When I first met with Alice, she mentioned she felt better when she didn’t eat. She was not hungry in the morning, and by the afternoon when she did finally eat, within an hour of eating she would end up with stomach cramps, burping and often an extremely bloated stomach. This was a vicious cycle for her, because she would wake up and not eat, knowing this would make her feel better, and once she introduced food, everything would go south. She also said she noticed she felt better on a low protein diet, and had a history of anemia, her hair was falling out and she was suffering from anxiety and depression. So, beyond the digestive issues she also wanted to address her fatigue that would was not getting better and brain symptoms she hoped to relieve without medication. She came to me because she wanted to find out what was going on. As of yet, the diet changes she had made prior to seeing me did not seem to be making a difference. And her Dr. had offered medication to help with the anxiety and depression, but again she was trying to steer clear of taking prescription drugs.
It turns out Alice was suffering from a condition called “hypochlorhydria” which means low stomach acid production.
Stomach acid (aka hydrochloric acid) is one of the most important substances released from the body when we eat.
Stomach acid helps your body break down, digest and absorb proteins and minerals and vitamins so they can be utilized by the body.
In addition, without enough stomach acid you can not properly defend yourself against harmful pathogens you encounter when you eat and drink food.
It will also cause partially digested food to stay in the stomach longer, which will eventually lead to the food fermenting and gas production, as well as an array of other symptoms.
Symptoms of low stomach acid include:
Belching or gas within one hour of eating
Heartburn or acid reflux
Nausea when taking vitamins and supplements
Bloating shortly after eating (within 1 hour)
Bad breath (halitosis)
Loss of taste for meat
Sweat has a strong odor
Sense of excess fullness after meals
Feel better when not eating
Sleepy after meals
Fingernails, chip, peel or easily break
Undigested food in stool
Stomach pains or cramps
If you are suffering from any of the above issues, low stomach acid may be the culprit. If you are looking to get to the root cause of your issues once and for all, reach out and set up a call today!