Low Stomach Acid

This video is for you to watch, only if you have already done the test in the video about Is your stomach acid too high or too low and you discovered that you have low stomach acid.

Play Video about Cover screen to a video. On the left on a light sage green background is the title What To Do If Your stomach Acid Is Too Low written in White. On the right is An image of a stomach sliced so you can see the acid inside. Along the bottom in a dark dusty blue is the white It's All About Health Logo

Do you experience any of the symptoms below?

Indications Of Low Stomach Acid:

  • Bloating
  • Belching
  • Burning 30-40 minutes after a meal
  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn
  • Acid reflux
  • Diarrhea/constipation
  • Food allergies/intolerances
  • Nausea
  • Weak, peeling and cracked nails
  • Poor immunity
  • Thread veins around cheek and nose
  • Acne
  • Dry Skin
  • Iron deficient (anaemia)
  • Pernicious anaemia
  • B12 and zinc deficiency
  • Hair loss
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Autoimmune diseases e.g. lupus
  • Psoriasis
  • Candida
  • Dysbiosis (imbalance of bacteria in gut)
  • Low bone density
  • Undigested food in stools
  • Itching around the rectum (parasites)
  • No symptoms at all !!!

Conditions Associated with low stomach acid

  • Celiac disease.
  • Asthma.
  • Food allergies/intolerance.
  • Chronic inflammation.
  • Eczema.
  • Grave’s disease.
  • Gallstones.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Causes of low stomach acid

  • Ageing.
  • History of eating disorders.
  • Underactive Thyroid.
  • Helicobacter Pylori infection.
  • Zinc and/or vitamin B deficiency.
  • Smoking.
  • Alcohol.
  • Caffeine.
  • Refined carbohydrates.
  • Takeaways and ready meals.
  • Stress.
  • Some medications.
  • Stomach surgery

H. Pylori

If you suspect or would like to rule out H.Pylori infection you would need to speak to your GP who can arrange a test. 

The symptoms of H.Pylori include (not limited to)

  • Excessive burping.
  • Feeling bloated.
  • Nausea.
  • Heartburn.
  • Fever.
  • Lack of appetite, or anorexia or  unexplained weight loss.

Special Considerations About Bread

You can at least substitute white breads, pasta etc with brown alternatives.  Just make sure that it is brown bread and not bread that has been dyed brown (I know!). 

If your bread says wholemeal or wholegrain it will be just that.  If the bread says brown read the label.  If you see caramel listed as an ingredient then the it will have been dyed brown. 

Milling to produce white bread removes the outer coat and wheatgerm which means removing B vitamins.  Millers have to replace the lost B vitamins which is where you see the addition of Thiamin and Niacin.   So it makes sense to switch to wholemeal bread.  Plus slice for slice, wholemeal bread contains twice as much iron, three times as much zinc, and four times as much fibre as standard white bread.  So it makes sense to make the switch. 

Just make sure you’re not overloading even if you make the change.  Wheat products three meals a day or more is still too much if you are suffering with your digestion.

An image of different types of brown bread. Some are in a basket, others are piled on top of each other round the outside.. There are two apples to demonstrate that it is a healthier choice
An image of a basket on its side with loads of healthy fruit and vegetables spilling out all on a white background.

It is really important to make sure that your diet contains good quality protein and loads of vegetables.  Fruit too with the balance in favour of vegetables. 

Make sure you eat a rainbow of colours and variety so that you are getting a good range of vitamins and minerals.

It's Never To Late For Improvements

Stomach acid naturally declines as we age, but that doesn’t mean it’s a forgone conclusion make some of the improvements from the list above and you’ll be surprised on the positive impact they can have.

Make sure that you watch the video about your digestive system as it contains valuable information on how to create the perfect environment for optimal absorption.

Impact Of Stress

One important point to raise from that video in reference to stress levels affecting your stomach acid levels is that at the very least make sure you eat your meals in a calm environment.  Avoid eating on the go you are just creating stress and preventing your body from being able to digest properly.  Even if you are travelling you can make a point of staying mindful and present and calm as you are chewing and eating.

Stress levels affect.  This is a bigger topic in its own right.  Please watch the video’s in the mindfulness section and more information will be added in time.

Apple Cider Vinegar

An image of apples arranged around a pouring jug of apple cider vinegar which can help if you have low stomach acid. They are on a wooden table and in the background you can see a wire basket with more apples in it.

If you remember how I used it to represent stomach acid in the video before.  If you don’t already using this within a vinaigrette in salads can be a great way of aiding digestion. 

You can also take it as a drink.  Common recommendations are 1–2 teaspoons (5–10 ml) to 1–2 tablespoon (15–30 ml) per day in a glass of water.  It is best to start with the lower dosage first. 

It is important to check that there aren’t any interactions with medications you are already taking if relevant.  Another commonly cited potential issue is that as an acid it could affect your tooth enamel.  I’m not sure if this is relevant if you are taking it in water.


Foods That Feed Your Digestive System

Kombucha, Kimchi and sauerkraut and your natural probiotic yogurts are really helpful for boosting your digestive system. 

A quick note about yoghurt I am referring to a natural yoghurt.  Ones with added fruits and sugars are to be avoided in this situation.

Can You Replace Stomach Acid?

Stomach acid is called Betaine Hydrochloride. You can take it as a supplement.  It is really important to highlight that this supplement is not meant to be taken forever and certainly not so that you can just continue to eat all of the foods that you know have created a low stomach acid environment. 

Please take this supplement under guidance and never take it if you have ever had a stomach ulcer.  Companies such as Higher Nature, Cytoplan and Nutri-Advanced have nutritionists who work for them that you can consult and discuss if this is an appropriate supplement for you.

The list of causes above gives you a huge insight into the areas you need to focus in on. 

Never make changes to prescribed medications without speaking to your Doctor first. From the areas that you can control, what changes to do need to make to your daily life to help? 

Once you have made these changes do the test again 4 weeks later so that you can mark your progress.

It is also really important to watch the video about your ileocaecal valve (ICV) to ensure you are doing all that you can to keep your digestive system functioning at its best.

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