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If average individuals would be asked where their pancreas is located or the function of the pancreas, many of them would scratch their head. You might hear the vague answer “It is somewhere inside the stomach”, “pancreas causes diabetes”, “pancreatic cancer is an awful disease” and so on.
The pancreas is a vital organ for our body. People can survive without the stomach, small intestine and colon but not long without the pancreas. Life depends on this small gland, deeply hidden inside the abdomen cavity. The pancreas is an organ with dual tasks. Most individuals are only aware about the role of the pancreas in sugar metabolism and that pancreas produces insulin, the vital hormone to prevent diabetes.
The second function of the pancreas is producing digestive enzymes - powerful proteins that split food we eat into particles small enough to travel through the intestinal wall so that we can digest and assimilate this food.
Only by using our pancreatic digestive enzymes, we can transform our food into the energy and make our own cells. Without pancreatic digestive enzymes we could not live. The function of many organs and systems and the whole body’s health, strongly depend upon the health of our digestive system and especially our pancreas.
What is happened if pancreas produces low amount or not good quality of digestive enzymes?
Our digestive system is long muscular tube, stretching from the mouth to the anus. Pancreas releases pancreatic juice filled with digestive enzymes into the duodenum - the first part of the small intestine. Small intestine is the most important place for digestion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. There also place for vitamins and minerals to get into our system.
Without proper amount of pancreatic enzymes indigested food fermented, spoiled, rot by intestinal micro organisms and irritates the intestinal walls. To get rid of this waste our body has just two openings: mouth and anus.
Ask anyone around and almost everyone has some sort of unpleasant GI symptoms: gas, abdominal distention, belching, heartburn, abdominal cramps, pains, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea/constipation, and so on. These are symptoms of indigestion and have strong correlation with low pancreatic function.
Most human diseases depend on two big problems:
1. The deficiency of vital substances in the body such as water, proteins, minerals, trace elements, vitamins and so on: As your car without gasoline would stop moving, so will the deficiency of the vital nutrients stop the organs from performing their proper tasks.
2. Toxicity (chemical or biological): Toxicity literally kills the cells and harmfully influences the body’s metabolism causing inflammation, pain, cancer development and so on.
These two factors are directly related to pancreatic health.
The pancreas is a hard worker. It produces normally almost 60-85 oz of a clear, colorless, alkaline fluid. This is pancreatic juice, which consists of very important ingredients for digestion such as water, minerals, proteins, bicarbonates and enzymes.
Non-processed, natural, whole food consists of plenty of digestive enzymes. Lack of these enzymes in the modern foods causes huge effort for pancreas to manufacture its digestive enzymes. Therefore, many modern people have large pancreases.
Chemicals such as preservatives, colorings, additives, hormones, antibiotics, pesticides in the processed food are not healthy for pancreas. The worst enemy for pancreas is also alcohol. Alcoholic pancreatititis; inflammation of this gland caused by alcohol is the most common pancreatic disorder.
So, how to increase pancreas function naturally? By common sense, we need to supply the body with natural digestive enzymes from food. Pancreas is alkaline gland hence our food has to be alkaline with sufficient amount of the minerals, bicarbonates and vitamins for proper manufacturing of pancreatic digestive enzymes and appropriate alkaline environment to work.
Any actions to decrease inner toxicity such as drinking water, healing mineral water, herbal teas, juices and blends, colon hydrotherapy, massage, infrared sauna, controlling constipation, reestablishing friendly intestinal flora, etc., may help to cleanse the pancreas.
Europeans widely practice vacation in healthy mineral spas. Healthy foods, drinking healing mineral water, massage, colonics, and exercises improve health of thousands people in Europe and another countries.
Balneotherapy (healing with mineral water) is known science in European medical schools so many European doctors recommend their patients with chronic pancreatic disorders healing mineral spas.
The most known drinking healing mineral water is from the Karlovy Vary resort in the Czech Republic - the spa pearl of Europe. The Czech town of Karlovy Vary has been a famous international healing mineral water resort since 18 century. Europeans call the town’s mineral water “healing gift from the earth” or the “miracle mineral water.” Guests from Europe and Asia took a trip to Karlovy Vary for one to six month stays to drink the Karlovy Vary Healing Mineral Water (KVHMW) for different chronic health conditions, cleansing and detoxification.
Hundreds years this healing mineral water was distributed all over the Europe by bottles and barrels until in 1764, a method was discovered that made it possible to vaporize the water and make mineral salt. Czech doctors find out that the mineral water produced from the genuine Karlovy Vary thermal spring salt had the same healing properties as at the spring.
From that time on, people who could not travel to Karlovy Vary could undergo or continue the treatment at home.
A lot of scientific studies were done by European doctors to verify the healing action of the Karlovy Vary healing mineral water on pancreatic health by:
• Supplying essential minerals and microelements for the manufacturing of digestive enzymes
• Supplying bicarbonates, the main ingredient of pancreatic juices (pancreatic enzymes can work only in an alkaline environment)
• Increasing secretion of pancreatic juices
• Increasing digestive activity of pancreatic enzymes
• Neutralizing high levels of gastric acid
• Opening the Sphincter of Oddi (this decreases pressure in the system, promotes secretion and elimination of pancreatic juices and decreases congestion)
Some spices and healing herbs have a long history of using in digestive disorders. They not only improve the taste of food, but help to digest this food without gas, abdominal distention, nausea, stomach pains, diarrhea or constipation and protect people from harmful parasites and microorganisms.
All pancreatic enzymes are proteins connected with minerals or trace elements. Very important for health of pancreas and whole digestive system is proper supply of magnesium, potassium, cobalt, sulfur, zinc. Lack of sufficient amount of these compounds in the modern foods requires their nutritional supplementation for proper production of the pancreatic digestive enzymes.
Normal pancreas function depends upon actions of some water and fat-soluble vitamins. From the other hand, low quality and low amount of the pancreatic enzymes diminish digestion of these vital nutrients causing vicious circle. Taking essential vitamins from foods or supplements is a very important step to normal digestive (pancreatic) health.
Human pancreas has a huge amount of the functional capacity. Real symptoms of the pancreatic failure such as chronic diarrhea with indigested fats and foul-smelling stool, losing weight and weakness occur when 90% of pancreatic function gone. Until that time, chronic indigestion is sign of low pancreatic function. Increasing pancreas function naturally without drugs is possible by supervision of the knowledgeable health professionals
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.
Peter Melamed, Ph.D. received his medical education first as a registered nurse and then as a medical doctor in Russia. He took specialized training in anesthesiology, intensive care, and internal medicine. Working as a physician he became interested in holistic healing through his clinical experience with herbs, acupuncture, healing mineral water and internal cleansing. He was granted a license to practice acupuncture in Russia in 1978, and from that time he combined conventional Western medical treatment with herbs, acupuncture, and other non-drug healing therapies.