Many people who are taking a stomach acid-blocker or proton pump inhibitor (PPI – e.g., Nexium) take these drugs believing that they have too much acid in their stomach. When in fact, they haven’t got enough, a condition called hypochlorhydria. Taking these drugs lowers stomach acid even more, resulting in digestive problems, fatigue, headaches, and other symptoms. This is why I’m not a fan of medications that interfere with digestive system processes.
With these drugs, I believe you are just buying time while creating serious underlying digestive dysfunction. If you are wondering whether you have low stomach acid, here are five key indicators of hypochlorhydria:
1. Bloating and belching: The low level of stomach acid means that food is going to sit for quite a while in the stomach rather than being digested. You need excellent stomach function and acid levels to trigger appropriate enzyme release from the pancreas. The pancreas relies on a good supply of stomach acid to convert its digestive enzymes from an inactive to an active form.
3. Indigestion and flatulence: Indigestion can impact the digestive system from start to finish. Food can feel as if it is sitting there like a lump because there isn’t enough stomach acid to digest the meal properly. Indigestion goes hand in hand with bloating and belching, point #1 above.
4. Undigested food in the stool: Inspect your stool for undigested food. If there is undigested food, this can reflect improper chewing or a lack of stomach acid, which doesn’t allow your gut to break down food properly.
5. Fatigue: If food isn’t being digested properly due to low stomach acid, it can’t fuel the body as it should. If this is the circumstance you are facing, you may benefit from taking digestive enzymes.
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Candida is often a consequence of hypochlorhydria. Candida can do very well in a stomach that is not functioning properly. That also holds for bacteria and parasites.
To test for stomach acid, put a heaping teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) into eight ounces of water. Stir it and drink it. If you have a healthy level of stomach acid, you should notice a big burp not long after you’ve finished the drink.
The other test you can do is take one capsule of the powerful digestive enzyme betaine pepsin with a meal. With each subsequent meal, take an additional capsule. Keep increasing the dose of betaine pepsin capsules until you notice a bit of pain or heartburn behind the sternum. Discomfort means you’ve reached your threshold. A healthy man may only be able to take two capsules before experiencing symptoms of hyperacidity. I’ve seen people take thirty to forty capsules at a single meal. I’m not joking! Needing an excessive amount of betaine pepsin to elicit discomfort is most common with older adults who have a natural age-related decrease in stomach acid levels.
The betaine pepsin method of determining stomach acid levels is called the tummy tolerance test.
Check out CanXida Restore. It contains digestive enzymes and probiotics and works quite well for hypochlorhydria. Along with choosing the right foods and chewing properly, taking one capsule of CanXida Restore per meal for a couple of months can help improve stomach acid levels.