Friday, March 16, 2012

Low Stomach Acid

After much research in regard to my upper GI issues, I landed upon some interesting information suggesting that some of my problems could be related to low stomach acid.  While I don't know if this is the case, I'm definitely open to trying anything that could possibly help.  According to the self-tests listed in Dr. Elizabeth Lipski's book, Digestive Wellness, my issue could be low stomach acid OR high stomach acid.  In her book, she does indicate that the symptoms of both are almost indistinguishable.  She goes on to mention that low stomach acid is a much bigger problem than is acknowledged and that we can actually be worsening our condition by taking proton pump inhibitors (like prilosec, nexium, etc.) because these drugs further reduce the acid in your gut. 

One way to test for this problem is by supplementing with hydrocholoric acid (HCL) with pepsin to see how you respond.  If you respond with heartburn and lots of discomfort, than this is likely not the problem for you.  If it makes you feel better, then there is a good possibility that low stomach acid could be your culprit.  If you do feel discomfort after the trial supplementation, you can take a bit of baking soda mixed with water to neutralize the acidity.  Please consult your healthcare provider before trying this and remember that what I am sharing here is based on my personal experience and is not meant to be or replace medical advice.

Another way to boost your stomach acid is with the use of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.  (Tip: sip these through a straw to protect the enamel on your teeth.)  Ideally, you would mix any where from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of the apple cider vinegar (ACV) with some warm water and drink it before a meal.  I have read you can drink it right before a meal, up to 30 minutes before a meal, between meals, or after a meal- so I plan to do whatever seems to work best with my body.  Today, I took 1 teaspoon mixed with water about 10 minutes before breakfast.  I did not have any negative reactions or discomfort.  Hopefully after doing this regularly, some of my upper GI issues will disappear!  I will post back with an update within the next month.  Below are some resources if you're interested in learning more about low stomach acid, HCL, or ACV.


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