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Digestive Enzymes

1802 Views 12 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Trudyg
Has anyone tried enzyme supplements? I'm taking Amylase (Tyler) now, and it really seems to be helping. I read that people with IBS don't have enough enzymes to digest food properly (because of the chronic inflammation of the intestinal lining).
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quote:ead that people with IBS don't have enough enzymes to digest food properly (because of the chronic inflammation of the intestinal lining)
False. IBSers digest food just fine. There is no chronic inflammation in IBS.
From what I've read, there is often at least mild inflammation (which is not easy to detect on x-rays) as well as flattening and destruction of the intestinal villi in IBS, so enzyme supplementation seems to be a good idea. It's been a help to me, anyway. Doctors often give Creon (pancreatic enzyme) for digestive problems, but I've done well with the plant-based types.
I think that individuals that have problems with inflamation of the intestines have other issues besides IBS (IBD). But, that does not mean that IBS suffers digest food just fine, as Flux has stated. It is a fact that many IBS suffers do have problems with broad spectrum or combinational carbohydrate malabsorption. Enzyme difiencies can be gentic or caused by intestinal injury. In many cases, supplemental enzymes or bacteria based products (like Digestive Advantage IBS) that produce dietary enzymes after colonization of the intestinal epithelium are high effective in reducing the symptoms of IBS.
Giardia is a fairly common parasite in this country, and this microscopic parasite becomes imbedded in the upper small intestine (where digestion occurs) and flattens the intestinal villi, resulting in a lack of enzymes. I had Giardia for over a year with severe IBS symptoms before it was finally diagnosed. I treated the infection with natural supplements and am feeling pretty good now but think I have a little residual damage, so I usually take an amylase supplement if I'm having carbs. I think most types of gut critters (parasites, bacteria, yeast, etc) can cause this flattening of the villi in various degrees. Most people, though, just don't have enough enzymes to handle the glut of sugar that comes with the standard American diet (white bread, white rice, white pasta, etc)
So, you had IBS symptoms but not IBS? Lots of people do, you know. That's why so many people get a quick diagnosis of ibs and many years later discover they actually have something very different and very treatable--and a very lazy doctor. Those of us who have had all the tests and know for a fact we have ibs know that there is no one-size-fits-all cure, only very individualized management of pain and symptoms. While these techniques always include diet, exercise, medications/supplements and some sort of mental component, each of us has to discover for ourselves what works. My 'white' diet is a killer for some while the soy so highly recommended by others will keep me on the throne for hours.I don't want to seem mean spirited, I just get so tired of newcomers who suddenly have all the answers even though they have only had ibs for a short time. I've had it for 40+ years. It's no picnic, but you deal with it and you take all this new information with a grain of salt. I hope you find what works for you and that some of what you pass on will help others. Just try and keep it short and to the point (not like this book I just wrote
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Yes, some doctors are lazy, but most are just not educated enough about parasites. They're taught in medical school it's just a Third World problem. Not so these days. They also don't know that most labs are not trained in detecting parasites. I sympathize with your wanting to find answers. I had what they called IBS-D for a long, long time (down to 75 lb) before I got some answers, and the damage had been done by then. It's been a long struggle finding out what to eat, and I don't want to be the Sugar Police, but cutting down on sugar is what helped me most in the long run.
So what do those of us who have been told "its IBS" do when we don't have IBS? I've been through three doctors (going to see a 4th on Thursday). They've seen some mild inflamation around the anus and claim "yup, its IBS" even though I have none of the symptoms you guys have.
SeaDoo- You scour these boards for every test anyone says you should have in order to diagnose IBS and then go to your new doctor. Armed with your list, you sit down and ask "What tests have I had?" and "What were the results?" and "What constitutes normal for this test?". Then you ask to have the tests you have not yet had and maybe have again some of the tests that had results that didn't seem right. Go over the results. Educate yourself. Pretty soon you will sense if your doctor is worth staying with or trading in on a better model. Once you get one who you can work with (trust, feedback, that sort of thing)hang in there and keep trying--there is not a cure for ibs and you have to discover what works for you through trial and error (lots of error!). Good luck. ps-there is no quick fix, miracle cure, potion, pill, quaff, whatever for ibs. the only miracle is how quick your wallet gets light.
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I have scoured the board and posted multiple messages...all to no avail. No one answers any of the questions. The only consenses in the few answers I have gotten here is "that doesn't sound like IBS" yet my doctor found some inflamation and says "yup, its IBS"So, what are the tests?
I had a barium test of some sort, not sure what the point was. Several years later, I had a workup where I was checked for parasites and various other things (you go onto a paper in the toilet bowl and put some poop into little vials, then put the vials into a bag and drop the bag off and an office to be tested). After those tests came back okay I went for a sigmoidoscopy (lower scope) that showed nothing and then for a colonoscopy (by far the easiest test because you're asleep). All the tests came back fine, so they diagnose ibs. By definition, ibs is bowel problems with no problem they can identify. I really like my gi and we worked together to try different meds in an attempt to 1) stop the D and 2)get relief from the pain. Our current regime is Lotronex for the D and hyocyamine for the cramping as needed. I still take immodium as needed (since I'm a woose and don't trust the Lotronex). All in all I do just fine, considering how bad it was. I would also suggest getting your gall bladder checked (I took questran with no change, so that wasn't my trouble) There's something called a *sound like* hideascan??? that some people say you should get. Good Luck.
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Thanks Trudy. I have had:procedure:sigmoidoscopyBarium EnemaDrugs:ImodiumDiphen/Atrop Today:Stool sample and possible Colonoscopy depending on the stool. The imodium and diphen/atrop (just a stronger anti-diarhea med) did nothing for me...even doubling the dosage did not stop my diarhea.Today he prescribed HYOSCYAMINE (.125MG). What is this and what does it do?
hyocyamine I think is just an antispasmodic. It just calms your bowels down, doesn't really stop anything. I take it if I get that gurgle and it usually helps. If I get the actual d then I need immodium.
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