Reflux, hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid) and breathlessness

Previously I mentioned struggling with my breathing, which started when I had my thyroid levels crash on the change from NDT to T4. I'm back on NDT and trying to improve all the levels that I can. I haven't had a blood test yet as I'm waiting for 6 weeks to pass to give my meds a chance to build up again. I'm also trying to improve my vitamin and mineral levels. The breathing issues have definitely been less.

I guess I was just wondering if anyone here has experience with acid reflux and low stomach acid. I'm pretty sure this is the cause of my reflux so I'm after some tips of how to resolve it. Has anyone gone down the HCl Betaine route? My issues occur mostly during the late evening. This evening I decided not to eat anything after dinner at 7pm and actually having an empty stomach has made it worse!! I'm sat up in bed unable to sleep AGAIN because of GERD symptoms. It's so frustrating. I've had a glass of water with lemon juice to see if the acidity will calm it down.

So yes, any tips GERD/Reflux sufferers might have would be wonderful.

15 Replies

  • If you are on a phone scroll down and down to Related Posts - similar to yours so hopefully you will find some answers. Apple Cider Vinegar is good I believe 😊

  • I take digestive enzymes after meals, particularly ones with protein as that's more difficult to dissolve if stomach acid is low.

  • I have low Stomach acid and the reflux that comes with it. I have been taking apple cider vinegar with the mother and lemon juice this has worked a treat. I take tsp apple cider vinegar and tsp lemon juice in half a glass of Luke warm water about 15 mins before I eat and this has really stopped all the reflux and indigestion, I normally only need to take it once a day but you can take it before every meal if need to, sometimes I forget to take it because my stomach is so much better now but after one day without my reflux will start up again. I also find if I do have indigestion I take it and about 20 minutes later it's gone. I've been on this six months now and still can't believe this simple thing works it was like a miracle. I was on omeprazole for years before finding this forum and learning that I had low stomach acid and not high which is what gp was treating me for. You can buy apple cider vinegar with the mother from internet or Holland and Barrett sell it as well.

  • Hi

    As a temporary measure yes organic apple cider vinegar with the mother( biona is my favourite) is good. Definitely not in warm / hot water as you pasteurise it and the benefits reduce.

    I'd definitely suggest a stool analysis via Genova which will tell you what is low.

    Stomach acid 0-4

    Probiotics 0-4

    Bad bacteria 0-4( this one you want low) and you can also test for candida and parasites etc.

    They also tell you which antibiotics ( on the future are best for you)

    Once you have the results you can go down the betaine , probiotics, poly enzyme and say for bacteria uva ursi.

    Also there is a massive difference between one betaine and another.

    If you get that far just let me know. No sense in getting things you don't need.

    Good luck

  • Air hunger is a symptom of Hypothyroidism and under-medication.


  • Hi brighter84

    I was taking a ppi Omeprazole for 20 years and slowly weaned off it with the help of HCL with pepsin and never looked back. Occasionally I used the apple cider vinegar instead of tablets and it's also very effective. I have no stomach issues at all and no bloating or problems digesting food which I did have when on a ppi. High acid and low acid in the stomach can produce similar symptoms. I had very bad breathlessness and inhalers before startIng T4/T3 and now no issues at all and no inhalers! It was all the thyroid!! Good luck xxx

  • I used nutrigest before each meal and that has sorted it out. I now take one before breakfast and it seems to set my stomach acid up for the day. I think they contain things that will help the stomach acid as well as heal the gut lining so it is a win win situation. Dr P suggested I take them. I agree with kir31 that air hunger is a sign of an under treated thyroid.

  • have you had your B12 levels checked - PA - the most common cause of non-dietary B12 deficiency - is also associated with low stomach acidity and will also lead to air hunger - regardless of whether or not you have an actual anaemia as it can cause a type of anaemia.

    I have low stomach acidity and find that drinking some lime or lemon juice in water has really helped me with digesting food and it is a long time since I experienced an episode of acid reflux.

  • Ps - should have mentioned that there is a lot more information on B12 deficiency on the PAS forum

  • I'm also pretty sure I had the blood test that checks for PA...I can't remember what it's called. I need to chase the private GP I saw to get all the results of the tests that were done. Before I was undermedicated for thyroid my B12 levels stayed fairly consistent at 500

  • Quick question, how much does B12 supplementation skew results? I havent taken any methyl B12 since Monday but the iron supplement I'm taking has a small amount of cyano in it. I'm having my bloods done Saturday. Also do you know if iron supplements have the same blood results skewing effect as B12?

  • it depends on the amount of B12 in the supplement - and generally you need to have avoided supplementation with high dose - 100mcg+ for several months.

  • Thanks Gambit. My B12 levels were 240 ish in January so likely to be low. I've already started supplementing though so my next B12 test isn't going to be accurate. I think once I can get thyroid levels back up, iron and B12 will follow. Or vice versa!!

  • If you've ever had an episode of acid reflux and breathed even a tiny amount in that can cause havoc with breathing. I did it a few years ago and it took a long time for my lungs to recover.

    Being under-treated for hypothyroidism can cause air-hunger. So can low iron/ferritin, and low vitamin B12.

  • I shall have to wait until next week to see what my bloods say. Hopefully it'll shed some light on the situation!

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