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  • Stomach acid - too much or too little?

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    Old 02-15-2014, 01:14 PM   #1
    4vrCatchingUp's Avatar
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    4vrCatchingUp HB User
    Smile Stomach acid - too much or too little?

    Hi everyone,

    Too much or too little stomach acid? This seems to be quite a confusing topic, and traditional and alternative medicine appears to often have polar opposite treatment recommendations.

    I have eaten what I consider a perfectly soothing diet for the past month, giving up grains, most dairy (some occasional yogurt or kefir), starchy veggies, coffee, sugars (except raw honey in tea). I take probiotics, enzymes, eat sauerkraut, pickled herring (I’m Scandinavian! and all those things that are recommended in the SCD and GAPS diets. So you’d think my gut would be thrilled. But no.

    To back up a little, my reason for ‘clearing’ things out of my diet started with a quest to cure my ongoing brain fog, depression, anxiety, recurring yeast issues… the list goes on. I was a little constipated but that was the least of my concerns at the time. The idea of having a clear mind was my motivator. After reading much of the book 'Gut & Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Campbell-McBride I felt very equipped with knowledge to tackle this.

    So fast forward 3 weeks into eating better… I ate a fairly large salad and some soup about 10 days ago, and instantly felt a familiar pressuring discomfort or pain under my left rib cage, a little below where I imagine my heart sits. I had had this annoying discomfort in the past, and written it off as stress and too much coffee. Maybe and ulcer, who knew, but I definitely attributed it to too much acid (I’m good at self diagnosing! I never saw a doctor for it in the past, it simply wasn’t trumping all my other medical issues at any given time. But now, when I felt I had been so good to my body for weeks on end, I wasn’t about to accept it. I went to the doctor with a list of things I wanted to rule out; H. Pylori, hiatal hernia, ulcer… Doc tested for the first, and ruled out the second by feeling around the belly, and gave me Prilosec just in case I had the third. And just to make sure, I asked specifically if she thought it was too much acid. “Yes, too much stomach acid!” She didn’t even bring up the issue of too little.

    I just didn’t get it. No coffee for 3 weeks - and I was drinking lots of coffee - and NOW I get too much stomach acid? The puzzle didn’t come together in my head. I also checked again with my husband who’s a Physician Assistant - too much acid? “Yes, likely.” (He’s a man of few words . But all the reading I had done about gut issues left me wondering - could it somehow be too little acid? With traditional medicine telling me one thing, and more alternative sources saying something else, I went back online for more studying. One recommendation was to take HCI Betaine to help increase stomach acid, and after doing a home test with baking soda and water to see if I would burp (meaning lots of acid) I determined that I most likely don’t have enough of it. It gave me the courage to try HCI finally. The jury is still out, BUT I have not burped after meals today. Hooray!

    Question: have you been prescribed Prilosec and decided to take the ‘alternative’ route and supplement with acid? If so, what was the outcome? Did it help? I’m certainly scared of making things worse!!

    Meanwhile the little pain under my ribs keep annoying me. I kept having the urge to put my fingers there and ‘push down’ whatever was in there. But of course that don’t help. I will give the HCI more time, but I also have started to wonder if the Spleen is involved in this discomfort. The pain is not on my side, and is not really felt in the back - it is only in the front right under the ribcage, with a feeling of wanting to crawl up under the ribcage. It’s not burning, maybe pinching type pain (I’m terrible at describing pain!).

    So, that leads me to my next questions are: have you had this type of pain, if so, what was it? And if you have had spleen issues, what did it feel like (assuming you could feel it)?

    Thanks for making it to the bottom of my long post! Grateful for any input you may have!


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