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Robb Wolf swears by NOW brand superenzymes. Looks like it has everything that's needed for good digestion.
I don't think that these are of any merit unless someone has pancreatic problems and can't synthesize their own. Is that the case with you?
My faves are Garden of Life Omegazyme (aka ozyme aka Ωzyme).
Even in the absence of pancreatic problems, I find them helpful when adjusting to significant macronutrient changes - especially when switching from a vegetarian diet. Whenever my somach is 'off', I take 2 enzymes and 2 probiotics.
Digestive enzymes are good for things other than a pancreatic condition. I've been battling low stomach acid for a few years (finally getting it under control with the PB thank goodness...but there were times when the combination of a digestive enzyme and an HCL pill...or three. From my research, low stomach acid is way more prevalent than most people realize.
Here's my situation- I've been on Prilosec for the last 10 years, and decided to come off it about a month and a half ago. Going through the first 3 weeks was pure hell on my system, but with PB it's helped a good bit. However, I still get the indigestion and heartburn on a regular basis, just not with every meal. And I honestly can't tell if I need HCL or not. When I take HCL, I have gas, but not heartburn. When I don't take it, I don't have the gas, but I have the heartburn. And I tried Digest Gold and I think it actually gave me heartburn, but not too sure about that.
@Fyrespryte- I found a lot of the same info as you about the HCL, but I actually haven't heard about Robb Wolf. How many HCL's did you end up taking? When I first started with them, I kept taking them until I could feel that "warm sensation" everybody talks about, but never ended up feeling it so I eventually stopped. It was getting kind of expensive.
@Cillakat- Does the Omegazyme work for you pretty well? Just curious, how can you tell? Also, does the glutenease work? My wife has figured out she's super sensitive to gluten since starting primal.
Going through the first 3 weeks was pure hell on my system, but with PB it's helped a good bit. However, I still get the indigestion and heartburn on a regular basis, just not with every meal. And I honestly can't tell if I need HCL or not. When I take HCL, I have gas, but not heartburn. When I don't take it, I don't have the gas, but I have the heartburn.
It's probably reasonable to assume that at this point, the best solution for you may be surgical. Nissen (or similar) fundoplication is an exceptionally effective tx for chronic GERD.
Remember that even though you didn't feel the GERD while on prilosec, it was still happening.....just with a lower, less irritating ph. For 10 years (and probably for many more preceeding the onset of symptoms) your lower esophageal sphincter hasn't worked properly and will likely not ever work properly again......once eslasticity is lost, it cannot be regained (think rubberband, skin elasticity, emphysema).
While I no longer have symptomatic reflux - ie burning....I do have what I call 'asymptomatic symptoms' and will absolutely consider a fundoplication if it's not gone in a year.
Cillakat- Does the Omegazyme work for you pretty well? Just curious, how can you tell?
I only take it when I'm eating something rather fatty. It's the difference between feeling my food digest properly and leave my stomach, v. feeling full for hours and hours.
Also, does the glutenease work? My wife has figured out she's super sensitive to gluten since starting primal.
Yes. Very much so. I used it all day every day in Italy last year (3 trips in 17 months) and it worked every time....digestively anyway. I'd start to feel some inflammtion in my joints by the end of each trip.
It actually only costs $3 at iHerb (hardcover!), and I found it to be an awesome resource -- I highly recommend it to everyone. Bohager makes the case that the human body has only so many digestive enzymes, and that once yours become depleted, this is when aging and death occur. This is related to the claims of the calorie-restriction crowd, that minimizing the amount of food eaten extends lifespan (because fewer enzymes are used up to process this lessened amount of food). In short, Bohager advocates that everyone take enzymes as part of a regimen to promote general health, even if you're not dealing with any particular digestive problem.
A few highlights from this book (from memory):
-- Plant-based enzymes are preferable to animal-based enzymes (such as ox bile), because the body can use as many of the plant-based enzymes as you happen to consume, but will have problems if you overdo it on the animal-based enzymes
-- it's important to take a wide cross-section of enzymes, as many different ones are required for complete digestion of various molecules. Enzymedica and other companies produce *blends* of amylase, protease, lipase, cellulase, etc. that include a number of different enzymes in each blend, to maximize food digestion & absorption
-- The book contains specific recommendations about the strength of each enzyme needed to attain optimal health; Enzymedica's Digest Gold (not coincidentally) contains all of the recommended enzyme blends at the recommended dosages
Disclosure: Bohager is an executive at Enzymedica, one of the premier enzyme companies.
I personally rotate among the following products, depending on what type of meal I'm eating and other factors: (some of these have also been mentioned in previous posts above)
Now Foods, Super Enzymes (note: contains animal-based enzymes, so I personally use only occasionally):
I agree with the recommendation to use the capsules instead of the tablets; I didn't know that the capsules are more effective, but the tablets are impossible to swallow! Whenever I take Super Enzymes (or Digest Platinum, above), I have very noticeable digestive "effects." Which I guess is good. http://www.iherb.com/Now-Foods-Super...sules/857?at=0
I recommend reading the reviews of each of the above products (within each iHerb link above); I tend to find other peoples' experiences informative for choosing products that seem like they will benefit me. Good luck!
Last edited by healthseekerKate; 10-18-2010, 08:10 PM.
Reason: added info about Digest Platinum product
I'm not sure that I agree that your only option now is surgical. It may be, but I think it might definitely be worthwhile to wait a while to see if your body corrects on this new WOE. Especially if you've already seen improvement. The problem with the prilosec, is it's been reducing your stomach acid for so long, you most likely now are having a "rebound." Especially considering (unless you had tests that proved otherwise) that it was probably low stomach acid to begin with that was causing the GERD rather than too much. (That is the case about 80% of the time) Your esophageal sphincter muscle may be permanently damaged, but if it's low stomach acid that's causing it, that is what's pushing the acid up into your throat.
Basically, if you don't have the correct enzymes, or enough HCL in your stomach to digest your food, the food starts to ferment in your stomach and bubbles up into your throat. This is one condition where eating smaller meals is helpful, chewing your food really really good. I also do not like the formula mentioned which has HCL in it. There have been times when I've needed only enzymes, (I agree with a broad spectrum enzyme) and there have been times when I've needed both. There have been times when I've needed only one HCL (again, agree with the capsule recommendation) and after a big meal, I've needed two or three. It really just depends.
Please understand that in working to correct my low stomach acid issues, I did NOT work with a health care provider of any kind and I did a lot of expermentation on myself. (You can't really hurt yourself with the HCL, if you take too much you can use a baking soda and water cocktail. One teaspoon per glass to neutralize the HCL) but you'll want to only do that as a last resort, take it slow with the pills. And I got mine at a Vitamin Shoppe store and they weren't all that expensive.
This last time, when it got bad enough for me to go out and buy the HCL pills, I made the mistake of grabbing the tablets instead of the capsules. Big difference and big mistake. They take longer to digest, especially if you take them before you eat. I found that taking both the enzyme and the HCL before I ate actually gave me IBS type cramps and bloating about an hour after I ate. I found that they were both more effective if I took them about half an hour after I ate.
I never really got the "warm sensation" either. If I took too much I generally went straight to burning, which can also be alleviated by eating more if you're not already full. If you're not getting any sensation at all, it could just be because you needed a lot. I don't know what strength your pills were at but I've read of people needing up to six pills for a big meal. It really depends on the size of your meal too. I was trying to eat really small portions, like, so small that I was still even just a little bit hungry. That's gotten better over time and now I can eat more. I eventually just ended up determining how much I needed by whether or not I felt like my food was digesting, like cillakat. Whether or not I needed more was determined by whether or not I felt bloated, and still uncomfortably full an hour after I ate.
Surgery's a little unnecessary at this point. I never had bad reflux and was put on prilosec early and stayed on it. The rebound effect was what messed me up so much, plus learning how to change my diet so it wouldn't hurt. When you're on prilosec, you can eat anything you want. And acid's not produced. Actually, there are ways to strengthen the LES before you go all the way to surgery. One is simply taking glutamine. Plus, it can take a few months before your body's actually not rebounding from the prilosec. it's too hard to tell.
@fyresprite- what mg hcl are you taking? 200 or 650?
600 with 60mg pepsin. I understand the rebound thing. My fiance has had stomach problems since he was very young. He's taken some type of antacid since he was like, 10. It makes me so angry that the doctors his mother took him to couldn't be bothered to take the time to do some kind of investigation to see why this 10 year old is eating antacids like they're candy and still not getting any relief (and his mother wasn't a good advocate for him, she was/is a very "authority is god" kind of person). Fast forward 20 years and he now takes a generic version of zantac or something twice a day, and drinks glasses and glasses of the baking soda mixture. At this point, I'm concerned that there's no "fixing" him, and I've seen signs of an ulcer either beginning or already forming. He's decided to do the PB with me and I'm hoping that he'll see an improvement enough to where he can cut down on the antacids and the drinks. I know how bad they both are for him.
hey fyrespryte, weird question. any chance that if you take too much hcl you get bloated? mine right now are 200mg, but after about 6 of them, i started getting bloated and feeling gas in my chest. i can't tell if it's too much i'm taking, or if what i'm taking is doing something and i need more to make that go away.
jeeze all this stuff is expensive as hell. think I'll stick to my greek yogurt
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow