Low stomach acid: Hello all. As so many of us I... - Thyroid UK

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Low stomach acid


Hello all. As so many of us I have low stomach acid and want to do something about it. I would like to know what your experiences are with trying to solve the problem, e.g. Taking Betaine HCL or Apple Cider Vinegar. I am interested in effectiveness, which doses you used and which side effects you might have noticed. Thanks in advance.

35 Replies

I use lemon juice before each meal and 2 tablets of hcl with every meal. I have not had any side effects. It is difficult to judge how effective it is but I would not be without this regime.

Thanks Giagal. May I ask whether you were under supervision of a doctor for that, or did you try it yourself? I am just a little worried of damaging my stomach lining


We can all vary in how we get relief. I take one Betaine/Pepsin tablet with meals (as directed on the bottle) . I also take a good Apple Cider Vinegar mixed in juice and water. when I don't use Betaine. Whatever the specialist prescribed caused immense stomach pain so assume it was an antacid.

Thanks Shaws!


Betaine HCL with Pepsin did nothing for me, I even got up to 8 capsules with main protein meal. Gave up and started using organic ACV with Mother, working up gradually to 1 tablespoonful of water which I take in either honey sweetened water or orange juice before my main meal.

Thanks Seaside Suzie. I understand from the replies that it is very individual

No I was not under a doctors supervision, but it is so common to have low stomach acid when hypo. It is also a good idea to take a good probiotic every day. I also take colostrum every day for gut and immune health.

As shaws said apple cider vinegar is very good too for the gut and general health.

in reply to Giagal

Which bacterias are best for hashimotos?


what's the problem with low stomach acid?

You need enough stomach acid to properly digest your food. If not the food will sit in the stomach or intestines fermenting which causes digestive problems, acid reflux etc and over time a possible leaky gut, when bad bacteria outnumber the good ones

I, personally, could not take Betaine HCL and I believe there is a warning on some products against taking them if you have gastritis. Instead, I found taking daily organic sauerkraut and a good probiotic resolved my own digestive symptoms.

Low stomach acid/gastric atrophy (more likely if you have Hashimoto's and over the age of 60) eventually results in damage to the intrinsic factor, which means vital vitamin B12 (as well as other essential nutrients) is unable to be absorbed. This leads on to serious B12deficiency/Pernicious Anaemia and the risk of neurological damage if left untreated.

This link explains :


in reply to Polaris

This is good news my partner has IBS and I have just started him on sauerkraut and and good probiotic.

in reply to Bunnyjean

What is seaurkraut and where to get it plus could u advise me a good probiotic


I've found that Slippery Elm capsules (2 capsules, 3 times daily) have made a massive difference along with Dr Shade's Bitters (1 squirt on lunch and 2 squirts on dinner). Also have a hiatal hernia and refused PPI's.

Didn't get on with Betaine and ACV only helped a little bit.

I tried HCL Betain with Pepsin but found it too strong for me. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar worked immediately. If I took it before a meal it prevented reflux. If I get reflux now I take a tablespoonful with a glass of water and it stops it immediately. I now take it when I travel as eating a different diet can set off indigestion and reflux.

Even if it doesnt' work for acid reflux it shouldn't cause a problem as you can use it on salads and in cooking or as a dressing and many people use similar products such as balsamic vinegar on food on a regular basis.

Now I've gone onto a low carb high (good) fats diet I find I don't need it very often.

I use Betaine w/ Pepsin with meals with protein. Helps me feel less full. No ill effects. Not under a doctor's supervision for this. If you feel any burning (I didn't), cut back on the number of pills by one to find your best dose. Also, take with a glass of water (not a sip) & halfway or at the end of your meal to ease any discomfort. I tried ACV & couldn't stand the taste.

Hi I use bicarbonate soda and Apple cider vinegar in water before meals helps alot

in reply to Tiredmum75


I can't see why that would work! Bicarbonate of soda will neutralise the acidity of the vinegar. Obviously depends on exact amounts quite where it ends up in acidity level. :-)

If it works, that is what matters. You obviously feel it does.

Don't take any notice some of us are human not superhuman good luck.

I sometimes get low acid & take acv with mother, a spoon full in water & honey does the trick for me. To keep my gut healthy I take a good probiotic & drink kefir milk each morning in a smoothie. I hope you find the relief you need as the pain is terrible.

I like a pinch of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) powder in the water I drink with my thyroid hormones. You could also try eating citrus fruit before you eat. I'm convinced increased stomach acid from eating a grapefruit before meals is effective due to the increased acidity, plus they're good for folate & natural vitamin C. :)

Apple cider vinegar works best for me. Take it before a meal. HCL tabs did not suit me. It's really funny with doctors how little they understand acid problems, usually starting out with wrong diagnosis of too much acid ( since symptoms very similar) and then they give you antacid pills which worsen the situation. The docs should really know that low acid is a common problem in AI.

in reply to Simba1992

How do they check for low acid ? I asked my gp and she said we don’t see people with low stomach acid

Hi. Nutri are real quality products, Iv had gut help both avid and leaky gut and both have improved situation lots! There is doneone there to talk through if you have any questions, can see products on line

I'm into keniesiology testing and the cheaper make I was using if s vitamin I was taking tested negative! And the same vitamin when tested with the Nutri make was a positive

For me this showed good evidence for the quality,

If not familiar with keniesiology you can actually feel negative and positive body responses

Hope helps one person

Lots of good wishes x

...sorry about typo

Also, although buying a bit more expensive product you know it's not wasting money and time taking inferior brands - am sure others I'm sure are equal to Nutri, I'd rather pay for a keniesiologist than waste time and money also x


Thyroid issues is overstretching enough!!!😊

I am always bemused at why people think ACV increases stomach acid. It is more alkali than stomach acid so would make it less acidic, not more. That's not to say it doesn't have benefits - it is a prebiotic for starters, so it can help you absorb nutrients. This is a fairly well balanced article which explains some of the ins, and outs.


I had acid reflux, but not as bad as many members do. I tried a few different combinations of my system, sometimes cheating. But finally settled on doing it this way every single day and have no more reflux:

ACV with water before every meal. Only about a tsp.

A digestive enzyme tablet with my final meal (usually a snack before bed at 10-ish).

Slippery elm lozenge optional if I have any problems once in bed (acid reflux tends to really kick off once I'm horizontal)

That sounds like worth a try. If you only take a tsp of ACV, how much water do you take it in? I really struggle with a tbsp in 8 ounces of water. It makes me feel so full before, during and after the meal

I take it in a very small glass of water. I find it easier to just down it quickly. Full in a bad way? You may need to build up to it if it seems too uncomfortable. I think I started with just a glass at breakfast. And I gave up at one time because I felt the acid was getting worse. I only got to what I'm doing now by trying a few different ways.

I have been asking similar questions, I have been prescribed Lansoprazole to reduce stomach acid, I don't have classic reflux symptoms but have pain at centre, top of stomach, many members have asked about this as they gave pain too. Some have refief by going gluten free. I have since been diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis but not on thyroid meds as yet. I have tried having ACV every evening in water but having a lot of pain and discomfort in my stomach. I am under a Gastro Dr and asked him yesterday about Hashi be linked to low stomach acid so why was I on meds to lower it further, he said we don't actually need a great deal of stomach acid nowadays as it was necessary in times of bad diet, food quality and bugs hence the acid killed off the bacteria, nowadays with healthy clean living and food safety standards high stomach acid is more problematic for most people. I reduced the Lansoprazole then stopped taking it, I then had severe stomach pain so back on the Lansoprazole. I don't know if it's a rebound effect but as I have pain I am reluctant to use ACV at the moment. I also asked the Gastro Dr if going gluten free will help reduce thyroid antibodies, I was told there is no evidence to support this theory. Really don't know what's best

Taking Lansoprazole with ACV will be pushing and pulling at the same time I think - one is trying to reduce the acid and the other trying to increase it.

I don't know much about it, but these PPIs are seen very negatively by the forum, and can lead to lots of other unpleasant effects.

If you're struggling to come off then, you could try some of the stronger treatments suggested in this thread for relief. The most powerful thing I've tried is digestive enzymes - these do part of your stomach's job of breaking the food down. There are a few other stronger treatments suggested higher up the thread.

I think coming off PPIs can be a hard job, but worth it. There is lots of advice in past threads that you can hopefully find using search.

Hi thanks for the reply, I ceased Lansoprazole 10 days ago and had the ACV but the pain and discomfort was too much to bear so had to start them again, after three days and 30mg X 2 daily the pain has gone still some discomfort I tried to discuss with Gastro Dr as I was put on them before Hashimotos diagnosis, dr didn't seem interested in the theory of Hashi causing lie stomach acid all he said we don't need much stomach acid, I am wondering if I suffered cold turkey as I may have come off them too quick hence the pain, not sure how you reduce them without symptoms raging though.

Yea, I imagine you need to wean off then very very slowly. If you're on 30mg x 2 I'd try to reduce by 10 or 15mg per day, or something similar you can get to with the tablet size you've got - get a pill cutter or razorblade. Then if you don't have a reaction cut down the same again a week or two later, and carry on. Keep experimenting to find out what you can do. Although this is just generic advice for reducing. There may be more specific advice about PPIs on the forum.

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