Stomach Acid HCL: Q and A


Today, I’m going to answer all your questions
about how to increase your stomach acid, so stay tuned. If you’re new here, welcome. My name’s Amanda Malachesky. I’m a Certified Functional Nutrition Health
Coach and a Digestive and Allergy Detective. For tips and tricks on how to eat without
triggering your symptoms and how to work on resolving your digestive complaints from the
inside out, please consider subscribing and be sure and hit the bell to be notified when
I post a new video every week. A lot of you have heard either from me or
from other sources that supporting your stomach acid is a good idea for digestive health,
but I find that this advice often leads to a lot of follow up questions. Today I’m going to answer real viewer questions
from people like you who want to know more about how to work in the stomach acid support. By the end of this video, you’ll know how
to include stomach acid support in a way that’s right for your body and you’ll know how to
tell if it’s working. This video is a follow up video to my earlier
video called How to Increase Stomach Acid for Digestive Health. If you haven’t already watched that video,
you might want to go check that out. I will leave a link to it below this video
and there’s also going to be a YouTube card up on the screen. I think it’s going to be over in this corner
here. Go ahead and click that link and check it
out. I’ve often said that the simplest way to support
your stomach acid is to drink either a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in a little
bit of water before your meals. But one viewer said, “How long before meals
should I take it?” Another viewer said, “How do you do the apple
cider vinegar?” The ideal timing is about 10 to 15 minutes
before your meal to help prepare your digestive environment to receive the food and also to
help encourage your body to release its other digestive juices. The related, but similar tip here, is to avoid
drinking water either a half an hour before or after your meals or certainly with your
meals. The reason for this is that it can dilute
the stomach acid that your body’s already making. The amount of apple cider vinegar or lemon
juice that you may need to use will really vary depending on you. I encourage you to experiment. A general guideline might be about a half
tablespoon to a full tablespoon in about an ounce or two of water. Think like a shot glass or a little tiny glass. Other people use betaine hydrochloride, either
in capsule or tablet form, and this might be a good option while you’re traveling or
if you don’t tolerate vinegar or lemon juice. This can be really common if you have histamine
sensitivity. Common advice you might have heard for using
hydrochloric acid supplements is to start with the smallest dose and work up until you
feel a burning sensation in your gut somewhere. One viewer said, and I’m going to read this,
“I’ve tried seven betaine hydrochloride tablets, 99 milligrams each with no warmth in the stomach. Either the betaine hydrochloride is bogus
or I’m not sure.” I don’t really rely on the gut warming sensation
test for my clients. I will say that if you are going to take betaine
hydrochloride, the 99 milligram tablets or capsules is a really small dose. The brand of HCL that I personally use has
520 milligrams per capsule. I usually take two of those with each meal,
so that seems about right for me, but you might tolerate more or you might tolerate
less. The bottom line here is that everyone is really
different and the amount that you need varies. It’s important that you get clear about what’s
right for your body. Not everyone will experience the warming sensation
that’s talked about in a lot of these other videos and sources. That doesn’t mean that the HCL isn’t working
for you. A better indicator of how the HCL is working
for you is how are your symptoms responding? Are they responding positively? Are you seeing a positive benefit with your
constipation or your diarrhea or nausea or stomach aches or belching or reflux or heartburn
or any of these symptoms. If you’re not sure how to track that or how
to figure that out, I talk all about this in another video called How To Use a Food
Symptom Diary for IBS. That’s the tool that I would use to answer
this question for yourself. Be sure and go check that video out if you
need a little bit of help with that. Just like the apple cider vinegar, using the
betaine HCL is best used 10 to 15 minutes or so before a meal. I do want to make sure to tell you that if
you forget, it’s okay to take it with your meal. I can raise my hand and say that I often forget
and think about it when I sit down to eat my meals. Using it at the meal is better than not using
it at all. The next question was a question from someone
who asked about testing. They said, “Is there a test for stomach pH?” The answer is yes. The conventional medical test is called the
Heidelberg test, and during this test you swallow a little electronic capsule and then
you drink repeated doses of baking soda water. The little sensor detects how your stomach
acid is rebounding from that dose of baking soda. If it doesn’t rebound normally, whatever normally
is determined to be, then you are diagnosed with low stomach acid. You would certainly have to talk to your doctor
about getting that test if you feel like that’s important. A more homegrown variety, which maybe isn’t
quite as accurate or specific but can still give you some important information, is to
drink a glass of water with about a quarter teaspoon of baking soda in it first thing
in the morning on an empty stomach. If you experience burping and belching after
consuming the baking soda water, then you can assume that you have some stomach acid
in there. If you don’t have any burping or belching,
then that might tell you that you’re actually low in stomach acid. But again, like I said in the previous question,
the more important question to me is, how are your digestive symptoms? If you’re someone who’s experiencing a lot
of symptoms related to your digestion, then personally, this would be assigned to me that
you may need some digestive support with stomach acid. The next question goes something like this,
“I thought lemon was an alkalizing food. How is it that it can increase your stomach
acid?” The answer to this question is that lemon
has an alkalizing effect on blood pH, but not necessarily localized at the moment when
you ingest it into your stomach. When you take it in that way, at that moment,
it’s definitely an acidic food. The next question is, “Which foods help increase
stomach acid?” To answer this question, I’m going to start
with zinc. Zinc is an important co-factor for your body
to be able to produce its own stomach acid. Consuming foods high in zinc or even zinc
supplementation if you want to go that route can help support your stomach acid. Some foods that are high in zinc include oysters,
pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, many legumes and nuts and also beef. Of course using vinegar on your food beyond
just the little shots of lemon juice or vinegar can also be helpful, so think salad dressing
or just using vinegar as a condiment on your foods. Fermented foods like sauerkraut, fermented
pickles and kimchi can also be a support. Finally, “Are there any situations where we
shouldn’t be increasing stomach acid?” The answer to this question is yes. That situation is if you have been diagnosed
with H Pylori and the infection is not yet cleared. This is a situation where we would not want
to increase stomach acid. This is because stomach acid can drive the
infection deeper into the walls of the stomach and make it a little more difficult to treat. This is why conventional treatment for H pylori
includes an acid blocking medication. The other situation would be if you have active
ulcers in your stomach, it probably isn’t a good idea to increase stomach acid, although
this is often caused by an H Pylori infection as well, so it’s really one in the same thing. Do you have any other questions about stomach
acid that I didn’t answer here today? If you do, be sure and leave them in the comments
below and I’ll be sure to get back to you. I hope this video has helped you answer your
burning questions about stomach acid because supporting your stomach acid is an absolutely
essential piece of the journey to digestive recovery. However, it’s also not the whole picture. There’s also other important pieces to the
puzzle that need to be addressed to help you feel better. I’ve put together a Roadmap to Gut Recovery,
which shares what I’ve seen work for people who want to find freedom from their digestive
challenges. It’s an action guide that gives you a holistic
strategy for repairing your digestion and healing from the inside out. If this sounds like you, you can download
your free copy by visiting confluencenutrition.com/roadmap and I’ll be sure and leave a link for that
below this video. If you’ve already tried a lot and you’re in
a place where you’re ready for some customized one-on-one support, I’m an expert at helping
people investigate their root causes and create a doable plan. If this sounds like you, you can schedule
a free 30-minute Assessment Consultation with me confluencenutrition.com/contact. During this brief assessment session, we’ll
have a chance to talk about where you’re at in your healing journey and whether it seems
like my services might be a good fit for you. Head on over there and schedule that for yourself,
if that sounds like you. Until then, best of luck with your stomach
acid. Be sure and leave me a comment or a question
if you have one and I’ll get back to you. Also like and share this video if it was helpful
for you. Take care.

2 Replies to “Stomach Acid HCL: Q and A

  1. Thanks for watching! Do you have a question about stomach acid I didn't answer? Ask it here, I'll get back to you!

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