Digestion: What Doctors Won't Tell You
Essentials Of Life was officially established in 1994, but was actually founded in the mid 70's, unintentionally, by my wife June, as a result of health problems she had when we were living in Vermont. Despite one doctors' suggestion that she examine alternatives before electing to have surgery, a dairy product triggered an attack that left with no choice but to have her gall bladder removed.
After the operation, we assumed that her digestive problems would be history.
By the time we moved back to New Hampshire, in 1982, June's digestive problems had resumed. Doctors, even a referred specialist in gastroenterology (digestive system) didn't seem to have the answers. She was diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), but even the recommended dietary changes made little difference. All too often, stomach pain became a normal interruption to her sleep pattern. She read all of the medical books and related articles she could find.
Frustrated and determined to get well, she began reading about natural alternatives. A whole new world opened up when she discovered digestive enzymes. Unlike harsh OTC drugs that interact with and deplete stomach acid, digestive enzymes work in the pancreas to properly break the food down. Foods were once rich with built-in enzymes but have become deficient. Less than two weeks after taking enzymes with meals, stomach cramps previously occurring within a half hour after eating, became a rarity instead of the norm. For under $20.00, years of pain and thousands of dollars in medical costs were virtually erased and Essentials Of Life was being born.
We know that digestive enzymes may not be the single remedy for every stomach disorder. But, we do know that it isn't normal to be sick. Behind every symptom there's a cause. June's dedication to learning about her illness ultimately led to the quality of life she can finally enjoy. More than twenty five years before Essentials Of Life was established, Dr. Jim Perry in Vermont unknowingly planted a seed as he implied that there may be other options to surgery.
Over 7 billion dollars a year is spent on over-the-counter and prescription digestive aids for symptoms including acid indigestion, digestive upsets, gas, bloat, poor elimination, and more. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body depends on the healthy digestion, absorption, and assimilation of food.
Unfortunately, cooking and processing methods destroy enzymes in our food that are so necessary for proper digestion. Our bodies can't manufacture enough of the right ones. As a result, our bodies attempt to compensate by withdrawing enzymes needed for digestion from its own "bank". Over time, these heavy withdrawals coupled with skimpy deposits lead to a bankrupt digestive system and ultimately, a lifetime of improper digestion, poor nutrient absorption, and less than ideal cell regeneration-degeneration. Tagamet, Pepcid, Tums, and other antacids, designed to reduce stomach acid, are merely masking the symptoms and may make a bad situation worse by disrupting the body's natural digestive process.
When there is insufficient hydrochloric/gastric acid, whether naturally or from taking antacids, nutrients cannot be absorbed. Antacids also reduce hydrochloric acid so that food isn't broken down completely, resulting in fermentation, allergic symptoms, and painful intestinal problems. Meat needs large amounts of acid to be broken down. Without adequate stomach acid it rots in the intestine, inviting bacteria that can cause painful gas, bloating, and if chronic, colon infections and eventually cancer. In masking the symptoms in the stomach, are we neglecting the real cause of the problems in the pancreas? The pancreas is a digestive organ in the abdomen, located just below the stomach. The primary job of the pancreas is to produce enzymes required for the digestion and absorption of food.
Each day the pancreas secretes about 1.5 quarts of pancreatic juice into the small intestine. The enzymes secreted by the pancreas break down food by breaking the chemical bonds that hold food molecules together. Enzymes secreted include lipases which digest fat, proteases which digest proteins, and amylases which digest starch molecules.
Do You Need Your Gallbladder?
The gall bladder stores bile, and releases it in optimum quantities when it is needed. Without your gall bladder, the liver will still produce bile, but the bile will leak inside you because it will not have a proper place to go.The spleen breaks down worn-out red blood cells into bile salts and other substances. (Even worn out blood cells get used). Bile salts are normal in the body when in normal amounts. The liver removes excess bile salts and wastes and sends them to the gall bladder for storage. The liver is the body's principal chemical plant. If a man built a plant to perform all the chemical functions someone's liver could perform, the plant would cover 500 acres. While the products are in the gall bladder, water is reabsorbed and so the waste products get more and more concentrated and form bile.
Bile is needed for 3 things:
• It neutralizes the acid from the stomach (because bile is very alkaline)
• It breaks down fats so that they can be digested
• It is a natural laxative for the colon
Roughly 20 million Americans suffer from gallstones, and 750,000 of them have their gallbladders removed each year. There are 800,000 hospitalizations and 2 billion dollars spent annually on gallbladder disease.
from Living Without A Gallbladder by Dr. Loretta Lanphier, ND, CN, HHP:
For most people the pain of a malfunctioning gallbladder eventually becomes unbearable. After several trips to the emergency room the mention of surgery is met with certain approval. Unfortunately this seemingly simple solution may or may not end the pain and discomfort of gallbladder disease. The probable after-effects of gallbladder surgery are never discussed with the patient which leaves the patient with the impression that all will be back-to-normal after surgery. But it doesn't take long to realize that all is "not well" and the patient soon begins to feel very betrayed by their surgeon and doctor who did not prepare them for "life without a gallbladder."
Contrary to medical opinion the gallbladder is of use to the body. The gallbladder is a small sac underneath your liver that stores and secretes bile, a digestive fluid that breaks down fats. Gallstones form when the chemical compounds in bile become unbalanced -- no one's sure exactly why this happens, but a diet high in fat often makes the problem worse. Since bile is actually produced by the liver, it's possible to survive without a gallbladder, but often not without unpleasant digestive tract complications.The gallbladder is like a pump. Without it, the liver can't secrete enough bile to properly digest a full meal. Many people experience symptoms such as diarrhea, gas, abdominal pain, bloating, indigestion, constipation, increased allergies, liver congestion, itchy skin and autoimmune diseases. Some patients suffer from dumping syndrome, in which food is "dumped" too quickly into the intestines from the stomach.
Suggestions for living without a gallbladder:
If your gallbladder is removed your Liver will still produce bile. It won't be the amount that the gallbladder was able to store, but enough. Eat lower fat foods and smaller portions at each meal.
• Diet is extremely important. Eat low-fat, high fiber, organic and healthy. Eliminate refined carbohydrates and hydrogenated oils.
• Every four months a liver cleanse or flush should be performed. People without gallbladders may develop stones in the liver which will lead to a sluggish liver. Remember that the liver is the main filter of the body.
• Colon cleanse - Two times a year.
• Digestive Enzymes with Ox Bile- You will need to take enzymes for the rest of your life in order to digest the good fats (Omega 3) which are essential for good health.
Ox Bile is a suitable supplement to the liver's production of bile. Bile is naturally produced by the body and is used in the process of digestion. Symptoms of constipation and a tan colored stool may indicate that the body's production of bile is less than optimal. Ox Bile supports the pancreas, gall bladder and liver in producing bile salts and helps digest fats. Binds with cholesterol which is then flushed out of the body. Reduces bloating, gas, nausea and pain after a high fat meal. Bile is essential in peristalsis - the wavy action that moves food through the intestines.
• Reduce chemical overload on the liver (pre-packaged food, personal care products, lawn products, perfumes, cosmetics, etc.)
• Drink only filtered water - Try to drink 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water every day.
• Take a quality Probiotic
• Reduce animal intake (meat and dairy) - When consuming animal products make sure they are free-range, organic and hormone-free.
• Eliminate white sugar and white flour
• Exercise daily for 30 minutes. Walking is highly suggested.
• Get 30 minutes of sunshine on as much of your body as is legal, everyday, for adequate Vitamin D production.
Digestin Digestive Enzymes from Progressive Laboratories
Digestin... Digestive Aid For Protein, Fat And Starch
Digestin™ is a two-phase digestive enzyme capsule that works in both the upper and lower digestive tract. Its exclusive enteric matrix formulation allows part of its enzymes to be released in the gastric phase and part in the enteric phase of digestion.
Contains Bile Powder - Supports fat digestion in the small intestine. Useful for people who have had their gall bladder removed. Supports the pancreas, gall bladder and liver in producing bile salts and helps digest fats.
Acida-Zyme HCI w/Pepsin from Progressive Laboratories
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Acida-Zyme Betaine HCI ... Digestive Aid With Pepsin
Acida-Zyme is a digestive aid containing betaine HCl for patients with insufficient stomach acid.
Taken with meals, Acida-Zyme particularly supports digestion of protein and fats.
Super Papaya Enzyme Plus
An advanced, more powerful digestive aid, this 100% natural "after meal" supplement may be especially helpful when looking for a higher level of support. Each serving contains 15mg of delicious papaya fruit fortified with well-known enzymes, including papain, protease, amylase, and bromelain, which may help improve the absorption of food and protein digestion. Peppermint and chlorophyll have been added to refresh taste and sweeten breath.
Free Of: yeast, wheat, milk or milk derivatives, lactose, sugar, preservatives, soy, artificail color, artificial flavor.
contains sodium (less than 5mg per serving).
Directions: Adults, chew 3 tablets following meals, or dissolve 1 or 2 tablets in mouth when needed. Warning: If you are pregnant, nursing or taking medications, consult with your doctor before use.
Probiotic Broad Spectrum From Progressive Laboratories
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A specially developed probiotic formula featuring 10 high quality probiotic species, for a total of about 10 Billion CFU (colony forming units) per caplet. This product also features the patented BIO-tract® delivery system that protects the live organisms from gastric acid to ensure their delivery into the intestines. This formula also contains fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) which are added to provide food for bacterial proliferation. The best part is ... No Refrigeration is Required!! Simply keep this product in a cool, dry place for best storage.
Bio-tract®'s exclusive gel matrix technology allows for a gel protective layer to continuously form and erode around the tablet; releasing probiotic organisms as it travels through the digestive tract providing controlled delivery and ensuring the organisms remain active at consistent levels throughout the day. You can count on Probiotic Broad Spectrum to deliver the highest level of all day digestive, intestinal and immune support essential for healthy digestion, natural regularity, intestinal function and immune health.
DGL Complex From Progressive Laboratories
DGL, or deglycyrrhizinated licorice root, heals stomach ulcers, promotes healthy digestion, and alleviates GERD, which is so prevalent in today’s society. And it does all this without interfering with cortisol levels. DGL is powerful because it doesn’t just relieve symptoms, it heals the digestive tract.
The natural ingredients in DGL Complex from Progressive Laboratories supports the ability of the gastric lining to protect and repair itself without upsetting the acidic environment of the stomach.
Take one capsule three times daily, or more, as directed by a health care professional.