Thyroid UK
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Low acid

Hi everyone this is my first post 😀 I have been on Levothyroxine for about 8 years and doing ok on 125 mg/ day which is actually higher than I should be ( 100mg) but find it suits me better. I have over the past 2 years had some acid reflux symptoms which were treated with very occasional use of Lanzaprazole.

In April these symptoms increased dramatically and I was really suffering with acid feeling/ pains in my chest back etc.

my doctor prescribed Lanzoprazole 15mg for a month. The symptoms didn't seem much different apart from I was steadily losing weight my appetite was awful and I had horrendous headaches constantly.

she upped the dose to 30mg which also had little affect. I was sent to see a gastro enterolygist who immediately doubled the dose to 60mg per day and booked me a camera exam. The day after the camera exam I felt so ill that I was beginning to lose hope, my weight loss had increased over the past 2 weeks to 1lb per day and I had lost over a stone in 10 days!

I read some posts on this site about how low thyroid can actually cause low stomach acid (not high levels) and can mimic the symptoms of excess acid problems.

Because the stomach acid is low food is not digested properly the gut becomes slow and bacteria builds up causing stomach cramps, slow bowel movements or sometimes diorea with high protein foods which are not easily digested. Also as the food sits in the gut it can force its way up allowing acid to escape mimicking the excess acid symptoms of burning in the throat and mouth.

Headaches are also a side effect. As I read these symptoms and more I was ticking each one realising this is just what I was experiencing.

My conclusion was that the Lanzaprazole at 60mg being given to control my so called excess acid was in fact making my low acid problem 4 times worse!

The following morning I stopped the Lanzaprazole and started to take Applecider Vinegar 1 tbsp mixed with 1tsp honey in warm water. It's disgusting! But for the first 2 weeks I was taking up to 3 times / day just before meals. I also took an Actimel each morning. Immediately I felt better and now 12 weeks later I have started to put on weight and my symptoms are practically gone, I still take the vinegar and Actimel first thing in the morning.

I hope this is useful to some of you? I too had no luck convincing my Doctors they were treating me completely wrong even when I reversed the effects of the Lanzaprazole. Good Luck x

18 Replies
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Hello Ferritz,

Welcome to our forum and sorry to hear that you have had stomach problems.

You sound as if you have done all you homework and I'm pleased things are improving for you.

I suffered exactly the same and also use ACV but have found Betaine with Pepsin to be especially useful. I take one or two with every meal.

Stomach acid will help absorbtion of thyroid meds and nutrients too.

Thank you for posting as others might find your account very useful.

Keep well,


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Hi thank you so much for the reply could you advise further on Betaine? Where to purchase etc please - thanks


I would definitely suggest a trial of betaine with pepsin was worth doing - no worries about a nasty taste or smell. Some links you might find helpful :

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Thank you so much I really felt like I was going mad till I discovered this site 😀

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You can also put ACV in juice which might make it a bit more palatable. I am glad you have found success with it and I'm glad also you didn't have too much problem stopping lanzoparole.

If you want a change sometimes from ACV especially if you go out somewhere for a meal, I found Betaine and Pepsin tablets helpful too. I always keep some in my handbag.


Thank you for your reply I will definitely get some 😀


ACV mixed with apple juice usn't too bad.... But i use lamberts betaine hcl from amazon.

Well done for having the courage to challlenge the docs and to sort it out for youself. I heard a great retort for when the doc gets sniffy and asks where you did your training.... " obviously not the same place as you". ..... Just bear it in mind cause some of theses docs can be really sarcastic.

Xx. G


He actually said they could try an alternative brand to Lanzaprazole he just would not accept that I could have low acid ! Thanks for taking the time to reply xx


Oh. I was on 40 mg nexium and I felt awful. I did not have acid reflux symptoms but my gut was so irritated. All ppi's made my digestion worse. Only if I had known back then . Took me years to recover from it.

I should have guessed tho as before trying ppi's I had periods of awful nausea, I would be gagging and trying throw up but nothing coming up. My mom gave me ACV that it would help me to throw up. Instead it eased my nausea! But I was too young and of course Internet was not common twenty years ago.

Now I have connected those dots and understood I too have low stomach acids. I have been using digestive enzymes which has helped a lot. Now planning on taking betaine.

Please supplement b12 if you are not already doing it as ppi's cause b12 deficiency.


Thank you so sorry you had problems for so long hope you're much better now xx


I had never heard of high or low acid before I got problems. The GP gave me a medication and I was up all night with very painful stomach. That's when I read up and found Betain and ACV really helpful.

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Hi thanks for all your replies , I've just had a look on Amazon but there seems to be a lot of different strengths of these tablets? Could any of you please advise further please ? Thanks


Here are the ones we use, one or two with/after a meal....

Xx g


Well done for doing the research & saving yourself from the damage PPIs would have caused you!

It's my understanding that humans never suffer excess acid, but that insufficient acid causes reflux, as the valve at the entrance to the stomach relies on low PH to function. Once PH rises, the valve allows (albeit fairly weak) acid Reflux.

Have you been tested for H Pylori?

I take Betaine HCL with every meal

Select the cheaper Airmail option. It arriv s in about 7 days.

If you're not already, I would recommend trying a Gluten/wheat free diet. Eliminate as many carbs as possible & completely remove refined carbs, sweets, sugar etc.. Take a good pro biotic.


I was very interested in the posts about low stomach acid as it seems to fit me. I was pointed to the relevant page on Dr Sarah Myhill's site. (Some of you may know that she is one of ThyroidUK's advisors.)

I've tried the baking soda/bicarbonate of soda test a couple of times first thing in the morning as suggested and both times went well over 5 minutes before I burped. She also mentions the Salivary VEGF test and my doctor (from the ThyroidUK list) has said he can arrange for me to take it. I'm definitely considering taking it as then other docs won't be able to argue that I should be taking PPIs.

Wish I'd heard of low stomach acid before! Thanks to all of you who brought this to our attention.


I came across ACV with Manuka honey. Not disgusting mixed with a little water.


I was also prescribed two different PPIs by my old GP. Symptoms were very definitely worse when I took them, but I blithely carried on because my GP assured me I needed them. It was information read on this forum that made me realise I probably had low stomach acid, and I did the "burp test". I don't understand why doctors seem so dismissive of low stomach acid, but my GP was totally unsupportive when I took myself off the PPIs.


I take ACV in water in a large glass, just under a pint, and I think it tastes quite nice that diluted. It reminds me of fresh lemonade. I think adding honey makes it yucky. Don't know if those who don't like it are using smaller glasses, or if I've just got very strange taste ;)


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