Signs You Have Low Stomach Acid: "Doc Talks" with Dr. Nuzum
Jonathan Hunsaker: Do you have stomach acid problems? Do you take antacids after a meal? Do you want to learn more about it?
Jonathan Hunsaker here with Organixx. So many of us have issues after a meal with our stomachs, whether it’s acid reflux, or indigestion, or gas, or bloating, and it turns out a lot of this has to do with low stomach acid. Let’s talk to Doc Nuzum to find out more right now.
Dr. Daniel Nuzum: Stomach acid is hydrochloric acid. And hydrochloric acid has a pH of zero. It’s the marker. Zero pH is hydrochloric acid. If you go up, sulfuric acid is 1.8 pH. Distilled water has a seven pH. Hydrochloric acid is pure acid.
So, the resting pH of your stomach should be at a four. When you consume food, your stomach has to reach a two-three on the pH scale before it can empty. So, [in order for the contents of your stomach to empty into the small intestine after you eat,] the pH has to drop down to between two and three on the pH scale.
Think of this. If you eat something that has a very high pH, like bread, think how much acid your stomach has to produce to bring that 8 ½-9 pH down to a 2-3 on the pH scale. That’s a huge drop in pH. If that takes more than two hours to happen, the food in your stomach starts to go bad.
Remember, your stomach’s 98.6 degrees. So, if you consume that chicken at 8.2 pH, and it takes four hours for your stomach pH to reach at before it can empty, the chicken went bad before your stomach could empty.
How can you tell whether you have a low stomach acid production? If you have reflux, or you have indigestion, or you bloat when you eat, those are all low stomach acid production conditions.
In the reflux model, when someone eats, if their stomach acid production is too slow, then the food in their stomach doesn’t break down fast enough, and it starts to putrefy. Putrification always produces gas, and that gas puts pressure on the valve at the top of the stomach, and that valve starts to open up to release that gas. Well, when it does, it has all these vapors and acidic and alkaline vapors that come off of the stomach then, and they burn the esophagus, and you end up with what’s called esophagitis.
When someone has indigestion, or they have bloating, the acid production was so slow that the food started to putrefy in the stomach. The pH finally hits low enough, between two-three on the pH scale, the food empties into the small intestine, but it has gone bad. That causes an inflammatory response in the gut, and you swell up.
When the gut is healthy, it should be all knit together nice and tight. Only small particles are going to come through this tight-knit mesh.
When the gut wall gets inflamed, it swells up. When it swells up, all those fibers start to separate, the membrane stretches out and becomes hyperpermeable. We call that leaky gut. Chemicals in our food, the antibiotics, the preservatives, and everything we consume, outside of that, this process of the food putrefying in our stomach occurs when we have low stomach acid production or slow stomach acid production. This is another contributing factor to virtually all inflammatory conditions that human beings suffer from.
If you want to know what to do about low stomach acid, [be sure to check out our next installment.]
Did you know, after you hit age 50, your stomach stops producing two essential digestive acids: hyaluronic acid and intrinsic factor.