Low Stomach Acid Treatment

Are you suffering from acid reflux or heartburn?

Do you have acid reflux symptoms or heartburn? Or perhaps you have other digestive issues, like gas immediately after eating. Are you being treated for SIBO, low levels of friendly gut flora, or even nutritional deficiencies?

You probably realise that acid reflux, heartburn, bacterial gastric ulcer infections, and these other conditions all relate to the secretion of stomach acid.

It is often thought that the cause of acid reflux is the secretion of too much stomach acid. Prescriptions for antacids and PPI’s are common as a counter to high stomach acid levels. But actually, many of these types of acid-related issues are actually caused by low stomach acid levels. This condition is also called hypochlorhydria.

So, here is the thing: if you have acid reflux or heartburn, or even one of many common skin issues, then these are all warning signs that you have low stomach acid.

Acid secretion

The nutrients that we need for optimal bodily functioning are present in our food. Food is partly broken down by chewing and by the secretion of enzymes in saliva, in the mouth. From there food travels into the oesophagus and on to the stomach. In the stomach, hydrochloric acid (HCl) helps to extract nutrients as it moves lower down the gastrointestinal tract.

The normal pH level of hydrochloric acid in the stomach is between 1–3. [Ref] In those suffering from low stomach acid the pH level can be between 3–5. Achlorhydria is the clinical condition where no stomach acid is present. This usually presents with a stomach pH of more than 5.

Low stomach acidity is connected to the rapid invasion of micro-organisms from the colon. These micro-organisms lead to gastric and intestinal bacterial colonisation and overgrowth (causing the symptoms mentioned above).

Treatment of low stomach acid

To combat low stomach acid naturally, you want to balance the pH level in your stomach. Here are five steps you can follow with natural remedies.

The good news is:
Following these will not only help to improve your stomach acid but they’re good for your whole digestive function.

1. HCl Supplements

Hydrochloric acid (HCl) supplements, such as Betaine, can be useful to people with lower levels of stomach acid. For older adults, supplements containing digestive enzymes and pepsin are often particularly beneficial. HCl supplements are available without prescription from a wide variety of online and high street stores.

2. Zinc

Human cells naturally contain this essential mineral. HCl is used in the stomach and is produced by zinc. Approximately 11mg per day is a healthy intake of zinc for an adult man (8mg for an adult woman). Zinc deficiency, caused by low intake or absorption, can lead to low levels of stomach acid so addressing the deficiency could be an answer. Supplements or increasing dietary zinc can increase intake. We can provide detailed help on dietary changes to increase zinc intake.

3. Apple cider vinegar

Here’s a really easy one:
Take one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before you eat together with a very small amount of water. Apple cider vinegar is a great natural remedy as it has a very low pH in balance with your stomach.

4. Probiotics

Harmful bacteria growth can be inhibited by probiotics and help promote levels of stomach acid. Probiotics are naturally found in:

The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger help to combat inflammation caused by increased stomach acid levels. It may also help by stimulating essential digestive enzyme secretion. These enzymes assist digestive transit.

Fermented vegetables
Eating fermented vegetables can naturally improve your stomach acid levels. Add kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickled vegetables to your diet.

If fermented foods work for you, you can also benefit from the kombucha drinks, or drink water with a splash of raw apple cider vinegar. Both are detoxifying.

Manuka honey
Best of all:
Manuka honey comes from New Zealand, and has antimicrobial properties.

You can increase your zinc intake by making dietary changes or taking zinc supplements.  We can provide detailed help on dietary changes to increase zinc intake.

5. Eating habits

These are easy to get right:
  • Avoid drinking liquid (especially water) while eating. You can drink as much as you want between meals but remember to sip not gulp down water.
  • Slow down the way that you eat. Aim to take 20 minutes to have a 2-course meal.
  • Do not lie down after eating
Have you made diet and lifestyle changes but are still having symptoms? Do these symptoms include heartburn, burping, excessive gas, or nausea shortly after eating? Well, you may need further help to address balancing your stomach acid to a higher level. IBS Clinics are specialists in low stomach acid treatment. We can help you to address your symptoms and your underlying low stomach acid issue.