Treating Low Stomach Acid

I have been suffering from chronic GERD (indigestion/ stomach acid) for ages. So my GP gave a script for a giant bottle of Gaviscon (the type that contains potassium hydrogen carbonate)

I took a dose and -oh my goodness - I had the worse acid attack I've had in years. I stupidly thought I hadn't taken enough so I took a second dose... well let's just say I lost a night's sleep right there. *facepalm*

Clearly hypochloridia is yet another thing my GP has no clue about. I swear, I should be charging the NHS a fee or something, because really.

So after a bit of research, I have ordered the following things online:

Betaine HCL + Pepsin (648mg HCL + 1:3000/ 165mg pepsin in a capsule)

Broad Spectrum Digestive enzymes

Gastrazyme (Vitamin U) and

Oregano oil

Thirty minutes after my first dose of HCL my indigestion was gone. Last night we had a bit of a celebratory dinner and I pigged out on Chinese. Now normally that would kill me, but I took the enzymes and the HCL at the meal and I was fine.

Today I've only taken the Vitamin U and oregano and I can feel a bit of burning brewing.

So my question is: Has anyone else got some experience with HCL?

I read somewhere you have to let your stomach lining heal first before taking HCL/pepsin. I read somewhere else that the HCL heals the stomach. Also, dosages are a little vague.

Any advice would be very helpful!

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  • Oh yes!

    My gatroenterologist pooh-poohed my suggestion that achlorhydria might be my problem, even when I told him that drnking 50ml of neat lime juice really helped with my IBS-like symptoms. He was convinced that I had Neuroendocrine Tumors (NETs) that were causing the problem.

    Then I discovered Beataine HCL capsules (I get Swanson's, with pepsin, from Amazon). Ever since I started them (anything from 1 to 3 capsules, depending on the meal) I've had no GI problems at all. Honestly, these have had as dramatic effect on my life as has my B12 supplements. Before I started treating achlorhydria I'd wake up at 3 am at lest twice a week to spend the next 6 hours trotting to and from the loo. Not conducive to feeling alert the rest of the day.

  • I bought an anti reflux syrup from wilkis and it seemed to work for me. Showed gp the label and his reply was if it works, use it. After over a year of going to the ent for globus sensation which they couldnt get rid of and multiple theories - gerd, gord etc etc. along with a variety of different pills and potions.

    ironically the globus went after a few of my load doses, coincidence, i dont think so as along with other symptoms returning so has that.

  • A glass of orange juice at night does me fine.

  • I've tried that, but I think the orange has too much sugar, because if I drink a glass of OJ, I can literally feel it fizzing in my esophagus a few hours later at it ferments.

    Really cheap, sour satsumas work well.

  • Well silly GP -Gaviscon is for high stomach acid not low!! No wonder you had problems after taking it. I get tired of these incompetent GPs....sigh.... Glad you found the pepsin helpful though.....

    Has anyone any tips for high stomach acid apart from Gaviscon -a good friend of mine really suffers and can find no solutions. There doesn't appear to be anything out on the net about this. She has been tested at her hospital and they have confirmed it is high acid not low for her.

  • Well, the classic is PPIs. They inhibit the gastric cells from producing hydrochloride acid. Some of these are available OTC from pharmacies, but for long-term use your friend really should see a doctor.

  • Thanks fbirder. My friend has been formerly diagnosed -she has used the ppi's if you mean things like Lopramazole -the trouble is they cause other symptoms for her and also her doctor said a dependency issue occurs after a few weeks so they become less effective so they are not for long term use. She finds eating a small snack offsets the effects of high acid but has to be very careful with what she eats too. I tried searching for it on the net but mostly it talks about low acid production not the opposite!! Lol...

  • wavylines: The doctor who wrote Why Stomach Acid Is Good For You (Jonathan Wright I think) mentions that there is one condition (he knows of) that can cause high stomach acid, and it's pretty rare but does happen. I can't remember the name and I loaned my book out, but you might be able to find a copy or do a search of the title and find something online about the doctor. Sorry I can't remember the name of that condition!

  • Thanx Pomegranate -looks a really interesting book 😊😊

  • Jonathan Wright = quack.

    quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEd...

  • Quackwatch = quacks.

  • The man who runs Quackwatch is rather dubious himself.

    quackpotwatch.org/quackpots...

  • Which is a jolly good reason to not trust anything you read on the interwebs, especially if it's from a biased source (especially those with books or treatments for sale). Unless it's from a trusted site, or in a peer-reviewed journal.

  • fbirder wrote:

    Treating Low Stomach Acid

    How on earth can mouth-breathing cause the body to produce physiologically effective amounts of N2O

    You sound like an angry person. I feel sorry for you, and hope you can get to feeling better.

    For your information the info about mouth breathing and B12 did not come from Dr Wright's book. You should do some research, maybe you will learn something. I understand though that some people like to remain ignorant and take the word of sites like quackwatch and then go around and do their best to be an irritant to other people. But you know irritants can be good. Maybe your reaction will prompt someone reading this thread to go and do their research and not take anyone else's word for anything.

    Have a nice day.

  • The big users of betaine etc are over on the thyroid forum, because achlorydia is closely associated with hypothyroidism. Lots of big fans over there if you want to go over and search the term, I think you would find some extra answers to your questions.

  • My experience is similar to yours. They gave me some of the PPIs, and they really were horrible. I take what you take now except for the enzymes. I also use Swedish Bitters. (Love those).

    I had to take quite a few HCl capsules at first to get my stomach started again. Now I only take 4 or 5.

    I found I had H. Pylori, so I take a round of mastic gum a few times a year. Usually when I do that I have to reduce my HCl a little.

    I am still careful to try and sleep on my right side, this lets the stomach lie in such a way that the valve doesn't gap open in my sleep.

    My sleep apnea and snoring went away after the HCl was started, not suddenly but pretty quick like. Now I am careful to breathe through my nose, and I also find I sleep that way most of the time if I'm careful during the day. That's important because mouth-breathing causes you to produce nitrous (or nitric??) oxide which depletes your B12 stores.

    I found that all my gut issues healed on their own after I got enough stomach acid on board. (Of course we are all different!)

    My B12 needs did not get better, but have started to look permanent. But oh well, at least I can eat and digest my food now. YAY!

    I'm so glad you found out about it~

  • pomegranate - That's so interesting!

    I did not know that sleep apnoea could cause B12 deficiency, but it totally makes sense.

    I am also interested to see that you are taking large quantities. This was my original question. The bottle says 1 capsule per meal, but I've read that people take much more. I am frightened of burning a hole though my stomach (something from a Daffy Duck cartoon) and so I was wondering how much of the stuff one should take.

  • Gravata_Bblu, I understand your fears. You will feel it when you get too much. The symptoms of too much acid are the same as the symptoms of not enough, but they occur for different reasons. Anyway, I can't tell you how much to take. Your body will tell you.

    I increased by one capsule each meal until I felt a warm sensation in my solar plexus area, then subtracted one, and that was my dose until I felt relief. As my stomach improved I had to take less and less.

    If you take too many, just drink some water or eat another bite or two.

    When you get enough acid your LES will firm up and the acid will stay in place. LES = lower esophageal sphincter. It's not like a heart valve that flaps, its a sphincter, yes like that other one, lol. So what I found was that all the tissues in that general area firmed up too, and I guess that's how it helped the apnea and snoring.

    So here's to a hot stomach!

  • How on earth can mouth-breathing cause the body to produce physiologically effective amounts of NO?

    In fact - "Sleep apnea syndrome has been shown to be associated with decreased levels of circulating nitric oxide (NO)" link.springer.com/article/1...

  • I did not say that my sleep apnea caused my B12 def. I said that mouth-breathing causes you to produce nitrous (or nitric??) oxide which depletes your B12 stores. Actually what it does is inactivate your reserves of B12, making it unavailable to be used by your body.

    I don't think you should take Jerry Springer's word for anything health-related. Maybe whether you are the father or not, but B12... uh no.

  • Except that mouth-breathing does not cause the production of NO. In fact, it's the totally opposite way around -

    "The vasodilator gas nitric oxide (NO) is produced in the paranasal sinuses and is excreted continuously into the nasal airways of humans. This NO will normally reach the lungs with inspiration, especially during nasal breathing. "

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/897...

    And just because somebody disagrees with you (and, even worse, provides evidence) doesn't make them angry.

  • Sorry buddy, life's too short to argue. Bye.

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