Most people have become aware that a certain pH is optimal for a healthy body, but what most have not considered is that the appropriate pH varies according to different areas of the body. For your blood a pH around 7.4 is ideal; for your skin it’s around 5.5; and for your stomach acid its closer to 2.0.
Unfortunately, the billion dollar antacid industry has faked you out, making you believe that strong stomach acid is bad for you because it’s what causes acid reflux symptoms (GERD, heartburn, etc), and it needs to be neutralized in order to gain relief.
Unfortunately, it is not strong stomach acid that causes these concerns, but rather, low stomach acid (also called hypochlorhydria) and it is negatively affecting up to half of the population. This is largely due to infections like H. Pylori, or medications like antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, as well as chronic stress.
To reverse this trend you need to turn off the television, back away from the antacids, and dive into the helpful strategies below.
Why proper stomach acid is important
Stomach acid, or hydrochloric acid (HCL), is a crucial part of the digestive process. The function of HCL includes:
Destroying pathogenic bacteria, thereby preventing disease
Breaking down proteins into essential amino acids and nutrients your body requires in order to be healthy
Stimulating the pancreas and small intestine to produce digestive enzymes needed to properly break down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats
So if stomach acid becomes low, what happens? A domino effect that can compromise many different areas of your body. Two big consequences of low stomach acid include:
- You become protein malnourished due to your inability to break down protein properly. This also leads to increased toxin accumulation in your intestines which can create acidic blood, which further sets the stage for future illness and disease.
- You become mineral deficient because as your blood becomes more acidic it looks for various areas of the body to leech from to create a more alkaline state in the blood. This ultimately leads to a robbing of minerals from your body (most often, the bones), and leaves you in a very delicate and exhausted state.
This cycle continues to feed itself if left unabated, as the acidic blood further creates low minerals and low stomach acid. If this goes on for a period of time your cortisol levels can be raised (stress or death hormone), thereby raising your blood sugar levels as well. This will eventually wear out your adrenals and your DHEA (youth hormone), and lower your immunity due to an “open door policy” for pathogenic bacteria, candida overgrowth, and viruses to enter your body virtually unscathed.
Where does this leave you? Ultimately in a very cranky, aged, and unhealthy state.
Symptoms of low stomach acid
There are many symptoms related to low stomach acid, but these are some of the most common you want to pay close attention to:
- Bloating, belching, and flatulence immediately after meals
- Heartburn and indigestion
- Diarrhea and constipation
- Acne and skin conditions
- Rectal itching
- Undigested food in stools
- Chronic candida
- Food allergies
- Iron deficiency
- Poor fingernail health
- Chronic fatigue
- Adrenal fatigue
- Autoimmune issues
- Hair loss in women
If you are experiencing more than a few of these symptoms, you’ll need a lifestyle plan like this to iron them out.
How to repair your stomach acid
Once your stomach acid has become poor, there are several other underlying factors that need to be addressed, which can be accomplished with The Thrivers Guide To Beating Digestive Disorders. However, to address the stomach acid first, you should strongly consider the following:
- Digestive Enzymes
- HCL betaine with pepsin
- Fermented foods and beverages
- Chewing food thoroughly
- Elimination of processed foods
Please, don’t take your stomach acid for granted. It serves many important functions, and failure to address it properly will leave you in a diseased state for an indefinite amount of time. That’s not way to live, so take action immediately!
Sources for this article include: