Stomach acid is critical for disinfecting and killing off bad microbes and for optimizing protein digestion in the body. When the stomach is unable to produce enough stomach acid, inadequate digestion and microbial overgrowth occurs. It is critical to take the time to improve stomach acid levels. Stomach acid sterilizes food, improves protein digestion, activates pepsin and the intrinsic factor, stimulates the delivery of enzymes and bile, closes the esophageal sphincter and opens the pyloric sphincter.
When the body is unable to produce enough stomach acid it affects protein digestion and mineral uptake. Theses partially digested molecules get into the small intestine and create severe pressure on the pancreas to produce adequate enzymes for the process. Poorly digested food leads to increased inflammatory activity which depletes key minerals and antioxidants from the body. Here are the main symptoms of low stomach acid levels:
Gas and belching, acid reflux, bloating and cramping, chronic bad breath, bad body odour, undigested food in stools, aversion to meat, tired after meals, feeling full but still hungry, chronic anemia, weak fingernails, and frequent nausea.
Here are ways to improve stomach acid levels.
Perform the Baking Soda Test. Drink ¼ tsp baking soda in 6 oz cold water first thing in the morning. Wait for 5 minutes. If you do not burp it means you have insufficient acid production. Perform the test for 3 consecutive mornings in order to determine the average.
In addition one may be prone to food poisoning because the less stomach acid you are producing, the less able you will be to sterilize the food stuff in your stomach. Have you ever wondered why two people consuming the same dish sees one gets sick while the other does not? According to Dr. Jockers, “ It may have had to do with low stomach acid production.”
In my next article I will share some useful ways for you to enhance stomach acid levels.