Thyroid UK
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Low stomach acid test

Hi

I am hypo and taking 150mcg levo but still have symptoms.

I have an appointment with my G.P. tomorrow to ask for a referral to St. Thomas for an active B12 test but I also want to ask about low stomach acid and if this could be the reason why I was low on B12 folate and Vitamin D when I had them tested earlier in the year. My stomach symptoms are getting worse, I am constantly bloated and burping and know this can be symptoms of either high or low stomach acid.

Does anyone know if the G.P. can test for this and if so what test do I ask for.

Many thanks browny

35 Replies
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You can do a simple at-home test for low stomach acid using bicarbonate of soda and water. See this page :

scdlifestyle.com/2012/03/3-...

It probably isn't super-accurate, but its easy and does no harm, and could be educational.

You could always test yourself by trying Betaine HCl + Pepsin 600mg capsules. I buy these :

gnc.co.uk/betaine-hydrochlo...

but they are easily available online from loads of different suppliers and manufacturers.

Take a couple of bites of a main evening meal, then take 1 capsule of Betaine HCl & Pepsin, then finish your meal. See if it helps over the next few hours.

The next night try a couple of bites of food then take 1 capsule, then about halfway through your meal take another capsule. See how you feel after that.

I take two capsules for a big meal, and one for a smaller meal, but I know that some people take loads! It's worth googling for info about this. You will get information and treatment faster than you ever would from a doctor.

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Hi humanbean.

Many thanks for the links, I will do the burp test tomorrow, if the Betaine HCI & Pepsin relived the symptoms of bloating and gas would it then help to absorbed the nutrients better?

Best wishes browny

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In the past I've been prescribed ranitidine, omeprazole and lansoprazole for stomach problems. They all suppressed acid. I was quite shocked when I discovered I actually have insufficient acid rather than too much. I think I get more nutrition from my food now than I used to. If you read about proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole and lansoprazole they reduce absorption of vitamin C and vitamin B12, and they also increase the risk of hip fracture and pneumonia. I wouldn't take them again.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto...

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They also reduce magnesium - I have just heard it from Suzy Cohen on the Gluten Summit on-line .....

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Can they tell by endoscopy if u someone had low or high stomach acid what are symptoms .can stomach pain also be one of the symptom?

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I don't know how doctors test levels of stomach acid, sorry.

These links might help you :

scdlifestyle.com/2012/03/3-...

drjockers.com/5-ways-test-s...

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Just poached your link humanbean, hope you don;t mind? :)

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Not in the slightest! :)

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Thanks! :D

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Have you tried the self testing, browny? When you are uncomfortably bloated, take a little vinegar in water and see if it subsides. There is also a burp test first thing in the morning using baking soda in water. If you don't burp within five minutes, you may have low acidity. google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q...

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Hi Heloise

Many thanks for replying and for the links, I will try the vinegar and buy some baking soda tomorrow and do the burp test.

Best wishes browny

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browny, if it turns out you have acid or acid reflux, there are a couple of things you can do besides going on those pharmaceutical drugs. I would try deglycerized licorice first.

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What are symptoms of low stomach acid my stomach hurts so so much :-( I can’t handle this pain can’t sleep at nights too.can endoscopy show I have low stomach acid ? Any other ways to test?

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Ari, what kind of pain is it and when does it start. Usually low stomach acid doesn't have overt symptoms except it's not digesting your food very well and you may feel food just sitting in your gut or you may get bloating. Gas usually means you are not digesting your meal. Have you tried digestive enzymes which usually comes in a combination of amylase, protease, and a few others. If the pain comes on two hours after eating I think it means your gall bladder may not be producing enough bile. That can be included in digestive enzymes.

It might not be a bad idea to have the endoscopy although not sure of what all it will show.

It's odd that I've read you are more likely to have gall bladder problems in the 40's and 50's. The pain is not a burning pain like an ulcer but if the pain goes away while eating, it could be a sign of an ulcer. Maybe an h. pylori test to see if you have an ulcer.

If it's more like a bad ache, you could take either charcoal tablets or lecithin which I thought was very effect when I had gall bladder problems. I did not have my bladder taken out and it doesn't bother me anymore.

Let me know about all this.

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This pain started when I was about two months ago started t3 only.I do understand I have Adrenal issues which Iam trying to sort by having Adrenavive .my cortisol is on a low side.

So when I started t3 only I developed diahrea lose stools (yellowish colour) stomach pain (seemed like every metabolic state was working so much faster) ,I was on 5mcg and 5mcg and I tried to increase it ( I think increased way too quick as well) so I used to feel hungry very all the time faint dizzy weak upon increasing dose all kind of weird symptoms (which I think adrenals are not letting medication to work).So I stopped t3 only .I started NDT and on a small dose like 1/4 and 1/4 a day.pain eased down a bit but still was there a bit.I tried to increase my ndt dose on 1/2 grain morning and 1/4 afternoon after two weeks and again I expierenced the same pain in tommy sharp pain when u press on it it’s tender and hurts like burning inside and like an open wound feels so raw inside.So I went to see DR peatfield here in uk and I did also cortisol saliva test and it showed quite low cortisol but still in range but on a very low side one reading on afternoon was borderline.So he told me to start to treat my adrenals because I been diagnosed 8months ago and still can’t get my tsh less than 6.tried Levothyroxine t3 and ndt but can’t raise dose getting all symptoms .So the pain is still there now even I left ndt and Adrenavive on Monday to rest my body but since I had that t3 and I think I had already adrenal issues and I upped the dose fairly quickly it irritated my gut and stomach.Iam not sure .i did also bicarbonate soda test it showed me no burp what so ever for three days even this morning .i went to my doctor and he told me to drink PPI called omeprozole (have u heard about it&?) I took it yesterday it really helped me .And it also treats ulcers .Two weeks ago they took my stool sample and didn’t find any bacteria there or anything .Iam most times constipated anyway.Iam having an appoitment with doctor again on Thursday and will ask him to send me to gastroscopy or gastroenterologist maybe that would be good idea but again god knows how long to wait ....:-( iam restarting ndt on a very tiny bit 1/4 and 1/4 of Adrenavive glandular.I will take small steps at a time .Iam so so worid about my tommy :-( I also don’t sleep well at nights at all I wake up randomly at 2,3,4,5 am every morning in my ears is hissing sound and I have many signs of adrenal issues so I have to try to treat them first as well as start ndt very tiny bit so I don’t go more hypo as Iam already .

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I've been on TUK for five years and have never read these type of issues from taking T3 or even adrenal support. But that doesn't mean it isn't true for you.

The PPI is a proton pump inhibitor which inhibits acid in your stomach. If you had an ulcer maybe it would help but not really good for long term. If you had h. pylori, there is a 3 part treatment but you may not need to go that far. The things I mentioned before might help you and won't hurt you. Charcoal is given to poison victims in the emergency room but I use it if I have any tummy problems. It's not expensive. Lecithin emulsifies fats so if it happens when you've had a fatty meal (and yellow stools may indicate a problem with fats being digested), it may give you relief. Peptol Bismol is also good for coating the stomach wall. If it were a burning pain I think the deglycerised licorice (DGL) works well. Of course, I always recommend trying unfiltered apple cider vinegar before meals (1 or 2 teaspoons) which has so many benefits.

I'm leaning toward one of these problems rather than your thyroid hormone unless there is an ingredient in it that is causing the pain. Here are some of the ingredients.

stopthethyroidmadness.com/a...

google.com/search?q=deglyce...

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This is the brand I use but just wanted you to see some reviews.

iherb.com/r/Enzymatic-Thera...

iherb.com/r/Nature-s-Way-Ac...

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Hi ari. Are u feeling better?

U mentioned u also have constipation. Chronic constipation, especially when it's bad, can be extremely painful, to the point where u break out in cold sweat. Usually when u've voided all the shit, the pain stops. With best wishes

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It showed up in mri scan I have inflamed pancreas .so I think way too much t3 caused pancreas to inflame and metabolise everything way too quickly.the damage has been done now and I don’t think so it can be reversed.iam on digestive enzymes and hcl.soecialist said I have to use omeprazol but I ain’t going to do that.as Hashimotos I suffere from low stomach acid and it doesn’t make any sense for me to use hcl and omeprazole ir am I wrong?

At the min yes iam suffering from constipation still it was better before but again all system has crashed and stopped working .iam only on 1/4 ndt but adding slowly t3 in like 5mcg.how long does it take for it to work I mean t3?

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I'm really sorry to hear all this.

How are u managing whilst trying to sort things out? I cannot imagine. Trying to unravel being hyperthyroid was enough to stop me working for months at times.

My experience with T3 was bad swift weight loss. And it's a frightening hormone when out of balance, that's for sure.

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I mean FT3

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It is very hard and I stopped working many month ago I had so terrible symtoms that I couldn’t continue my job and also my work was very very stressful and target driven so I put resignation letter in unfortunately.now Iam at home and trying to heal myself in all possible ways I can .iam on so many supplements and vitamins daily and helping adrenals too.I am on a very very low dose of t3 which is 5mcg I won’t up the dose as quick as I did last time just in over two weeks I was on 17mcg that’s way too much specially with low adrenal reserve and vitamins .its been fourth day iam on 5mcg and it seems my stomach has started to move after so long time .yes I have pancreas issues too but now I have to deal with everything so I can get any pain in a bay .my specialist will deal with it .how u doing now urself

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Thank u for sharing.

Fixing these internal imbalances take time patience and reducing stress to a minimum. Stopping work was the right thing to do.

Re omeprazole. Yup that's one horrid medicine to be on. My elderly mother's on it for gerd but I think its come to a point where its causing her low stomach acid judging from the symptoms. But its been next to impossible to come off the ome. The rebound symptoms are just horrible, making it impossible to stop.

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Plus it seems to have weakened her immunity and she's become highly susceptible to colds coughs and fever when there's infection.

The difficult thing for me about conditions such as ours is how when it throws our bodies out of balance, it takes trial and error to figure out what the cause is, and sometimes there can be more than one cause.

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I did endoscopy and they found erosions and took biopsy to see it h phylori is causing it .iam on omeprazole at the min and the pain is going away still hve to wait for lab results 7-10 days .i feel very sharp pain in between my ribs and acid reflux all the time pain goes away more or less when I eat something .

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Hi Ari, I hope they are getting to the bottom of it. Did they find an ulcer? Sometimes they are hidden in a crevice. Lately they say h. pylori is always a part of the system so can be meaningless. I don't really know enough about gastric problems but inflammation of the stomach lining can be due to low thyroid and the body tries to produce acid in a way that causes gerd making one think there is too much acid. Of course deficiencies follow because there is not enough acid to break down nutrients.

I do hope they get to the bottom of it Ari. Let us know and sorry we couldn't be more help.

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This is a useful link :

drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/Hypochl...

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Thanks for this link, very interesting.

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Many thanks shaws

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My husband had bloating and food staying in his stomach problems for years. Has a couple of gastroscopies, both times they said he had a small hiatus hernia so that was the problem . I was researching one day and read that symptoms for high stomach acid and low stomach acid were very similar. Article said you could easily test which you had by doing the following: when you are suffering bloating and indigestion take a tablespoon or so of neat lemon juice. If symptoms get worse drink lots of water to dilute. If symptoms improve within five minutes or so then it is likely you have low stomach acid. To improve situation have a glass of water with about 1 or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with meals. My husband's bloating and pain vanished like magic within 5 minutes and has been having diluted lemon juice with breakfast and dinner every day since and hey presto no more bloating and stomach pain - magic! By the way we have found that it has to be pure lemon juice, waitrose do one called "a touch of Sicilian lemon" which is best. Tescos has lemon oil in it and doesn't work.

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Many thanks Janee, I will certainly give it a try,

glad your husband has improved with this method.

Best wishes browny

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Sorry to slightly hijack this thread; I was interested to read it as I was just about to post about HCL on the PA group. I have PA and Hashimotos. I knew that I would have low or no HCL because of the PA but only read recently that Hashi's also caused low HCL. I have bought some HCL with pepsin but not yet taken any. I wondered if you should just take the capsule(s) with your evening/main meal, and also if you should take them regardless of whether the meal contains meat or not?

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Hi

I would start a new post with the question as more people will see it.

I have not taken HCL so cannot advise.

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Hello Lucy

yes, I clicked reply to the wrong post anyway, I meant to reply to humanbean's post!

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