It is worth the effort to optimize the acidity in your stomach.
Lunch Hour Lesson #11
Today’s lesson is the third in a three part series. In Part 1, we discussed the common approach to stomach conditions like heartburn and GERD, and brought to light the dangers inherent in the treatments. Last week, we covered how the stomach and digestion is supposed to work, and what can go wrong. If you haven’t heard those episodes, you should go back and watch them so you understand the “why” behind my recommendations today. I will give some practical steps you can take to optimize the acidity of your stomach and ensure maximum nutrient absorption.
But first, why might our stomachs not produce enough stomach acid? It is most often attributed to our go-go-go lifestyle. The body in this state is not given the signals that it is time to rest and digest a meal. Instead, it is in fight or flight most of the day, and stomach acid production is down-regulated during those times.
Along with chronic stress, factors like aging, a poor diet, over use of antibiotics, and food intolerances can also contribute to low stomach acid. Because these factors are so common, even if you do not have noticeable stomach discomfort, it is still possible that you have low stomach acid.
The group setting provides positive feedback and motivation to move forward.
Those who have had GERD or heartburn for a long time will need to heal their esophagus and stomach lining before jumping right in to taking hydrochloric acid supplementation. There are important nutrients and dietary strategies that can quickly heal these parts of the digestive system, but it is beyond the scope of this lesson to explain. Please contact me if you would like more information.
I’d like to take a moment now to publicize the negative consequences of antacids and acid blockers.
- Always eat in a calm, rested state. Minimize multitasking.
- Drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily to ensure proper hydration and support the mucus lining of your stomach.
- Drink 1/2 teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar in 6 oz. of water before each meal.
- Sip a small amount of digestive bitters before a meal. Urban Moonshine makes good tonics.
- Supplement with Hydrochloric Acid. I recommend Biotics Research products, a professional line, but it is also available in health food stores.
- When starting to supplement with HCl, it is important to do the HCl Challenge: Take one capsule or tablet with each meal on the first day, two capsules with meals on the second day, etc. If you feel a burning or heavy sensation in your stomach, reduce the dose by one and that is your starting dose with meals. Eventually that dose will become uncomfortable and you can reduce by one capsule again.
Take three deep breaths before beginning each meal, to get in a rest and digest state and optimize stomach acid production.