5 Ways To Naturally Improve Symptoms Of Low Stomach Acid
Improving The symptoms of Low stomach acid is easy with these 5 tips. For some people, symptom of low stomach acid show up as acid reflux, bloating, gas or IBS. In others, it might be skin conditions, vitamin deficiencies, gut infections or a leaky gut. Regardless of which symptoms you have, improving low stomach acid can have profound impact on your quality of life. The good news is that low stomach acid is something that is easy to remedy. In this article I’ll discuss 5 ways to naturally improve symptoms of low stomach acid also known as hypochlorhydria.
If you have been struggling with bloating, burping, constipation, acid reflux, or recently diagnosed with SmallIntestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), you probably suffer with low stomach acid to some extent.
People with low stomach acid/hypochlorhydria often experience digestive issues, nutritional deficiencies, and gastrointestinal infections, but prompt treatment can prevent serious complications. Hydrochloric acid (HCl) is an important gastric secretion that enables the body to break down proteins, activate important enzymes and hormones, and protect against bacterial and fungal overgrowth in the gut
I’m Dr Hagmeyer and I am the clinic director here at DrHagmeyer.com where we help patients from all over the world, find Natural solutions to problems like Acid reflux, SIBO, Candida and many other GI disorders but most importantly we help people using Functional and lifestyle Medicine.
Low levels of hydrochloric acid also known as hypochlorhydria can have a disastrous impact on the body’s ability to properly digest and absorb nutrients.
Left untreated, low stomach acid can cause damage to the gastrointestinal (GI) system, cause infections, cause all kinds of nutritional deficiencies as well as contribute to a number of chronic health issues.
For these reasons recognizing the symptoms associated with low stomach acid/ hypochlorhydria as well as understanding the causes of stomach acid is super important for your digestion and your overall health.
So, let get into some of my favorite ways to naturally treat and increase low levels of stomach acid.
#1 Fermented Vegetables and Beverages For Low Stomach Acid
Fermented vegetables like kimchi, pickles, beets, sauerkraut, table olives, apple cider vinegar, kefir, Kombucha. Apple Cider vinegar is a popular treatment for acid reflux- not only does apple cider vinegar acidify the stomach which improves the digestion of food, it is also an antifungal like many of these fermented foods. Because fermented foods are high in histamines, in some people depending on their histamine threshold they could develop diarrhea, low blood pressure, itching skin or low blood pressure depending on how much and for how long they have been eating fermented foods.
So if you have an overgrowth of yeast in your gut, fermented foods and Apple cider vinegar can help with this. Eating 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sauerkraut or other fermented veggies with meals can do wonders for your digestive system.
The power of Fermented foods comes from the fact that they contain live microorganisms and provide a vital dose of diversity to your gut. Studies have linked fermented foods to increased microbial diversity to improved immunity, better weight management, cardiovascular health, glucose metabolism, and even better cognitive function.
The one word of caution for some of you out there is that if you are someone with a histamine intolerance, suspected histamine intolerance or MCAS, skip the fermented foods and use some of my other suggestions mentioned in the video above.
#2 Vitamin C For Low Stomach Acid
#2 on my list of ways to improve low stomach acid/ is to take vitamin C otherwise known as ascorbic acid. Over the years I have worked with many kinds of vitamin C if you need a tablet vitamin C I recommend C-Flav. Ascorbic Acid is a natural water-soluble vitamin that can increase acidity levels in the stomach and simply upping your daily vitamin C levels could improve symptoms like acid reflux or bloating and belching. As with any of these methods for improving low stomach acid, if any of these exacerbate your symptoms, then it’s possible, you don’t have a problem with low levels of stomach acid/ hypochlorhydria. I don’t recommend generic vitamin C has it has too many binders and fillers that can often aggravate gut health.
#3 Betaine and Pepsin For Low Stomach Acid
#3 on my list is to take a supplement called Betaine HCL and Pepsin. Most of my patients that I work with that struggle with acid reflux, IBS, SIBO and most of them see tremendous improvement in a wide variety of symptoms when they begin supplementation with Betaine HCL and Pepsin.
Betaine & Pepsin provides two essential components of healthy digestion: hydrochloric acid (HCl) and the digestive enzyme, pepsin.
Hydrochloric acid is vital for the proper digestion of protein and the absorption of vitamins and minerals (especially vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc). HCl also plays an important role in signaling the pancreas to release digestive enzymes.
Pepsin is one of the first enzymes to initiate protein digestion and works in synergy with HCl to provide complete protein digestive support.
I usually have my patients take 1-2 capsules of Betaine HCL and Pepsin 10-15 minutes before each meal.
If you don’t notice a difference after a few days, you can increase the dosage until you either notice improvement in your symptoms or if you notice worsening of your symptoms.
In another video, I explain what I do with patients in order to dial in the right dosage of Betaine and Pepsin if 1-2 capsules per meal doesn’t seem to do the trick. But what I will say is that most people will notice an improvement with just 1-2 capsules per meal.
#4 Peppermint For Low Stomach Acid
The FOURTH approach is using Peppermint. You can take this in either capsule form, as an essential oil or you can grow your own peppermint bush and make tea from it.
I love to be out in my garden and I grow a variety of medicinal herbs and so for me every spring I grow my own peppermint, and spearmint in patio pots- Mint does have a way of taking over your garden, so if you plan to grow it on your own, then I recommend you grow it in a container.
Pepermint has antibacterial and gastric-acid-promoting effects. Peppermint like all of the previous suggestions, also can help with gas, it can help increasing the flow of bile which helps digest fats, it can help decrease the tone and spasms of the lower esophagus sphincter. This is the sphincter known to cause problems in people with acid reflux.
#5 Bitters For Low Stomach Acid
THE FIFTH APPROACH IS using Bitters such as Gentian, Artichoke, Dandelion and Wormwood: bitters work in a couple of ways, bitters acts on your taste bud receptors, which in turn stimulate the secretion of saliva in the mouth and hydrochloric acid in the stomach, they increase blood flow and circulation to the abdominal organs, they increase the vagal response which stimulates the entire digestive process.
I will often use this approach if I have a patient who is very sensitive to Betaine and Pepsin, this is because bitters encourage your own natural production of digestive enzymes. The Best Bitters I have ever used is Digest Phytosynergist from MediHerb
Ok well there you go, those are a few ways you can naturally improve your symptoms of hypochlorhydria/low stomach acid.
Remember, low stomach acid leads to decreased digestion and poor digestion of food allows that food to ferment and cause bloating, gas, acid reflux and many IBS symptoms.
Also be sure to check out my next video, where I will talk about the Symptoms of Low Stomach Acid, who is at greatest risk of developing low stomach acid.
I promise you that I will be covering some great information in that video so you’re not going to want to miss. I’ll see you there!
Other Videos And Articles Recommended
- Video #1- Overlooked Symptoms of Low Stomach acid and Hypochlorhydria
- Understanding Intestinal Dysbiosis
- Medications that Cause Leaky Gut
- Skin Problems- Why The Gut Holds The Key To Beautiful Skin