Have these stomach acid boosters helped you? (POLL)

Have these stomach acid boosters helped you? (POLL)


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sometexan84

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Have you ever specifically tried some of the below items, (which happen to be things that can boost stomach acid)?

Did you notice any symptom improvement?

Stomach Acid Boosters (for poll)
  • Ginger or ginger tea
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – dilute in water, and drink before meal
  • Fermented Vegetables - pickles, veggies, kimchi, sauerkraut, etc
  • REDUCED carbs and sugar, and processed foods
  • Fiber-rich foods
  • Iron and calcium (food or supplements)
  • Natural digestive enzymes
  • zinc-rich foods – beans, beef and pork
  • B12 supp
  • Zinc supp
  • Betaine HCl (w/ or w/out Pepsin)
  • or something else not mentioned that's meant to boost stomach acid

And pls feel free to provide details in a reply! What did you try, for how long, reactions, etc?
 
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sometexan84

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Here's a little background on this, and some info on why I'm researching this...

Low Stomach/Gastric Acid (Hypochlorhydria)
  • Symptoms – burping, gas, bloating, diarrhea, nausea (often when taking vitamins and supplements), hair loss, acid reflux heartburn, food allergies and intolerance, nutrient deficiency, skin issues like rash and acne, undigested food in stool, constipation
  • Very common in ME/CFS, and can lead to….
    • Malabsorption
    • increased susceptibility to infection because you’re not sterilizing stomach contents as well as you should
    • Failure to kill off bacteria and yeast like you should, and can contribute to dysbiosis
    • Can’t absorb B12
    • If trying to improve ME/CFS w/ probiotics, vitamins, supplements etc, they’ll be FAR less effective
    • Nausea, acid reflux, bloating, constipation,
    • Increased susceptibility to autoimmune disorders, gastritis, skin problems, anemia, etc
    • Causes SIBO

and then here's some extra info....

Betaine and HCL Supplements
  • If HCL supplements produce burning it indicates rather that your mucosal barrier is damaged! The HCL is producing burning because the acid is burning exposed tissue
  • If you are experiencing burning with only 500-3,500 mg of HCL, your gastro intestinal mucosal barrier is in a state of distress. Many researchers believe that a person with a healthy mucosal barrier should be able to tolerate up to 26 capsules of Betaine HCL
  • Based on above… the mucosal barrier may need to be repaired first!
Production of Gastric/Stomach Acid
  • Gastrin is a hormone that is produced by 'G' cells in the lining of the stomach and upper small intestine (pyloric antrum or “gastric antrum”). During a meal, gastrin stimulates the stomach to release gastric acid
  • Parietal cells (also known as oxyntic cells) are epithelial cells in the stomach that secrete hydrochloric acid (HCl). Gastrin is what stimulates this.
Enterovirus, Stomach Acid Disruption
  • Enterovirus infection in ME/CFS might lead to the low stomach acid found…
    • Persistent enterovirus in ME/CFS has been found in the gastric antrum, where Gastrin is produced by G-cells… EV could cause a disruption here
    • And here’s the other Dr. Chia study where 135/165 (82%) biopsies stained positive for VP1 within parietal cells in ME/CFS patients.
    • Since persistent Enterovirus is found in and around G-cells and parietal cells (epithelial cells) that are responsible for creating stomach acid, it’s likely that EV can lead to low stomach acid
Zinc deficiency can contribute to hypochlorhydria
  • Zinc deficiency may present as alopecia, skin rashes, increases susceptibility to infections, can cause change in smell and taste, diarrhea
  • Zinc is an antioxidant, and promotes immune cell function, can improve intestinal permeability
  • May increase stomach acid
  • Very low zinc levels will allow chronic infection by intracellular organisms like mycoplasma, Rickettsia's, and chlamydia
 

Mary

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Betaine HCL with pepsin made a huge difference in my digestion. I learned I was low in stomach acid in 2004 or so and started taking betaine HCL with pepsin at that time, and have taken it almost continually since.

Prior to then I was having recurring gallbladder problems, trouble digesting food, etc. and the betaine HCL made all the difference.

My liver was also overloaded with toxins - I'd feel nauseous, sick, tired, fluish, couldn't tolerate alcohol (which I do fine with now) - I did a liver detox under the supervision of my chiropractor, it took a month, I felt like crap the entire month, but afterwards my digestion was way better. I also started taking milk thistle. I'd had heavy exposure to chemical solvents at a job many years which I think was the root of my liver problems.

Anyways, my digestion is quite good now, have not had liver or gallbladder problems for many years. And no SIBO, unlike many here. SIBO has been linked to low stomach acid, and low stomach seems to be endemic with ME/CFS.

ETA: My doctor at the time (who unfortunately has since died) told me to start with one capsule of betaine HCL with pepsin and work up one capsule at a time with a meal, until I felt "acidy" , and then back off by one capsule - and surprisingly (or not!) it worked - I got up to 4 capsules and then did feel "acidy" and so cut back to 3, and that worked great. I've since gone down to 2 capsules of this with each meal.
 
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My dietary choices haven't been with stomach acid in mind. But I went back to a carnivore diet (meat, eggs, cheese) 2 months ago bc I see very slight improvements on it, it improves my stomach that is it. I added the lowest carb yogurt I could find about a month ago and usually eat that at night or in am, as much as I want, not sure I've seen any improvements, but it's not bothering me and maybe the probiotics are restoring the balance. I found a local fermenter 1.5 weeks ago and added that in as much as I want too and I've pooped like 4 days in a row which is pretty amazing so I'm going to stick with the fermentables and see.
 

sometexan84

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My doctor at the time (who unfortunately has since died) told me to start with one capsule of betaine HCL with pepsin and work up one capsule at a time with a meal, until I felt "acidy" and surprisingly (or not!) it worked - I got up to 4 capsules and then did feel "acidy" and so cut back to 3, and that worked great. I've since gone down to 2 capsules of this with each meal.
Do you know anything about the difference in capsule vs tablet w/ Betaine HCl? Tablet being the one w/ not outer container.

I've just been doing tablets, and I'm changing to capsules starting today or tomorrow. I've heard capsules are better. Do you know?

Do you take Betaine HCl before or with your supplements as well? In order to maximize absorption?

SIBO has been linked to low stomach acid, and low stomach seems to be endemic with ME/CFS.
From what I'm seeing, it seems likely that SIBO is largely a result of the low stomach acid. But I can't confirm this yet.
 

sometexan84

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For me, reducing carbs, sugar and processed foods has had the biggest impact.

Think I'm seeing slight improvement w/ Betaine HCl w/ Pepsin, but I think I've been doing it wrong. I need the capsules.

My goal here is to fix this, using my acid reflux and nausea as my primary measurements for success. Will update w/ works.
 

Woof!

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Although I've never adjusted my diet based upon stomach acid, I include some of the things on your list frequently and I credit my diet, in part, for helping me feel better.
  • ginger tea - yes, often with cumin and cinnamon added
  • Fermented Vegetables - kimchi when I can get it organic
  • REDUCED sugar, NO grains (except oatmeal) and NO processed foods
  • Fiber-rich foods (lots of high-fiber fruits and veggies)
  • calcium supplements - split 3X daily
  • Natural digestive enzymes - occasional dairy enzyme or beano when dairy or beans are eaten (rare)
  • Zinc supplement (25 mg only, with Vit C when I get exposed to things I want to prevent)
I don't know if that's at all helpful. I just like to support people's polls.
 

Mary

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Do you know anything about the difference in capsule vs tablet w/ Betaine HCl? Tablet being the one w/ not outer container.

I've just been doing tablets, and I'm changing to capsules starting today or tomorrow. I've heard capsules are better. Do you know?
I don't know, but my gut feeling (no pun intended! :rolleyes: ) is that capsules would be better. Anyways, capsules are what I've taken for a long time, and they work well.

Do you take Betaine HCl before or with your supplements as well? In order to maximize absorption?
I think taking the betaine HCL right before or a few minutes before a meal is supposed to be best, though for convenience sake I usually take it right after a meal, with all my supplements. I take most of my supplements (except for aminos and maybe a few others) right after a meal.

I'd suggest trying the dosage method my doctor told me - titrating up with one capsule at a time until you feel "acidy" and then backing off by one - whoops! just saw that I left out that last bit, about backing off by one in my post above. Anyways, my MD was an orthomolecular doctor and very knowledgeable.
From what I'm seeing, it seems likely that SIBO is largely a result of the low stomach acid. But I can't confirm this yet.
My goal here is to fix this, using my acid reflux and nausea as my primary measurements for success. Will update w/ works.
I think you are quite likely right re SIBO. Also, I'm sure you know that acid reflux is very often caused by low stomach acid too.

Also, it's linked to gastroparesis, all sorts of digestive disorders. When I read about so many members here having digestive issues, I immediately wonder about low stomach acid.
 

sometexan84

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I don't know if that's at all helpful. I just like to support people's polls.
You know what? I do too! So thank you. I always try to answer the Polls I see, if I can. Even the ones that I find irrelevant... for me. (do we still not have a poll section in the forum???)

So those things have helped you? You saw some symptom improvements? Which was the most noticeable?
 

sometexan84

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Also, it's linked to gastroparesis, all sorts of digestive disorders. When I read about so many members here having digestive issues, I immediately wonder about low stomach acid.
You know what else is linked to gastroparesis (where you have poor digestion, often relating to slow gastric emptying)?

Enterovirus (EV). But it's the idiopathic gastroparesis where they find EV.. idiopathic meaning unknown cause.
  • Enterovirus found in 82% (9 of 11) of Idiopathic Gastroparesis patients, gut mucosa biopsy. 6 of 11 had ME/CFS. Heartburn and nausea were most common symptoms. 6 of 11 had autonomic dysfunction
  • Low Parasympathetic activity can cause abnormally slow GI motility or slow gastric emptying, which may involve Gastroparesis and constipation
 

Woof!

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(do we still not have a poll section in the forum???
Ooooo...that's a good idea!
So those things have helped you? You saw some symptom improvements? Which was the most noticeable?
Most helpful would be these things:
  • REDUCED sugar, NO grains (except oatmeal) and NO processed foods
  • Fiber-rich foods (lots of high-fiber fruits and veggies)
  • calcium supplements - split 3X daily
 

ljimbo423

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REDUCED carbs and sugar, and processed foods
A low carb diet is crucial to keep me at a level 6. If I go up on my carb intake from 80 gms a day to 150, my level of functioning drops from a 6 to about a 2 and I have to spend most of my days in bed laying down.

My fatigue, nausea, malaise, etc, all increase dramatically.
 

Woof!

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A low carb diet is crucial to keep me at a level 6. If I go up on my carb intake from 80 gms a day to 150, my level of functioning drops from a 6 to about a 2 and I have to spend most of my days in bed laying down. My fatigue, nausea, malaise, etc, all increase dramatically.
@ljimbo423 - are you including veggies and fruits in that carb count?

Also, (and as someone highly sensitive to starches), might you be sensitive to starches, too?
 

ljimbo423

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@ljimbo423 - are you including veggies and fruits in that carb count?
Yes, I include carbs from fruits and veggies too.

Also, (and as someone highly sensitive to starches), might you be sensitive to starches, too?
I don't think I'm sensitive to starches per se. Starches feed inflammatory bacteria in the gut. This is why diets like the SCD and GAPS diet are based on little to no starches. I think this is why I become so sick when I increase my intake of them.
 

godlovesatrier

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Some here Lynne. Only recently increased my carbs by adding home made seeded flap jack's. But my brain fog got a lot worse doing that. Very sleepy after lunch. Going to go back down to 115g carbs per day. Suspect that level will be fine.

Keeping calorific intake high enough though is a real pain. But 1770 is better than 1550 per day I guess! Yet my ideal intake is 1900 per day and it seems impossible to obtain.

While I can tolerate gluten better I'm not yet at the stage where I can eat whatever I like. I'm hoping with biome adjustment I can get to the same place as Carol did with her probiotic remission story. Waiting for my biome results at present.
 

Woof!

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@godlovesatrier - Can you tolerate cashew or almond butter? For me, both are an excellent source of protein and good calories. I mix some into my green smoothies and my homemade oatmeal "protein" cookies (banana, almond butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, mango chunks, pomegranate seeds or raspberries, unsweetened coconut, organic oatmeal and walnuts).

My diet used to emphasize meat & dairy (craved it!) until I hit a certain age, then all of a sudden I gained 17 pounds in a few weeks (a lot of weight on a 105-pound frame), all in my lower abdomen. My PT insisted it was due to the effect of meat and dairy on the fat cells just south of my middle, cells that seem to get more sensitive to things as we get older.

After fighting her on that for a year, I got tired of carrying around a spare tire and I gave giving up meat and dairy a try. To my surprise, I dropped all the extra weight within a short time. Wanting to test the correlation between my spare tire and meat & dairy, I added some back to my diet, and the spare tire came back! That did it...I went meatless and 95% dairyless, and I have no regrets. I also have almost no spare tire.

I also have no regrets giving up all starches and all grains except oatmeal. They exacerbated my PEM and brain fog horribly.
 

godlovesatrier

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Hi,

So I'm slightly allergic to almonds. I get a bit of a rash in my mouth and throat. But cashews do not have that effect and cashew butter didn't occur to me! Not sure why. Mind you I eat loads of peanut butter every day. Not sure what I'd eat the cashew butter with apart from celery sticks....?

Cookies wouldn't work really because there's too much carbs. It's all very annoying!

Plus like you the weight goes on if I tip the carb scale. I'm glad I found whey protein isolate mind you. That's saved me on the protein front.
 

SnappingTurtle

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I have noticed improvement of my energy level with cumin-steeped ginger lemon tea and maybe even pem shielding effects. Sore throat is still there but is relieved by the tea.

I was taking ginger lemon tea mostly due to chronic sore throat but added cumin when I was havimg especially long PEM crash. I take it at least every morning now.

I tried apple cider vinegar daily years before getting ME/CFS, in attempt to address the sore throat, to test the "low acid" theory. However, I had wicked bad burning and had to stop after 3 month's trial.