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Thyroid UK
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Low stomach acid

Has anyone ever had a test to measure the levels of your stomach acid. I wondered if this was something you could get done privately.

I'm at a loss, I've tried apple cider vinegar, hcl betaine upto 4500mg per meal and nothing worked. I've been off the Ppi now for 2 months and realise it could be the bounce back but at the moment nothing works and I'm still bloated, full of wind with a stomach that's constantly complaining very loudly.

Anybody else have problems coming off ppi s and combating stomach problems.

Thanks

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I've never had levels tested but it is quite common for hypothyroid patients to have low stomach acid, rather than high.

PPI's are usually prescribed for 'HIGH' stomach acid rather than low.

Hypo members usuall take 'Betaine with pepsin' tablets along with a meal as they provide acid to dissolve food.

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Hi Shaws, you've given me loads of advice in the past thanks, I've now weened myself off PPI over 3 week period, that was about 2 months ago. I've tried the home test and it indicated low stomach acid. Unfortunately the apple cider vinegar didn't work as the belching has never subsided, the hcl betaine didn't work I got up to 6 tablets at 4500mg per dose before meals. That didn't work either, I'm still belching constantly which is bringing acid back up, still bloated and still issues with going the loo.

I'm now thinking have I actually got high stomach acid because the symptoms are pretty much the same as low stomach acid. What ever I do doesn't seem to work.

Wondering if anyone else in the community had problems with coming off the ppi and stomach acid.

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Took me four years to get things back to normal after coming off PPIs. And, I've only managed to do it with the help of turmeric. The PPIs caused constipation - something I'd never had before in all my years of hypo. Turmeric has sorted that out. I take half a teaspoon in honey every night.

I have no idea what my acid level is, but I don't think it's low anymore. :)

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I was hoping for quicker results :-) but I will certainly try that, thank you.

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Ah, I didn't say four years on turmeric! Took me a long time to latch onto the fact that that was a good thing to try.

My point was that PPIs can mess you up long-term. I'd probably still be suffering from the fall-out if I hadn't tried turmeric. :)

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Seems different things work for different people but I will certainly give the turmeric a go, I'll try anything at this point. Thank you any advice is really appreciated.

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You're welcome. :)

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Hi greygoose, does it have to be with honey or can I just take the turmeric on its own?

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Well, you could, but it depends on what form it's in. You can get it in capsules, but I take the ground powered turmeric. Taking a spoonful of powder is most disagreeable, and the taste is frankly awful! I just add honey to make it into a paste which is more easily swallowed and disguises the taste. Have you never used turmeric in cooking? It's extremely pungent. :)

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I have used it in cooking. I suppose I can just take a teaspoon of it and follow up with water. Have you ever tried digestive bitters?

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I rather doubt you'd be able to swallow it. Why don't you get some capsules? You can find them on Amazon.

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I just did manage to greygoose. Have you ever tried digestive bitters?

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I've also ordered some digestive bitters, although you can't seem to get the urban moonshine ones in the UK, so hopefully something works.

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No, I haven't. I don't like bitter flavours. Well done on swallowing the turmeric! I couldn't do that.

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Hi greygoose, the turmeric did wonders. I took a teaspoon about 8pm and another just before going to bed. Result: settled stomach throughout the night.

I normally take Linden digestive enzymes, bought cheaply from ebay at £5 for 90. They are normally oblong. Last time they were round and actually increased reflux. I thought it was due to my shoveling the food in & only stopped taking them after a few days when I vomited in the night.

Bought Holland & Barrett MultiDigestive Enzyme 90 Tablets. These helped but even after 3 weeks I was still having gerd/reflux problems. It was only after trying the turmeric (last night) that my stomach has finally settled, so had a uneventful, deep, long sleep.

Tumeric, curcumin benefits: healthline.com/nutrition/tu... - 'A substance in black pepper called piperine can increase the bioavailability of curcumin by 2,000% '

Turmeric everyday for now on. Will also try the bitters at some stage as they are supposed to trigger your own digestive enzymes.

PS stomach still feels settled now after eating quite a lot and without taking any more turmeric or the H & B MultiDigestive Enzyme tablets :-).

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Well, that's great! But, that's rather a lot of turmeric. I wouldn't continue on a dose that high, if I were you. Could give you the serious trots! :) About 1/2 a teaspoon a day is the recommended dose.

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I took some of the ground powder last night with honey seemed to curb my grumbling stomach which started up again this morning.

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I'm going to continue to try the turmeric powder. Would be interested to hear if the bitters work for you Paul?

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Well it's ordered so I'll be trying it soon and I'll let you know.

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Thank you Paul. Please read my reply to greygoose above, beginning: 'Hi greygoose, the turmeric did wonders'.

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That's great, good when something works. I'll continue taking it as it curbed my very loud grumbling stomach. Might add some pepper as well. Thanks :-)

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Wouldn't black pepper irritate your stomach? Perhaps to get the optimum benefit from turmeric, curcumin with the boosting properties of black pepper (piperine) is to take a supplement.

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I'll look into it, stomachs in right mess this morning after having pizza last night. I'm going to try the glutton free next week.

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Last few days been taking a teaspoon of turmeric, place on tongue and drink water to wash it down, whenever stomach hurts or I'm burping. Seems I need it less and less as the days go by. If I'm going to have a big meal I take it just before and try to remember to take before I go to bed even if stomachs OK. There is a laxative effect but not too much, suppose can differ person to person.

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I have been taking it occasionally with honey and it certainly does something, I've since tried the bitters and they don't work for me either. I'm going gluten free for a couple of weeks and if that doesn't have any effect I'll have to add dairy free 😕 hopefully something works. Glad to here it's working for you, I keep forgetting to take mine.

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Thank you for letting us know the bitters didn't work for you. Hows going gluten free for you?

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I think it's improved but not massively, we're only half through the second week though. My stomach is like an orchastra sometimes 🙄 most of the time in fact.

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Hi Paul, how are you now on your gluten free?

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Trying my best to be gluten and diary free but no relief as yet.

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Generally, to make turmeric bioavailable you need to take it with some fat and black pepper (or chilli/cayenne). so you could mix it in food (it's curry) or put it in a drink like hot chocolate with a bit of cayenne. It is a bitter component of curry, so you are unlikely to want to eat it on its own. If you are on Facebook, there is a good Turmeric User Group (run by Aussie Doug English) with support (including info on interactions with meds) and recipe.

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Yes, I tried it with black pepper, but strangely, the black pepper didn't suit me - although I use it on food.

Turmeric isn't curry, it's one of the spices used in curry. But, not just that. You can put it in just about anything.

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OK, it's an ingredient in most curries. I've been using for perhaps 20 years. Definitely works better with fat and pepper, but cayenne might suit you better, or just take it more often without pepper.

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I take half a teaspoon every night. :)

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What are your vitamin D, folate, B12 and ferritin levels like? Can you add results and ranges

Are you on strictly gluten free diet? Or tried it?

If not already strictly gluten free, get coeliac blood test first, either online or via GP before trying it

Do you have Hashimoto's?

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I posted my results 2 months ago

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

I haven't tried gluten free for any significant amount of time yet, but i was tested negative for celiac and I haven't been given the hashimoto's label by anyone from the medical profession.

I went to see someone in endocrinology today and was discussing stomach acid, he advised completely against HCL betaine as its not proven and he described stomach acid as having a different function than food digestion. I don't think the medical profession are geared up for this kind of thing.

I'm completely at a loss at the moment, I think because I expected to be miraculously cured fairly quickly but as yet nothing has had any positive effect, quite the opposite in fact.

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Because there's no easy test for low stomach acid, current conventional medics don't seem to acknowledge it even exists! ......as you seem to have discovered

So your previous results show extremely low folate, and low vitamin D

What supplements are you taking?

Have you retested since?

Vast numbers on here with Hashimoto's find absolutely strictly gluten free diet is essential, regardless of negative coeliac blood tests

UK conventional medics only call it autoimmune thyroid disease not Hashimoto's and completely ignore antibodies or autoimmune aspect (probably because they don't understand it)

No good at all seeing a run of the mill endocrinologist, most are Diabetes specialists

Thyroid Uk has list of recommended thyroid specialists

amymyersmd.com/2017/02/3-im...

chriskresser.com/the-gluten...

thyroidpharmacist.com/artic...

scdlifestyle.com/2014/08/th...

drknews.com/changing-your-d...

thyroidpharmacist.com/artic...

But don't be surprised that GP or endo never mention gut, gluten or low vitamins. Hashimoto's gut connection is very poorly understood

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I've been taking a number of supplements for a month now, vitamin D mouth spray, magnesium, K2(MK7), Selenium and vitamin B.

I did discuss the link with gut function with him and he was a nice guy but Endocrinology, gastro and GP are all drawing a blank.

I'm a bit tired of feeling bloated and never feeling fully awake with a brain fog that never clears, its funny how you and your body gets used to feeling rotten.

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First step is to try absolutely strictly gluten free diet

Some also find dairy free helps

But perhaps just trying gluten free to start with

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I think it's often more than gluten. Wheat free. They use glyphosphate as a dessicating/drying agent prior to harvesting much of the wheat supply. I think some may be reacting to traces of pesticides.

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Just a side note. Endos are as clueless about diabetes as they are about thyroid. It's the same one-size-fits-all nonsense. I could fill a book with misinformation I've been given by endos about T1 diabetes.

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Seems like it's the NHS all over, I keep repeatedly being told don't over stress your own research, nicely make a suggestion. If you do your own research they won't listen...

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I hear you, Paul. We'd be sicker without researching. Doctors don't listen period. Yea, be nice--ha! I noticed the suggestion below about digestive bitters. With stomach woes, raw veggies could be too hard to digest. I've taken liquid digestive bitters that help. Bitters also aid the liver. Brand I used is Urban Moonshine Herbal Apothecary. Organic. I'm in the US, so don't know if you can get it but any digestive bitter tonic should work.

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Thats something I need to try, thanks. When I was taking betaine HCL my liver was aching and sore as if I'd been overdoing it alcohol wise, wish I could stop belching thats the annoying thing and the acid reflux that follows.

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Hope you find something that helps. Belching & discomfort are awful, not to mention reflux, the worst. Hmm, your liver was aching. Sure it was your liver & not your gallbladder?

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I asked because betaine HCL helps the liver.

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Maybe not sure, something was aching though :-)

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Realized after I wrote that betaine's also supposed to help the gall bladder. For some reason, you had a bad reaction & were taking a high dose to have gotten no relief. All I know is that too much betaine causes burning. You If you find out it's your gall bladder, a supplement TUDCA is reported to work wonders. The suggestion to try gluten & dairy free is a good one. Eggs are also a common food people are sensitive to, It's usually the egg white since it's a protein. Gluten's in so many things. Know how frustrating it is. Sorry.

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Interesting stuff thanks, I will try the glutton free and dairy free, but I have tried it before for 2 weeks and it did nothing. This was probably not long enough and when I was on the ppi.

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Yea, it can take months to feel a difference. Gluten can be in toothpaste, soap, salad dressing, vitamin supplements. It's always in processed foods & goes under different names on food labels. There are people who can't handle any grains. Do you have constipation &/or diarrhea?

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Both I could probably go the loo 12 times a day if I had time :-)

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Doctors would probably say you have IBS. To me, that's more of a description than a diagnosis because it doesn't pinpoint the cause, not than doctors seem interested in ever finding a cause. Google SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. It's diagnosed with a breath test. You seem to have SIBO symptoms. You know, getting to the root of the problem is like peeling an onion. And, also makes your eyes tear:) Check out Dr. Michael Ruscio's site drruscio.com/. He's the best I've found for gut issues. I like that his articles are thoroughly researched & science based. His approach is reasonable. Lots of info on probiotics, too. Sign up at his site to get the latest. Dr. R has frequent interviews with those at the forefront of gut health.

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Thank you I'll take a look at that, I did have the Hydrogen breath test and that came back negative.

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Wonderful it was neg!

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That in itself screams coeliac of gluten intolerance

Or dairy intolerance

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Do you think? I'm planning to give the digestive bitters a go, and then glutton free after that and see how I go.

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The only reaction to the NHS is: smile sweetly and ignore them, most of the time. That way you might get the tests done that you need so you can go on and do your own research.

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Paul, I have only just read about this recently but seems to have helped when I have tried it.

2 things

1) chew your food extremely well. I have read some people saying 100 chews per mouthful. But that maybe a bit high in the extreme. It apparently helps produce more digestive enzymes to help digest the food. It was also said to eat without external distractions and in a relaxed setting.

2) Eat or drink bitter tasting foods or drinks before or during a meal. This could include grapefuit or grapefruit juice (beware contradictions with other drugs).

Things like chicory or sorrel are also classed as bitter.

It apparently gets the digestive juices flowing.

Neither cost anything of note other than time, but might be worth trying.

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Thank you I will certainly give them a try, I take it the chicory and sorrel are the drink because you can also get the seeds. Grapefruit will be easy to get as well.

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Chicory is found in the salad section. Sorrel is also sometimes found in a salad mix unless you grow your own. There may be lots of other options as well, potentially even bitter aperitif type drinks? But I haven't tried them

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Ah right thanks, no wonder I didn't see it when I looked on amazon :-)

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You can get chicory in the veg section of supermarket. Sorrel is harder, but you can buy seeds and grow your own. It's often considered a heritage plant like Good King Henry and Fat Hen. Sauerkraut juice is also good, but expensive (Loving Foods do it direct or via Amazon). You used to be able to get Swedish Bitters in H&B

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That's the one I've ordered online Swedish bitters, it's a good job I ordered a load of bisodol or I'd seriously consider going back on the ppi. No I'm definitely not doing that PPI's are banned 🙄

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Thank you again slowdragon, more info to look into, I need a day off work :-)

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Post I put up about low stomach acid from a while ago

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

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Interesting stuff, sad that's is all left pretty much too self diagnosis and care.

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Recently I had been suffering with a painful stomach, every time I took a mouthful of anything. It got so that I didn’t want to eat.

I decided to try the low stomach acid test and nothing happened, not even after the 10 minutes mentioned to wait. Not a single belch.

So I bought some Digest-Tonic capsules from Troo Health Care. I take 2 with each meal and it’s absolute magic!

No more pain, no more indigestion and I can eat properly again.

They contain:

Betaine Hydrochloride 100mg

Bromelain 75mg

Papain 50 mg

Protease 50mg

Amylase 45mg

Lipase 40 mg

Apple Cider Vinegar 30mg

Caraway Seed 10 mg

Chamomile Herb 10 mg

Fennel 10 mg

Ginger Root 10 mg

Peppermint Leaf 10 mg

Turmeric 10mg

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It seems everyone is different and things work differently, there is no recognised help or cure. I've tried apple cider vinegar and betaine hcl of which neither worked for me but they've obviously worked for most people. Hopefully I'll discover something soon :-)

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I think thats probably right as each person's dietary habits will be slightly different and also their microbiome.

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Have you tried the bicarb test at all? This article tells you what to do:

scdlifestyle.com/2012/03/3-...

I was told to take 1tbsp of bicarb in about 100ml of water, then down it. Time how long it takes you to belch (don't bother timing beyond 3 mins). If you have low stomach acid, you'll hardly belch at all.

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I tried that for a week and was consistently around 4 minutes, this started me down the low stomach acid path but the usual fixs of ACV and hcl betaine haven't worked for me. I ditched the ppi over a 3 week period, that was just over 2 months ago and I think I'm still suffering the backlash of that.

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I'd suggest taking a probiotic too - good gut bacteria helps with stomach acid production :)

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I make my own :-) milk kefir, I think it's a good alternative to the supermarket ones.

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