Recently I’ve had an influx of patients with symptoms of low stomach acid.
The funny thing is …these patients have often never heard of such a thing….or have even been medicated for years with prescription antacids for having HIGH stomach acid.
So…which is it? High or low stomach acid that causes this gamut of digestive complaints we see so often.
My money (educated guess) is on low stomach acid, but first….let’s review digestion so we have an idea of how this production line from food to poop should function.
Digestion is a multistep process that starts off with our heightened senses…like Pavlov’s dog we begin to salivate and our stomachs begin to churn stomach acid at the sight/smell/thought of delicious food.
- Once you take a bite of your meal you start off the next step…your chewing mechanically breaks down your food and mixes it with the digestive enzymes in your saliva to send this paste down the hatchet.
- Arriving in your stomach are macerated balls of food (imagine Ms.Fizzle travelling down your throat in her Magic School Bus). The food floats around in a highly corrosive acid and bile combination that is strong enough to break down the finest NY steak and leave you feeling light as a feather. This chemical process leaches nutrients out of foods so you’re able to absorb all those the vitamins and minerals in your healthy diet.
- Once your stomach acid reaches a high enough level a giant green light goes off to your LES (Lower Esophageal Sphincter)….fancy name for a drop hatch that empties the stomach contents into your small intestine and onto the next steps of digestion.
- Here, your liver and gallbladder secrete BILE and this is were 90% of your nutrients are absorbed. no wonder we love our colon hydrotherapy and liver support at Sanas. Imagine without a healthy liver and gallbladder releasing all that bile, you’re missing out on the benefits of your food and supplements. (learn more about why we love bile here). this is where we TAKE all that we need from our food, and LET GO of everything that doesn’t serve us to the last step of digestion.
- The large intestine is the last man on the production line. This is where your body dehydrates all the waste material we’ve generated, packs it tightly into poop and sends it off in perfect 12-inch long poops daily 😉 The most important function here is that of the gut bacteria or flora. If you’ve taken antibiotics or have compromised gut health, unhealthy bacteria can sabotage your waste dumping!
Does that sound about right? Isn’t that exactly what happens? Can you throw down a large delicious nutrient dense meal effortlessly without any hiccups burps or food babies? You’re pooping perfect foot longs every morning?
Most of us aren’t, and here’s how you can correct your digestion every step of the way:
- Sit down for your meal! no really, sit down, relax, don’t watch murder mysteries or the news or discuss stressful matters. Take your body out of the “fight or flight” mode and into “rest and digest” part of your nervous system. And chew chew chew!
- Avoid drinking during meal time, this dilutes your stomach acid, impacting your nutrient absorption and doesn’t trigger the drop hatch to spill your food into the small intestines. Ultimately your food sits around in the stomach too long (leading to bloating, indigestion), starts to get funky and produce gas (bring on the burping and acid reflux).
- Avoid using anti-acids and prescription heartburn medication. The long term use of these drugs leads to impaired nutrient absorption and is associated with significant side effects on your health including an increased risk of osteoporosis and fractures, dementia, disruptions of the gut flora/healthy bacteria.
- Correct deficiencies:
- HCl: The HCl Challenge is one of our most commonly prescribed protocols because low stomach acid is so widespread! We use HCl to re-educate our stomach and address this deficiency.
- Bile: Stimulating the liver and gallbladder thorough supplements and colon hydrotherapy is essential. This is especially important if you’ve had your gallbladder removed.
- Probiotics: The right gut bacteria help you digest your food, absorb nutrients and produce the right poop.
Contact us to learn more about the HCl Challenge and how to correct your low stomach acid the right way!