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Vinegar for low stomach acid

Discussion in 'The Gut: De Meirleir & Maes; H2S; Leaky Gut' started by madietodd, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    To answer Ocean's question, I have a hiatus hernia and very low stomach acid (no burps at all on the bicarbonate test).
    I tried betaine HCI and it set my oesophagus on fire for about 6 hours. It was sheer hell.

    Also I have read (and I would bet about 90 percent - though my memory is not great - that it was on Dr. Myhill's website), that lemon juice is much better than vineagar because too many CFS folks have problems with the yeast in vineagar.

    BTW CJB, that is a very good point about acid harming the teeth. Definitely something we should be careful of.

    I've been looking in my nutrition book (as I do tend to do in idle moments) and low stomach acid can be associated with deficiencies in quite a few different nutrients - Iron for example.
    Rich, is there anything we could do to test if that is relevant to us? Do you think it's worth getting blood tests for these deficiencies?
  2. Sparrow

    Sparrow Senior Member

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    I had Apple Cider Vinegar recommended to me, one tsp straight before meals, but over time it did some pretty significant burning to my esophagus. I had no choice but to stop. Not sure if that's just another part of the weirdness of being me, or if others might have the same issue. They do make apple cider vinegar capsules too, but it does seem like the Betaine HCL is much more effective (if it's a good brand, at least. I like my Douglas Labs).

    I would have some skepticism about diluted vinegar, since by definition that extra water would counteract a lot of what you're trying to do with the acid. Extra water around mealtimes will tend to make a low stomach acid problem far, far worse. Though there may be other mechanisms at work there rather than just the straight pH effect of the vinegar (stimulating your own production somehow, etc.) that would still make it valuable. I have to assume there must be a reason it was suggested.

    And to my understanding, many cases of acid reflux are due to stomach acid that's too low rather than too high (though believe the other way happens too sometimes, and it can be difficult to tell the difference just based on the sensation). From what I've read (I think this was actually from Cheney), a stomach acid too low sometimes won't trigger the stomach to empty, so if you're in that unhappy medium of not enough to open it but too high to be comfortable, reflux can be the result. That's why some people end up in cyclic troubles trying to take antacids to make it stop.

    Foggy - What was involved in the pH testing?? If I should really be trying to avoid this, it would be good to know.
  3. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    How much betaine hcl do you take?
  4. Sparrow

    Sparrow Senior Member

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    I was advised to start with one capsule with a "heavy" meal (one containing protein). If there were no bad effects, the next day try two, and so on, up to a max of 4 capsules (though I have seen others recommending more than that in some places. I think my naturopath was erring on the cautious side, since 4 would be a significant amount for most people). If it was too much, it was supposed to give me heartburn or a similar type of burning in the chest, and I was supposed to drink some baking soda in water to settle it down. Then the regular dose would be one less than whatever that was. In my case, though, I can have 4 with no problems at all. I generally take 3-4 with meat meals, and sometimes 2 with other "easier" forms of protein. I've never experimented with more, both for potential safety issues, and for cost reasons. I will caution that while I believe that most people will feel some kind of burning if they don't need the extra, not everyone might, and I'm sure the extra acid has the potential to do bad things to people who don't need it.

    I believe Cheney at one point theorized that there may be an uncomfortable middle ground where the acid content is high enough to cause some potential reflux, but not yet high enough to get the stomach emptying smoothly as it should. I've had minor issues once or twice, but no more than that (and have been on them more than a year now, I believe). I do try to eat the protein component of my meal right away, to give it the most concentrated acid to digest in, and also to avoid any side effects of extra HCL with nothing to work on (I have learned that if I get distracted after taking them and forget to eat, it does burn a little until I get food in there).

    My digestion still isn't great, but it seems to be even worse without the intervention. And like others have mentioned, I'm a bit concerned about inability to absorb vitamins, activate enzymes, etc. with stomach acid as low as mine seems like it might be naturally.

    I also had a phase where I was getting some nausea from meals, and a bunch of lemon juice in water seemed to be the only thing that settled it down. Maybe it just needed extra at that time for some reason. Who ever knows with us... ;)
  5. Sparrow

    Sparrow Senior Member

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    ...Only I could write four paragraphs in response to a one line question with a numerical answer. :rolleyes: :)
  6. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    And not even give me the number I need most! Different brands have varying amounts of betaine hcl in them....
  7. Sparrow

    Sparrow Senior Member

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    Oops! :) Each capsule is 650mg. ...Though I imagine like most supplements, potency will vary between brands.
  8. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Hi, Athene.

    I think that the main cause for the low stomach acid in ME/CFS is glutathione depletion in the partietal cells of the stomach, which limits their ATP production, and hence limits the energy available to pump acid into the stomach against a large concentration gradient. It's necessary to lift the partial methylation cycle block in order to get glutathione up on a permanent basis.

    However, I think that checking the zinc level is worth doing. The carbonic anhydrase enzyme in the parietal cells of the stomach supplies the hydrogen ions to make the stomach acid, and it is a zinc-requiring enzyme.

    One way do get an idea about this is to look at the alkaline phosphatase activity on a standard blood metabolic panel. It should be in the middle of the reference range or somewhat higher. If it is low-normal or low, that can indicate low zinc, because alkaline phosphatase is a zinc-requiring enzyme.

    White spots on the nails can also indicate low zinc. Of course, getting an actual blood test for zinc would be best.

    Best regards,

    Rich
  9. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    Very interesting info Rich - thank you!

    I've been taking an oral glutathione supplement for 6 weeks made by Researched Nutritionals - do you know that one? It's astonishing how much more energy it gives me. I am, of course, wondering if the effect will eventaully stop as you have warnined, but I am hoping it will continue working for me...
  10. Foggy

    Foggy

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    Sparrow,

    Oesophageal pH testing involves coming off PPI's for about 5 days and only taking mylanta/gaviscon for heartburn etc (I stopped taking PPI about 36hr before, and it worked fine), then fasting for about 6hrs. Then a rather rigid wire is inserted through the nose, down the back of the throat and is left dangling about 6cm above the stomach sphincter. The other end of the wire is then hooked up to a 24hr monitor that you carry. Every time you burp, hiccup, eat, drink, sleep/recline, have heartburn, regurgitate etc you have to record - pain in the butt when you burp every 2mins like I did. You then hand in the diary etc when you return to have the probe removed.

    Sounds so easy - but its not.
    My gripes about the test:

    You can't shower, only strip wash.

    Oesophagus has a pH of about 7 when you start, and ends up 2 towards the end.

    You can't take any antacids and PPI's during the monitoring.

    Although the wire is plastic coated, its still sharp enough to scratch your nostril and throat (my nostril is still bruised after 7 days and counting - I had it done last week)

    If you don't chew your food enough it gets snagged on the end of the probe and pulls on your nose.

    You have to sleep with it, but can't really as you are afraid of ripping it out

    With having ME as well, it knocks you around something awful

    You aren't sedated with this procedure

    And lastly, its invariable done in conjunction with another test called oesophageal manometry - another test that doesn't involve sedation - youtube has a lovely video of it. - although compared to the pH testing, the manometry for me personally, was a walk in park!

    The problem I had was, my bariatric surgeon won't do the fundoplication surgery (the hiatus hernia one) until I had these tests done - turns out this stomach wrapping procedure can unravel up to 2yrs after the surgery - ouch!
  11. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Athene,

    I hope it will, too!

    Rich
  12. triffid113

    triffid113 Day of the Square Peg

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    I have taken apple cider vinegar for low stomach acid and I find it effective if I take it sour enough...meaing I slosh into the glass as much acv as I can stand and drink it (so like 1/4 c. to 1/3 c.). I have also tried the pills, but I have burned my stomach on the pills because I can't taste the acidity and so don't know what I need. However mostly I do not need this. It takes zinc to make stomach acid. I have problems with this when I have allergies which use up zinc at a furious rate, or when I don;t supplement zinc as I do not eta enough protein (can't genetically get rid of ammonia very well). However low stomach acid is known to be caused by hyper and/or hypo thyroid (idk if this is exclusively the cause, but I do know that a huuuuuuuuge number of people have undiagnosed thyroid problems because the reference range for thyroid health is not based on science. To that end copper also effects stomach acid. (idk the tie in between thyrodi and HCL, but it is known there is one) but the zinc is required for producing HCL regardless of thyoid. I find I can get stomach acid back when I take zinc and when I take copper, but I have not found the correct amount and the correct amount varies for me depending on if it is allergy season or not. With varting zinc and/or copper I can produce enough stomach acid to function well...kinda...but I still need Olive Leaf Extract to kill pathogens so obviously I still do not make enough. But I can hear it gurgle (not anywhere as much as it did when I was a kid) and I have no bloat or soft stools (caused by not enough HCL), never had any heartburn (I never let my stomach go w/o acid, ever in my life...any meal it is low I have supplemented the acid with HCL or ACV). I am finally actually taking 4 mg copper (I was too wimpy to take more than 2mg before) and I have hopes as my copper levels rise of maybe getting better stomach acid. idk if parietal cells have been killed and I will never get back functionality or if I can recover more HCL than I have done. In other words, I don't know if I will ever be able to do w/o the Olive Leaf Extract, but I can do away with bloat etc.

    Triff
  13. GcMAF Australia

    GcMAF Australia Senior Member

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    try this or not:- dont need to rush into it, maybey start with what you can handle.
    Not my words.
    "Immediately on arising [in the morning] roll a lemon and cut in two. Eat a portion of it - without salt - half of it - all the juice from same - then walk just as far as possible, AWAY FROM THE HOUSE - not so far that the body is not sure of making it back, see? When the body has returned, sprinkle salt on the other half of lemon and eat it. Then drink ALL the water POSSIBLE following same. Not before, but AFTER the last half is eaten. Then sit down, or lie down, and rest until the body feels entirely relaxed before the first meal is taken. Add only that. We will find this acid, combining with that as is created in system and as is being eliminated from system, will reduce not only the pulsation as caused from the reaction to the heart's forces, but will assist in CLEANSING system of the poisons from same."
    start in slow steps a bit of lemon at first
    GCMAF
  14. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    This sounds like Edgar Cayce. But it doesn't sound like he's talking about boosting stomach acid...?
    GcMAF Australia likes this.
  15. GcMAF Australia

    GcMAF Australia Senior Member

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    You are right madietodd, it is Mr Cayce.
    http://www.edgarcayce.org/IntSearchHealthDatabase/data/thlemon.html?terms=lemon
    I guess the acid in the lemon would affect the pH.
    He does talk about alkalising/acid foods. (but that is a bit complicated)

    A quote re Parkinson's
    "Between meals I carefully squeezed in six to eight glasses of water with lemon juice to keep my bowels regular and provide my body cells enough liquid for proper functioning."
    BLOOD BUILDING DIET
    "Quantities, then, of the orange, the lime, the lemon, the grapefruit. These should form a portion of the diet at most ALL times. DO NOT combine cereals or starches of a great nature with the citrus fruit juices."
    Colitis
    See http://www.edgarcayce.org/IntSearchHealthDatabase/data/prcoli3b.html?terms=lemon
    The Relation of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Neurasthenia
    http://www.edgarcayce.org/IntSearchHealthDatabase/data/prcfs6c.html?terms=lemon
    EDGAR CAYCE ON THE CAUSES AND TREATMENT OF HEMORRHOIDS
    http://www.edgarcayce.org/IntSearchHealthDatabase/data/prhemo6a.html?terms=lemon

    it is hard to interpret some of his work.
    But there are references to potatoes, thyroid (iodine), UV (vitamin D ?) and inflammation which is reflective of a lot of the posts or chats here. For example Some one can only have a limited diet which includes potatoes.
    Also there he includes body work to correct "posture" which is being used by others in this group.

    I hope this helps
    GcMAF
  16. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    I love Cayce's work, but of course every one of his readings was done for an individual. And the notes taken were only of the readings, not medical histories at all. So I've always found it hard to apply his work to myself.

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