Pros: chewable, helps digestion, vegan ingredients, inexpensive, gluten-free
Cons: sold only at Trader Joe's stores
I recently had an open cholecystectomy which is removal of the gallbladder through the traditional big incision rather than the less-invasive laparoscopic surgery. Everything I read about the surgery indicated that my digestion would be pretty funky for awhile and could take up to a year (or even more) to return to normal. I was pretty nervous about what my experience would be, especially after my father told me that he has a coworker who literally has to RUN to the bathroom just minutes after eating.
Many of the articles that I read suggested that you modify your diet and also take digestive enzyme supplements to help your traumatized system. My mother actually had a couple of bottles of Trader Joe's Papaya & Pineapple Enzymes on hand from her last trip to the store, so she passed one along to me.
About This Product
Trader Joe's Papaya and Pineapple Enzymes are chewable tablets that contain 45 milligrams of bromelain (pineapple enzyme), 30 milligrams of papain (papaya enzyme), and 30 milligrams of mycozyme which I can't find much information on but what I assume to be some kind of enzyme produced by fungi. These tablets are vegan, yeast-free, and gluten-free. These enzymes are supposed to assist in digestion, reduce heartburn/acid reflux, and possibly even prevent ulcers.
The directions suggest chewing 1 tablet with meals and each bottle contains 100 tablets, so each bottle will last for a little more than a month. My mother doesn't remember the exact price that she paid for this product, but she does report that it was inexpensive enough that she didn't think twice about buying 4 bottles at one time.
I first used Zygest Pro Capsules when I got home from the hospital, but when I ran out of them I switched to these Trader Joe's Papaya & Pineapple Enzymes in conjunction with an acidophilus supplement. I chewed one religiously with every meal during the summer when I was eating at home and was very happy to see that my digestive system was settled down and I didn't have to rush to the bathroom after eating like my father's friend. In fact, things were better in that department than they had been in the many months before my surgery.
When the school year started again and I was back to work, I stopped taking these Papaya and Pineapple Enzyme Tablets with every meal. I'd simply forget to take them at 5am with my coffee and toast and I didn't bother to bring the bottle along to work with me. And then, because I was out of the habit of taking this supplement regularly, I'd sometimes forget to take it with dinner too.
It took me about two weeks to make the connection between the inconsistent use of these Trader Joe's Enzyme Tablets and my overactive and upset intestines. I kept thinking that it was simply due to my change in schedule and increased activity and stress due to my return to work. Eventually the lightbulb just went off, though, and I realized that I wasn't taking these enzymes or the acidophilus capsules as religiously as I did when I first got home from the hospital.
I have since returned to a regular schedule of taking these Trader Joe's Papaya & Pineapple Enzymes (along with the acidophilus) and "things" are back to normal which makes my life a lot easier and more comfortable.
Recovering from an open gallbladder removal is a long and difficult process. These Trader Joe's Papaya and Pineapple Enzymes won't help you to regain your energy, mobility, or flexibility, but they will assist your digestive system in trying to figure out how to manage without a gallbladder. They also help "regular" people who aren't recovering from surgery, as evidenced by the fact that my very healthy mother has been buying and using them for several years now. If you have digestive issues, it is worth giving these Papaya and Pineapple Enzymes a try.