Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

The body requires a number of acids to digest the food that we consume and amongst them, the hydrochloric acid is the most important one. When there is low production of the hydrochloric acid, the body suffers indigestion.

Most people think that heart burn, indigestion or gas and similar problems are a consequence of excessive production of stomach acids. However, contrary to the common belief or idea, the fact is that almost 90% of heartburn, gas or indigestion cases are caused by low production of these stomach acids. With ageing, the production of stomach acids is lowered naturally. However of course, there are other reasons behind the lowering of stomach acid production.

5 Symptoms That Indicate You Have Low Stomach Acid

5 Symptoms That Indicate You Have Low Stomach Acid

When you have low levels of stomach acid, you will experience a number of symptoms that are often overlooked as being mild problems. You will be unable to digest any protein that you eat. Also, the microorganisms and the pathogenic bacteria such as yeast that can be found in the stomach and are usually killed by the stomach acids, will not die and can cause diseases, illness and infection. In fact, your immunity can also be compromised with this. As a consequence, you will gain more weight and the entire situation and condition will start affecting your mood.

It is therefore, very important that you identify that your stomach acid levels are not low, in case you are experiencing problems like gas, indigestion or heartburn.

Here are a few symptoms through which you will know if you have a low stomach acid level:

Acid Reflux or Heart Burn as a Symptom of Low Stomach Acid:

Acid reflux or heart burn after eating something is the biggest symptom of low stomach acids. There is a valve called LES or Lower Esophageal Sphincter that separates the stomach from the esophagus. If you have proper amount of stomach acid levels, the LES will open and close properly by getting the signal from stomach acids. However, when there is a low level of stomach acids, the LES starts to malfunction and the acid rises up to the esophagus, causing heartburn. Hence, it can clearly be said that in most cases, the cause of heart burn is not excessive production of stomach acids, but rather low levels of stomach acids, which is only misplaced.

Difficulty in Digesting Meat Can Be a Symptom of Having Low Stomach Acid:

If you feel uncomfortable after eating meat, if you repeatedly notice that you can digest all other foods but meat, there is a chance that you have low stomach acid levels. The other signs and symptoms of not being able to digest meat after a meal would include –

  • Feeling nauseous
  • Feeling tired
  • Losing hair
  • Losing strength in muscles
  • Losing muscle tone.

You should see a doctor and check your stomach acid levels in such case.

Food Allergy and Low Stomach Acid:

There is an obvious and strong relation between low stomach acid level and food allergy. Though it cannot be said what causes the other – whether allergy or sensitivity to a particular food is caused by low stomach acid or whether low stomach acid is caused by allergy or sensitivity to a particular food ingredient, there is a clear relation between the both. Hence, it can be said that if you find allergy to certain foods, check your stomach acid levels.

Gas or Bloating:

As already mentioned, low stomach acids allow the bacteria and microorganisms to stay in the stomach. When you eat food, these microorganisms and bacteria ferment the food and gas is a byproduct of that fermentation. So, you feel bloated when you have low stomach acids and you should check that, if you encounter gas frequently after every meal.

Nutrition Deficiency Symptoms:

There are many nutrients such as vitamins, minerals etc. that are better absorbed by the body with the help of the stomach acids. When you have low stomach acids, your nutrition absorption will be compromised and you will encounter symptoms associated with the lack of these nutrients in the body.

Hence, if you are facing issues with acidity or indigestion, you must at once check the stomach acid levels before the problem becomes chronic.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: May 23, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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