Thyroid UK
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Low Stomach Acid and dosage of betaine hcl

Hi

I've been awake the last couple of nights with 'acid throat' discomfort. I did the bicarbonate of soda test this morning - 1 tsp in 200mls of water. Not a single burp for over half an hour! I'm thinking I may have low stomach acid and considering getting some betaine hcl tabs. Does anyone have a recommendation and strength and brand?

I also found this on the Holland and Barrett Site regarding interactions with Levo.

hollandandbarrett.com/Healt...

I'd really appreciate your thoughts and experiences.

Foreversummer

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I take 6 of these with each meal

lambertshealthcare.co.uk/be...

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Thank you for the link. I will it out. Do you mind me asking, assume you started on a lower dose than six then built up gradually?

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They are rather low strength, so it makes them more expensive. My partner uses these:

healthmonthly.co.uk/hydroch...

Not always the best or fastest service, (Although last time they came in few days), but they are twice the strength, and over the years, the cost comes in at a big number.!.. I get other stuff there too, so for me postage not so much.

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Suggest you read the report inked from this page:

mhra.gov.uk/Safetyinformati...

Part of that report mentions stomach acidity and dissolution/absorption of levothyroxine. I am pleased that H&B's notes seem quite right (in general). A more acid stomach might result in better absorption and, in time, possibly a reduction in prescribed dose.

Personally, I think awareness is the key - it probably won't have much effect, but if you notice anything, you have a possible explanation to hand.

Rod

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Thank you Rod. I agree. I feel that I still haven't reached my optimal dose of levo yet so shouldn't be too much of a problem. May even be beneficial in that respect.

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Hi Foreversummer,

Thanks for pointing to the info on H&B site. Things have changed quite a bit on their site since I last looked.

I can understand why H&B may feel it necessary to point out the potential issue of increased stomach acid and levothyroxine absorption, but in reality I would be surprised if it actually makes any significant difference. The idea of taking betaine HCl with meals, is to directly increase stomach acid level at the time of food intake. However, we should not be taking levothyroxine anywhere near mealtimes. So I would think that your stomach acid level will be in it's 'normal for you' state when you take your levothyroxine, regardless of taking the betaine HCL.

Obviously though, if you were to become aware of changes in symptoms that suggested the possibility of your thyroxine dose being too high, then a visit to GP to request a check on your thyroid hormone blood level would make sense :)

Regarding the dose of betaine HCL, have a look here under the heading 'Treatment of hypochlorhydria'

drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/Hypochl...

.

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Thank you RedApple. I have had digestive/bowel issues for years. Since starting levo I have been quite a bit better - I find there is a direct correlation between my hypo symptoms and my digestion. I'm still under-medicated I think. I have another blood test due at the end of this month.

I took lansoprazole (proton pump inhibitors) on and off for several years. There were of no benefit when I look back and I think they may have done more harm than good.

I think I'll give betaine HCL a try. I start slowly and build up the dose as Dr Myhill suggests. I'll let you know how I get on.

Foreversummer

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I forgot to add that I found taking a little apple cider vinegar (a couple of teaspoonfuls diluted in sufficient water to make it drinkable) just before bed helped tremendously with the acid throat problem. I have kept my cupboard stocked with ACV ever since, and still use it for this every now and then.

My GP, like the majority it seems, thought I should have first Ranitidine and later Omeprazole and looked at me totally bemused when I continued to insist that the problem was insufficient acid rather than excess. Even the gastroenterologist that I'd been referred to flatly denied that I could have too little acid. This was a few years ago and I would like to think that they might be a little more enlightened now, but it seems not :(

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I have a bad news for you. The same thing happened to me this week.

My GP was looking up Betaine on Internet.

She didn't know what it is.

And I didn't know what to do. Laugh or be angry with her.

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Do anyone get Betaine for prescription in UK?

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You don't need a prescription to buy Betaine HCL + Pepsin in the UK. In fact I've never heard of a doctor actually knowing what Betaine is for. You can buy it online from shopping sites and supplement sites.

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Yes, I know. But I have to take high dose and it's quite expensive.

It would be lot cheaper if the gp would prescribe it.

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Unfortunately Betaine HCL isn't in the BNF - British National Formulary.

bnf.nice.org.uk/

The BNF lists the drugs that doctors in the UK can (usually) readily prescribe.

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I couldn't find this website. Thanks!

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The link posted by humanbean does work - just tried it.

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I meant I was looking for that website before because I knew it exists. But I couldn't find it. Thanks anyway!

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