      Liz, I don’t know where you can do this in England. Antacids can be extremely dangerous and I fear your friend is actually not suffering from too much acid but rather from low stomach acidity. Symptoms of low stomach acidity and high stomach acidity are very similar. Unfortunately doctors rarely test the stomach acidity levels before prescribing antacids and this can lead to disasters. This is a crucial topic – please wait a few days, I will try to post an article about this topic.

  4. Dee says:

    I recently discovered how different family members have a vast difference in enzyme levels as tested by a stool test. My daughter had 21 measured enzymes, I had 12, while my son had 0. We had the same diet. The son needs to supplement with enzymes for life.

  5. Barbara says:

    I have tried supplementing with digestive enzymes but they always make me throw up…even hours after taking them, during the night, I wake up and have to vomit. What could be causing this? I had a lot of testing done a few months ago and my enzyme levels did come back as being low. I probably also have low stomach acid and have tried HCL supplementation but had to stop as it was making things worse (aggravated diverticulitis) and I also have a salicylate sensitivity so a lot of herbal supplements and things are a no go for me too (including ACV but I am considering trying it again anyway).

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