Using Digestive Enzymes

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jim83
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 3/17/2009 10:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Just wondering if anyone has explored the use of digestive enzymes in their treatment plan. My son was diagnosed with CD 2 years ago and had all the classic symptoms of diarrea, passing lots of blood, going frequently,etcc except he never did have any stomach pain. Dr. says it was was the upper end of moderate CD (not yet severe).
 
I did a lot of researching about CD and what is was doing to the linings and the positives being sen of probiotics. Based on the theory of bad bacteria and overwhelming it with good bacteria in the gut, I thought to look research why bad bacteria thrive.
 
My reading took me to the same point inevitably that bad bacteria feed on undigested food in the gut and because CD'ers have small intestine problems with fully digesting food (and because some of us are born with an inadequate amount of natural digestive enzymes right from the start) then this "food" is passed on to being consumed by the bad bacteria in the gut. My thought then was why not try to limit their food.
 
To make a long story short, my son has been taking diegestive enzymes with every meal for over a year and a half now. He has been on imuran for the same amount of time but was on 50mg for half that time and bumped up to 100mg for the other half. During that time he has had diarrea only once and that was when he had a bad cold during university exams (high stress and weakened body). He eats whatever he wants except milk but stays away from all refined sugars (honey ok). Never has a bowel movement that isn't formed (except the one time I mentioned) and goes only once per day but sometimes maybe twice. He does have a small amount of blood in stool but Dr. states this is because his imuran dose is too low (stated his effective dose for his weight is 200 mg - double what he is now taking).
 
I'm not saying the enzymes are the way to go but each time he goes to his GI the doctor is continually puzzled that there isn't really anything wrong with him (Other than the blood showing). The GI keeps saying that things are bound to get worse eventually but we are not waiting by to see. My son is physically active with sports, weight training and is going to start the P90X workout program (for those that don't know it it is intense). This gives an indication of his general well-being.
 
I am curious to know if others have similar stories of trying enzymes with any success or not, knowing that everyone acts differently. The science about using them sures seems to make a lot of sense where lack of digestion is a highly documented problem for both IBS/IBD sufferers.
 
Thanks (sorry for length).

EMom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 3/17/2009 11:11 AM (GMT -7)   
My son uses both digestive enzymes and a good probiotic. I had been using digestive enzymes for my occasional indigestion for many years prior to his diagnosis, so it seemed like a good thing to me that he should take them, too. He also takes them after each meal. I have no idea if they help him, but imo they can't hurt! Welcome to the forum, by the way!
Mom to 16 year old son diagnosed in June, 2007.
Omega 3s, digestive enzymes, probiotics, vit. C, calcium w/D3, a good multivitamin and SCD legal yogurt
Started The Maker's Diet in Sept. '07. Incorporate Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) recipes, too.


patientspiders
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 3/17/2009 11:55 AM (GMT -7)   
I am definitely a fan of probiotics and digestive enzymes. They have helped me immensely over the years. I just wish I could get myself back into the habit of taking them every day- I've been so bad lately! I've never been able to go "med free", but I believe it was the introduction of enzymes that originally allowed me to space my remicade infusions further and further apart. Before the digestive enzymes, I needed infusions every 4 weeks. After I started the enzymes, I was able to go up to 16 weeks (which I know is bizarre and unheard of but insurance messes up plans sometimes, right?).

And I definitely think there may be something to the "bad bacteria" theory. Regardless, I feel the enzymes make a world of difference.
27f, dx'd CD July '05 after 6 fistula/abscess surgeries
Remicade '05 through '08, with no other maintenance meds
Noticing a real difference with a Gluten-Free diet.
Currently on:
Cimzia (loading doses 2-12-09)
Probiotics, Digestive Enzymes, and Prednisone


LMills
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 3/17/2009 12:24 PM (GMT -7)   
What kind of digestive enzymes do all of you use and when/how many do you take? My doctor said I didn't need them, but I thought I'd like to try again.
20 years old, Diagnosed with moderate to severe Crohn's and Colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking:
Prednisone 10 mg, pentasa 2 pills 4x a day, bentyl as needed, omeprazole in the morning, prenatal multivitamin, humira every other week, and Align probiotics given to me by my GI.
Surgery for ectopic pregnancy most likely the result of severe Crohn's inflammation in July of 2008.
Diet almost completely without refined sugars, wheat, flour, gluten, high lactose dairy, and/or junk food in general.
Learning how to live again.
"He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how."


patientspiders
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 3/17/2009 12:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I use the brand from Enzymedica called "Digest". I buy bottles of 180 capsules, and I think they usually run $36 a bottle. I SHOULD be taking 2 with every meal - that was the routine that used to work best for me personally. The bottle says that they are "vegetarian and vegan" and "Contain No: diary, preservatives, salt, sucrose, soy, wheat, yeast, nuts, gluten, artificial colors, or flavors."

I tried the "Digest Gold" once, but they actually didn't work as well for me. I would imagine that enzymes, like probiotics and anything else really, require trying a few different brands maybe before you find the right one for you? I don't know. I got lucky and found these right off the bat and have stuck with them ever since (except for that one trip down the "gold" road).
27f, dx'd CD July '05 after 6 fistula/abscess surgeries
Remicade '05 through '08, with no other maintenance meds
Noticing a real difference with a Gluten-Free diet.
Currently on:
Cimzia (loading doses 2-12-09)
Probiotics, Digestive Enzymes, and Prednisone


LMills
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 3/17/2009 1:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you!! I will be looking around then. Are the good ones generally refrigerated or can they all sit out at room temperature?
20 years old, Diagnosed with moderate to severe Crohn's and Colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking:
Prednisone 10 mg, pentasa 2 pills 4x a day, bentyl as needed, omeprazole in the morning, prenatal multivitamin, humira every other week, and Align probiotics given to me by my GI.
Surgery for ectopic pregnancy most likely the result of severe Crohn's inflammation in July of 2008.
Diet almost completely without refined sugars, wheat, flour, gluten, high lactose dairy, and/or junk food in general.
Learning how to live again.
"He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how."


EMom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 3/17/2009 1:34 PM (GMT -7)   
I use Ultra-Zyme by Nature's Plus. Love them. They are a blend of several enzymes and actually have probiotics as well. They do not require refrigeration and are also free from all the common allergens--soy, milk, wheat, yeast. My son takes one with every meal.

spookyh
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1342
   Posted 3/17/2009 1:38 PM (GMT -7)   
I really like digestive enzymes, and my new GI was glad to hear I was using them. The brand I use are Prozymes from GI Pro Health. Kinda pricey, but they work. I take 1 pill if I only eat a small meal, and 2 if I eat a larger one (with lots of protein and fat).

EDIT: I've heard people say they gained some much needed weight once they started enzymes.

patientspiders
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 3/17/2009 3:39 PM (GMT -7)   
The Digest ones I mentioned don't require a fridge.

I really can't say enough good things about digestive enzymes... whatever brand you choose! I've never even heard a GI utter the words "digestive enzymes", so it's refreshing to hear that there are at least a few docs out there who believe they're worth the time. Lol.
27f, dx'd CD July '05 after 6 fistula/abscess surgeries
Remicade '05 through '08, with no other maintenance meds
Noticing a real difference with a Gluten-Free diet.
Currently on:
Cimzia (loading doses 2-12-09)
Probiotics, Digestive Enzymes, and Prednisone


spookyh
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1342
   Posted 3/17/2009 4:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I think my new GI doctor might be a keeper. When I told her I was eating SCD, she actually seemed interested and wrote it all down. She was very happy when I said I didn't eat lactose, and when I told her about the digestive enzymes, she said I could be a model for her other patients. I think if more people used enzymes, there wouldn't be such a need for acid reflux meds.

I'll be getting a colonoscopy in a couple of months, and she told me she takes a long time because she is very thorough and does a lot of biopsies. It seems most doctors like to just run through patients as fast as possible.

jim83
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 3/18/2009 4:21 AM (GMT -7)   

When researching enzymes I came across this article which helped me http://www.digestive-enzymes.com/comparisons.htm. It has a link inside it ("chart #1") which gives a constituent breakdown and cost. Of course the people doing the comparison have their brand come out on top but I have been getting them for a year now with good and prompt service. At $45 for 270 capsules the deal is good based on whether you believe all the numbers in the chart. Of course, none of this marke is regulated so anyone of the brands could be fudging their labels.

 

My son used them 2 per meal so its about a 3 month supply (still seems like a good deal for the most potent brand out there).


Roni
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2480
   Posted 3/18/2009 12:12 PM (GMT -7)   
I use dig. enzymes with every meal. Life Brand available at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada. They cost about 15 bucks. I also take Primal defence probiotics and am also starting Florastor.
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