Is the cause of acid reflux always excess stomach acid?
If you suffer from acid reflux or (GORD) then did you know that it can also be attributed to low stomach acid? Yep thats right, I said low. Many people associate reflux with to much acid, but from clinical experiences I find that 9 times out of 10 it is not enough acid. When there is not enough acid to break food down, then the food sits in our stomach, ferments and then these gases and occasionally the food will travel beck up the oesophagus.
Is your stomach acid working properly? Never really thought about it? I don’t blame you! Not many people have. But it is really important that you start taking notice, especially if you suffer from any sort of digestive symptoms.
So how does my stomach acid impact the rest of my digestion? Well our stomach acid is one of our first stages of digestion after chewing. If our stomach acid isn't breaking things down enough, or breaking it down to much, it throws the rest of the process out as food moves through our digestive tract. Imagine a steak, going straight to your large intestine to be broken down. It just won’t be broken down. So in order to ensure things are working properly in our gut, we need to make sure the top part of our digestive system is working properly.
How to tell if your stomach acid isn't working properly:
Your body doesn't break down meat the way it should
A lot of people I see don't eat meat. Sometimes it is for ethical reasons, but a lot of the time it is because it makes them feel a bit…bleh. Meat is one of the hardest things for the body to break down, so if meat makes you feel a bit yuck, then looking at your digestion is essential.
Food in general isn't being broken down the way it should…
Sometimes when you go to the toilet you may find food looking the same way it did when it was on your plate 24 hours ago. If this is the case, then the body isn't breaking food down properly. Enough said.
You get full really quickly, or stay full for much longer than everyone else
If this sounds like you then asking yourself why is this happening is the first step to discovering your stomach acid levels. Think about how the food move through your digestive tract, once food is emptied from your stomach, the hunger hormone is released and triggers you to eat. If food isn't moving through, its can be because it hasn't been broken down enough to move onto the next stage of digestion, thus keeping you feeling full for much longer than you should be.
You suffer general digestive symptoms
You know…the usual ones like bloating, burping, flatulence, diarrhoea, constipation etc
Back to the first point of if things aren’t working the way they should at the start of your digestion, it makes it a lot harder for things to be working properly at the bottom (pardon the pun) part of our digestion.
Think your stomach acid isn't working for you? Get in touch today to find out how we can get it back on track! Book your appointment NOW
Karah is a degree qualified Naturopath with over 8 years experience in the health industry. She practices from Geelong, Ocean Grove and Bannockburn and specializes in digestive conditions.