Hypochlorhydria or low stomach acid
Hypochlorhydria is a condition of inadequate production of hydrochloric acid by the parietal cells in the stomach. It affects half of all people over age sixty-five, but it can be present at any age.
Hypochlorhydria or the severe achlorhydria (complete lack of hydrochloric acid), can result from several causes
- One possibility is the use of acid blocking medications. They can upset the acid secretion homeostasis
- Nutrient deficiencies can contribute to impaired HCL production. Histidine (an amino acid), zinc, and vitamin B1 are needed for HCL production. When any of these are lacking in the diet or not absorbed properly, this can result in hypochlorhydria. The absorption of histidine and zinc are dependent upon the presence of adequate levels of HCL
- Stress can reduce HCL production. Stress can be reduced by: yoga, meditation, tai chi, and a special method called “Freeze Frame”
- Alcohol consumption can damage the HCL producing cells in the stomac.
- Food intolerances can damage the HCL producing cells in the stomach
- Infection with the bacteria helicobacter pylori can also impair HCL production. Flies can spread these bacteria. People with type O blood are more susceptible to infection with helicobacter pylori because of a weakened immune system
Restoring acid secretion naturally
Supplementing with glutamine, deglycyrrhizinated licorice, and vitamins A and B5 can help repair the acid secreting cells.
Hydrochloric acid supplementation
Until the body can begin secreting adequate levels of HCL, supplemental HCL should be used (some cases of hypochlorhydria are irreversible). Only use supplemental HCL under the supervision of a healthcare professional at all times.
Natural dietary and simple lifestyle recommendations for treating Hypochlorhydria
- Apple cider vinegar: Eating a salad with an Apple cider vinegar dressing before a meal
- Ascorbic acid (vitamin C): combined with your vitamin and mineral supplements at mealtime, they will react to produce mineral ascorbate and Hydrochloride
- Always maintain a diet with a low glycemic index, low fat, and low allergies
- Increase your intake of fibre and omega-3 foods
- Increase probiotic consumption through either yogurt or taking a probiotic supplement. They will greatly balance bacteria and yeast levels in the stomach and intestines
- Certain herbs and oils help maintain healthy bacteria levels such as garlic, oregano oil, grapefruit seed oil, peppermint oil, and others
- Ginger is a natural digestive aid and reduces bloating
- Avoid drinking ice-cold water before, during, or right after a meal because it slows acid production
- Avoid Alcohol, excess caffeine, refined carbs, processed foods, MSG, wheat protein, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, fish with high mercury levels, bottom-feeder seafood, refined sugar, and artificial sweeteners at all times
- Eat smaller meals more often
- Always chew your meals thoroughly
- Sit up for a least 45 minutes after eating to reduce the occurrence of acid being churned up into the oesophagus and to allow gravity to play its part
- Take multivitamins that include B3 and B12 in case you do have a deficiency
If you are experiencing indigestion-type or burning sensation in the stomach after you have eaten, please contact your Integrative Healthcare Professional to assist you in eliminating these symptoms.
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