GERD: How Your Indigestion is Related to Not Enough Stomach Acid
Gastritis and gastric ulcers are never caused by excess stomach acid; contrary to the common belief. Both conditions are almost always associated with insufficient stomach acid. It’s the insufficient stomach acid that allows for fermentation and putrefaction of poorly digested foods. The fermentation produces irritating acids. Fermentation and putrefaction produce upper intestinal gas which leads to bloating and pressure into the cardiac sphincter. This can result in acid reflux and /or hiatal hernia symptoms. Here is a simple home test, although not 100% perfect it can give you an idea if you actually lack stomach acid.
Gastric ulcers and many duodenal ulcers are actually caused by a bacterial infection, Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori). This bacteria thrives in a low acid environment, where there is insufficient stomach acid and which is one of the predisposing factors to gastric ulcers. Once H. Pylori has established itself in the stomach mucosa, it secretes enzymes which inhibit and neutralize acid production by the stomach. The bacterial infection not only lowers stomach acid to maintain an ideal environment for itself, but at the same time, leads to irritation and/or ulceration of the stomach lining plus decreased mucous and secretory IgA production.
H. Pylori as the major cause of gastric ulcers has been known for years and this information has been effectively suppressed by the pharmaceutical industry for as long as possible because of the major profits for over-the-counter and prescription anti-acid sales.
Elimination of processed foods and the addition of hydrochloric acid with pepsin and enzymes are natural alternatives. If there are ulcers, starting with enzymes, probiotics and soothing glutamine would be a viable approach. A couple of our go-to products have been Designs for Health Digestzymes, Betaine HCL with Pepsin and Apex Energetics Gastro ULC.* Gastro ULC has soothing ingredients licorice and glutamine, mastic gum for H. Pylori, and is a gentle starter. Consult with your health care provider before taking HCL if you have an ulcer as you may need to start with a soothing product like Gastro ULC and Digestzymes.
*These are available on our dispensary.