Hypochlorhydria is the medical term for the low stomach acid.
It is one of the serious problems that most people overlook on their quest to get healthy, and it may seem rare, still it’s a common condition that is linked to other diseases like stomach cancer,rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma.
If you are having symptoms such as acid reflux, burping, heartburn, gas, bloating, or nausea after eating, then it may say that you have a stomach acid issue.
People who have diagnosed with gastrointestinal issues, especially inflammatory bowel diseases, IBS, or Celiac disease, are at a higher risk of having acid problems in the stomach. If you have made several diet and lifestyle changes and you are still not seeing the results you desire, low stomach acid might be holding you back.
Why Low Stomach Acid Dangerous:
Appropriate levels of stomach acid are needed to absorb adequately most of the nutrients including minerals (copper, zinc iron, and calcium), vitamin B12, folic acid, and proteins.
Stomach acid also plays an important part of the immune system. The acid barrier of the stomach in the normal state of health can easily and quickly kills bacteria and other foreign elements that enter the body. It also helps to prevent bacteria in the intestines from migrating up and colonizing the stomach.
Without sufficient amount of stomach acid, our body’s defense system is completely compromised. What’s worse, you could be eating an all-organic and healthy diet and still become malnourished because you are nott absorbing nutrients. Today, I wanted to inform you the three most common patterns of low stomach acid that I have seen.
3 Red Flags You’re Suffering From Low Stomach Acid
(1) You Do not Feel Good When You Eat Meat
The pattern is an observation that links several clues together, and this pattern is much more effective in women than men. So, what is going on here? I think it is a two-part problem. The first part is a physiological problem of low stomach acid. The second is a belief system that is created to cope with the symptoms of the physiological problem.
Here’s a typical scenario:
Mary is very in tune with her body. For as long as she can remember, she has not liked eating red meat or huge amounts of any meat. When pressed about it, she responds with, “I just do not like meat and never have. I do not like how it makes me feel.”
I think she’s totally justified and validated in her feelings. I BELIEVE she feels bad, sluggish, or nauseous when she eats a large portion of meat. And the reason is that she doesn’t have the ability to digest it. She needs more stomach acid to break properly down the protein structures. And without it, red, white, or any other kind of meat will probably make her feel worse than when she eats other types of foods that contain less protein.
If you’re someone who believes that you don’t like meat because of how it makes you feel, I challenge you to test for low stomach acid, supplement with Betaine HCL and regain your desire to eat meat again.
(2) You Experience Acid Reflux Pain After Eating
It is counterintuitive to think that acid reflux is not too much acid but too little. But it’s true, despite what pharmaceutical ads might tell you or your doctor might have led you to believe.
The modern media and pharmaceutical marketing campaigns have brainwashed us to believe that acid reflux, or GERD, is due to high stomach acid levels. This is nothing more than propaganda from people who make money when you believe their message. In 2009, there were 110 million prescriptions filled for acid-suppressing drugs! Would Mother Nature create a situation in which almost 1 out of 3 people created too much acid to be healthy? I don’t think so.
What is true is that the pain you feel is coming from acid touching unprotected parts of your esophagus or stomach. But what you haven’t been told is that the body is designed to have reflux after meals!
In a normal healthy person, after each meal we’ll have 1-3 rounds of acid refluxing up to the top of the stomach and into the esophagus. The problem comes in when this normal action starts to cause pain.
Now, the cause of the pain is typically multi-faceted, but here’s an example of a very typical reason for why it’s happening:
First, a person has low acid levels, so the food sits in the stomach and instead of being broken down by acid and enzymes, it’s broken down by bacteria and yeast (which give off the gas as they eat your food). This gas increases the pressure in your stomach, a.k.a intra-abdominal pressure (IAP). When IAP increases enough, it pushes open the valve at the top of the stomach and then the acid and contents in the stomach can constantly go into the esophagus.
This can be painful enough on its own, but over time, as this happens meal after meal, the protections in the esophagus begin to wear down, and it becomes hyper-sensitive to any reflux. And, over time, this is thought to lead possibly to Barrett’s esophagus and cancer.
As someone who formerly suffered from heartburn and acid reflux, I know how painful and distracting it can be. Please know that no one needs to suffer from acid reflux or GERD.
(3) You Burp, Fart, or Get Bloated After Eating
After eating a meal, do you experience any of the following symptoms?
Several burps shortly after finishing or burps later that taste and smell bad?
Experience gas 1-2 hours after eating?
Do you get bloated after eating that lasts for a few hours?
A heavy feeling in your stomach – like your food just sits there?
If you’ve answered yes to any of those questions, it’s likely that you are suffering from low stomach acid levels.
So, why would a “YES” to these indicate low stomach acid? The likely situation is the food you ate is being fermented by bacteria/yeast, and the byproduct of their feast is gas. If your acid levels are low enough, most people will get repeated burps after eating.
Sometimes, you might even have smelly burps several hours after eating. This is a strong indicator that the food is still in your stomach when it should be in your small intestine. The pH level of the stomach isn’t low enough to begin dumping the food into the intestines.
Bloating and farting following a meal could be explained by several problems – one of which is bacterial overgrowth in the stomach or upper small intestine. Lower acid levels would contribute to this by allowing these bacteria to live in the stomach or small intestine. There also could be a slowing of the speed of digestion, affording the bacteria longer access to the food.
I wish more people knew about stomach acid levels because they’d have much better digestion and typically better energy, and many times reflux disappears altogether. I can tell you this is based on extensive self-experimentation and work with personal clients. When someone reports any of the problems above, there is a high chance they have low stomach acid.
What to Do About Low Stomach Acid
I know you care about your health. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this. That is the reason I want to urge you to figure out if you have low stomach acid. There are some easy methods to handle this problem, achieve better digestion, and then figure out why it started in the first place.
I’ve created an affordable three-hour program all about acid reflux and low stomach acid that reveals you how to get rid of the pain, start digesting your food again, and fix the seven root causes of stomach dysfunction.
It’s based on functional medicine and broken down into easy-to-follow steps so that everyone can understand it.
Unfortunately, low stomach acid and heartburn are complicated conditions that a magic pill (like PPI medications) simply would not fix. However, by putting in a small amount of effort, you can naturally and completely fix the underlying causes of these issues.