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When to Take Pancreatic Supplements

Wednesday 10 November 2021
3 minute(s) read

Table of Contents

I. Improving Pancreatic Function

II. Conditions that Benefit from Supplements

III. Are Pancreatic Supplements Right for Me?

IV. Types of Pancreatic Supplements

V. Foods to Improve Pancreatic Health

VI. Where to Buy Pancreatic Supplements

Improving Pancreatic Function

The pancreas is an important gland located in the abdomen. It is surrounded by the stomach, small intestine, liver, spleen, and gallbladder. The pancreas produces enzymes that help with digestion and hormones that regulate blood sugar. Pancreas-related conditions include pancreatic cancer, type 1 diabetes, and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. If your pancreas isn’t functioning properly, your doctor may prescribe pancreatic supplements like Viokace (pancrelipase) and Creon (pancreatic enzyme).

Certain types of pancreas-related conditions may require surgery or radiation therapy. In most cases, pancreatic supplements can be used in addition to the main treatment. If you have a condition that affects the pancreas, your doctor may prescribe pancreatic supplements as a protective measure. Several types of supplements are available on the market. Read on to learn when you should take pancreatic supplements. [1]

Conditions that Benefit from Supplements

Pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas is inflamed. This condition can cause abdominal tenderness, indigestion, and bloating. Pancreatitis is most commonly caused by excessive alcohol use, abdominal surgery, and infections. High levels of calcium in the blood can also cause chronic pancreatitis. Research suggests that supplements may relieve pain caused by pancreatitis. [2]

a toilet seat

The pancreas produces insulin, a hormone required to regulate blood sugar. If the pancreas does not make enough insulin, glucose can build up in the bloodstream and cause nausea, shortness of breath, and increased thirst. A malfunctioning pancreas can also lead to type 1 diabetes over time. Pancreatic supplements can aid the pancreas and may improve symptoms of diabetes. [3]

Are Pancreatic Supplements Right for Me?

Taking pancreatic supplements may also help conditions like cystic fibrosis, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, pancreatic cancer, duodenal tumors, and a blocked pancreatic duct. If you frequently have foul-smelling stools, your pancreas may not be functioning optimally. Greasy, oily, fatty, and loose stools are another sign that you aren’t digesting food well. If you experience irregular bowel movements, light-colored stools, cramping after meals, or weight loss, pancreatic supplements may be right for you. [1]

Your doctor can conduct enzyme tests to determine the type of pancreatic supplements you need. Pancreatic supplements are categorized based on the digestive enzymes they contain. Your doctor will determine the right dosage for you. [1]

a doctor typing on a laptop beside a stethoscope

Types of Pancreatic Supplements

Amylase is a class of digestive enzymes required to break down carbohydrates and sugars. There are three types of amylase: alpha, beta, and gamma amylase.  Undigested starch in the lower intestine commonly causes diarrhea, which is the main symptom of an amylase deficiency. [4]

Lipase is a digestive enzyme necessary for breaking down oils and fats. The types of lipase are pancreatic lipase, gastric lipase, and hepatic lipase. The main symptom of a lipase deficiency is greasy stools. [1]

Finally, protease is the enzyme that digests proteins. Those with a protease deficiency have a higher risk of developing allergies and infections. Protease is categorized into cysteine, serine, and glutamic protease. [1]

Foods to Improve Pancreatic Health

You can generally take pancreatic supplements with any meal unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Your doctor may recommend a diet that naturally enhances your digestive enzymes. They may also suggest that you avoid foods that interfere with the absorption of pancreatic supplements. [1]

a pineapple

Pineapples, papaya, mango, and honey are rich in digestive enzymes that can aid in symptom relief. [5] Dairy products, antacids containing calcium or magnesium, and hot beverages may destroy enzymes and reduce the efficacy of pancreatic supplements. Limiting red meat, organ meats, margarine and butter, and other foods high in trans-fatty acids can benefit your pancreatic health. [6]

Where to Buy Pancreatic Supplements

Pancreatic supplements like Creon and Viokace contain pancrelipase, a combination of the three digestive enzymes amylase, lipase, and protease. By ordering from an online Canadian pharmacy, you have access to the most affordable medications and supplements on the market. If your doctor has determined that pancreatic supplements are right for you, visit Canada Pharmacy Depot to order online today. 

The content provided in this article is based on thorough research and in some cases, reviewed by a medical professional. Our goal for the information is to provide helpful, general health informational. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice.