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Thyroid UK
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Low stomach acid - Gastrin blood test?

Hi all,

I was just wondering, we all know that peope with hypothyroid got low stomach acid and this is of course a problem. I've got severe stomach problems and meds don't work, tried Omeprazole again for 3 weeks but no effect. I had to try. Tried Betaine HCL last year and after a few days had to go to the emergency room because the pain was unbearable. Was it the Beatine HCL? I don't know.

Anyhow, I'm of course still searching and trying different things, also am still in the process of finding the right dose of levo, maybe it will all correct itself like magic when I'm on the right dose.

So now my question, I've read that people who've got low stomach acid will have high levels of gastrin, it can be measured in blood so it's just a blood test. I'm now asking myself if I should ask my GP to get it tested (as I will have a blood test already in 4 weeks for the thyroid check to see what this dose does)? It's a cheap and simple test and if gastrine is high I could try Betaine HCL again, that's my thought right now.

I would love to hear your opinion and/or experience.

24 Replies

Get checked for Helicobacter pylori infection. It's easy. First the blood test. If you have antibodies, then the breath test. Lots of people have H. pylori and it causes erosion in the stomach, ulcers and cancer.


Thank you, I already got tested twice for H. Pylori, negative.


Coeliac? Hiatus hernia?

have you had endoscopy?


Maybe make up the list of things you've had tested so it's not 20 questions.....


Coeliac negative, h. Pylori negative, parasites and bacteria negative, pancreas works fine (blood test and faeces fat test), ultrasound looked good (no stones or other problems).

I'm eating Paleo, tried multiple medicines (like domperidone, omeprazole and other acid reducers) without any effect. Probiotics etc. with no effect.

I believe this is the list..Endoscopy failed, not going through that again.


There is an alarming percentage of people who have significant gastric mucosal atrophy by age 40. I read this is the Merck manual and my jaw dropped.

It's also possible that your stomach is not moving food out of it properly. But you've tried that too. (domperiodone).

Okay so there's a possibility that something you eat is causing problems. illustration here: I used to pick apples every autumn with my kids. We'd keep a bushel of apples on the balcony and I'd eat about 5 of them every day. No problem. Then for a few years I didn't eat apples because I had braces on my teeth. In 2013 we had a superb harvest and i was so happy to buy all my favourite local apple types....... it took me a few weeks to realize that about 3 hours after eating an apple I would experience an intense wave of nausea ... weird thing; I'd sneeze twice and the nausea would go away. But being slow, it took until I was retching and then sneezing to desperately go back in time to figure out what it was I was eating recently and not in the past. For some reason my guts have problem with raw apples, blueberries, cape gooseberries...etc. I'm very disappointed in my guts. ( My GP looked at me as if I had a worm growing out of my forehead... and she ordered a bazillion blood tests... all normal. But I told her what I realized had caused the problem.) Applesauce is fine. Cranberry sauce is fine. Cooked blueberries (waste of money) are fine. But raw? Murder.

So there is a possibility that something you eat regularly is causing the problem.

P.s. I love apples. They don't love me back. Damn.


I've got some blood tests to check but it came all back negative. The things I ate when this started I don't eat anymore because of the Paleo diet. Nothings changed. Also the symptoms are 24/7.

I think the low acid could be possible and maybe it will correct itself when I'm on the right dose of levo.

Just wondering if it could be proved by just a simple blood test. If I understand it correct then gastrin is high in blood when there is not enough stomach acid.


I don't know about that test but paleo can be problematic as well. Meat can take a long time to digest. Meantime the stomach IS producing acid and can cause trouble with pain.

Meat should only be eaten once per day. 24 hours between exposures. That way it gets digested, it's gone and the stomach has a rest.

In fact, eating only a couple of times per day is better than eating several times per day in order to give the stomach a rest.

You could try fasting for 24 hours and see if that makes any difference. Or routinely go 12 to 16 hours before you eat. Drink water though.

The artificial sweetener Aspartame can also cause gastritis.


I only eat chicken, I have zero appetite so can't even think about eating meat. No sweeteners or sugar.

It's a long search, I tried a lot with food but don't believe it's the problem.


How's your ferritin and B12? Vitamin A? Zinc? Copper?

The way to check, aside from blood tests for the first few is to do a dietary analysis. There are websites that will give you the nutrient content of the foods you eat. Aside from thyroid, deficiencies in certain minerals will wreak havoc too. Someone posted a pod cast interview of Morley Robbins recently about magnesium and copper. It was very interesting. We need 2 mg of copper per day. The best sources are liver (chicken liver is good) and oysters. We need copper.

If your thyroid is low, then chloride is spilled via the kidneys and there's not enough left in the system to make hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Enzymes are also low because metabolic rate is low.

Since you were not successful in having the endoscopy done, then you don't know what's down there. They should do I.V. diazepam for endoscopy that way you are not anxious.


Or, although they can't see as much, have barium meal


You tried acid reducers and acid increases..... You really don't know if you have too much or not enough . Have you tried taking a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda mixed in a smallish glass of tepid water first thing in the morning? If you burp straight away plenty of acid. If its a few minutes, not so much and if itS 10 minutes or not at all, then you are short of acid and need some betaine.....

Good luck the tepid water is really horrible.... It has to be before you have eaten or drank. Anything......


1 like

Could try that..Once the burning was so severe I took baking soda in a little glass of water. I took a whole tablespoon. It was horrible, when I burped it was acid so almost threw up because of it.

Felt really stupid cause later I read it should be a teaspoon and not a tablespoon.


Oh wow, a tablespoon! I canT even begin to imAgine how bad that was...... How long ago did you do that, and more importantly how long was it before you burped? Though, a tablespoon was probably enough to make a dead donkey burp.

g xx


Hahaha, it's a year ago I guess. Never tried it again as you can imagine. I don't know, it was night and I walked to the kitchen and drinked it. Then walked back to bed and suddenly a big burp came and it was so awful, my whole nose burned. I was afraid to burp after that.

I am going to test it tomorrow morning.


Did the test this morning, it was disgusting. It took 3 minutes and 20 seconds to burp. Don't know if that's good or not..

I have the betaine hcl capsules stored, maybe I should try 1 again tonight after my meal?


Ok, well you definitely not got too much acid then. According to this version of the test you have low normal acid.... But then this version suggests repeating the test every day for a while. ... Err, no, I think once is enough!


The lowered acid production can be a result of ageing, ( 40 plus ). And a result of low thyroid. Maybe take a betaine or a holland and barret digest aid, ( has smaller amounts of betaine in - Boots do one too in their alternative section) with each meal?

Xx. G


I'm 22 years old so my guess is it's my thyroid..That should correct itself when I'm on the right dose I believe?

I was thinking the same, I saw a supplement from Biotics, it's called HCL plus, has much less betaine hcl in it plus enzymes. Think I will try that..

Thank you so much for your help.


I don't know whether my stomach is acid or alkaline, but this worked for me.

Try to eat more alkaline foods, when you eat acid food, balance it with say 3 alkaline to 1 acid.

I have a hiatus hernia and have been in a lot of pain, but I adopted eating more alkaline to acid food and it works brilliantly, no more pain.

I am due for another endoscopy, ( at my request ) in a few months time.

I want to see what is happening in my esophagus, due to the acid burn that I had been having.

It is an unpleasant procedure to go through, I have the spray down my throat, don't like

having an anesthetic.

But for me, it is peace of mind that all is well in my esophagus.



Something that might be relevant - a bit of a long shot, but might be worth considering...

I've tried two different brands of betaine HCL + pepsin :

1) biocare.co.uk/content/BC/im...

2) ecx.images-amazon.com/image...

The first one is a capsule containing 600mg of betaine HCL and 60mg of pepsin per capsule.

The second one is a tablet rather than a capsule and contains 325mg of betaine HCL and 59mg of pepsin per tablet.

I tried the capsules - one capsule taken after a few bites of a meal - and I ended up with the worst indigestion pain I'd had in years. I've tried taking them at different times - before a meal, late in a meal, after a meal - and they affect me the same way every time.

I tried the tablets - two tablets, one taken after a few bites of a meal, one taken about two thirds of the way through the meal. They worked wonders. No indigestion and no pain. I've continued taking them and my gut feels better than I can remember for years.

The only explanation I have come up with is that the tablets and the capsules dissolve and do their stuff in different parts of my gut. And the tablets are the only ones that do it in the right place.


That's interesting! I also took capsules so maybe that's the issue..I will take a look at it, thank you.


Have you tried Applecider vinegar?i find it helps me.ihave it first thing in the morning with warm water and a litttle honey.It has to be organic with the mother in it. i get mine from amazon 9.99 also google benefits of applecider vinegar it is very good for the digestion


It is braggs applecider vinegar


I still have to try that. I took a glass of water with fresh lemon juice first thing in the morning but it did nothing for me.

I will look at ACV again.


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