What is hypochlorhydria?

One of the most common symptoms that I see when clients present with a lack of wellbeing is hypochlorhydria or a decreased output of hydrochloric acid or HCL. This can be supressed for many reasons such as

  • Bacterial infections
  • Low protein  and excessive carbohydrate diets, including vegetarians
  • Consumption with water at meal times
  • Low levels of zinc and thiamine deficiency
  • Use of medications such as proton pump inhibitors or antacids
  • Alcohol  and other poor quality foods
  • Inhibition of the parasympathetic nervous system through increased stress

Many people often consume large amounts of water with their food but this causes a problem in the small intestine. If the food is not sufficiently acidic when it hits the small intestine, Cholecystekinin or CCK, a hormone is not released which  enables the production of the digestive enzymes. This, along with the other factors mentioned above can allow for putrification of long chain fatty acids and proteins or maldigestion, leading to the production of gas and other unwanted symptoms.

Many signs and symptoms of hypochlorhydria include

  • Gas and bloating
  • Sense of fullness
  • Undigested food in the stool
  • Nausea after taking supplements
  • Weak or cracking nails
  • Dilated capillaries
  • Food allergies, asthma and skin problems have also been linked to low levels of HCL

This problem becomes a viscous circle as low levels of vitamins and minerals needed for adequate HCL and gastric function are not digested appropriately.

So what can you do……..

Managing the diet is a great start and implementing the following points can help greatly

  • Removing refined sugars from the diet
  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Adding gelatin or stock with each meal
  • Assess for helicobacter pylori bacterial infection
  • Avoid drinking water ½ an hour each side of meals
  • Lower stress levels
  • in some cases there may be a need to supplement with HCL and digestive enzymes

If you have problems with your digestion or unwanted symptoms please feel free to get in touch for your free consultation


About Balancedbodymind

Holistic health practitioner specialising in endocrinology, neurology, therapy, posture, performance, hormones, digestion, nutrition and health. Past areas of study: BSc Fitness and Health Post Graduate Diploma Endocrinology Medical Neuro Science Duke University Proprioceptive Deep Tendon Reflex Neurobiology of sleep University of Michigan NKT Level 3 Functional Medicine Practitioner SFMA FMS Neuro Muscular Therapist CHEK Practitioner Level 3 CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Metabolic Typing Advisor American College Of Sports Medicine Health and Exercise Specialist
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