Low Stomach Acid: The Risks, the Symptoms, and the Solutions

Posted September 20, 2007. There have been 8 comments

Did you know that your indigestion may be a result of TOO LITTLE stomach acid? Find out why - BEFORE you reach for popular over the counter indigestion or acid relief remedies!

The multi-billion dollar antacid industry has you believing that stomach acid is bad for you.

While you may use antacids for heartburn relief or indigestion, they are not a cure for what causes these problems in the first place.

Contrary to popular belief, indigestion is usually caused by low stomach acid - also called hypochlorhydria- and it affects up to half of our population.1

Treatment that further neutralizes stomach acid can make your digestion worse.

Why Stomach Acid is Good For You

Stomach acid or hydrochloric acid (HCl), is a very powerful digestive agent, and much more important than you realize.

HCl's important functions include:

  • Breaking down proteins into the essential amino acids and nutrients your body needs in order to stay healthy.
  • Stimulating your pancreas and small intestines to produce the digestive enzymes and bile necessary to further breakdown the carbohydrates, proteins and fats you eat.
  • Preventing disease by killing pathogenic bacteria and yeast normally present in food.

As you age, your stomach acid tends to decrease anyway. Add a poor diet of processed foods and you may find that you have both digestive and immune problems.

Low Stomach Acid: A Vicious Cycle

There are two main consequences of low stomach acid:

  1. You become protein malnourished. When your stomach acid is low, you are not able to digest protein.
    • Improper digestion of protein creates toxins in your intestines that can set the stage for illness and disease.
    • Improper digestion of protein also creates acidic blood, since protein is by nature acidic.
  2. You become mineral deficient. As your blood becomes more acidic, it will look for minerals from anywhere in your body, in order to get your blood to its more ideal alkaline state. Acidic blood robs your body of minerals, even taking minerals from your bones (which is important to know if you want to prevent osteoporosis).

Low stomach acid eventually creates a vicious cycle: low stomach acid = low minerals = acidic blood. This cycle continues because acidic blood further creates low minerals and low stomach acid.

Once this vicious cycle has started, there is a cascade of consequences:

  • You could eat plenty of protein and still be protein malnourished. This raises cortisol levels (stress or death hormone), thereby raising your blood glucose (blood sugar levels). Elevated cortisol adversely affects your behavior and temperment.
  • Eventually, your adrenals become depleted (adrenal fatigue) and DHEA, the youth hormone, is suppressed, leading to premature aging.

Low DHEA and high cortisol affect your brain and behavior, but that's not all. The vicious cycle of low stomach acid affects your inner ecosystem too. Low stomach acid can lead to more bad guys (pathogenic bacteria, candida and viruses) than good guys (healthy microflora), thus lowering your immunity.

Symptoms of Low Stomach Acid

Here are some of the common symptoms and disorders caused by low stomach acid1,3:

  • Bloating, belching, and flatulence immediately after meals
  • Heartburn (often thought to be caused by too much stomach acid)
  • Indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation
  • Undigested food in stools
  • Acne
  • Rectal itching
  • Chronic candida
  • Hair loss in women
  • Multiple food allergies
  • Iron deficiency
  • Weak, peeling, or cracked fingernails
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Dry skin
  • Various autoimmune diseases

Increase Your Stomach Acid, Heal Your Digestion

Here are the 3 KEY ways to increase your stomach acid:

  1. Reduce or eliminate sugar. Replace mineral-depleting sugar and sweeteners with Stevia
  2. Add fermented foods and drinks to your diet. Fermented foods and drinks keep you looking and feeling healthy from the inside out. Some of our favorite fermented foods and drinks are:
    • Cultured vegetables - a delicious, vitamin, mineral and probiotic-rich, raw, fermented food.
    • Young Coconut Kefir - full of minerals and probiotics, this is a fermented drink you can easily make at home.
    • Super Spirulina Plus- thought of as one of the "world's healthiest foods," the fermented spirulina in Super Spirulina Plus is a perfect protein and an almost immediate energizer anyone suffering with adrenal fatigue.
  3. Eliminate processed foods. Follow the 7 healthy eating principles of the Body Ecology Program

As you eat a healthy Body Ecology diet, you will find your digestion improving. You may notice that you experience heartburn relief, less indigestion and improved energy. Or perhaps, if you have had long-standing digestive problems, your journey to health may take a bit longer. Be patient as you go step by step towards true health.

Whatever the reason for low stomach acid, we have another solution for you: Assist SI and Assist Dairy and Protein Digestive Enzymes.

Experiencing gas, bloating, belching, fatigue or abdominal pain? Assist your digestion with Assist SI Digestive Enzymes

Assist Dairy and Proteinsupports your digestion with plenty of HCL, which your stomach desperately needs in order to properly break down foods and assimilate nutrients.

Assist SI and Assist Dairy and Protein is a potent blend of digestive enzymes and HCl designed specifically to help you digest proteins from all animal and vegetable sources.

There is no reason to suffer the vicious cycle of low stomach acid. So start by healing the root cause and watch your energy and vitality improve, naturally!

WHAT TO REMEMBER MOST FROM THIS ARTICLE:

Did you know that indigestion could be caused by low stomach acid, which affects over 50% of the population?Using over-the-counter antacids can neutralize stomach acid and actually make your digestion worse, leaving you at risk for malnutrition and mineral deficiencies. The key to improving your digestion is in increasing your stomach acid by reducing sugar in your diet, eating healthy fermented foods and beverages, and cutting out processed foods. When you couple that with Body Ecology’s digestive enzymes, you'll be able to kick indigestion to the curb and finally have the health and energy you have been hoping for!

PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS:

Sources:

  1. Stomach Acid Imbalance: Overview, Symptoms, Causes, Natural Treatments and Medicine
    http://www.jigsawhealth.com/articles/stomach_acid_reflux.html
  2. Adrenocortical function in experimental protein. PubMed 1979. malnutrition.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=109732&dopt=AbstractPlus
  3. Kennedy M.D., Ron, Hypochlorhydria. Doctor's Medical Library
    http://www.med-library.net/content/view/177/41/

Post Categories: Candida Digestion Fermented Foods

8 Comments

  • I've had Grave's Disease for 14 years. I take Methamazole. I'm also taking Dexilant which makes me not produce acid (started way after Grave's). I would have a severe Asthma attack from the acid coming up in my throat in the middle of the night and land in the ER :-( So reduce acid even though I have high acid? My Dad is refluxing and has had to have a stricture stretched. I have too. Also, with Grave's you are supposed to avoid iodine. When I eat shrimp, Lobster etc I can feel my heart rate raise. So take Iodine to cure the Grave's? I'd love it if it worked. Thanks for any help! Kim

    Posted on Sep 28 at 11:04 pm

  • HI I HAVE ACID REFLUX REALLY BAD AND MY HAIR IS FALLING COULD THIS BE LOW STOMACH ACID

    Posted on Aug 7 at 12:42 pm

  • Thank you but am in Africa. Am really suffering from indigestion. How may I get these drugs?

    Posted on Aug 16 at 3:07 pm

  • Thank you very much for this wonderful information. i know God loves me beyond my comprehension. This is exactly what I need. I am so blessed. My prayers are always answered. Thank you and thank God!

    Posted on May 11 at 11:08 pm

  • Great article. If I may add: supplements are not needed and are fractured. Turn to whole foods and ferments. One brilliant fermeng you forgot was beer and wine (good quality organic). too many in the health movement are neglecting what our long lived ancestors considered medicinal. As for iodine, get it from mushrooms not pills. The problem with tryinb to pinpoint health issues down to singular mineral deficiences is that you're assuming the other 10,000 phytonutrients have nothing to do with the absorbtion. Isolated vitamins are useless. Get your nutrition from raw wholefoods. Up your intake of good quality sea salt, drink more water and get into the sun more. you can't get calcium from a pill. Salt ionizes into all tye minerals when sunlight and water mix with it, just like on the ocean floor (calcium everywhere).

    Posted on Jul 6 at 5:00 pm

  • Iodine deficiency can cause low stomach acid [food rots instead of digesting, intestine does not absorb nutrients but instead toxins from decomposing food, liver gets over-worked and no longer metabolizes B vitamin, body start to die off as malnourishment wreaks havoc, chronic fatigue and weak stamina are classic symptoms, cancer often takes over, especially colon and intestinal as low acidity causes constipation. Fluoride and Bromine inhibit iodine absorption in the Thyroid; fluoride causes hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, and thyroid cancer. People go to a doctor who diagnoses them with thyroid cancer, and tell them that they have to remove half of it [they can't remove the whole thing as your body needs it to regulate over a trillion cells.]

    2 Billion people in the world [about the size of the U.S. population], reportedly, are iodine deficient. So they turn to digestive enzymes and HCL to supplement stomach acid, all the while iodine deficiency is one of the major root causes of low stomach acid. And the Environmental Protection Agency, which bans the dumping fluoride into the environment and classifies the toxic waste as an environmental pollutant, RECOMMENDS administering 1200 parts per billion of it into America's drinking water supply, socially sanitizing toxic waste pollution in the name of cavity prevention, which is a lie, it actually weakens the enamel of your teeth, causing pitting and staining [‘Dental Fluorosis’]. They endorse dumping the neurotoxin into your family’s drinking water, while the CDC warns those who handle the fluoride 'not to take internally.' Meanwhile doctors say it is now typical for people in their 30's to become deficient in their stomach acid, while patients are being prescribed 5-7 antacids daily to treat what they believe is heart-burn, when instead it is methane gas from undigested rotting food. The antacids only neutralize what little acid they have, making the problem worse, with more heart-burn symptoms, bloating, gas, and rotten breath, and worse, the well-fed person slowly starves from malabsorption and malnutrituion.

    I take a daily multi-vitamin, purchased Iodized Salt
    [threw out my old shaker], also Iodized supplements can be taken. In addition I threw out all bleached flour and bread made with bleached flour. I only buy bread that is made with unbleached flour.

    Also, I ADVISE using Reverse Osmosis to filter Fluoride and Bleach out of your family's drinking water, and may GOD Bless you and your family richly and warmly, in Jesus' Holy Name.

    “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” 3 John 1:2



    Iodine shown to remove toxins from the body such as bromine [bleach] and fluoride [toxic waste]

    In Japan, the average ingestion is roud 13 mg daily from their diet high in kelp/sea-weed [13,000 mcg vs the FDA 150 mcg] and they have no ill side effects.

    Iodine has been removed almost entirely from our diet [you can specificaly purchase Iodized salt, and you may receive up to 150 mcg's from a daily vitamin, but we may only absorb 25% of the daily vitamin, although it claims to give the public 100% of everything.

    You can buy iodine supplem from a health food store. Avoid kelp that comes from Iceland or Norway, because kelp absorbs radiation and you want to be sure the waters from which kelp comes, has not been contaminated. Norwegian sea water contains elevated levels of 226Ra Radiation

    Iodine from Alaskan kelp

    http://​www.vitaminshoppe.com/​store/en/browse/​sku_detail.jsp?id=VS-1370&s​ourceType=cs&source=FG&ci_​src=14110944&ci_sku=VS-137​0



    Read the whole article, here's a sample

    IODINE IS VITAL FOR GOOD HEALTH

    http://​www.newswithviews.com/​Howenstine/james37.htm

    By Dr. James Howenstine, MD.

    November 5, 2005
    NewsWithViews.com

    Lack of iodine is widespread in the United States today. For many years iodine was added to bread in generous quantities which prevented iodine deficiency. Each slice of bread contained 150 mcg. of iodine filling the whole days RDA of iodine In 1960 the average diet consumed about 1 mg. of iodine daily with bakery products accounting for about 75 % of the total. This quantity of iodine was enough to decrease the thyroid glands ability to absorb radioactive iodine and it was also sufficient to prevent excess release of thyroid hormone thus preventing many cases of hyperthyroidism (Grave’s Disease).

    Forty years ago the food industry decided to remove iodine from baked goods and replace the iodine with bromine. Iodine and bromine appear similar to the thyroid gland and bromine easily binds to the thyroid gland’s receptors for iodine. Bromine, however, is of no value to the thyroid gland unlike iodine and it inhibits the activity of iodine in the thyroid gland. Bromine also can cause impaired thinking and memory, drowsiness, dizziness and irritability. This substitution of bromine for iodine has resulted in nearly universal deficiency of iodine in the American populace. Iodine therapy helps the body eliminate fluoride, bromine, lead, cadmium, arsenic, aluminum and mercury. Could this substitution of bromine for iodine have been carried out to increase diseases and thus create more need for pharmaceutical drugs?

    Among the problems caused by iodine deficiency are:

    • Underactivity of the thyroid gland produces fatigue. In rodents iodine deficiency leads to abnormal pituitary-adrenal function. The adrenal gland provides energy and stamina.

    • When iodine no longer binds to thyroid cell membranes enzymes called peroxidases are able to damage these membranes and produce autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Hyperthroidism (Graves Disease). Researcher Dr. Guy Abraham has observed several cases of thyroiditis and hyperthyroidism that have been corrected by the simple replacement of iodine. For more than 100 years high doses of iodine have been known to benefit both underactivity (hypothyroidism) of the thyroid gland and overactivity of the thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism). Iodine therapy allows the sluggish thyroid gland to resume normal production of thyroid hormone leading to resolution of hypothyroidism. Provision of iodine stops the peroxidase injury to the thyroid membranes in hyperthyroidism which permits hyperthyroidism to resolve. Thus thyroid surgery for hyperthyroidism is no longer necessary.

    • Several human organs need iodine but cannot absorb it until blood iodine levels reach high values (stomach, salivary glands). Most persons exhibit impaired production of stomach acid as they age. This impaired capability to produce adequate stomach acid may be a result of iodine deficiency as iodine promotes stomach acidity.

    Posted on May 26 at 10:59 pm

  • 1)is there any test to confirm low stomach acid
    2) can low stomach acid victim have a acid reflux

    Posted on Dec 22 at 7:52 pm

  • Dear friend; a person who has low hcl may also have candida, which 50% of the population ao have. Fermented drinks and vinigars feed yeast, so carbs, sugars, low stomach acid and you're in for real trouble. Check out diets for Candida. What is one for patoents who also have low stomach acid? May GOD richlky bless you in Christ Jesus [feel free to publish this comment] www.acts2618.weebly.com

    Posted on Nov 6 at 5:41 pm

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