Ways To Improve Stomach Acid
Treating low stomach acid depends on the underlying cause. If youve been prescribed antacid medication for your heartburn symptoms, your doctor may change your prescription to avoid triggering hypochlorhydria symptoms.
However, there are a few steps you can follow to help increase stomach acid levels on your own.
What Causes Low Stomach Acid
Age is one of the most prevalent factors that contribute to a reduction in stomach acid secretions.1 Studies have found that older persons, over the age of 60, experience a significant reduction in stomach acid production. Low stomach acid can also be caused by the overuse of acid-suppressing medications like proton pump inhibitors , bacterial infection caused by Helicobacter pylori, chronic stress, drinking too much alcohol, taking certain antibiotics and even eating disorders like malnutrition and extreme calorie restrictive diets.
Major Functions Of Stomach Acid
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Symptoms Of Low Stomach Acid
Low stomach acid sufferers experience a variety of symptoms, including but not limited to:
- Acid reflux
- Nutritional deficiencies
Food is often undigested, which leads to nutritional deficiencies if the condition isnt corrected. A person with this condition needs to take steps to help increase the amount of stomach acid in their body and alleviate their symptoms.
Restore Healthy Acid Levels With Fermented Foods & Acv
Fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, and pickles can naturally increase and support healthy stomach acid levels. Fermented foods are rich in probiotics, and their beneficial bacteria and enzymes can improve digestion, reduce harmful bacteria, and decrease inflammation from low stomach acid.15 16 Raw apple cider vinegar is a fermented liquid made from apples, bacteria, and yeast that is rich in protein and enzymes. It increases stomach acid levels by introducing more acid into the digestive tract. In addition to increasing stomach acid levels, ACV has been shown to reduce symptoms of heartburn.17
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The Baking Soda Stomach Acid Test
Ingesting baking soda has been a natural remedy used for many years to help settle an upset stomach. Baking soda contains sodium bicarbonate which has hydroxide ions that reduce acidity. Since reducing acidity can create more comfort in someone with acid reflux, baking soda developed this reputation.
There is a simple test you can do at your home in order to see if you have enough stomach acid. This involves drinking baking soda in order to create a unique chemical reaction within your stomach. This reaction happens when the ions of the baking soda and the hydrogen ions within the hydrochloric acid . This should naturally result in carbon dioxide gas production and a resulting burping effect.
This test is virtually free so there is nothing to lose. I recommend doing this test because it is safe and has no cost and it can be done very easily.
However, the test isnt without its flaws. There are many variables that go uncontrolled for in this experiment. To minimize extraneous variables, I recommend performing the test on 3 consecutive mornings in order to find an overall average.
With this method, you are looking for a pattern of results instead of a one-time yes or no. Also, to improve the accuracy it is important to do the test first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything else.
Early and repeated belching may be due to excessive stomach acid . Any belching after 3 minutes is an indication of low stomach acid production.
Eat In A Relaxed State
In our modern world we tend to eat a lot of food quickly and often throughout the day. It is important to be sure to eat when youre only hungry and never to eat when you are in sympathetic mode. Take time to relax, breathe deeply and increase parasympathetic activity. You should feel relaxed at least 15 minutes before eating and up until 1 – 2 hours after finishing your meal.
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Best Supplement To Increase Stomach Acid
I imagine that if youre reading this article, theres a good chance youve got a lot of gut issues and symptoms.
In this case, a supplement that contains Betaine HCl will do the trick. Ive found the compliance and results in clients to be so much better than trying to increase stomach acid with food acids alone.
BUT, I do not use Betaine HCl alone.
Instead, Ive found that combo formulas that include Betaine HCl along with the three types of digestive enzymes and bile support are best and most efficient.
They optimize carb, protein, and fat digestion and absorption to keep partially undigested nutrients away from unfriendly gut flora so that you benefit the most from the food you eat.
I typically recommend Digest Aid to clients that you take 5 minutes before eating a meal. You do not need to take this before eating snacks only meals.
Whats nice here is that the formula is complete and you only need to take ONE capsule. Other formulas require taking multiple pills which Im not a fan of.
> > > Order Digest Aid here!
Just in case theres any confusion in your mind, digestive enzymes on their own will not correct low stomach acid.
REFERENCES FOR DIY LOW STOMACH ACID TEST
Do I Need To Take Betaine Hcl For Life
This is the most common question I get from my clients after they see the remarkable results they get from optimizing their stomach acid and using the Betaine HCL caps. Because stomach acid is something our body naturally should produce, this is a very valid question and concern.
The answer is maybe. Individuals who are younger and healthier can absolutely regain near optimal HCL production and maintain that throughout life with the right plan. Older individuals or those who have suffered with chronic health problems for a longer time may need extra stomach acid support for life.
Either way, your life will be much better by taking the HCL supplements you need so you can optimize your digestion rather than avoiding them or using them marginally. Fortunately, they are one of the most inexpensive supplements you can find on the market.
Taking the time to improve stomach acid levels will make a huge difference on your health and quality of life if this is an issue for you!
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More Ways To Avoid Heartburn
Sometimes it not just what you eat, but how you eat. Check out these tips for taming those searing symptoms.
Dont slouch when eating. It may be tempting to settle into the cushions and watch TV while inhaling that plate of Buffalo wings. But sitting less than straight while you chow down can encourage gastric juices to head in the wrong direction. Doctors say its also important stay upright for 45 to 60 minutes after eating. If stomach acid does escape, gravity will send that noxious stuff back to where it belongs: your stomach. Liquid and gas want to go to the path of least resistance, Pichetshote says. If youre laying down it can easily go up toward your head. If youre a little more upright, it has to fight gravity to move upward. The same goes for sleeping: Wait at least two to three hours after eating before hitting the sack.
Find your sweet spot. Overeating is never a good idea. When your stomach is distended and bloated, acid can rise back into the esophagus, triggering symptoms. But an empty stomach can cause problems, too. Go more than three to four hours without a meal or snack, and stomach acid which would usually be used in the digestive process to break down food collects. The best approach? Eat smaller meals and eat slowly. And choose water to wash things down.
Supporting Healthy Stomach Acid
Eat protein foods at the beginning of your meal to stimulate the digestive enzymes necessary for digesting protein.
Chew thoroughly. This is one of the most important parts of digestion. Food proteins need to be broken down to be properly digested.
Limit liquid intake during meals until at least 30 minutes after a meal to allow for proper stomach acid production, pathogen sterilization, and protein metabolism.
Stay hydrated between meals to support proper gut motility this pushes the contents of the intestines out of the body instead of back into the stomach. This is very important for those who are prone to SIBO.
Betaine hydrochloride supplements help support healthy gut function and safely restore normal gastric acidity.
Always take the betaine HCL either half-way through the meal or right at the end of the meal. Taking it before a meal may create a false experience of heartburn and can turn off stomach acid production for this meal. Caution: Do not take HCL if you are taking any NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, Tylenol, or aspirin.
HCl with pepsin. Add these to your diet when you consume protein. When you feel warmth in your stomach, that means you are taking enough. Then back it down a notch and monitor your response. Some people need one capsule, others need more as everyone is unique.
Pepsin. Typically used in conjunction with HCl, pepsin is considered very safe when administered to assist digestion.
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How To Increase Stomach Acid Naturally
Most people are familiar with antacid medication for heartburn or indigestion, and assume that stomach acidity is bad for you and must be decreased.
The opposite is actually true and, in the majority of cases, most people with digestive problems have low hydrochloric acid or HCl.
If you have a tendency to burp or you feel bloated straight after meals, you may be suffering from low levels of stomach acid. Stomach acid gradually decreases as we age and is also reduced by over-the-counter antacids or proton pump inhibitors. This is why, generally speaking, elderly people prefer starchy, sugary snacks like biscuits and cakes their low levels of stomach acid make it hard for them to digest healthy protein foods.
Contrary to popular belief, having strong stomach acid is really beneficial for our health.Before we learn how to increase stomach acid naturally, lets find out why its so important to have good levels.
What is the function of hydrochloric acid?
HCl is secreted by the stomach walls and is essential for proper digestion. Lets have a look at the main beneficial function of low stomach acid:
Low hydrochloric acid leads to a lack of building blocks to repair our cells, make healthy hormones and neurotransmitters to keep us happy and balanced.
What are the symptoms of low hydrochloric acid?
- Bloating, especially soon after meals
- Heartburn or reflux
- Undigested food in stool
- Over the counter antacid medication
Stomach Acid And Candida
Stomach acid plays an important role when it comes to digestion and good overall health. Those suffering with weak digestion, bloating, acid reflux, or poor appetite oftentimes have inadequate levels of stomach acid.
Also, stomach acid has a protective factor when it comes preventing the overgrowth of pathogens in the body. In particular, those with strong stomach acid levels will typically be more resilient to pathogenic fungal overgrowths such as candida.
This is because stomach acid has a naturally sterilizing effect. It helps to maintain balance in the gut microbiome and can help to prevent the growth of several different pathogenic species in the gut.
In fact, its well known that pathogens such as candida, as well as h. pylori, release small amounts of ammonia in the body . This release in ammonia helps to neutralize the bodys stomach acid production and creates a more alkaline environment. It seems that many pathogens prefer an alkaline environment.
As a result, for optimal health, the stomach should be around a PH of 1.5 to 2.0. Unfortunately, those suffering with candida overgrowth oftentimes have low stomach acid levels.
Luckily, there are several different foods and strategies that can be used in order to naturally increase stomach acid levels in the body!
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Stupid Easy Ways To Increase Your Digestion Instantly
Do you consider yourself to have good digestion? Without it, it’s impossible to make any real progress with your nutrition and overall health. Unfortunately, digestion is frequently ignored and overlooked acting as a barrier that keeps you from reaching your health goals.
Diy Tips To Increase Stomach Acid Naturally
Got low stomach acid?
Here are some simple steps to try increasing stomach acid on your own:
- Slow the heck down! Sitting down and spending time smelling and appreciating your food before eating since it should stimulate stomach acid secretion.
- Chew your food. Barely chewing because youre eating on the go is a huge no-no. Remember you dont have teeth in your stomach. Chewing your food means that appropriate sized food bits can be more efficiently broken down further down the line.
- Reduce your stress. When your body is on alert and constantly in flight or fight mode, digestion and absorption of food are deprioritized.
- Clean up your diet. Heartburn symptoms may be a way of telling you that its time to ditch the junk food.
- Pre-game meal time with acids. Taking a shots worth of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice may help stimulate stomach acid before each meal.
For what its worth, I know that there are a lot of people recommending celery juice as a way to increase stomach acid.
No matter how much research I did, theres absolutely no science to back it up. I searched Pubmed and to date, there is nothing. Its not to say that this is completely incorrect, but there is no data yet that supports this idea.
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Focus On Meal Hygiene
Digestion starts in the brain the process actually begins when you start to think about eating food, when you smell it, and when you look at it . If you are guilty of inhaling a plate of food without much thought, chewing, or sometimes even breathing , this tip is bound to change your digestive health for the better.
Try this: Sit down with your food and give it a look and a smell. Give mental or verbal thanks for the opportunity to have fresh ingredients on your plate and spend a moment thinking about where they came from. Close your eyes and take three deep breaths. Eat your food, slowly, most importantly, chewing every bite thoroughly. Extra credit: spend some time noticing the different textures and flavors on your plate. Even better, enjoy company and a conversation with someone, and/or eat your meal outside for a little boost of nature and vitamin D.
Dont distract yourself with a book, newspaper, or most importantly a screen. And if you can avoid it, dont eat while driving, working, or at other times when your body is in a stress state. I cant tell you how difficult this change is for many people to make. The reality is most people struggle with it on a daily basis! Giving yourself the time, space, and thought-energy to get through your mealtimes in a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere sets your body up to actually go through the process of digestion optimally.
How To Support Optimal Stomach Acid For Good Digestion
When we go to the doctor with symptoms of acid reflux, gas, bloating and heartburn, typically the diagnosis of high stomach acid is based purely on symptoms not a lab test for stomach acid levels resulting in a prescription for antacids, histamine type 2 receptor agonists , Proton Pump Inhibitors , or even surgery.
For many people, these drugs only worsen the problem.
Antacids reduce stomach acid temporarily, then more acid is automatically produced to bring the stomach back to its intended pH level. This only treats the temporary symptoms and does nothing to fix the actual problem.
H2 blockers block a substance in the body that encourages acid production in the stomach. They work more slowly than antacids and are intended to last for longer periods of time. On the down side, they stop production of pepsin, a digestive enzyme necessary for breaking down protein.
Proton pump inhibitors permanently block an enzyme that tells your stomach to produce acid.
All of these methods are linked to serious side effects and can even contribute to the root causes of continued chronic low stomach acid and other serious health conditions.
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