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Knowledge Base

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Digestive Enzymes

I’m frequently asked if it’s helpful to take supplemental digestive enzymes. The answer is an unequivocal “sometimes.”

Most of us have enough digestive enzymes in our gastrointestinal tracts to break down the food we eat and help us digest it. But as we age (some of us faster than others) both the quantity and the quality of the enzymes decline.

You might need supplemental enzymes if you consistently notice symptoms of  indigestion, like gas, bloating, and heartburn after meals. Or if you face a large meal with some dread, fearful that you’ll feel slightly ill afterward. Although your doctor can order a comprehensive analysis of your digestive system, it’s a rather involved procedure and on the pricey side.

If you have the symptoms I mention here, a simpler solution is to take supplemental enzymes for a month or so and see if they help you. Digestive enzymes are a mixture of the common enzymes needed for fat, protein, and carbohydrate digestion. Since they’re not absorbed into your bloodstream, they’re virtually free of side effects.

You can find good digestive enzymes at any health food store. I myself am most familiar with Similase, a product that’s been around for years, but most brands are good. You take the capsules during a meal–usually two capsules with a medium sized meal, three with a large one.

How will you know if the enzymes are working for you? First, you should feel better as a result of taking them, with a reduction or elimination of your symptoms. Second, if you stop taking the enzymes your symptoms will return. If you don’t notice any improvement after a month, don’t waste your money on a second bottle.

To read about Similase, click here.

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Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

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Upcoming Workshops

The Next Lyme Academy Begins
Tuesday, October 4, 5:30-7 pm
Here’s a special invitation for patients of Dr. Kelley who are currently being treated for Lyme disease. Dr. Kelley’s new, four-week Lyme Academy starts on October 4, continuing over the following three Tuesdays.


Awakened Body, Quiet Mind
An innovative workshop series for relieving mind/body stress and tapping into your true power and natural health.
4 Group Sessions with Meghan Roekle, PsyD
Four meetings using a unique combination of embodiment meditation and mental inquiry for deep healing.
Thursdays from 6:00-8:00pm; beginning October 20th

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