Health and Fitness: Heartburn and Acid Reflux Article Category

Approximately 40% of adults over the age of 40 are afflicted with low stomach acid. It's not that hard to tell whether you have it or not. Here are some questions to ask yourself and if you find yourself answering "yes" to more than a few then chances are you have low stomach acid and you'll need to start supplementing with HCL tablets with pepsin to kick start your stomach into proper acid production once again.

  • After eating a meal are you gassy or bloated?
  • Do you have problems with GERD (Acid Reflux)?
  • If you stick your tongue out and look at it in the mirror do you see a thin white film on it?
  • Do you often have bad breath?
  • Are you ever constipated?
  • Do you often have diarrhea?
  • Do you find it very difficult to lose weight?
  • Do you have acne, eczema or other skin problems?
  • Do you have IBS like symptoms?

Chances are that if you're answering 'yes' to more than two of these questions there is a good chance that you have low stomach acid. And here's the really scary part - all the times you Tums, Nexium and antacids to "calm your stomach" you just further deplete the levels of stomach acid you have.

The less acid your stomach has the more digestive problems you're going to have. Without proper levels of stomach acid not only is your food not digested but the nutrients you need from the food aren't properly absorbed into your body.

How important is it to make sure we have the right levels of stomach acid?

According to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute low stomach acid leads to bacteria over growth in our intestines (which in turns leads to gas, burping, bloating, GERD etc.) and also possibly to cancer. If you don't want to read the whole article at HHMI here's the relevant snippet:

Helicobacter pylori has received much attention as thecause of stomach ulcers, but new research by scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) at the University of Michigan shows that many other types of bacteria can cause the gastritis and ulcers that can ultimately lead to cancer.

And the idea that that antacids and PPI's (Proton Pump Inhibitors) that are designed to reduce our levels of stomach acid are doing us good is also debunked in the article here:

Merchant said that her group's studies showing that omeprazole promotes bacterial overgrowth suggest that physicians should prescribe this class of drugs with caution. Proton pump inhibitors include drugs marketed under the trade names Prilosec® and Prevacid®.

And it just isn't the medical and scientific community that is figuring out the importance of maintaining good stomach acid. Apple Cider Vinegar (which is highly concentrated in acetic acid) and acidic pickle juice have long been used as home remedies for stomach ailments for several decades now.

They're popularly recommended on natural health forums such as CureZone and EarthClinic and have an excellent reputation. The reason is quite simple - they work!

These two home remedies are highly concentrated in acid and once ingested they supplement your stomach's acid levels and aid in the digestion process.