Hi. Has anyone else experienced very low defence against digestive infections - possibly linked to low stomach acid?

I have what seems to be an incredibly low defence against digestive infections and am desperately trying to find out why. If I imagine that most people's defence are an 8 or 9 out of 10, mine seems to be somewhere between 0 and 0.5 - literally!! I'm falling ill once every two weeks or so. I have been a Type 1 diabetic for 10 years , but this problem began about 4 years ago, so I don't think the two are closely linked. Last summer I also realised I am now gluten intolerant, but despite switching to a totally gluten free diet (and feeling much better for it), my hypersensitivity to infections persists. By chance I came across some info online relating to low stomach acid levels and I now wonder if this is a lead for me. Has anyone else ever experienced anything like this? If yes, please let me know. I live in Eastern Europe and access to good medical advice here is very hit and miss. Thanks in advance.

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19 Replies

  • Welcome to our forum,

    You don't say whether you have a thyroid gland problem too but I know that hypothyroidism can cause low stomach acid. It has similar symptoms to high acid and maybe prescribed antacids which may not suit them.

    This is a link and, myself, I have found betaine supplements very helpful indeed. I got mine from Amazon. You can also get betaine with pepsin which are both helpful.


  • Thanks for your reply. As far as I know I don't have a thyroid problem - my T4 (88) and TSH results (1.25) seem to be ok, only my T3 seems to be on the low side at 1.3 although I don't know what this implies. Thanks for the link. I've checked out the Betaine products on Amazon - there seems to be lots of diff brands. Could you recommend a brand from experience?

  • Have you ever tried excluding dairy?

    Moggie x

  • Hi Moggie. No I haven't. I've never been able to imagine life without my cheese and yogurt, although at this stage I think I would be willing to. The strange thing is I eat lots of dairy products every day, but don't seem to have a daily reaction to them.I might go for 3 or 4 weeks and have no issue with my system at all. On average I get digestive infections once say every couple of weeks and I can usually can pinpoint some cause e.g. using a spoon or fork that wasn't properly washed for instance - that's why I've come to conclusion that my stomach defence mechanism doesn't seem to be working. Although I might have come to the wrong conclusion... I'll investigate the dairy thing a bit more.

  • Keep a diary of what you are eating and see if you can see a pattern develope. If it does turn out to be dairy hopefully it wont be all dairy or maybe its eggs. Let hope keeping a detailed note of what you are eating will show you more clearly what it is.

    Moggie x

  • Hi, if you reply to a specific comment, you have to press the yellow Reply to this, otherwise the person isn't alerted and you may wonder why you've had no response if its required.

  • Ok, thanks.

  • I always use the betaine hcl from lamberts if you still looking for a brand.. Leaving yourself with low stomach acid can lead to all sorts of nasties..... Helicobactor pylori can get a hold for starters..........

  • Thanks Galathea. I'm going to order some Betaine hcl soon.

  • Someone suggested Apple Cider Vinegar on this site and I followed it up and bought some. Took one teaspoon in a glass of water every day for about a week and it cured it for me.

  • Apple cider vinegar, the natural stuff, with ' mother' in it Is great for all kinds of ailments..... Particularly gout. Found the best way to drink it is to mix with apple juice. Makes it much more palateable.

    We find we still have to use betaine on occasions though. Scooter guy, if you had seen the state of my mother when she collapsed at my house and threw up 4 pints of blood in my hallway, caused by a bleeding stomach ulcer, in turn caused by helicobactor pylori, which got a hold because of low acid, you would have the betaine delivered at the first opportunity. When the ambulance collected mum, she had only a 10% of survival. ( She is still recovering).

  • Hello Scooterguy,

    This is a fantastic book that I think will help you it is called the food intolerance bibe by Anthony J Hayes & Antoinette Savill. I have had stomach problems since I was 19 (now 33) and I have suffered terribley. This book does cover adrenals, Thyroid, low stomach acid, gluten intolerance , leaky gut and low Digestive Enyzmes. I have got to the end of the book now and will be putting their action plan into place and I am so excited because of how wonderful this book was and I am certain after all these years of suffereing, I now finally have the answer and things will improve at long last

    Best wishes

  • Thank you for posting information about the Food Intolerance Bible - I had a quick look on Amazon and ordered a copy because they listed apples as an allergen and because they mentioned the difficulty of gaining weight! Yes!! No one believes apples upset me and they think not being able to gain weight is a blessing. May be there is a future, even at my age!

  • I hope you find it as helpful as I did , I have used the products they have recommended to help the gut lining and they have certainly helped. I always thought apples upset my tummy as well, its nice to get confirmation.

    Best wishes

  • Have you tried peppermint tea, it seems to have a preventative effect?

  • If you have low stomach acid there has to be a cause and the most likely is thyroid. Although your thyroid blood tests are "normal" it does not mean that you do not have a thyroid problem. You should look for symptoms and try your basal temperature. I read recently that an American doctor estimated that over 60% of people have thyroid problems.

  • You might find a general digestive enzyme supplement beneficial. Such as Solgar ‘Digestive Enzymes’. Start by taking a low dose (½ or even a ¼ tablet, with food and build it up. If you have low stomach acid, your stomach lining might get a bit of a shock with a sudden increase.

    For strengthening the immune system generally I have found Lactoferrin is very good. Before I started taking it, last October I would get every 'bug' going, but since taking Lactoferrin, this has decreased markedly. It binds iron, making it available to your body, but not available to pathogens/viruses etc. It’s not specific for the stomach.

    Have you had lots of antibiotics at any stage I your life?

    Probiotics are also good for the general health of digestive system.


  • Hi Scooterguy

    The low hydrochloride acid can be related to pa, as the autoimmune process that results in pa can also destroy the stomach lining cells that produce HCl. HCl doesn't just start digesting stuff, it also 'nukes' some unwanted bacteria, hence more GI infections. If, like me, you suffer with IBS, some days you never seem to get far from the loo! Additionally you might find you get heartburn - I'm not a doctor, but my theory is that food's not digested properly. I've considered that I may be gluten intolerant (not trying to get in any 'band-wagon' here), so I eat a lot less bread and do seem to be bit better in the lower regions! Have you tried the pro-biotic yoghurt drinks? I find that these help a little too. Or are these unavailable where you are?

  • Yes yes yes i am in the camp too!!! I could not eat chicken in the summer, every summer i would be feeling sick for a month!!! This is low stomach acid!!....sign of hypothyroid!......4 people eat in a restaurant 3 fine, 1 throwing up and havingn temperature- this was me on several occasions!!

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