If you've recently been diagnosed with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, GERD, or have been suffering with severe bloating, gas and acid reflux for years, you might think that too much stomach acid is the problem. You might be surprised to learn that the true culprit is actually a lack of adequate stomach acid. This disorder, which is known as hypochlorhydria, is a common problem that afflicts nearly 15 percent of America's population, according to Dr. Russell Schierling. If you think you might have low stomach acid, here are some common symptoms and what you can do to correct the issue:
What Are the Symptoms of Hypochlorhydria?
In addition to the above-mentioned symptoms, there are several other signs that you could be suffering from inadequate stomach acid. These symptoms include:
- Belching and flatulence after eating
- Hair loss
- Several food allergies
- Dry Skin
- Peeling and cracked fingernails and toenails
- Low iron
If you are suffering from a combination from these symptoms, it is vital to contact your doctor. If you are suffering from hypochlorhydria, there are several ways you can find relief.
Why Should I Be Worried About Low Stomach Acid?
The symptoms associated with low stomach acid can be devastating, but this shouldn't be your only concern. The hydrochloric acid in your stomach is responsible for more than just breaking down the proteins and other nutrients in food. The acids in your stomach also activate the production of enzymes and bile found in the pancreas and small intestines. These substances are critical because they further break down the proteins, fats and carbohydrates found in food.
Finally, low stomach acid can also lead to multiple yeast infections and other assorted illnesses. This is because hydrochloric acid helps kill the yeast and bacteria that is often found on food.
What Are the Treatments for Low Stomach Acid?
If you're diagnosed with hypochlorhydria, you might be worried about the potential treatments. Luckily, there are several home treatments and lifestyle changes that can help alleviate the symptoms of low stomach acid. Here are a few:
- Add a probiotic to your diet – One of the best ways to increase your stomach acid production and lessen the symptoms of hypochlorhydria is to add a probiotic to your diet. Probiotics are good bacteria that are found naturally in several types of foods. Adding probiotics helps increase digestion, which in turn will help heal your gut. A healed gut will work more efficiently, which can help lead to the production of stomach acid. Try introducing probiotic products from companies like Sugar 2.0 into your diet.
- Eat foods that are rich in zinc – Zinc is necessary for the production of hydrochloric acid and is found naturally in several foods, including pumpkin seeds, baked beans, tofu and several varieties of nuts, such as almonds and cashews.
- Skip the large meals – Eating large meals and chewing your food too quickly is horrible for your digestion for many reasons, including the production of stomach acid. Chewing your food well and eating smaller meals puts less strain on your stomach. This can help increase the production of acid while alleviating the symptoms associated with hypochlorhydria.
- Learn about your food allergies and sensitivities – Food sensitives and low stomach acid production are linked. If you have any food sensitives, it is important to limit the intake of these foods. If you're not sure, the best way to test for food sensitivities and allergies is to eliminate certain food groups, including dairy, eggs, or soy, from your diet one at a time.
Hypochlorhydria is a common and very serious condition that should be diagnosed by a physician. If you are diagnosed with low stomach acid, there are several easy ways to treat the problems, including introducing probiotics into your diet.