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Sunday, October 7, 2007

LOW STOMACH ACID (HYPOCHLORHYDRIA)

LOW STOMACH ACID (HYPOCHLORHYDRIA)

This is one of the most important Health Blogs that I have written because the disease condition about which I write affects so many individuals who are on the incorrect road of therapy. I hope the Blog is enlightening and helpful to others.

AS IT RELATES TO FOOD ALLERGIES

A discussion of food allergies would not be complete unless we discuss the problem of Hypochlorhydria (Low Stomach Acid).

As we get older many individuals develop a lower capacity to produce important metabolites required for normal body functions. One of these situations is the stomach’s decreasing capacity to produce acid required for carbohydrate and protein digestion. In fact, most people who take antacids are really acid deficient and should be taking additional acid, not an antacid. I know this is counter to conventional wisdom, but the proof in the pudding is the fact that many people are cured of so-called hyper acidity by taking them off antacids and placing them on acid supplements.

Philosophically, it would seem against common wisdom to assume that as we get older most functions of the body diminish while we are asked to believe that as we get older the stomach gets better at making acid which is what the stomach does.

Acid is required for the initial process of carbohydrate and protein digestion. Proteins which are not hydrolyzed and broken down in the stomach proceed down the digestive tract where they can be absorbed to produce allergic reactions in the body. A complete digestion in the stomach would prevent this.

Many individuals are cured of their food allergies when they are given hydrochloric acid in the form of Betaine Hydrochloride capsules.

DO YOU GET GAS FROM EATING BEANS?

As a side note many individuals who experience gas from eating certain legumes such as beans are experiencing the same problem. The complex carbohydrates in beans are not completely hydrolyzed in the stomach. These larger complex carbohydrate molecules proceed further down the intestines where the intestinal bacteria ferment them. One of the side products of fermentation is gas which is eliminated with or without odor, probably depending upon how much sulfur is contained in the particular legume! Placing these individuals on stomach acid allows for the complete hydrolysis (digestion) of the beans in the stomach thus preventing the production of gas further down the alimentary canal. I have successfully treated many for this condition simply by using stomach acid.

USE OF ANTACIDS

The increased use of antacids for indigestion is both alarming and not the healthy. If you experience so-called indigestion, bloating, and gas, taking antacids is not the correct thing to do. You should be taking more acid instead. Yes, you read correctly: you do not have sufficient stomach acid; you should be taking additional acid. Let us look at the physiology, that is a fancy word for “how the body works.”

If you are lacking sufficient stomach acid, the food you eat, especially carbohydrates, begin to break down in the stomach and ferment. A by-product of fermentation is gas, usually carbon dioxide. As the gas accumulates, the stomach distends and you experience bloating, expel gas, and regurgitate. The stomach contents are irritating to the lower and upper esophagus. You mistakenly interpret this as acidic because it burns. A small amount of acid, not sufficient to digest food, is sufficient to irritate the sensitive tissue of the esophagus. Perhaps contributing to this problem is the back up into the stomach of duodenal contents which is alkaline (basic) equally, if not more, irritating to the esophagus.

Taking antacids, as logical as it might appear to be to control what you might think is excess stomach acid, is the incorrect thing to do. In fact, taking antacids further aggravates the situation so that you have to continue taking more antacids – something the manufacturers of antacids just love for their bottom line.

As we get older and because many are deficient in the proper nutrients to keep the body healthy, the ability of the body to make stomach acid diminishes. So it is imperative in these individuals to try a course of acid capsules. If immediate relief results, then low stomach acid is the problem and should be treated accordingly.


STOMACH ULCERS, CANCER, AND INDIGESTION

THE ROLE OF Heliobacter pylorus

There is a bacterium, Heliobacter pylorus , which can inhabit the areas of the lower stomach near the exit at the pylorus valve – the valve which controls the stomach's flow into the duodenum, the first portion of the small intestine – hence the name “pylorus.” This bacterium is associated with the development of stomach ulcers, the usual so-called “peptic ulcer,” and cancer. A blood test can be performed which measures the presence of antibodies to the heliobacter bacterium.

In my humble opinion, the Heliobacter bacterium thrives in the presence of low stomach acid and its growth is inhibited when stomach acid is normal. So it is imperative over the long haul to insure you have sufficient stomach acid to inhibit the growth of Heliobacter and prevent stomach ulcers and cancer.

CASE HISTORY

CB presented in my office with the chief complaint of bloating and gas for many years. She became very adept at expelling oral gas without anyone really noticing it. She was popping antacids to control the problem and gastro-enterologist physicians had literally tested her “up-the-gazu.” She had been extremely uncomfortable for many years.

Laboratory analysis showed the presence of Heliobacter pylorus antibodies.

She was started on stomach acid capsules and the indigestion, bloating, and gas ceased. She was essentially cured. – the first time she experience relief in many years. This was such a simple solution to a problem which most physicians just do not recognize.


In summary, if you experience indigestion, bloating and gas – a problem in the stomach -- and think you need antacids, please seek the advice of a nutritionally enlightened physician who understands the importance of treating low stomach acid. Additionally, if you experience flatus – a problem of the lower intestines – my advice is the same because the basic cause of the problem is low stomach acid.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.
Director, Tauraso Medical Clinic
www.drtauraso.com

4 Comments:

Anonymous frankieloo said...

this was very helpful!! i'm in my mid-30's and have noticed that i've become quite "gaseous" in the past couple years (worse this year). almost everything i eat gives me gas. i have thought about going to a gastro doc, but figured the gas was part of getting older and the "wear & tear" over the years of spicy food, rich food, etc. i've started to carry around antacids with me, but after reading this i'll need to stop! perhaps i'll move forward with that gastro appt and get tested...

September 27, 2008 at 11:00 PM  
Blogger Dr. Tauraso said...

If frankieloo gets this comment, email me at: drtauraso@drtauraso.com and I will give you specific instructions on how to get rid of your gas.

dr tauraso

September 28, 2008 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger Gail said...

I would like to know if this problem can result in fibromyalgia symptoms. I have noticed that whenever I eat carbohydrates i experience overall swelling/water retention (about 3 lbs) and FBS symptoms for the following few days.

July 8, 2009 at 12:04 PM  
Anonymous drtauraso said...

Gail:
I answered your request but have not seen that it published.
If you peruse my website you will find severl time where I discuss hyphchlorhydria in more detail. A complete and full discussion can be found in my ebook on Milk which can be found in the Bookstore of the site.

Hypochlorhydria results in partially digested carbohydrates in the stomach resulting in fermentation with gas formation resulting in frequent burping. Partially digested proteins travel down the digestive tract resulting in allergic conditions of which fibromyalgia is one of the most painful. Addtionally the partially digested carbohydrates and proteins are fermented further down the gut resulting in gas out the other end -- flatus.

If you write to me at: drtauraso@drtauraso.com I can go into this in more detail. Wrting to me via the mechanism of the Blog allows me ONLY to answer you by posting another Blog and not directly.

Hypochlorhydria is probably the most frequet digestive problem out there and taking antacids for what most mis diagnose as hyperchlorhydria (hyperacidity) is very damaging to the body because it does not solve the basic problem.

Thanks for you comment.

Dr. Tauraso

July 8, 2009 at 1:39 PM  

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