What Is Enzymatic Therapy Used to Treat?


Quick Answer

Physicians prescribe enzymatic therapy to treat patients suffering from disorders of the digestive tract such as exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, according to WebMD. The therapy includes taking dietary supplements that contain enzymes that are commonly produced by the pancreas. The enzymes allow the body to properly digest food and absorb essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.

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Full Answer

The supplements come in capsules that are taken when food is consumed, reports WebMD. The capsules are filled with beads of the enzymes that the pancreas is not producing, and when taken with food, the capsules dissolve in the small intestine and assist with digestion. The capsules can also be broken and the enzymes mixed with the food.

The Federal Drug Administration has approved six enzymes to be taken as supplements, explains WebMD. These enzymes include Creon, Pancreaze, Pertzye, Ultresa, Viokace and Zenpep. Patients may experience some side effects while undergoing the therapy, and symptoms include constipation, nausea or diarrhea. Depending on the severity of the condition, patients may undergo such therapy for a period of six months or for the rest of their lives. A physician may adjust the therapy based on its effectiveness, and patients should consult their primary care doctors if they believe such therapy is needed and not experiment with over-the-counter supplements.

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