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Reflux into espophagus with sore throat/cough, no heartburn....take Betaine HCL?

Discussion in 'The Gut: De Meirleir & Maes; H2S; Leaky Gut' started by CAcfs, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. CAcfs

    CAcfs Senior Member

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    Hi all. If you have any opinion at all about Betaine HCL, please chime in here. I really am welcoming any advice.

    Basically, as background: I have lots of symptoms that indicate that I am not absorbing nutrients in my gut in a HUGE way.....my hair is very wispy and falling out, nails weak, low in vitamins, etc. But this post is about my reflux, and how I can solve that....

    I have had stuff from my stomach shooting up into my esophagus for awhile now, but I always thought it was my own fault from filling up my stomach with too much water (am thirsty a lot so drink a lot, no diabetes though). But now it's happening so often, the reflux, that I'm not sure the cause. I'm starting to think it could be low stomach acid, because of my nutrient malabsorption. And low stomach acid can cause reflux.

    HOWEVER, a long time ago (like 8 years!) I had a test at an alternative clinic where I swallowed a little pill, and they told me that I was one of the few people that actually has too much stomach acid, as opposed to not enough. They said most people have not enough, but think they have too much. HOWEVER, who knows if that's still the case for me.

    My symptoms do match this "hypochloridia" thing to a T. And now I'm getting a sore throat from all the reflux, and a cough that hurts, but isn't deep or infectious-like, so it has GOT to be from the acid. I am starting to think I really need to take action. Debating between seeing a GI doctor and just trying a natural route on my own.

    My understanding is that a regular doctor, after checking me for serious issues, would probably want me to take a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). And I've heard that just masks the problem, and can cause the stomach to stop making acid all together! And that a naturopath would want me to take Betaine HCL, to actually INCREASE the acid in the stomach, which would then help that valve between stomach and esophagus close. (I have heard many ND's don't even test people for the too-much-acid problem, and they seem to use the Betaine HCL for everyone). Funny thing is, I'm temped to try the HCL!!!!! But I'm SO worried it'll make my throat pain even worse, and cause damage! What should I do?? What would you do?

    Needing advice! I am worried about further damage to my throat, so in that regard, would like to see GI doc. BUT, want to fix the REAL problem, including my thinning hair, etc, so in that regard, would like to think this is all actually not enough acid. I really believe that at this point, this is all in the gut for me, and I'm not absorbing any nutrients. Advice? What do you know about people with CFS taking HCL? I really need some advice, because I'm too tired to do any more research! Making myself sicker over this! Thanks.
  2. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Cincinnati, OH, USA
    There is a burp test you can do with baking soda water to see if you're too high or too low with stomach acid. Maybe someone can post exactly how to do it or you can search for it.

    I am taking GI Benefits by Da Vinci Laboratories to heal night time acid reflux. It takes about three months.

    I used to take betaine but when I started doing a partial version of Rich Vank's methylation protocol my stomach acid came back up by itself and I dont' need to take betaine any more. (partial = about 500mcg each of active B12 and folic acid) (my multivitamin Thorne Labs is the main source).
  3. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

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    Upstate SC, USA
    A PPI taken for 8 - 10 weeks (what they are typically designed for) can have very good effects on letting ulcers and/or an irritated esophagus heal. It's the 8 - 10 week thing that gets left behind. You usually end up on them permanently. Talk about possible low nutrient levels and notice I said possible. Some people do just fine on them for upwards of 20 years or more.

    Think about a stomach with full of food, but only half full of digestive fluid (hydrochloric acid). The stomach I suspect starts hollering pretty loud for some help, but doesn't get any. After awhile the hiatal muscle is going to relax and here comes the reflux.

    A diagnostic test should be performed in my opinion to see what the situation the individual has and treat accordingly. I'm not sure what the most accurate test may be, but I would think it should at least last a few hours to see what is actually going on over a period of time. I'm not sure there is such a test though.
  4. CAcfs

    CAcfs Senior Member

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    Thank you for the replies.

    It is good to know that taking a PPI for a short period will not permanently affect my stomach's ability to make acid. I am just now considering the possibility that there could be ulcers involved, after speaking with some people in this site's chat feature. I do take a lot of ibuprofen, more than I should, for menstrual pain. So I need to stop doing that. Perhaps I'll try the PPI for 6 weeks to allow healing to take place for either potential acid damage or potential ulcers. Also considering seeing a CFS-friendly physician I know, to find out about h. pylori in my case. But I wouldn't be seeing him for awhile, so I do need to take care of this reflux soon, before the esophagus issues get worse. So PPI, yes, perhaps.

    Still considering the HCL though. I do "know" that I have nutrient deficiencies, because I am very low in folic acid as confirmed by testing, glutathione, and B12 presumably still, since I'm getting the lip chelitis (peeling lips) from being off my B12 shots now. The question is "what is causing the wispy hair", is it lack of absorption, or moreso lack of utilization. Because as far as doctors can tell, my hormones are in normal ranges, and the only other solution they can come up with for the hair is stress, which I KNOW is not the cause, because the texture is strange, very thin/wispy, which I don't believe stress can cause. I think it's biotin deficiency in regards to my hair, which happens to HIV patients from too many antibiotics, so I've heard. I was on antibiotics for a long time. So in a way, that's basically an absorption problem. That theory is my biggest "lead" with my hair, though it is just a theory right now.

    I did try Rich V's simplificed protocol for awhile with no results. So still considering the HCL....I realize it's one-or-the-other though in terms of PPI's or HCL. Still trying to decide. I may do the PPI for 6-8 weeks, then switch to HCL.

    Would be curious to hear more thoughts and experiences with either PPI's or Betaine HCL. Thank you!!!!!!!!
  5. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    All I can tell you is that when I took too much Betaine HCL (I doubled the recommended dose) I got severe acid reflux although other people with low stomach acid tolerated this dose without any problem.
  6. stevenski

    stevenski Guest

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    CACfs; in the Uk, i don't know re anywhere else, there IS a test to measure exactly how much stomach/gullet acid you have:24 hour amulatory ph monitoring manometry. if available, where u live, beware: if u are already on PPIs, u have to come off them for minimum of 6 days, and u will have rebound reflux acid/regurgitation(possibly). So, there is this to think of before u even START PPIS. I have been on them for about 18 months -2 years; and i was so weak after about 3 days without them, and hardly being able to eat at all, they would not do the test;it is an unpleasant test too, so google it to find out what u letting urself in for. The advantage of PPPIs is to prevent oesaphagitis(inflammation of oesaphagus from exposure to too much acid reflux)and possibly ulcers(not sure re this re ulcers -google reputable sources). Again, a short course, as others have said is the most advisable. I have SLIGHTLY too much stomach acid; i have done the sodium bicarb burp test and I burp just before the maximum time for too much acid; so, for now anyway, I am on the correct treatment. Sorry, i am very tired too, but is available-easily found!-on the net; and easy to administer. It seems u need UP-TO-DATE measurement of ur acid issues; the 24 hour ph ambulatory manometry is the gold standard, so is preferable if you can face/tolerate it
    As for the too much/too little acid debate, this is a minefield; there seems vested interests, financially and psychologically, on BOTH sides; hence need for independent, reputable test. People who suggest is ALWAYS high or low stomach acid are just simplistic. And yes there ARE dangers, especially to longterm use, of PPIs but but because I have oesaphageal dysmotilty(food getting stuck in foodpipe/gullet), I am at more risk of acid and therefore inflammation to gullet(oesaphagitis-to be avoided). i also, obviously have acid reflux, though this is mainly controlled by PPIS: Nexium are the most expensive but are usually the most effective if u have high or borderline high acid, AFTER the tests.

    With the throat and cough issues, i should say is a NECESSITY u see a gastro-enterologist; and have any tests they recommend; or an ear. nose, throat specialist; u may fall between the two specialisms; you don't have to actually take up their treatment options but have the tests-eg gastroscope, barium meal, stomach emptying test, stage(not ambulatory) manometry (if u have food sticking in gullet issues). then anything more serious will be ruled out; and then , only then, consider what treatment, "alternative" or allopathic, to take. Beware of websites that have links to selling supplements, if u are looking for medical advice. This is a cutting edge area, like m.e, so there is lots of variance of opinion but have tests then what helps u, as an individual, is what i advise. Good luck,Steve

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