Do you get heartburn? Do you get acid reflux after lying in bed at night. Are you being told you need to supress the stomach acid? You have too much? Do you pop a Tums or Rolaids, and now find you are taking them more and more often? That is because, you are not doing the proper thing to help support digestion. Tums and Rolaids coat the stomach, but they don’t allow the digestive juices (HCL) to do it’s job. This coating of the stomach also impedes absorption of key nutrients. Especially calcium. Calcium needs a strong acidic environment to be absorbed.
Did you know that your stomach acid depletes as you age? You need to support it. How do I do that you ask?
Number 1 thing you should never do…..drink with your meals. It dilutes those important stomach acids that need to help you metabolize your food. Especially meat. Do you ever feel that after eating a meal of meat, it feels like it is just sitting there in your stomach like a large bag of sand.? That’s probably because it is just sitting there, and your body is having a difficult time digesting it.
Along with not drinking with meals, we should take digestive enzymes to help digest. Your pancreas needs to produce enzymes to break down cooked food. We are not meant to eat all cooked food. Eating large amounts of cooked food and not taking enzymes leads to an enzyme deficiency.
If we are not absorbing our food properly we are not getting all our nutrients.
Did you know our body cannot produce stomach acid if we are lacking in some key nutrients. So we create a vicious circle. Not enough nutrients can cause low stomach acidity. We take things such as Tums or Rolaids or over the counter stomach medication, and that impedes absorption and lowers HCL which is important for digestion. Therefore the cycle isn’t broken.
Factors that affect the production of stomach acid
Overuse of over the counter antacids can help temporarily, but in the long run a dependence develops because it blocks the production of the important HCL.
Chronic stress affects the digestive system. Shutting down the body’s ability to produce enough HCL and digestive juices. When we are stressed we are in fight or flight mode instead of rest and digest mode.
A poor diet of processed foods, with white sugar, trans fats and chemicals and low fibre can cause chronic inflammation. resulting in elevated hormones in the body.
Eating too quickly, and not chewing long enough to break down food, causes the body to generate more stress hormones, which reduces the amount of stomach acid.
Overuse of antibiotics and pain killers, disturbs the microbiome in the gut, causing inflammation and indigestion, along with other serious problems. Antibiotics and pain killers also are responsibly for wearing down the stomach lining and reducing formation of HCL.
Food sensitivities such as gluten, dairy, corn, soy, and peanuts, cause stress in the body. Which can also lead to depletion of stomach acid.
If you experience this symptoms, you very well may have low stomach acid.
bloating, belching, heartburn, indigestion, diarrhea and or constipation, undigested food in stool, acne, rectal itching, chronic candiasis, hair loss in women, multiple food allergies, iron deficiency, weak, peeling, or cracked fingernails, chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, dry skin, various autoimmune diseases.
Increase stomach acid by:
Don’t drink with meals
Add apple cider vinegar
Greatly reduce sugar from the diet as it is mineral depleting
Supplement with HCL with pepsin, address leaky gut
Add fermented foods
Eliminate processed foods and take a digestive enzyme supplement with every meal
Chew food thoroughly and eat smaller meals
Eat in a calming environment and relax around mealtimes.
You need strong stomach acid to keep the valve at the upper stomach closed, so stomach acid cannot come up into esophagus,
Your body cannot manufacture enough HCL without the proper amount of key nutrients.
You need to eat healthy and take a good quality multi vitamin to fill in the gaps. I take digestive enzymes with my cooked food. I take probiotics. I only take USANA because it is pharmaceutical grade. My husband and I and my children have been taking them for over 8 years. I am turning 57 in the fall and feel amazing.
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