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Chad Sines

Low Stomach Acid

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I read a lot of the old posts on GERD being too much or too little acid and everything in between. Has anyone actually improved by increasing stomach acid, aka betaine HCl?

what i have heard before is issues right after eating=too little acid, issues long after=too much. problem is bile reflux/no gallbladder means anytime you eat could be interesting now or later.

I just started back on LC two days ago both to lose weight and possibly reduce GI issue. Been gluten good for 7 days now thanks to some scoldings from you lovely people last week (i needed that).

No GB, on welchol for bile reflux. i almost always have a dull pain right over where i have a hiatal hernia (below sternum).

GI issues are nausea, vomiting, bloating, heartburn-y feeling. No so much fire but dull pain like it feels damaged and usually on left side (consequently where I hear a lot of people get hiatal hernia pain if they get it.

What makes me ponder low acid being possible is that when I am on two prilosecs (RX strength per doc in past) a day, i get this horrible not right in my gut. Even if I add Zantac no improvement. It actually seems to make it feel worse. If it is high acid, this should make be feel golden at least for a few days until it gets really nasty from being so low.

Right now I tend to feel fine till I eat and then icky after. Last night for example, I ate only meat at 7-8. By midnight to two a good bit removed itself orally and against my will. seemed like i just chewed it. No acid taste (that is the nicest way i could put it). Today i was ok until i drank rice protein shake. then tummy a little wonky.

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I cured 6 years of GERD adding Betaine HCL and digestive enzymes. I took it with every meal for about 2 or 3 months and then tapered off. Haven't had GERD in about 1 1/2 years now.

I read a book called "Why Stomach Acid is Good for You" written by a GI doc. He actually tested his patients with GERD and found that all of them had low stomach acid, not too much. He has an unproven theory that low stomach acid signals the body to open up the flap and let small amounts of acid escape. The stomach is designed to hold extremely high amount of acid but the esophagus isn't designed to have acid in it. So it just takes a small amount of splashing to cause a problem.

He is very against acid inhibitors because they shut off almost all your acid and you stop digesting things well.

I was scared to go off of Protonix. I had been on it for so many years. But I took the plunge and tried the Betaine HCL and enzymes and they did the trick. I would take HCL after I had a few bites of my meal and then take the enzymes at the end.

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I just took the twinlabs super enzymes with betaine hcl (i already had it here but was scared of it before) after I ate three breadless hamburger patties. Either you will be my favorite person in the morning or not. lol.

I think i needed to hear one person say it helped them to take that plunge. Many thanks.

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I actually think the betaine is helping. Interesting.

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Yes. I will detail more later after I get some sleep. :)

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I had TERRIBLY weak stomach acid. I used HCl pills for 2 years.

But, I finally have permanently CURED my low stomach acid by removing all legumes, grains and nightshades from my diet. My stomach acid returned within 3 weeks. I must have been intolerant to those three food families. However, the slightest trace of any of those foods makes the problem return though and it takes another three weeks to heal again.

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I wonder if this might be the cause of my 24/7 heartburn and belching. Today I bought a digestive enzyme that contains 600mg betaine hcl (my previous ones only had 100mg), and 90 mg ox bile, along with amylase, bromelain, cellulase, lipase, pancreatin, papain, protease, and pepsin.

next week I am going to eat rice only (or maybe rice & buckwheat only) for two or three days, drinking plenty of slippery elm bark tea, trying to give my esophagus a chance to heal a little. (slippery elm works wonders for acid reflux... unfortunately one dose doesn't last all day.) Then I'm going to try these pills with full meals and see if they make things better or worse.

I guess we're in this boat together, friend. Please, people, keep posting success stories! and post dosages used, and how long it took you to heal up, what your symptoms were that made you suspect low stomach acid etc etc.

also, does anyone have low stomach acid AND a hiatal hernia? I have a small hernia and reallyreally hope this is my problem, so that i can avoid surgery or massive doses of ppis (which never helped in the past)

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I had a hiatal hernia, and reflux, and stomach ulcers. No pills worked.

Just removing acidic foods from an empty stomach, keeping acid reduced (wayer, food) and visualization to control the acid overload.

At one point, I think the doc suspected the meds were swinging me between low/high acid...which I *think* is one reason I stopped taking them. It's been a long time....

This was all Pre-gluten-free.

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I read a lot of the old posts on GERD being too much or too little acid and everything in between. Has anyone actually improved by increasing stomach acid, aka betaine HCl?

what i have heard before is issues right after eating=too little acid, issues long after=too much. problem is bile reflux/no gallbladder means anytime you eat could be interesting now or later.

I just started back on LC two days ago both to lose weight and possibly reduce GI issue. Been gluten good for 7 days now thanks to some scoldings from you lovely people last week (i needed that).

No GB, on welchol for bile reflux. i almost always have a dull pain right over where i have a hiatal hernia (below sternum).

GI issues are nausea, vomiting, bloating, heartburn-y feeling. No so much fire but dull pain like it feels damaged and usually on left side (consequently where I hear a lot of people get hiatal hernia pain if they get it.

What makes me ponder low acid being possible is that when I am on two prilosecs (RX strength per doc in past) a day, i get this horrible not right in my gut. Even if I add Zantac no improvement. It actually seems to make it feel worse. If it is high acid, this should make be feel golden at least for a few days until it gets really nasty from being so low.

Right now I tend to feel fine till I eat and then icky after. Last night for example, I ate only meat at 7-8. By midnight to two a good bit removed itself orally and against my will. seemed like i just chewed it. No acid taste (that is the nicest way i could put it). Today i was ok until i drank rice protein shake. then tummy a little wonky.

YES! I eliminated all my symptoms of heartburn, bloating, gas, feeling incredibly full after eating small amounts and cramping pain by taking betaine hydrochloride (HCl) capsules before and during meals. HOWEVER, before I began taking those capsules, I took an acid production test, which showed my stomach did not produce enough acid and very slowly produced what I did have. Most docs only measure the acid in the esophagus, if they measure anything at all, before prescribing acid blocking drugs.

GERD is not caused by too much stomach acid, but rather by inappropriate opening of the lower esophageal valve. Before anyone considers acid blocking drugs, they can eliminate foods like caffeine, chocolate, peppermint and alcohol, as well as certain OTC meds like NSAIDS and others which relax the esophageal valve. Also waiting 3 hours before going to bed after eating, raising the head of the bed and wearing looser waistbands or belts will all prevent reflux. Nevertheless, docs are only too happy to prescribe acid blocking drugs without measuring anything for patients who don't want to change anything about their eating or lifestyle. Yet acid blocking drugs prevent absorption of important minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron as well as allow food born bacteria to travel straight to the intestines and cause bacterial overgrowth.

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So...to elaborate... :)

My wife and I both started taking Digestive Enzymes that contain 600 mg HCL, Ox Bile, and a variety of other things. The effect has been dramatic and positive. I used to take Pepto all the time (almost daily), thinking that I had heartburn from an acidic stomach. I haven't had to take it in months for heartburn.

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What i am taking now because i already had it is 324 mg betaine in a digestive blend during each meal. No PPI or zantac since doing it. Clearly not worse since doing this. At least a 50% perceived reduction in issues. I still have some heartburn issues but I think it might be from my Welchol use (for bile reflux and other bile salt issues) and/or that I need more betaine hcl. it is clearly less than before. Going to get more on sat/sun when i go visit family.

To me the too much acid makes little sense when taking a ppi at script dose as well as zantac and you either still have heartburn or it gets significantly worse. And to make it gross, when u hurl and there is no acidic ick at all. i used to have acid reflux and it would scald my throat. Since celiac, nope.

It is such an easy test with the Betaine. Try it making sure you have some zantac and some tums on hand just in case. My opinion is to take at the end of ur meal. My first ever attempt was 30 min before and that caused some acid stomach ick so i abandoned it. So about $20 and maybe a cpl heartburn spells if ur wrong and maybe complete relief if ur right. I am willing to risk that. :)

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I'll try this next week. right now the burning in my chest is constant and very terrible, so I wouldn't be able to tell if it helped or not because it's hard to tell the difference between bad pain, really bad pain and really really bad pain, know what I mean?

I feel like I'm just not digesting anything, like my stomach is always full. I don't feel hungry anymore.

I am so glad to hear success stories about this stuff. gives me hope that I won't need surgery.

p.s. anyone know of liquid nutrition that doesn't have gluten, dairy, or soya in it?

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I'll try this next week. right now the burning in my chest is constant and very terrible, so I wouldn't be able to tell if it helped or not because it's hard to tell the difference between bad pain, really bad pain and really really bad pain, know what I mean?

I feel like I'm just not digesting anything, like my stomach is always full. I don't feel hungry anymore.

I am so glad to hear success stories about this stuff. gives me hope that I won't need surgery.

p.s. anyone know of liquid nutrition that doesn't have gluten, dairy, or soya in it?

Can you juice some veggies or just puree some veggies, banana, apple, and unsweetened coconut milk?

This link is the product we take.

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So...to elaborate... :)

My wife and I both started taking Digestive Enzymes that contain 600 mg HCL, Ox Bile, and a variety of other things. The effect has been dramatic and positive. I used to take Pepto all the time (almost daily), thinking that I had heartburn from an acidic stomach. I haven't had to take it in months for heartburn.

Excess stomach acid is VERY rare. Most people develop depleted stomach acid production as they get older. Also taking those PPIs can impair stomach acid production even after someone stops taking them. I'm glad to hear that you found a product with HCl, ox bile and other digestive enzymmes, which work for you. I just take the HCl capsules (3-4 per meal).

I started with 1-2 per meal after my HCl production test diagnosed impaired acid production. The test requires that you swallow a capsule which measures the pH of your stomach and transmits that to a screen which shows how soon after a bicarb challenge (you swallow 1 oz of bicarbonate solution to neutralize your stomach acid after the capsule establishes your starting pH). I needed over 35 minutes to bring the pH of my stomach back to a normal acidic level, which suggests I don't digest food very quickly. That corroborated my experience with feeling overly full after a few bites of protein or fats (carbs digest more easily) and continued feeling painfully full for 3-4 hours after a meal.

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What i am taking now because i already had it is 324 mg betaine in a digestive blend during each meal. No PPI or zantac since doing it. Clearly not worse since doing this. At least a 50% perceived reduction in issues. I still have some heartburn issues but I think it might be from my Welchol use (for bile reflux and other bile salt issues) and/or that I need more betaine hcl. it is clearly less than before. Going to get more on sat/sun when i go visit family.

To me the too much acid makes little sense when taking a ppi at script dose as well as zantac and you either still have heartburn or it gets significantly worse. And to make it gross, when u hurl and there is no acidic ick at all. i used to have acid reflux and it would scald my throat. Since celiac, nope.

It is such an easy test with the Betaine. Try it making sure you have some zantac and some tums on hand just in case. My opinion is to take at the end of ur meal. My first ever attempt was 30 min before and that caused some acid stomach ick so i abandoned it. So about $20 and maybe a cpl heartburn spells if ur wrong and maybe complete relief if ur right. I am willing to risk that. :)

The doctor, who wrote "Why Stomach Acid is Good for You" (and whose clinic tested my stomach acid production), suggests a safer test (than taking betaine HCl) to determine whether you have low stomach acid production. Mis a little 1-2 tablespoons of cider vinegar in an equal amount (or more) water. Drink that before eating a meal. If you experience better digestion, you may need an acid supplement like betaine HCl. However, that doc also recommends you get tested for stomach acid production. If you have an infection of Helicobacter Pylori (which causes stomach ulcers) when you try HCl supplements, you may have a very painful reaction. I had tried using betaine HCl a year before I learned I had H. Pylori. A few months before a test diagnosed HP, I couldn't tolerate the HCl capsules anymore. So I stopped those and got tested for stomach acid. After I eliminated the HP and healed my stomach ulcers with L-glutamine, I started taking a small dose of HCl with meals again. Within a year I went from 1-2 (600mg) capsules to 3-4 (600mg) capsules. At the higher dose I now longer feel overly full after small amounts of food. I can eat very fatty and/or high protein meals and still feel fine (no bloating, gas or cramping pain after meals). Of course, I also abstain from gluten and my other diagnosed allergens.

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Chad I'm glad you got some relief. I suggest getting a supplement with only Betaine HCL and then get an enzyme tab without it. That way you have complete control over how much HCL you're taking and you can add it in small amounts if you need more without adding more of the enzymes. You may need to take more of it for now, or with heavier protein based meals.

I always take a few bites of my meal before I take the HCL.

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That is my plan. I ordered some betaine with pepsin that will arrive on monday. i am going to use that only to ensure i do not confuse acid issues with enzyme intolerance.

The ACV seem odd to me. I tried it a long time ago for something and even diluted, it scorched my esophagus.

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I'm puzzled that my GI doesn't understand that one can get relief like this.. He just reminds me there are many snake oil products out there.. Great to hear some find relief.. I need to study this out some & try it..

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I work in healthcare documentation and speak with physicians regularly. These people were trained as body "mechanics" more than investigators. In fact going contrary to medical normalcy can cause them to be vulnerable to law suits. In essence we have bred physicians to be LESS a diagnostician and more a reciter of standard procedures.

Imagine how hard it is for a GI who is trained to push PPI and H2 histamine antagonists to LOWER stomach acid. To actually suggest you increase it especially without some lab test is probably akin to black magic for them.

Heck, look at how some react to low carb dieting even when they see patients who lose a lot of weight, gain blood sugar control, lower their blood pressure, and have phenomenal labs compared to before. Some rethink their position and others freak and tell you to stop it because it cannot be working. I was actually in an ER once for a heart rate of 140-160 intermittently. Turns out it was significant dehydration from GI issues (i think when my celiac started). Even before the labs were back a nurse asked about my night and remarked that i had given myself a heart attack and killed off part of my heart. When she saw that I had phenomenal cholesterol. triglycerides, etc, and it was dehydration she sneered that I was lucky this time and would not be the next.

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I think that doctors are resistant to celiac diagnosis because of exactly what you are saying Chad. They are trained to throw a drug at things and if there isn't a drug the disease doesn't exist.

I think it's hilarious that a doctor called HCL supplementation "snake oil" considering the person I learned this from is a gastroenterologist!!!!

I suggest that everyone who has GERD try this therapy. I needed convincing so I read the book cover to cover. Once I was convinced I tried it and I haven't had GERD in about 1 1/2 years. I don't take HCL or enzymes anymore either. My stomach acid must have kicked in.

The gastro who wrote the book Why Stomach Acid is Good For You tested his patients and they had low acid. So there IS proof.

The big pharma companies are evil and they run medicine in this country. They sell billions of dollars worth of acid blockers and they aren't going to let some punk GI doc cut into their profit margins. Doctors go to conferences to learn about treating diseases and often they are put on by the drug companies who have a stake in convincing them that they need to prescribe their drugs.

Why aren't people more suspicious of this "gold standard" BS about endoscopies? Why is that test pushed so hard on people? Well my belief is that it's their last ditch effort to make some money off you because there is no drug they can throw at you for celiac. You go gluten free and you get better. They can't put you on a lifetime medication to treat celiac so someone out there in the world of big medicine has decided that endoscopy is a must no matter whether blood tests are positive or whether someone improves on gluten free diet.

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I had a few more questions for you guys.

I took one of my tablets this morning with breakfast & vitamins. I experienced zero reflux, burning, or discomfort until approximately two hours later at work, when a mild heartburn started. However, this often happens with or without the tablet.

If you are taking too much HCl, how quickly do you know? When does the burning, "too much acid" feeling begin?

I am still having a lot of bloating and gas when I eat, probably due to my stomach not emptying out quickly enough. This causes lots of belching and a constant pressure of air against the LES. I would imagine that a lot of my heartburn can be attributed to this pressure against the LES, along with the bubbles of air bringing up acid with them.

Having taken the HCl & enzymes this morning, I am now ravenously hungry for my lunch, despite having eaten a slightly bigger breakfast than usual. This is a wonderful sign, because when my reflux is at its worst, I never feel hungry at all. I am, however, still experiencing acid reflux and heartburn.

so, like, how long does it take 1) for you to feel it when you've overdosed on HCl/enzymes/bile, and 2) for your heartburn to be solved by the pills?

should I try taking TWO tomorrow if my heartburn isn't easing up?

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I just took my first full doses yesterday. The enzymes I had were half the normal strength and I received the full ones in the mail yesterday. Since I started the half doses, I still had heartburn throughout the day so i took zantac when it hit. it did help that a lot. I also took the HCl at meals. I am trialing a discontinuation of my Welchol which I believe to be causing the in between heartburn.

The full dose did not give me heartburn yesterday. I felt different but cannot explain why. I think I was overthinking and waiting for something. I am going to take two with breakfast and see what happens.

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I just wanted to update with my personal experience. I just started today with 5 betaine and one digest gold at each meal. I did a day of 1 per meal, then 2 per meal the next day and so on. From the 1-4 per meal I had no adverse reactions at all and what I think were improvements so far. It is really hard to tell, but at least it has not been negative. I do notice that I feel less of a need to take zantac. Stomach heaviness and other odd gi issues seem to be better.

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I'm finding it hard to get the right dose of HCl, because sometimes I will feel a "burning" and sometimes I won't. and then once I felt a burning in my stomach that I tho't was HCl before, but I hadn't taken any HCl for hours.

however, after starting the HCl and enzymes, my D stopped in a single day. It was amazing. which is why I think this is the problem.

I found some HCl on its own, 200 mg a capsule, so I can experiment with the dose, but I still have the 600 mg + enzymes + bile to take with large meals. now I just need to find some enzymes without peppermint in them so I can have the enzymes and HCl separately.

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Same here. I think the dose is dependent on the amount and type of food. I still take zantac at night and sometimes during the day but before that was not even enough. I have yet to experience burning from the betaine. It is a little hard to tell for the rest of gi symptoms as I think i might have been cc'd by something. Been very run down and lower tummy issues the past few days.

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