Updated: May 2, 2021
What's the real reason for acid reflux? I Symptoms of low stomach acid I What are the benefits of treating low stomach acid? I Conventional treatments I Natural treatments for low stomach acid I
Stomach acid helps break down proteins and minerals so that they’re easily absorbed in your body. It also kills harmful bacteria and parasites in the food we eat.
If stomach acid is imbalanced, you can suffer from different symptoms, like anxiety, weight gain, lack of vitamins, and others.
If you're suffering from acid reflux or GERD, you may be thinking that it's caused by too much stomach acid (because of the acid reflux).
You may be also confused by many doctors who tell you "just take antacid medications and your symptoms will disappear".
The problem with this strategy (antacid medications) is that it only works short-term, and very rarely long-term. It never fixes the root cause of the problem.
Why is it so?
You see, GERD is a chronic disease that occurs when stomach acid or bile flows into the esophagus and irritates the lining.
But why does it happen in the first place?
Because of LOW stomach acid!
Low stomach acid usually causes inappropriate relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which results in acid reflux.
Lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When the LES is opened, it lets the stomach acid go up, causing acid reflux.
If the whole problem is caused by low stomach acid, you can see that it doesn't make sense to use antiacid medications to "mask the symptoms short-term".
Not to mention that the stomach's environment should be acidic, so there's literally zero logic in artificially blocking stomach acid to just mask the symptoms.
So what's a better strategy?
Before we discuss it, let's list all the symptoms of low stomach acid, so you can see the importance of fixing it.
Symptoms Of Low Stomach Acid:
- Acid reflux (this condition, which is conventionally treated with acid suppressants, can actually be caused by low stomach acid)
- Low B12
- Low ferritin or iron levels
- Fatigue despite thyroid medications
- Low magnesium levels
- Low zinc levels
- Undigested food in stools
- Upset stomach
- Skin issues
Low Stomach Acid Can Trigger:
- Leaky gut syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
Why fixing low stomach acid is important?
Treating low stomach acid can fix your vitamin deficiencies and improve your digestion. These, in turn, help you with energy levels, sleep quality, weight loss, hair growth, and healthy skin. You should also start feeling lighter after meals.
Conventional medical doctors will recommend lifestyle and dietary changes to their patients with low stomach acid, acid reflux, and GERD.
Usually, their advice includes:
- avoid caffeine
- avoid alcohol
- avoid spicy foods
- avoid chocolate
These simple strategies work, so use them!
In addition, conventional doctors will give you antacids, proton-pump inhibitors, or histamine receptor antagonists. If you've been given any of them, you need to realize that none of them fixes the root cause of your problem, but just helps with your symptoms. Usually, they work only until they stop working. That's why it's better to always address the root cause of the health problem and use natural remedies to treat it.
Natural Treatments For Low Stomach Acid
1. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice helps balance the pH of your stomach as sufficient levels of hydrochloric acid (HCl) are necessary for your digestive enzyme to work properly.
How to use it?
Put 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice In 1 glass of water. Mix and drink it before your meals. Use 2-3 times a day. Use it for 14 days and see if it helps you.
2. Apple Cider vinegar
ACV is naturally acidic, and so for people with low stomach acidity, using ACV may help raise stomach acid levels to aid digestion. Raising low stomach acid should also help you to get rid of the symptoms of hormonal or thyroid disease.
How to use it?
Put 1 tablespoon of ACV In 1 liter of water. Mix and drink it during your day. Use it for 14 days and see if it helps you.
3. Take Digestive Enzymes
They help your body absorb nutrients from the foods you eat. Without them, certain foods can lead to uncomfortable symptoms, food intolerances, or nutritional deficiencies, especially if you suffer from low stomach acid.
Keep in mind that you don't need to use them forever, but just until your stomach acid gets to its optimal levels.
Which foods have natural digestive enzymes?
- Sauerkraut and kimchi*
- Bee pollen
- Manuka honey
- Raw honey
*Not recommended in the initial healing stages of thyroid and hormonal diseases. Why? Because they're either high in sugar or it's dairy. Both of them are not recommended at the beginning of your journey. This is because foods high in sugar spike your insulin, which is already in an imbalance in thyroid disease. It only results in more weight gain. Dairy, on the other hand, is inflammatory.
Now, healthy people tolerate it quite well (in small quantities), but if you suffer from thyroid or hormonal disorder, you need to completely avoid inflammatory foods like dairy, which can just slow down your healing journey.
Which digestive enzyme supplements are the best?
We recommend looking for a full-spectrum enzyme blend. Here is a list of the enzymes. You can get a supplement that includes most of them. remember to avoid low-quality supplements with sugar or gluten.
List of digestive enzymes:
ALPHA-AMYLASE – Breaks down starch.
ALPHA-GALACTOSIDASE – Breaks down complex carbohydrates.
BEETROOT – Helps the kidneys and liver.
BROMELAIN – Proteolytic enzyme from pineapple. Breaks down proteins and reduces inflammation.
FOS (Chicory root) – Increases the flow of bile, supporting digestion.
GLUCOMYLASE – Breaks down carbohydrates.
L-LYSINE - Supports the production of other proteins such as enzymes, antibodies, and hormones.
LIPASE – Helps to digest the fats.
OX BILE – Bile helps digest the fats.
NATURAL DIGESTIVE ENZYMES - Ginger contains the digestive enzyme zingibain, which is a protease. Peppermint may relieve digestive symptoms, such as gas, bloating, and indigestion.
PANCREATIC ENZYMES (Amylase, Lipase, Protease) - Relieves symptoms of indigestion (eg, feeling of fullness, gas, bloating). It helps the body to digest protein, starch, and fat.
PAPAIN – From papaya, helps break down proteins. Helps to decrease swelling and inflammation in the colon.
PEPSIN – Breaks down proteins.
PEPSIN – Breaks down proteins
PROTEASE – Breaks down proteins.
PROTEASE – Breaks down proteins.
How should I take digestive enzyme supplements?
We recommend taking them just before your meals.
When should you NOT use the abovementioned natural remedies?
If you have a history of liver, gallbladder disease, ulcers, gastritis, or high stomach acid (low stomach pH), then consult a physician before taking lemon juice, ACV, and digestive enzyme supplements. Usually, the healing protocol in these conditions is different from the one above mentioned.
Questions? Comment Below!
Published on April 30th, 2021