Rethinking Heartburn: It’s really LOW stomach acid!
In our world where heartburn and acid reflux medications are advertised every ten seconds, wouldn’t it be strange to find out that most people have LOW stomach acid? The heartburn products on the shelves are made to neutralize or reduce stomach acid- but in reality we tend to need to create more stomach acid to help digest our food.
Why are we so low in stomach acid?
As we age, our stomach acid levels naturally decline. However, we are noticing that even children have this problem with low stomach acid! A Standard American Lifestyle that is full of processed food, packaged “food-like” items, artificial ingredients and toxic chemicals, it’s not wonder why we are lacking in stomach acid . These items wreak havoc on our digestive system. Having low stomach acid makes it difficult to digest protein- not being able to digest protein creates an issue with cortisol and blood sugar regulation, which creates stress on the adrenals. This in turn makes our mineral deficiencies worse since we need stomach acid to assimilate nutrients. We also need some minerals to make stomach acid! So it’s easy to get into this cycle of malnourishment.
The Symptoms of Low Stomach Acid:
Bloating, belching, and flatulence immediately after meals
Indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation
Undigested food in stools
Weak, peeling, or cracked fingernails
All autoimmune diseases
How do we replenish stomach acid?
One of the most popular remedies for increasing stomach acid and aiding in digestion is apple cider vinegar. ACV is one of the easiest and most cost effective healers you could add to your diet. This awesome vinegar helps digest food, assimilate minerals, regulates blood sugar, helps weight loss, detoxes the liver, can kill pathogens and some bacteria (like e.coli), is great for cardiovascular health, and has a role in protecting against cancer. The easiest way to use ACV is to put 1 tsp-1 tbsp in a glass of water and drink this 1-3 times a day. Start slow at first to acclimate your body to it as it is a potent healing tool.
Another great way to help stomach acid is salt water sole. This interesting remedy helps digestion, blood sugar regulation, aids in detox and is a natural antihistamine. How to make salt water sole:
Some other helpful ways to increase stomach acid: fermented foods, HCl, lemon juice, probiotics, and most of all- mineral balancing. Getting an HTMA will show your personal mineral levels and see what could be causing your digestive issues.
Gaia Herbs “Sweetish” Bitters are especially helpful for bile flow, improving stomach acid, and helps assimilate nutrients.
The process of making stomach acid requires several minerals, especially Zinc & Chloride. Digestion is a parasympathetic process so it can be hard to attain that in a hyper-sympathetic body. HTMA can show us the state of your nervous system and determine whether you are in a sympathetic or parasympathetic state. There are also several markers on the HTMA for determining if stomach acid is low as well.
What remedies have you used to replenish stomach acid? Let us know in the comments!