Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Digestive Enzymes and Mammalian Meat Allergy

I'm Ready to Curse in Kangaroo

The research crew in the allergy department at the University of Virginia were so kind to test my digestive enzymes I have prescribed for chronic pancreatitis. They were looking for "a carbohydrate present on meat called galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose, also known as alpha-gal" and they found it. All of the prescription grade FDA approved digestive enzymes are made from pork protein and apparently the manufacturers do not process the alpha-gal out of the protein when creating the enzymes. I sent the researchers the prescription brand I had LESS hives from compared to the other brands. I suspect there would be even higher levels in some of the other brands.

I have tried a couple of different brands of vegetarian digestive enzymes since finding out I had a mammalian meat allergy last fall. Unfortunately for me, the ones I have tried seem to be using some type of herb or plant that is causing hives also. Many herbal remedies contain high salicylate plant products which for a "hiver" like me spell trouble. I guess I will need to keep trying other brands - but since they all have similar reactions I fear they share a common source for the enzyme. Big sigh!

Per the University researchers there is a prescription vegetarian enzyme alternative currently in testing for FDA approval. Knowing how long that can take I guess I shouldn't worry about ever needing a prescription for those pills!

I'm sad about the results on the enzymes because using them did help my pancreatic pain. It also helped me absorb fats and the vitamins that are stored in fats, otherwise I don't digest protein or fat very well. I pray that no one else with this allergy has pancreas issues because this is not good news.

Maybe I can contact the company trialing the vegetarian enzymes for the FDA and see if there is some type of hardship exemption.

The over the counter supplements don't tell me what they are made of nor is there any regulation that insures that the dosage on the label is actually in the pills. I tried ones first that friends said were reliable. I guess I will just need to branch out.

My Mom and I will get up at the crack of dawn to get her ready for her operation day. I am worried about the results as I know she is, but am afraid we will have continued bad results if she does not have her gallbladder removed. Praying for gallbladder goodness tomorrow. She has a very experienced surgeon who took my gallbladder out a few years ago. Hoping for the best possible outcome.


  1. Will have you and your mum in my prayers dear one. Hugs to you.

  2. thanks JBR - we are sloooowly getting around this morning!

  3. Thinking about you dear. Safe hugs.