Contrary to mainstream belief where which assumes that the reason behind acid reflux is thanks to the secretion of an excessive amount of stomach acid, we may take a look at the alternative to present us an alternate point of view. the recognition and use of mainstream medications like antacids and PPI’s are only too common and are supported the concept that certain digestive conditions are caused by overactive or high stomach acid levels.
In reality, much of the origin of those varieties of acid-related issues are literally caused by low stomach acid levels.
Let’s have a glance at absorption and where stomach acid fits into the digestive process
Nutrients that are required for optimal bodily functioning are present in food. We consume food via our mouths and this can be actually where the digestive process begins. Food is partially counteracted within the mouth by chewing and therefore the secretion of enzymes in saliva, before it travels down the esophagus to land within the stomach.
Once within the stomach, acid (HCl) helps to further digest that food so as to facilitate the extraction of nutrients from it lower down the channel. acid is extremely acidic, most so it’s going to burn skin if it were to return into contact with it.3 the conventional pH level of acid within the stomach should be between 1–3. In those littered with low stomach acid, also called hypochlorhydria, the pH is typically between 3–5. Achlorhydria is that the clinical condition where no stomach acid is present and typically presents with a stomach pH of over 5.
The main functions of HCl within the stomach include:
- Helping to properly digest protein by stimulating the secretion of pepsin
- Helping to digest carbohydrates and fats, especially fat-soluble vitamins A and E, by stimulating the discharge of pancreatic enzymes
- Aiding and increasing the absorption of the many vitamins and minerals
- Protecting against harmful bacteria which will enter the body through food by destroying it within the highly acidic environment;
- Helping to neutralize candida infections by taking care of proliferating negative yeasts and bacteria
- Regulating gastric emptying and gastric motility
What causes low stomach acid?
Age is one amongst the foremost prevalent factors that contribute to a discount in stomach acid secretions.1 Studies have found that older persons, over the age of 60, experience a major reduction in stomach acid production. Low stomach acid may be caused by the overuse of acid-suppressing medications like proton pump inhibitors (PPI), bacterial infection caused by Helicobacter pylori, chronic stress, drinking an excessive amount of alcohol, taking certain antibiotics and even eating disorders like malnutrition and extreme calorie restrictive diets.
What are the symptoms of low stomach acid?
Let’s take a glance at a number of the foremost common symptoms that result from having low stomach acid. confine mind that some individuals may experience reactions on the skin thanks to having an underactive stomach:
- A feeling of fullness after eating a daily meal
- Flushed skin (red cheeks)
- Iron deficiency
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Brittle fingernails
- Feeling tired and fatigued
- Having low stomach acid may end up within the ineffective breakdown of foods, specifically protein rich foods. this suggests that there are fewer essential nutrients available for assimilation. there’s also an opportunity that pathogens ingested cannot properly be addressed or discarded before digested food moves to the tiny and enormous intestine (where nutrient absorption takes place).
Here these harmful pathogens can disrupt the balance of fine bacteria within the gut, ultimately resulting in possible SIBO leaky gut syndrome, food allergies and chronic inflammation.
The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation claims that 1 in 6 Canadians suffer from stomach acid-related digestive diseases like GERD.
Low stomach acid is additionally related to variety of chronic health conditions, including:
- celiac disease,
- food allergies,
- chronic inflammation,
- Grave’s disease,
- gallstones and
- rheumatoid arthritis.
- Low stomach acid is difficult to diagnose. A medical doctor will usually take a full case history, taking under consideration any symptoms related to low stomach acid.
At home, a ‘burping test’ will be self conducted employing a solution of bicarbonate of soda to work out the degree of stomach acid.
First thing one morning, on an empty stomach, before eating, drinking, brushing teeth.
Mix 1/8 tsp bicarbonate of soda to 100mls slightly warm water.
Drink the mixture (it may taste slightly salty)
Burping after ingesting the answer 3–5 minutes later may indicate low levels of stomach acid.
A doctor may prescribe medications like antacids or proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for heartburn but that overtime may cause the symptoms to worsen by decreasing stomach acid even more. Because low stomach acid results in decreased digestion, food can begin to ferment and cause bloating and begin pushing through the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), causing acid reflux.
By increasing stomach acid, digestion will improve, allowing the LES to shut tighter and increase the gastric emptying of food. If there’s enough HCl within the stomach, heartburn symptoms and conditions like GERD may very well improve.
Lifestyle and diet changes
Lifestyle and diet changes to boost low stomach acid secretions and produce them back to a healthy level:
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol
- Avoid processed food
- Reduce stress
- Exercise more
- Don’t drink lots of fluids during or right before a meal
- Chew food properly
- Eat probiotic rich fermented foods like kimchi and kombucha
- Reduce acidic foods that may worsen symptoms (tomatoes, orange juice)
- Supplements for low stomach acid
- Popular supplements to treat low stomach acid include betaine hydrochloride, digestive enzymes, seasoner capsules and herbal bitters.
Bitter plants like those in our Boldocynara (liquid form) and Digestive Aid Complex (tablet form) are an especially effective option to address low stomach acid and are utilized in European and Chinese traditional medicine practices for hundreds of years.
Bitters work by stimulating gastric secretions (HCl), enzymes in saliva and bile production.
Herbal bitters may even work more effectively than simply taking a digestive enzyme supplement as these supplements target the digestive enzymes released by the pancreas into the tiny intestine and therefore the body will begin to re-train to supply its own secretions rather than simply wishing on enzymes in supplement form.
A herbal bitter tincture like Boldocynara contains a mix of assorted bitter and digestive and liver stimulating plants including:
Artichoke leaf: which may be a liver protector and stimulates the secretion of bile
Milk thistle fruit: a strong liver protector
Boldo leaf which aids digestion and stimulates bile secretion
Dandelion root which contains antioxidants and helps to scale back inflammation
A combination of those four plants can help increase HCl secretion within the stomach, help the liver work more efficiently to urge obviate toxins and stimulate bile secretion to extend fat digestion within the gut.
Boldocynara or Digestive Aid Complex (in your preferred format) may be a wonderful remedy to deal with low stomach acid, especially in those littered with age-related underactive stomach issues. together with dietary and lifestyle changes, the symptoms of low stomach acid will greatly improve with the addition of this remedy.
Wishing everyone happy and healthy digestion!