(Writer’s note: Before you make any drastic dietary or lifestyle changes, consult with your healthcare provider. An enzyme deficiency can be fatal if not properly and immediately address by a medical professional).
Enzymes are an essential element of the body that aid in the process of helping the body absorb nutrients in food. Most are proteins and act as the catalysts for nutrient absorption. An enzyme deficiency can lead to a number of serious illnesses with symptoms that include anemia, jaundice, and abdominal pain. Many people who suffer from an enzyme deficiency experience stomach pain, cramping and bloating, and skin rashes. Enzyme deficiencies are hereditary and can often lead to organ failure and chronic pain. They are commonly found in the body shortly after birth and can be difficult to treat because the body lacks the basic genetic material to sustain them.
Enzyme deficiencies vary and while some can be life threatening, others can be easily managed under the care of a physician. Many nutritionists and members of the healthcare industry believe that an enzyme deficiency can be balanced with the help of a healthy diet, exercise, and stress reduction. In the course Healthy Practices, instructors discuss the importance of healthy habits and will impart their wisdom regarding simple ways to achieve better health.
That Nagging Stomach
While most people know from an early age if they have an enzyme deficiency, many alternative healthcare professionals believe that an enzyme deficiency, or reduced enzyme count can be brought on by stress and poor diet. Many also recommend enzyme supplementation products that are thought to have the ability to replace those lacking in a person’s system. Do you constantly have a stomachache? Do you always seem to feel tired? Do you suffer from eczema? These are some of the symptoms that might indicate that you have an enzyme deficiency. Those who experience chronic stress may also be at risk for an enzyme deficiency. Before you try to diagnose yourself, check in with a healthcare provider. While you’re certainly the best judge of how you’re body feels a medical professional can give you more concrete results.
Laura Dankof, a holistic nurse practitioner also offers an excellent course titled, Seeds 4 Change: A Path to Health and Healing that will help you regain control of your physical and mental well being.
The Advice of Our Paleolithic Ancestors
Some healthcare professionals recommend trying a Paleolithic or Paleo Diet to help those with an enzyme deficiency. The diet, based on the diet of our Paleolithic ancestors, is founded on the principle that what our hunter-gatherer predecessors ate can provide better health, increase weight loss, and reduce the onset of long-lasting pain and disease. Proponents of the diet encourage the consumption of higher amounts of protein than can be found in the average American diet, large quantities of fiber, and a higher consumption of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Many alternative and holistic health professionals believe that a diet with a reduced amount of processed grains and agricultural products like dairy, soy, and grains can contribute to an enzyme deficiency. One solution is to try balancing your system with the Paleolithic diet of our ancient forefathers.
To learn more about the Paleo Diet and how to incorporate it into your active lifestyle, check out Chris Hiestand’s course, Getting Started with the Paleo Diet. As the co-founder of PrimalPal, Hiestand discusses the importance of consuming meat ethically and sensibly, and the importance of understanding why grains can contribute to weight gain.
The Guinea Pig Knows Best
While some healthcare professionals recommend enzyme supplements or the Paleolithic diet plan to aid with enzyme deficiency, others recommend switching to a raw food diet. Like my guinea pig that only eats raw vegetables and fruits, the raw food program subscribes to the belief that the enzymes in food become deactivated when heated to above a certain temperature. The raw food diet proposes that by keeping foods uncooked, the body receives and uses all of the food’s enzymes, thus improving body function and overall health. Consuming a raw food diet is believed by many to balance enzyme levels and improve enzyme deficiency while increasing general well being. Susan Teton’s course, The Complete Raw Food Course: Basics, Entrees, and Desserts will guide you through the basics of a raw food diet. With numerous recipes including a large section on salad dressings and entrees, Teton offers countless options for those looking to further understand and experience the benefits of a raw food diet.
For most, an enzyme deficiency is something discovered at birth, and is therefore dealt with on a regular basis for many years. For others, an enzyme deficiency can come on later in life, aided by a stressful lifestyle and inadequate nutrition. Some naturopaths and physicians recommend dietary changes and supplements to help improve enzyme deficiency in the body. Some look to the raw food diet of the diet of our Paleolithic ancestors. Understanding your body’s inefficiencies can lead you to better mental and physical health, and can improve basic functions including digestion and concentration. Some members of the healthcare field believe that food can help cure any ailment, including serious afflictions like enzyme deficiency. Veronics Waks M.D., N.D. provides more information about the healing power of food and how food affects the human body with her course Food is Your Best Medicine. She discusses the way in which the body absorbs nutrients and food, and can assist you in better understanding how food can be a powerful form of medicine. If you or anyone you love suspects he or she has an enzyme deficiency, head to the doctor and you’ll soon be on your way to a healthier, happier you.