Your digestive difficulties generally aren’t suitable table conversation, but that doesn’t mean you need to suffer in silence. Digestive enzymes can have a profound effect on your symptoms. Below is a list of common digestive disorders and the enzymes that can relieve the symptoms associated with them.
Problem – Flatulence, Bloating, Gas
Enzymes – Alpha-galactosidase – Taken just before consuming gassy foods, such as cabbage, beans, cauliflower and broccoli, it breaks down some of the complex carbohydrates into easily digestible sugars, thus preventing intestinal gas.
Problem – Heartburn
Enzymes – A blend of enzymes such as lipase, protease and amylase – they deactivate some of the body’s pepsin, a stomach enzyme that plays a crucial role in digestion but that surges upward from the stomach in some people, damaging tissue in the esophagus and causing the “burn” in heartburn.
Problem – Dairy Sensitivity
Enzymes – Lactase – It’s estimated that up to 50 million Americans have symptoms of lactose intolerance, sensitivity to dairy foods that can cause bloating, gas, cramps and other digestive problems. We’re born with high levels of lactase, the enzyme that is required to digest a sugar (lactose) in dairy foods. But the levels drop in the first years after birth, so by adulthood, many people don’t have enough lactase to comfortably digest dairy. Supplemental lactase will replace the enzyme that’s missing from the intestine.
Problem – Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Enzymes – IBD involves chronic inflammation of all or part of your digestive tract and primarily includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Both usually involve severe diarrhea, pain, fatigue and weight loss. IBD can be debilitating and sometimes leads to life-threatening complications. Protease enzymes are plant-based and can help alleviate intestinal inflammation associated with IBD.