Too Much Acid Or Too Little?
Many people with gallbladder disease also report suffering from chronic heartburn. In fact, heartburn is often one of the first symptoms that may appear as an indication that your digestive system is falling out of balance. Gallbladder symptoms can be similar to those of acid reflux – but are you overproducing stomach acids, or under-producing them?
Signs of Deficient Stomach Acid
- Gas, bloating, and burping shortly after a meal
- The feeling of fullness or food not digesting
- Heartburn and/or gastric reflux (sometimes too much HCl but most often not enough)
- Bad breath
- Foul-smelling stools
- Loose stools in the early morning
- Food allergies
- Dilated blood vessels on the cheeks and nose – Rosacea
- Pernicious anemia or iron deficiency
- Anal Itching
- Nausea especially after taking vitamins and minerals
- Weak or cracked nails
- Parasites – or at least increased susceptibility to parasitic infections
- Chronic yeast infections
- Acne in adults – especially if you have other symptoms from the list
H. pylori Symptoms
If HCl does not take care of the acid symptoms, you might have a Heliobacter pylori infection. Gnawing or burning symptoms can be indicative of this. This discomfort tends to be located centrally, just below the rib cage. Other specific symptoms include burping, gas or flatulence, bloating, nausea, and even vomiting. Even if you were tested for H. pylori recently, it is possible to pick it up again when you go out to eat. Also, if anyone else in your family has it, you can keep passing it back and forth. So yes, H. pylori is contagious. Your family member may be asymptomatic but still have it. All members of the family need to be treated when one person is diagnosed with an H. pylori infection – pets, too. H. pylori is found in half the adults in developed countries and up to 90% in underdeveloped countries, making it is very common. The best tests for the H. pylori bacteria are stool and breath tests. The stool test registers H. pylori in the intestines, while the breath test measures H. pylori in the stomach.
H. pylori Treatment
The medical treatment for Helicobacter pylori is antibiotics. And to help to support the lining of the stomach and intestines while on antibiotics, Zinc-Carnosine may be useful. Chances are if you have had chronic acid problems, and particularly if they do not respond to acid blockers or to Betaine HCl, H. Pylori is likely the culprit. In your case, you do not even need to bother with the HCl at this time; get on Zinc-Carnosine Complex with PepZin GI – 120 ct for at least a month. To visit our blog post on Zinc-Carnosine, click here. If you still have acid symptoms, continue for one more month.
Risk Factors And Causes Of Low Stomach Acid
- Adrenal fatigue
- Atrophic gastritis
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Candida & Other Yeast
- Bacterial Dysbiosis or infections in the gut
- Adult acne
- Alcohol consumption
- H. pylori infection
- Stress, even in children
- HCl production decreases with age
Diseases Associated With Low Stomach Acid
- Acne rosacea
- Dry Skin
- Gallbladder disease
- Autoimmune disorders
- Lupus erythematosus
- Myasthenia gravis
- Pernicious anemia
- Celiac disease
- Sjogren’s Syndrome
Interestingly, even though one with low stomach acid might experience indigestion just after a meal, later on, you could experience a feeling of too much acidity and wake in the night from this as well. This overproduction of acid, later on, can still be associated with low stomach acid. Try supplemental HCl for a few days and watch to see if these symptoms subside. They should decrease gradually.
How To Increase Your Own HCl
Bitter greens like kale, collards, beet greens, arugula, etc. may help to encourage the release of your own stomach acid. Lemon, olive oil, and ginger help as well. Try adding some ginger to The Beet Recipe, but only if you are in maintenance mode with your gallbladder and no longer feeling discomfort of any kind. Spicy ginger could upset the balance if you haven’t been symptom-free for at least a couple of months. Zinc and Thiamine B1 are necessary components in the manufacturing of stomach acid. Beet greens contain both. So does nutritional yeast. Food sources of zinc include collard, chard, pumpkins seeds, figs, and wild salmon. Thiamine B1 is found in brown rice, spinach, and peas.
Bile Reflux vs. Acid Reflux? Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid refluxes upwards through the esophageal sphincter (muscle) into the esophagus. Bile reflux is when the bile refluxes upwards from the duodenal portion of the small intestine through the pyloric sphincter into the stomach. The symptoms of bile reflux are similar to the burning pain associated with heartburn but also may include nausea and vomiting of bile. Causes Of Bile Reflux Bile reflux can be caused by gallbladder surgery but is more often a result of gastric surgery. The pyloric valve can also be obstructed by scar tissue or by an ulcer. Natural Support Of Bile Reflux – Two Methods The first method is to take 2-4 capsules of something that can bind and hold onto the excess bile such as Medi-Clay-FX. Take this symptomatically. Some people have occasional bouts with bile reflux; others experience it on an ongoing basis. If the latter is the case, try this dosage with each meal and again before bed until you feel relief. This second method is actually an old folk remedy, but a new treatment to most. Mix one packet of baker’s yeast into a glass of warm water and drink on an empty stomach. This should alkalize the acidity and coat the stomach. Try it first thing in the morning and wait an hour before eating. If you take one after meals, wait 2 hours. Never mix with fruit or vegetable juice as it will ferment. You can take several packets daily if needed. This is worth a try for anyone. Baker’s yeast contains many B vitamins which help to detoxify the liver and baker’s yeast does not contribute to candida. It may, in fact, kill it.
I recommend you to see your doctor. If you have already done that and would like to speak with one of our consultants, please call 760-515-2338 to make an appointment. You can also find more details on our consultations page. Please be advised that our consultations in no way replace a medical examination or the testing procedures you would receive from your medical doctor. However, I’m sure you will find our knowledge, experience, and recommendations helpful.