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

People with low levels of stomach acid may benefit from taking HCl supplements such as Betaine. Digestive enzyme supplements that also contain pepsin may be especially beneficial for older adults.

HCl supplements are available without prescription from a wide variety of online and high street stores.

2. Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral present in human cells. The stomach uses zinc to produce HCl.

A healthy zinc intake for an adult male is around 11mg per day. For an adult woman, this figure is 8mg. People who do not get enough zinc in their diets and those with poor zinc absorption may have low stomach acid levels. Addressing a zinc deficiency could help to increase stomach acidity.

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.

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

Probiotics inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and help increase levels of stomach acid. Foods that naturally contain probiotics include:

Ginger
Ginger possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger helps to reduce stomach inflammation due to low stomach acid. It may also stimulate the production and secretion of essential digestive enzymes. These enzymes increase movement through the intestines.

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.