GERD - high or low stomach acid - that is the question?!

Suffered GERD and given Omeprazole - side effects of which were nausea, headache, confusion, dizziness. It cant be a coincidence that these side effects are also the symptoms of too LOW stomach acid and are therefore making the situation worse. it is difficult if not impossible to get a GP to agree that low stomach acid can cause GERD and to prescribe HCL (HYDROCHLORIC acid) tablets to redress the balance. Whilst it is possible to self medicate it is a bit worrying and I wonder why the pharmacists have not come up with a solution recognised by GPs. Does anyone have a GP who agrees with me and if so, what do they prescibe? I have asked if there are any tests I can have to establish if it is high or low but told there are none.


12 Replies

  • There are indeed tests for stomach acid! But I wouldn't expect a GP to know about them. Have a look here :


  • hesperus Most doctors don't seem to recognise low stomach acid.

    There is a test but I'm not sure if it is available in the UK - the Heidelberg Stomach Acid Test - see

    If you Google Heidelberg Test UK you will see links to what tests are available on the NHS.

    Dr Myhill (private doctor here in the UK) understands about low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria) and has an article about it on her website

    I tried Betaine HCl with Pepsin and it did nothing for me, not even 6-8 capsules with a protein containing meal. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar With Mother worked for me.

  • Many thanks - will explore. If I ever win the lottery I will donate the money to research on this topic!

  • This makes interesting reading:

    EDIT: just to add that I recently underwent a gastroscopy procedure where I mentioned to the nurses that I was hypo and low stomach acid was a common symptom. I was ignored.

    When seeing GP who, upon hearing that I refused to take these, threw his toys out of the pram and make all sorts of nonsense claims. Once again I claimed that being hypo and getting older meant low stomach acid. He ignored me.

    Call me cynical but I believe that PPI's are a nice little earner for GP's.

  • I agree. What I cant understand is how most of the medical profession seem to ignore low stomach acid as a possible diagnosis and sigh if you say you have been searching the web for possible remedies.

  • Yes I think PPi stands for 'Pay Practitioners income' x

  • Welcome to our forum but you don't state whether you have a dysfunction of your thyroid gland.

    Are you hypothyroid? Do you have Hashimoto's.

    If you haven't had a blood test for your thyroid gland hormones, I'd suggest getting one and it should be a fasting, as early as possible time but you can drink water.

    Ask for TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) T4, T3, Free T4, Free T3 and antibodies.

    Vitamin B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate and get a print-out of the results with the ranges and post on a new question.

    If hypothyroid yes we are more likely to have low acid rather than high but the symptoms are practically identical and GPs more likely to prescribe antacids.

    If the medication is making you worse, it would seem to me (and I have no medical knowledge except being hypothyroid) that isn't high acid. You cannot stop ppOmeprazole without slowly withdrawing I believe.

    I was given antacid and I had worse pain so stopped and switched to Betaine/pepsin tablets and at times I also take a good Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with water/juice.

  • Have had a battery of blood tests all of which were Ok but not sure if they included thyroid test. Will enquire. Thanks.

  • hesperus, unfortunately 'o.k.' doesn't mean optimum, so if you ask for a print-out (we are entitled but some charge a nominal sum for paper/ink) make sure ranges are stated - these figures are in brackets and post a new question.

  • Take your point - will do. Thanks

  • For an informative series of articles on how GERD arises :

    The author doesn't mention hypothyroidism as a cause of low stomach acid, but it is worth reading the series anyway.

  • Plenty of reading there humanbean and thank you for posting them.

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