The first thing that comes up in our minds when we think about our digestive organs is stomach, colon, or liver. When patients are asked to show where the pancreas is, typically what I get is a vague answer. Many times, they point to an area that is very far from the place where pancreas is to be found. Even though they don’t know its location, what they do know is the role of the pancreas in insulin production and diabetes. Also a lot of people express fear of the pancreatic cancer, especially after the tragic death of Steve Jobs.
Unfortunately, people do not know much about the pancreas. Pancreas is the small-elongated gland with many vital tasks and functions. If you think that pancreatic disorders are relatively rare, look around you. Almost every family has a member with a number of digestive symptoms which include fullness, heartburn, nausea, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, stomach cramps and pain. The person with all or a few of these symptoms may not even know that these are the issues related to the pancreas not performing properly. Normal digestion depends upon proper amount of good quality of the pancreatic enzymes.
Let’s take look at the gastrointestinal tract, a long tube with many chambers (stomach, small, and large intestine) where digestion, absorption, and elimination occur. Almost all of the food that we consume consists of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Thanks to digestion, proteins are broken down into smaller particles called amino acids. Furthermore, they can go through the gut’s walls into the blood so our bodies can use amino acids to build tissues. After we eat fats, they are broken down into fatty acids, to provide our body’s energy needs. When we consume complex carbohydrates, they are broken down into simple sugars, which are the main sources of energy for our bodies. If we get the excess of carbohydrates, our body metabolizes it into the fat.
More than half of carbohydrates and proteins and 90% of the fats are digested in the small intestine with help from pancreatic digestive enzymes. Low volume and poor quality of the pancreatic digestive enzymes will lead to indigestion. Imagine what would happen if you put everything you ate at dinner in the plastic bag and leave it in a warm room for 24 hours. Proteins will be rotten, fats will be rancid, microbes and yeast will ferment carbohydrates. The plastic bag will explode, because of the stinky poisons gas that will be accumulating in it over a period of time.
There are only two directions for our gastrointestinal tract to get rid of the poisons and gas from indigested food: up to the stomach and even esophagus, or down to the colon. When the poisons move upwards, people experience gas, bloating, fullness, abdominal pain, heartburn. When undigested toxic food goes down – gas, flatulence, diarrhea and constipation occur.
Evidence and clinical researches show that low functions of the pancreas produce various disorders of the GI tract, which range from dyspepsia, IBS, GERD, ulcers to autoimmune diseases and cancers. To prove these facts, in my book, I used more than 300 references from doctors and professors all over the globe. Low pancreatic function is a cornerstone of almost all gastrointestinal disorders and illnesses. Luckily, pancreatic gland has a huge working capacity. And that means that people can survive when 90% of the pancreatic tissue is gone.
Unfortunately, pancreatic awareness begins too late when just 10% of pancreatic tissue is left and treatment approach is restricted. Therefore, any symptoms of indigestion should be seen as alarm bells, and doctors should focus on the pancreas. So far, there is no easy and safe pharmaceutical solution to increase the production of the pancreatic digestive enzymes. However, it can be done by using a holistic natural approach.
First thing that should be changed is the diet. We have to stop and ask ourselves questions about what we eat and how we eat it. No living creature in the world, except for us humans, simultaneously eats macaroni and cheese, meat and dessert, ice cream, fruits and coffee. Nor do they eat processed “dead” food without natural digestive enzymes. Nobody in the living world eats “on the go”, watching TV, or even when driving. And last but not least, it is only human beings who use alcohol, drugs, medications, and sustain the environmental toxins. All of these make an enormous burden on our pancreatic gland; consequently, healthy pancreatic diet is a key for healthy digestion.
In healthy people, pancreas produces 6-8 cups of clear, alkaline pancreatic juice a day. Content of the pancreatic juice includes water, minerals, bicarbonates, trace elements, and a large amount of the digestive enzymes. The pancreas is the main organ in the human body to produce enzymes. It is necessary to say that, for proper work, all pancreatic enzymes require an alkaline environment. If pH changes to neutral range, pancreatic enzymes stop working in the small intestine. Alkalinity for pancreas is life, contrary to it, acidity means death.
How to promote alkalinity of the pancreatic juice? Naturally, it can be done by alkaline diet, mineral supplements, cellular magnesium-potassium, or by drinking healing mineral water. Medical doctors from different countries have used these methods for hundreds of years. European doctors either use Karlovy Vary healing mineral water from the local springs, or water that is prepared from the evaporated genuine Karlovy Vary spring salt at home. This water has been used for hundreds of years for various digestive disorders, particularly in the pancreatic and liver/gallbladder problems.
Between other non-drug methods, which can be used to improve the function of the pancreas, good results may be achieved by using acupuncture. When your acupuncturist says that you have Spleen Deficiency, it means that your digestion is weak. Inserting needles in Spleen and Stomach meridians, improves digestion, lowers gastrointestinal symptoms, and reduces abdominal pain.
Many medical articles and books support this fact. And I myself see the improvement in my patients every day. In China and Russia, positive actions of acupuncture in acute pancreatitis are confirmed by clinical researches.
People often use herbal chamomile or peppermint tea for indigestion and stomach fullness. Chinese, European, Russian, Native American medicines present a variety of single herbs and herbal formulas for digestive conditions. Consistently, humans have always used spices for taste, food conservation, medical purposes, and preventing food poisoning for thousands of years.
To make 2 liters of pancreatic juice, the pancreas needs a lot of water. Dehydration is unhealthy for the pancreas and may cause pancreatitis.
Digestive (pancreatic) disorders are widespread in the modern world. The normal pancreatic function is indispensable for digestion, which means enhancing pancreatic function usually reduces indigestion. The goal is to find a knowledgeable licensed medical professional before it is too late.
The information on this article is presented for educational, informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment, and advice of a qualified licensed professional.