People who suffer from indigestion or heartburn often believe they have too much stomach acid, when in fact they may not have enough. Low stomach acid is a common condition, and is estimated to affect approximately half of the world’s population. Having inadequate stomach acid can hamper your weight loss goals and cause a host of other health problems, which is why it is important for you to know how to treat it.
Causes of Low Stomach Acid
Before you can treat low stomach acid, it can be helpful to know what causes it in the first place. The aging process is one of the biggest factors, as the amount of acid produced by the stomach naturally decreases after age 40. Eating too many processed foods or consuming a diet high in sugar may also contribute to this condition. Certain medications that suppress hydrocholoric acid, including antacids, result in many people having low levels of stomach acid. Vitamin deficiencies, chronic illness, and stress may all lead to low stomach acid as well.
If you have low stomach acid, protein in your diet cannot be digested properly. Rather than being broken down and used for muscle-building, partly-digested protein can pass into your bowels, where it can attract bacteria and increase your risk of developing cancer. Your blood then becomes more acidic, and begins to rob the body of important minerals, especially from your bones. Cortisol levels in your blood also become elevated, and your adrenals can become depleted, resulting in adrenal fatigue.
Methods of Treating Low Stomach Acid
Although low stomach acid can be problematic, the good news is that there are multiple ways of treating it that do not require the use of medication. A few of these methods include:
- Consuming Apple Cider Vinegar – Add around a tablespoon or so in a glass of water and drink once or twice daily just before meals to help balance stomach acid levels.
- Take Manuka Honey – Dr. Josh Axe recommends consuming a teaspoon or so of Manuka honey, a special type that originates from New Zealand, each day to improve levels of healthy bacteria in your gut.
- Try Intermittent Fasting – Not only can intermittent fasting help you regulate stomach acid, but research indicates that when it is combined with interval training, Human Growth Hormone (HGH) levels also increase. Fasting also reduces insulin sensitivity and helps balance leptin, the hormone responsible for hunger signals.
- Consume more Cultured Vegetables – Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride recommends consuming fermented foods such as cultured vegetables as part of her Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) nutritional protocol.
- Chew your Food Thoroughly – Dr. Axe also claims that chewing your food at least 30 times improves digestion and decreases your odds of developing low stomach acid.
If you have been plagued by stomach disorders, chronic fatigue, or an autoimmune disease, low stomach acid could be the culprit. While this very common condition can cause multiple health issues, it can nonetheless be treated rather easily using the above methods. Incorporate one or more of them into your routine, and you will likely notice improvement in a number of areas.