Do you have low stomach acid?
Did you ever experience heartburn and blame it on the excessive acidity of your stomach? If you have, then like myself, you may have been misled by a medical industry that tends to ignore the root of the problem and focus primarily on treating the symptoms.
Most people who experience heartburn and indigestion do so because they have LOW STOMACH ACIDITY not the opposite. To begin understanding this paradox, lets ask why the stomach needs to be acidic.
The stomach’s acidity destroys parasites, yeast and bad bacteria as it enters your body. Stomach acid sends a signal to your small intestines and pancreas to produce digestive enzymes and helps break down food and proteins into nutrients that you need to survive. Contrary to popular belief stomach acid declines in people as they age leading to an increased likelihood of nutrient malabsorption and deficiency.
The longer undigested food sits in your stomach, the more likely it is that yeast and bad bacteria will start colonising your digestive tract. Lots of gas is likely to be created. Sooner or later your oesophagus is likely to suffer as the gas in your stomach will look for escape routes (making you burp) and small amounts of stomach acid are likely to accompany it. Left untreated this condition will lead to heartburn and GERD. The cure for which, ironically, is not antacids, but more acidic and potent stomach juices.
In order to determine if you suffer from hypochlorhydria (low stomach acidity) ask yourself if the following statements hold true for you:
- You suffer from gas, bloating and flatulence soon after you eat. This happens despite having a good posture and never laying down during or right after a meal.
- You have skin problems and frequent outbreaks of acne.
- You suffer from food allergies.
- You have difficulty digesting carbs and protein.
- You often have constipation or diarrhea. There is often undigested food in your stools.
- You are a women who suffers from hair loss.
- You have candida.
- You suffer from iron deficiency.
- You have adrenal fatigue.
- Your fingernails often crack or break.
- You have GERD or chronic heartburn.
- You suffer from rectal itching.
- You often feel tired and low on energy. Especially after a meal.
- It is hard for you to feel satiated even when you are full.
- Your abdomen feels tight.
If some of these symptoms are familiar to you, then you might suffer from hypochlorhydria. Put away your antacids as they only mask the symptoms while making the problem worse. Talk to your doctor if you feel the need for advice or a proper diagnosis. And most importantly, start working on increasing the acidity of your stomach. Here are a few things that you can start doing today:
- Mix one tablespoon of vinegar with some water and drink it before you eat your meal. This will help raise the acidity of your stomach.
- Reduce the amount of carbs and sugar in your diet. Carbs and sugar are breeding grounds for yeast and bacteria.
- Add fermented foods to your diet. These foods will naturally populate your body with healthy microorganisms and improve you defence systems.
- Eat smaller meals. Smaller meals require less effort from your body to digest.
- Take pepsin and HCL supplements if your doctor approves. This will help you produce stomach acid while you are returning your body back to a healthier state.
- Take digestive enzymes before a meal. Hypochlorhydria tends to limit your ability to produce these yourself and enzymes are needed to proper digestion.
- If you are not supplementing with HCL or pepsin, include small amounts of lemon, black olives and pineapple in your diet.
- Eat in a calm and relaxed environment and chew your food thoroughly. Our bodies are incapable of good digestion when they are stressed.
- Avoid drinking for at least half an hour after you eat, so as not to dilute your stomach acid.
Finally, keep in mind, that your stomach represents your centre of empowerment. Feeling disempowered, unable to defend your territory, status or ego will all lead to poor digestion. Any serious conflicts that you may be experiencing in this regard need to be voiced and resolves or re-examined under a different perspective.