Low Stomach Acid - Hypochlorhydria - Can Cause Food Intolerances, Malabsorbtion and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Leaky Gut.
Parasite (or any infection which causes gastritis or gut inflammation) can cause the stomach to not produce enough acid, causing above conditions.
Date: 6/12/2012 7:25:13 PM ( 11 mon ) ... viewed 5125 times
Information below from three weeks ago...
Scientific research suggests that parasite infection can suppress acid secretion. A gastric inhibitory substance in the parasitised intestine acts systemically on the stomach. Parasitic infections can cause a reduction in acid secretion without altering gastric mucosal histology. See "Relationship between gastric secretion and infection" Gut, 1987, 28, 96-107. http://gut.bmj.com/content/28/1/96.full.pdf
One of the symptoms of hypochlorhydria includes malabsorbtion - wind, gas, belching and bloating as foods are fermented instead of being digested, i.e. IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
This matched my problem of explosive/excessive belching - particularly at night upon lying down to try to sleep. Pain in abdomen, difficulty remaining asleep, etc.
Ingestion of apple cider vinegar before and after meals caused a marked and encouraging reduction in above symptoms.
Betaine hydrochloride, glutamine, zinc, vitamins A and B5 can help repair the acid secreting cells.
Kefir (live culture) very beneficial.
Performed test to determine if stomach acid too low. See: http://www.drdebe.com/stomach-acid-assessment.html
** Tested positive to low stomach acid.
Above hypothesis correct.**
As of today (13/6/2012), much reduced gut pain, minimal belching. Some days I have no pain at all! Hopefully these days will increase in number!
The long term infection with parasites did damage the parietal cells in my stomach, causing me to have low stomach acid (and suffer food intolerances such as fructose malabsorbtion, and suffer from irritable bowel syndrome).
The above have been markedly reduced by the simple means of artificially reacidifying my stomach just after meals. Of course I don't like drinking 50 ml of apple cider vinegar (or more if I go to bed and find my stomach still gurgling and I start belching). I have just started on betaine hydrochloride and will work out correct dosages based on response. These are tablets and will work at work or when I go to a restaurant, and frankly I am getting sick of drinking vinegar but it is a small price to pay to avoid the pain and suffering later on if I don't.
Took above ideas to doctor and nutritionist and they agreed I was correct with above self-diagnosis and treatment. As an aside, I had been getting a lot of strange unexplained bruises on my thighs for months. The first week I started drinking the apple cider vinegar, these disappeared. I can only assume that these were caused by some of the food malabsorbtion issues.
Long term prognosis? Hypochlorhydria can last up to a year, or a lifetime. It really depends on whether the damage to the parietal cells in the stomach can be repaired.
However I am pleased I understand why I now have have food malabsorbtion and post-infective IBS issues - the underlying cause. It was all down to a simple hypothesis, test and treatment - low stomach acid caused by a years' worth of parasite infection and the damage to parietal cells in the stomach lining.
Currently daily I am having apple cider vinegar, betaine hydrochloride with pepsin, fish oil tablets, slippery elm tablets, zinc tablets, vitamin C, a women's multivitamin, 1-2 cups fresh kefir, and glutamine.
The stomach is lined with parietal cells that are proton pumps - that is to say they pump hydrogen ions from the blood stream into the lumen of the stomach. Stomach acid is simply concentrated hydrogen ions. There is a natural tendency for these hydrogen ions to diffuse back to where they came but this is prevented by very tight junctions between stomach cell walls. However if the gut becomes inflamed for whatever reason, there is leaky gut and the hydrogen ions leak back out.
Problems arising from hypochlorhydria
There are many possible problems that could arise from hypochlorhydria:
1. Failure to digest foods properly. This will result in a general malabsorption of proteins. Indeed, hypochlorhydria as induced by antacids and H2 blockers and protein pump inhibitors substantially increases one's risk of osteoporosis because the body simply does not have the raw material to replace bone. Many degenerative conditions will be associated, therefore, with hypochlorhydria.
2. Failure to absorb trace elements. Trace elements are essential for normal body functioning. If these are not present then the biochemistry of the body will go slow, organs will go slow and this will accelerate the ageing process. Therefore, one would expect to see people getting diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and neuro-degenerative conditions, before their time.
3. Failure to sterilise the stomach contents. This will make individuals more susceptible to gut infections such as gastro-enteritis and possibly enteroviruses such as Epstein-Barr virus, Coxsackie virus, Echovirus and so on. Gastric acid is an essential part of normal defences against disease. Gastric acid is also essential for getting rid of undesirable bacteria and yeast that appear in the diet. Particularly virulent strains, of course, may cause simple food poisoning. However, if there is an overgrowth of bacteria and yeast in the stomach, then foods will get fermented instead of being digested. This produces wind and gas resulting in bloating and alcohols, which may or may not be useful to the body.
4. Increased risk of stomach cancer. Having the wrong bacteria and yeast in the stomach will irritate the lining of the stomach and increase one's risk of stomach cancer.
5. Malabsorption of vitamin B12. It is well known that the stomach must be acid in order to absorb B12. Indeed, using a proton pump inhibitor such as Omeprazole, will reduce absorption of vitamin B12 to less than 1% of expected. Many people already suffer from borderline B12 deficiency - this is a difficult vitamin for the body to assimilate, but essential for normal biochemistry.
Symptoms of hypochlorhydria
When any of the above problems go wrong, it can result in symptoms.
1. Accelerated ageing because of malabsorption.
2. Wind, gas and bloating as foods are fermented instead of being digested, i.e. irritable bowel syndrome.
3. A tendency to allergies - the reason for this is that if foods are poorly digested, then large antigenically interesting molecules get into the lower gut, where if the immune system reacts against them, that can switch on allergy.
4. Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
5. Iron deficiency Anaemia
6. B12 deficiency
7. A tendency to candida dysbiosis or bacterial dysbiosis.
See source: http://www.drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/Hypochlorhydria
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