Unfortunately, most people know next to nothing about the pancreas or pancreatic enzymes, and are unaware of their importance in digestion and the maintenance of health. The liver and the gallbladder are given a lot of attention – the pancreatic gland is a forgotten organ.
Many know about the role of the pancreas in developing diabetes, but don’t have a clue that the pancreas and pancreatic enzymes break down food products into an absorbable, usable form for the body. Without adequate digestion, good health is impossible. Even the healthiest diet will be of little value if the pancreas cannot produce the correct amount of high-quality digestive enzymes to break down the food for optimal bodily function.
No matter what we eat, we consume mostly proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. In order to convert these basic food groups into material our body can use, we need to have three types of enzymes present in our bodies. They are:
o Lipase-which breaks down fat
o Protease- which breaks down protein
o Amylase-which breaks down starch.
The pancreas is of primary importance to our digestive system as it secretes lipase, amylase and protease. To do this, the pancreas needs minerals, trace elements, bicarbonates and vitamins to function properly. On the other hand, deficiency of these vital nutrients leads to pancreatic insufficiency, causing a vicious cycle. The utilization of minerals and vitamins depends upon enzymes, and enzymes are dependent on the presence of minerals and vitamins.
If the pancreatic output of enzymes is hindered, the whole body is affected. Life could not exist without digestive enzymes and proper digestion.
The pancreas is regulated in two ways.
First, by the nervous system.
Secondly, by digestive hormones called secretin and cholecystokinin.
Like Pavlov’s salivating dogs reacting to the dinner bell, the pancreas is affected and activated by what we see, hear, smell and touch with our tongues. The partially digested food (chyme) moving from the stomach to the duodenum (beginning of the small intestine) activates the formation of two hormones, secretin and cholecystokinin. These hormones are carried by the bloodstream to the pancreas, the liver and gallbladder. The function of secretin and cholecystokinin is to carry information regarding the amount of undigested protein, carbohydrate and fat that is in the partially digested food, as well as the amount of bicarbonate that is needed to neutralize the acid from the stomach. The healthy pancreas then provides the exact amount of its own digestive enzymes needed to finish the job.
The pancreatic enzymes work only when the pH of the intestine is slightly on the alkaline side. The food coming from the stomach has been acidified, so the body must also provide enough alkalinity for the enzymes to work. Smoking, alcohol, drugs, some medications, Candida-yeast overgrowth and toxic, aggressive bile suppress the pancreatic cells and keep them from producing the needed amount of quality digestive enzymes.
In summary, the conditions that make the pancreas work improperly are:
o Disorders of the nervous system, stress and anxiety, “eating on the go”, etc.
o Problems with the manufacture and release of the digestive hormones secretin and cholecystokinin
o Deficiency of minerals, microelements, bicarbonates and vitamins
o Severe acidosis – whole body acidity
o Toxic substances inside and outside the body
o Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
o Fatty pancreas
o Back-up of the pancreatic juice after blockage of the pancreatic duct (gall stones, inflammation, cancer, parasites)
o Trauma, surgery, cancer, etc.
Many of these problems overlap with each other and can cause anything from hidden pancreatic insufficiency to a complete shut – down of the functions of this vital organ. That’s why the symptoms of pancreatic insufficiency are so varied. Millions of Americans suffer from a variety of gastro-intestinal disorders including abdominal pain, cramps, gas, bloating, malnutrition, alteration in bowel habits, foul-smelling stool, etc. Many of them have pancreatic insufficiency and don’t realize it. Those suffering from this malady can eat a healthy diet, but the nutrients from the food will not be utilized by the body-their organisms are literally starving. Without the proper amount of high quality digestive pancreatic enzymes people suffer from a deficiency of essential minerals, trace elements and vitamins. They are continually tired, develop chronic diseases, and age prematurely. In the worse case scenario, they develop pancreatic cancer.
For today in United States there is only one way to help people with pancreatic insufficiency by giving them artificial for their body’s enzymes prepared from plants, fungi or animals.
There is, however, an additional treatment modality that promotes proper function of the peoples’ own pancreas, even in cases of severe pancreatic insufficiency.
Many European physicians send their patients with chronic pancreatic disorders to healing mineral spas or sanatoriums. Balneotherapy (treatment with mineral water) is the medical science that is taught in European medical schools and medical doctors there are very familiar with it. There are numerous healing mineral spas all over Europe and every year thousands of ill people spend their vacations in resorts with access to mineral springs. Some insurance companies even cover this procedure.
The most popular European mineral spa for pancreatic insufficiency is the Czech town of Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad). It has been a well-known international healing resort since the 1700s. Patients call the Karlovy Vary mineral water the “healing gift from the earth” or the “miracle mineral water.” People from all over the globe have traveled to Karlovy Vary and stay there for one to six months to drink the Karlovy Vary healing mineral water for various kinds of chronic gastro-intestinal, liver, and metabolic conditions.
A hundred years ago, Karlovy Vary spring water was carried by barrels and bottles all over Europe for those who could not afford the treatment abroad. In 1764, European doctors realized that this water’s mineral content was its most beneficial property. Karlovy Vary began to produce the salt from the evaporated thermal spring water which made it possible to distribute the Karlovy Vary thermal spring salt all over the world for treatment at home. Czech doctors determined that the water manufactured from the genuine Karlovy Vary thermal spring salt had the same healing actions as at the spring.
Karlovy Vary healing mineral water is among the world’s best-studied remedies. Hundreds of clinical texts, articles, dissertations and books have been published that document the positive effects of the water on both animals and humans. Most of them were published in Czech, German, Russian, thus they are unknown by American medical professionals and public.
Researchers have concluded that this water may reduce the symptoms of pancreatic insufficiency by improving the function of the pancreas. Clinical and experimental findings found that the water:
o Promotes the manufacture and release of digestive hormones in the duodenum and naturally regulates the digestive process in the whole gastro-intestinal tract
o Restores the deficiency of essential minerals and microelements such as magnesium, potassium, selenium, zinc, etc, and bicarbonates
o Promotes secretion and elimination of pancreatic juices
o Increases the activity of pancreatic enzymes in the duodenum
o Normalizes the body’s and the pancreas’ acid-alkaline balance for the secretion of alkaline pancreatic juices
o Improves the digestion and absorption of food
o Decreases inflammation and swelling of the pancreas
These effects are caused by the unique and beneficial complex composition of potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, sulfates, bicarbonates, chlorides and trace minerals such as zinc, cobalt, selenium, lithium, copper, in ionic, easy digestible form.
The mineral content of Karlovy Vary mineral water manufactured from the genuine Karlovy Vary thermal spring salt is close to the mineral content of human plasma. Fortunately, this mineral water, compared with other mineral waters, does not contain toxic heavy metals.
To successfully treat pancreatic insufficiency using Karlovy Vary mineral water, one needs to follow particular instructions pertaining to temperature, amount of drinking water, frequency and time of consumption.
Despite its popularity among patients in Europe, this therapy is still basically unknown in the United States. Treatment with Karlovy Vary mineral water makes it beneficial to many different health professionals: medical doctors, naturopathic physicians, chiropractors, acupuncturists, herbalists, nutritionists, colon hydro-therapists and hundreds of thousands of people with pancreatic insufficiency.
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.