Pardon me-Part One

Have you ever finished a meal, leaned back and put your hands behind your head and whoops a burp slips out? Not just your innocent garden variety but a deep, rumbling, from the bottom of your stomach belch? Obviously, given my ability to describe the event, I have. The thought crossed my mind that many people might be, as I once was, misled by the media and allopathic medicine in to thinking this “condition” always has something to do with too much stomach acid. Folks it isn’t always too much, it more often than not, is too little stomach acid causing this uncomfortable, socially unacceptable behavior. There are many reasons for indigestion and this week I will deal with low levels of Betaine HCL just one of the reasons things get out of whack in the stomach while it does the work of digesting your food.



In a normally functioning stomach the acid level is quite high to help digest the food a person eats. However, it is well known by the medical community that as we age or become less healthy we often start to produce less stomach acid. There are many factors contributing to this not least of which is the “demineralized diet” that so many are consuming  and it can be significantly compounded by many individual’s preference for extremely low salt intake (Low salt intake is something I personally do not avow. Increase your intake of Celtic sea salt and you will see vast improvements in your health). People are over consuming sodas, alcohol, and unhealthy foods that damage the stomach lining and diminish the natural Betaine HCL produced by the parietal cells of the stomach.

Betaine HCL is necessary for adequate absorption of protein, calcium, vitamin B12 and iron.  A healthy level of stomach acid helps kill disease-causing microbes and parasites routinely found in food you eat. If you have low stomach acid, these infecting invaders may not be destroyed by your stomach’s acid bath. They can then cause many types of infections. Now you can see why low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria) is associated with so many common health problems. If these infections are not cleared, over time they can cause many symptoms, paving the way for full-blown diseases.

Common Symptoms Of Low Hydrochloric Acid from a site called Cocoon Nutrition

  • Bloating or belching, especially after eating
  • Burning in the stomach, especially after eating
  • Fullness or heaviness in the stomach after eating
  • Nausea after eating or taking supplements
  • Intestinal gas
  • Indigestion
  • Bad breath
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Food allergies
  • Itching around the rectum
  • Weak or cracked fingernails
  • Dilated blood vessels in the cheeks or nose (in non-alcoholics)
  • Skin break-outs or acne
  • Iron deficiency
  • Chronic intestinal parasites
  • Undigested food in the stool
  • Chronic candida infection

Diseases Associated With Low Hydrochloric Acid

  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Arthritis
  • Hepatitis
  • Eczema
  • Acne rosacea
  • Psoriasis
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Herpes
  • Hives
  • Hyperthyroid
  • Hypothyroid
  • Thyrotoxicosis
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Lupus erythematosus
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Celiac disease
  • Sjogren ’s Syndrome

There is no food that can increase your levels of Betaine HCL  but you can take a supplement by the same name Betaine HCL. It is suggested that you take no more than 500 mg at any one time. I also found in researching the subject that their is some disagreement among the experts. Some recommended taking the Betaine HCL with your first bite of food but then others suggested just after a meal. When I feel there is a need for Betaine HCL I take it after there is a bit of food in my stomach along with my digestive enzymes and Beta TCP. When I take Betaine HCL if I experience any burning in the area just above my stomach or increased burping I quit taking it immediately.

If you suspect you may have a problem with low Betaine HCL levels it may be time to see a medical professional who specializes in integrative, functional, alternative or natural health care. You can Google those categories and find many doctors who have a broader perspective on health care and will not just hand you free samples of the latest pharmaceutical wonder drug. In the end I want you to know you do not have to accept burping and discomfort after you eat. A low level of stomach acid is only one possible reason you have gas and indigestion after a meal and I will address this in four parts. Next week we will explore another possible reason for postprandial discomfort, an hiatal hernia.

To your good digestive health,



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