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- Boost Digestive Health
- Digestive Distress Slideshow: Problem Foods to Avoid
- What are oral digestive enzymes?
- What diseases and conditions are treated with oral digestive enzymes (PEPs)?
- Are oral digestive enzymes available by prescription and over-the-counter (OTC)?
- What are examples of prescription oral digestive enzymes available in the US?
- What are the side effects of oral digestive enzymes?
- What drugs interact with oral digestive enzymes?
- What formulations of oral digestive enzymes are available?
- Are taking oral digestive enzymes during pregnancy or while breastfeeding safe?
What are oral digestive enzymes?
Oral digestive enzymes are complex proteins naturally produced by the body to help digest and breakdown the foods we eat. The pancreas is the organ responsible for making and secreting digestive enzymes. Oral digestive enzymes are used when the pancreas is unable to produce enough digestive enzymes.
The main digestive enzymes are
- proteases for digesting proteins,
- lipases for digesting fats, and
- amylases for digesting carbohydrates.
These digestive enzymes are available in pancreatic enzyme products (PEPs).
What diseases and conditions are treated with oral digestive enzymes (PEPs)?
PEPs are used in people with pancreatic diseases such as
- cystic fibrosis,
- Shwachman-Diamond syndrome,
- chronic pancreatitis,
- pancreatic cancer or tumors, or
- removal of all or part of the pancreas.
Additionally, PEPs may be used in gastrointestinal disorders such as
- celiac disease,
- Crohn's disease, and
- in certain cases of poor digestion associated with deficiencies in pancreatic enzymes.
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