Digestive Enzyme Deficiency Is Prevalent
Sixty percent of those above 50 years old have digestive enzyme deficiency. Virtually one hundred percent those above 60 years old have digestive enzyme deficiency. The effect will be nutritional deficiency that are very common in older age group. The stomach and digestive symptoms may be not much.
But more common is bloated abdomen, reflux esophagitis symptoms, uncomfortable epigastric that last longer than usual especially certain animal protein and legumes food.
Stomach produce acid for protein digestion and when older age group people complaint of epigastric discomfort they were prescribe proton pump inhibitors(ppi) like pantoprazole or omeprazole and other ppi that compounding the problems of nutritional deficiency further. It is a paradox that the symptoms can be rectified with acid hydrochloride rather than blocking the acid production.
Other related enzymes re from pancreas mainly when food leaving the stomach into duodenum and jejunum. The enzymes are Lipase, Protease, Amylase. They are produce by pancreas.
Lipase works with bile to break down the fat in your food so it can be used by your body. If there is not enough of it in your system, you may experience diarrhea and fatty stools. Your body may not get the healthy fat it needs as well.
Protease helps break down proteins in your food and keeps your intestines free from bacteria, yeast and protozoa. If you have insufficient protease, you may have a higher risk for intestinal infections.
Amylase helps convert the carbohydrates in your food into sugar. Shortage of this enzyme may result in diarrhea due to the undigested starch in your colon.
Your pancreas works hard to produce these three types of enzymes, and can generate up to 8 cups of these daily.
What is the pancreas, and what is its purpose in our body? Most people are familiar with the name, but may not be familiar about what this organ does. Essentially, your pancreas plays an important role in your digestive system by producing enzymes that help break down food in your intestines.
What is pancreas?
Located right behind your stomach in the abdominal area, the pancreas is a gland that measures 6 to 10 inches long and extends horizontally across your abdomen. Its shape has been often compared to a fish because it has a large head and a small tail,1 and is divided into four parts:
Head: It is located on the right side of the abdomen where your stomach meets the duodenum, the first section of the small intestine.
Neck: This is a thin section between the head and the body of the pancreas.
Body: The middle part of the pancreas.
Tail: This small tip is located on the left side of your abdomen, and sits very near the spleen.
The pancreas is actually comprised of two types of glands defined by their tissue names, the exocrine and endocrine tissues, but work together as one unit. The exocrine tissue comprises 95 percent of the pancreas and is responsible for producing the enzymes that help in food digestion.
The remaining 5 percent is comprised of endocrine cells called “islets of Langerhans,” which perform the important function of releasing hormones that control the amount of pancreatic enzymes produced, as well as control blood sugar levels.