What Is Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT)?
It is a therapy which involves the intake of digestive enzymes in the form of capsules. It is done to treat the people who are not able to digest their food normally because of malfunctioning of pancreas.
Pancreas produces enzymes which help in the digestion of fats, sugar and carbohydrates. In some of conditions such as cystic fibrosis, chronic pancreatitis, removal of pancreas, these digestives enzymes are not produced. In PERT, these digestive enzymes are given orally to improve the digestion.
What Are The Symptoms Of Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT)?
Symptoms may vary from person to person. Symptoms of pancreatic enzyme insufficiency include:
- Undigested fats in the stools
- Stomach pain
- Pain while eating
- Unexplained weight loss
What Are The Causes Of Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT)?
- Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) and chronic pancreatitis are the conditions which require Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT) as their treatment plan.
- Abnormal production of enzymes by pancreas or inflammation of pancreas impairs the body ability to digest food. This hampers the normal digestion of the body and regulation of blood sugar.
- Because of impaired functioning of pancreas PERT is done to carry out digestion.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT)?
- Swallow the whole capsules with your meal.
- Capsules should be taken before, during or immediately after a meal.
- If you feel difficulty in swallowing the capsules then break the shells and empty the beads on the food and swallow them. Mixing here becomes important to keep the enzymes stable for the longer period of time.
- Aim to have small and frequent meals all the day.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT)?
- Do not take these capsules on an empty stomach.
- Don’t take these capsules with the drinks containing less than half of the milk.
- Do not crush or chew the contents of the capsules.
- Don’t repeat the dose if the meal is missed. An excess dose can cause some side effects.
What Are The Best Foods For Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT)?
- Protein-rich food: Protein-rich foods are easily digestible and need fewer enzymes. Eggs, almonds, oats, broccoli, etc are rich sources of protein.
- Antioxidants: Antioxidants helps in digestion process by removing free radicals. Berries, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, grapes etc are rich sources of antioxidants.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables: These are the rich sources of essential nutrients and contain fibre which is easy to digest. More fiber in the diet reduces the levels of fat in the body.
- Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs): Products rich in MCTS are helpful in improving nutrient absorption. Coconut oil, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt etc are rich sources of MCT.
What Are The Worst Foods For Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT)?
- Fried or processed food: These types of foods contain the high amount of fat which increases the work of the pancreas. Fats are not easily digestible so should be avoided.
- Sugar and Tran’s fats: Both of these should be avoided as they increase the insulin in the body. They also increase the triglycerides levels making harder for the pancreas to work.
- Alcohol: It worsens the condition by increasing the triglyceride levels in the body and results into dehydration also.
- Refined carbohydrates: Refined carbs increase the insulin level in the body. This increases the
- High-fat dairy products: These should be avoided as a high amount of fats are present in such products which are harder to digest.
What Are The Medicines For Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT)?
What Are The Tips To Manage Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT)?
This condition can be managed with some natural home remedies also. Here are some of the home remedies:
- Coconut oil: This rich source of MCT’s and omega-3 fatty acids. It is advised to use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil to reduce the inflammation.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is used widely due to its anti-inflammatory actions. It should be included in the daily diet to reduce the symptoms.
- Baking soda: It is helpful in restoring the lost bicarbonate balance in the body and reduces the symptoms also. This helps to hydrate the pancreas also. Add a tablespoon of baking soda in a glass of water and consume.
- Spinach: It is full of antioxidants and helpful in preventing pancreatitis. The nutrients present in spinach helps to repair the functioning of pancreas.
- Aloe Vera: It has been used due to its anti-inflammatory and detoxification actions. It is helpful in removing toxins from the body and improves the digestion also.