Stomach Acid Questions

Today, let’s talk about a common health problem nobody thinks they have–low stomach acid–hypochlorhydria, for those who like big words.

Now, all the talk is about high stomach acid, and you may think that’s your problem. Perhaps you were even told it was, maybe even given a prescription to take the acid down a notch or two.

Well, I hate to be the one to break the news, but you almost surely don’t have high stomach acid.

But, you ask, what about all my symptoms pointing to sky-high stomach acid?

Well, that’s a real gotcha. High stomach acid and low stomach acid have the same symptoms. Both give you heartburn, acid reflux, GERD and so on, with no way to tell them apart.

But medical schools don’t mention this well-known fact. They don’t even mention the possibility of low stomach acid. With that total lack of background, doctors have no hesitation to pass out scripts for antacids. To them, acid reflux, GERD, heartburn, etc. can only mean one thing, and an antacid is the solution.

Some years ago, Jonathan Wright MD set up an experiment. For about a year, he tested all patients who mentioned stomach acid symptoms and found that more than 90% of them actually had low stomach acid levels.

His test revealed that stomach acid symptoms were caused by low stomach acid more than 90% of the time. Which means that a diagnosis of high stomach acid is correct less than one times out of ten.

This means if you are part of the 90%+ crowd, antacids make things worse. A lot worse.

Why is low stomach acid a problem?

If you don’t have adequate stomach acid, you can’t digest protein. That is, you can’t break protein down into something your body can use to create the enzymes, amino acids, etc. that keep life humming along.

Instead, the protein you eat leaves your stomach half-digested and hits your small intestine with a bang, where it starts chewing holes in the lining of your small intestine. Breaks in the lining allow some of the half-digested food to leak into your blood, where it doesn’t belong. Not too far down the road, you’ll find yourself dancing a fast tango to the bathroom upon frequent, unexpected occasions.

And if you don’t do something wonderful, the damage done by the half-digested food will spread along the path of least resistance to create mayhem in other body parts.

Symptoms that point to low stomach acid

Low stomach acid also announces its presence in other ways than inconvenient dashes to the bathroom. Everybody probably has one or two of these symptoms from time to time, but if the list seems to call your name, consider it a big clue.

• Bloating, belching and/or excessive gas after eating
• An itchy rectum
• Food sensitivities, with more and more foods joining the parade as time goes by
• Small, broken blood vessels on your face, mainly on your cheeks, perhaps on your nose
• Nausea after eating or taking supplements
• Weak, splitting, cracking fingernails
• Food comes out looking a lot like it went in, a sure sign digestion’s not happening
• Anemia
• Out-of-control candida moves in, adding even more trouble
• Saggy, baggy muscles refuse to get toned no matter how much we exercise
• Crepey skin

Low stomach acid is also how you can end up with autoimmune diseases, including lupus and celiac. Gallbladder problems, too. All sorts of skin aggravations. Etc.

And, since adequate stomach acid is your body’s defense against food poisoning, low stomach acid leaves you vulnerable to some really bad actors.

Medicine has no answers for low stomach acid–or for the damage it causes.

But there are answers. We can learn how to correct the problem. It’s not an overnight thing, but a step-by-step process to heal the damage that’s been done.

We are not helpless here. Our bodies are more than ready and willing to show us the way. Check out

God is good,
Bette Dowdell

About the author: Bette is all about determination. A drunk driver smashed into her parents’ car, and she ended up with a concussion, which caused a concussion, when she was a baby. The concussion put her endocrine system (the thyroid and the rest of the gang) pretty much out of business. Well, that system controls all of health, life was a mess, but doctors didn’t help. So, she got her Oh-Yeah! attitude in gear and researched her way out. Along the way, her fascination with how our bodies work grew, and grew, and grew, so Bette’s still researching. Subscribe to her free health e-mails at

The content of the Too Pooped To Participate blog is provided as general information only.

© by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved

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