Understanding Low Stomach Acid and what to do about it
In part one of Understanding Low Stomach Acid we learned about what low Hydrochloric acid is and what causes it. Today’s article covers the effects of HCl and what you can do about it.
Effects of low Hydrochloric acid
An under-active stomach will affect the proper functioning of the colon, leading to constipation poor absorption of all minerals including calcium, magnesium, chromium, iodine, iron, manganese, potassium, selenium and zinc. Calcium, iron and zinc in particular, along with protein require sufficient HCL to metabolize. Minerals need to be bathed in bile triggered by the HCl to be assimilated in the small intestine.
Allergies are also linked with under-active stomach. It is not uncommon to experience effective relief of minor allergies by stimulating the production of digestive enzymes. The entire endocrine system can be affected by an under-active stomach, as HCL is integral to protein digestion and the product of this digestion – amino acids – are a major component of all hormones.
Low HCL will also affect all biochemical reactions as amino acids are the building blocks of ALL enzymes. Low HCL will also affect the immune system as antibodies are protein based, as are the hemoglobin cells that carry oxygen to the tissues
Some symptoms of low stomach acid that can attribute to indigestion, heartburn, gas and bloating are
Bloating, belching, and flatulence immediately after meals
Flatulence in between meals
Burning sensation in stomach, heartburn
Heavy, tired feeling after eating
Stools poorly formed, pale, greasy, floating
Undigested food particles in stools
Ridges on fingernails, slow growing nails
Heartburn Indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation
Weak, peeling, or cracked fingernails
Various autoimmune diseases
Increase HCl production
In a water bottle add a pinch of (up to 1/2 tsp per day) of Celtic sea salt to increase mineral consumption and allow for minerals to be utilized. Eating smaller meals more often instead of 3 big heavy meals per day will not require as much acid to break down a heavy meal. Red meat, dairy products, packaged, refined, processed foods and alcohol will ease the digestion process, as well as food combinations such as protein and vegetables and avoid carbohydrates with meat protein. Sugars are digested in the intestine, but protein and fats remain in the stomach for several hours. When sugars, which normally pass through the stomach within minutes, are mixed in the stomach with protein and fats, putrefaction occurs causing gas, bloating and fermentation.
Avoid drinking ice cold, carbonated drink with food as this will shut down the digestion process and decrease HCL production. Instead, small sips of room temperature water taken during meal are ideal. Avoid caffeinated beverages, and coffee and nicotine, as they promote premature dumping of stomach contents into the small intestine which means insufficient HCl, breakdown of protein, and there will be no emulsifying of fats and nutrients, which means, you will not be able to utilize vital nutrients. Drink plenty of water in between meals which will help flush out toxins and increase hydrochloric acid and keep you hydrated to help with digestion of foods.
Your state of mind at mealtime will affect digestion. Eating when rushed or upset should be avoided. Taking a moment before eating for blessing and/or prayer, to feel gratitude and appreciation for the food you are about to receive can have a great impact on the vibration of the food on the table in front of you – the key in this exercise is not what you say or what you are thinking, but what feelings you can evoke from within yourself that can now wash all over you’re food.
There are of course digestive enzymes and other supplements that can be implemented if the above recommendations are not sufficient. Please speak with a qualified health care practioner. Karen Langston is an expertise and well educated consultant when it comes to digestive disorders. After all she no longer has Crohn’s Disease. Contact Karen today for consultation.
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