Should You Be Supplementing With Hydrochloric Acid?

by lydia on March 7, 2012

Life has been quite crazy and stressful for me for as long as I can remember. Stress, stress, stress! How I have learned to cope and deal with the stress in my life has dramatically shifted, yet still the demands and pressures keep coming. In spite of taking radical steps to heal my body over the past several years through diet and lifestyle, I still have some remaining health issues lingering.

Thankfully, all the major stuff has gone by the wayside. All the annoying peripheral stuff, like gas, bloating, major constipation, sinus migraines, chronic sinus infections, eczema, seasonal allergies, acid reflux, depression, lack of energy, dark circles under my eyes, bad PMS, low back pain, chronic joint pain all on my right side, asthma, really dry itchy skin, inflammation of my gums related to sinus issues, regular headaches, feelings of insecurity, sensitivity to cold, mental sluggishness, severe pain during ovulation (mittleschwertz), extremely raw gut/insides, seasonal sadness in the winter, lots of colds and I am sure I could go on. All that stuff doesn’t bother me anymore for the most part. Thank God!

I have come a long way and overall, I feel great! However, that said, I still have some lingering issues and I plan to share them with you.

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My Experience

This past December, I had my health assessed by a functional examination. The functional examination is part of what I am learning in the course I am taking through the Nutritional Therapy Association. I am so grateful to have this ability under my belt, or should I say in my tool belt of healing knowledge and practice. What I learned then was several things, but for now I’ll share the primary one; my small intestines were a wreck! I knew this all on my own before getting the evaluation done. I’d sit on my couch in the afternoon studying and feel my lower ribs with some agitation and pressure. If I pressed into those ribs I felt like a spark of electricity type feeling. I was very perplexed as to what was going on at that time, but now I know more. I also have been able to drastically reduce that discomfort. So three months later my small intestines are getting better, but they still need some work. (*Note 11/24/13: As of today, I no longer have any of these health complaints).

If you read my post, Digestion 101, you will see that digestion works from the north most part of our body to the south. So, in order to address the issues going on in my small intestines, it was imperative to look ‘north’ to see what was going on leading to the issues found there. What I realized is that I had been eating a lot of protein, though not more than I should, but more than I had in past since I was a carb-aholic. But essentially, in the past couple of years I had ramped up the protein in my diet, which helped me in other ways a ton. I also was lifting weights and eating lots of protein snacks etc. However, what I hadn’t realized is how that might impact me since I had  hypo-chlorhydria (low stomach acid). The truth is, most of us have low stomach acid, there are so many reasons this is the case, and stress is one of those reasons. (but I’ll be getting more into all of that in a future post) I had known about need for hydrochloric acid awhile back, and tried to supplement with it, but didn’t really know what I was doing, nor did I notice any major results. So I stopped (I know now I wasn’t taking NEAR enough).

Going back in time a little, I used to have a hard time tolerating beef. I could only eat it once every few days. If I tried to eat it 2 days in a row, my body revolted. So, I tried a little experiment for about 2 months a few years ago, and I drank raw apple cider vinegar before every meal. Just about a tablespoon or so, and this helped immensely. I could tolerate beef on a more regular basis after that trial, and I still occasionally supplemented with the vinegar, though not consistently. Fast forward to this past December, I took a little test to see if my body was producing enough of it’s own hydrochloric acid and discovered it indeed was not. So, that became my quest and it still is, to teach my body how to make it’s own hydrochloric acid again. If I can digest my proteins properly, they won’t putrefy and make more work for my small intestines and the rest of my digestive system. Having enough HCL is my first line of defense against pathogenic micro-organisms. I suspect I have had low stomach acid for a LONG time – this has left me subject to a whole host of problems as I mentioned above. It’s amazing how many of our health ailments are linked to our gut health.

So to give you an idea, the functional points for my small intestine went from 8’s, 9’s & 10’s to 3’s, 4’s and 5’s, in just 3 months and I wasn’t even all that consistent with taking my hydrochloric acid. When we lingual neuro tested my points came all the way down! That means it’s very likely all I needed all along was proper hydrochloric acid to get my small intestines back on track.  These next three months I am bound and determined to take it faithfully to see how much things improve in June when I go back for my final weekend of testing. Hydrochloric acid is not something anyone should need to have to take for life, but it sure is a crucial aid in getting your body back on track. I plan to always have some around just in case and test myself often to make sure my body is properly and adequately producing enough HCL.

There is more to this picture than I am sharing here, but I wanted to focus and emphasize the importance of supplemental HCL, since it’s not really feasible to get in food form. Raw Apple Cider can certainly help, as can herbal bitters,but therapeutically HCL is required. Other things like enzymes are needed as well, but it’s so easy to get that from a good diet loaded with probiotic/enzymatic rich foods.

The Roles of Stomach Acid

 

  1. Stomach acid essentially sterlizes our food. It’s our first line of defense against pathogens coming in to the stomach. It will kill bacteria/microbes/pathogens/yeast that come in and try to colonize in the intestines. These germs are destroyed on contact as our food is mixed with stomach acid.
  2. Stomach acid begins digesting our proteins. Namely the enzyme pepsin in our stomach juices.
  3. Minerals are pulled for absorption by our stomach acid. Without enough stomach acid we cannot assimilate the minerals from our food.
  4. Stomach acid also stimulates the pancreas to secrete enzymes and bicarbonate. When the food is the proper pH moving out of the stomach it will signal the pancreas to secrete it’s juices. If the pH is not appropriate this can cause damage to the wall of the small intestines. (As discussed in Digestion 101).

 

Do you have any of the following symptoms? Rate them 0 for never, 1 for minor or rarely, 2 for moderate or weekly and 3 for severe or daily

 

Further Signs & Symptoms That Relate To Issues in the Upper GI

 

  • Belching or gas within one hour after eating
  • heartburn or acid reflux
  • bloating within one hour after eating,
  • a vegan diet
  • bad breath
  • loss of taste for meat
  • sweat has a strong odor
  • stomach upset by taking vitamins
  • sense of excess fullness after meals
  • feel like skipping breakfast
  • feel better if you don’t eat
  • sleepy after meals
  • fingernails chip, peel or break easily
  • anemia unresponsive to iron
  • stomach pains or cramps diarrhea (chronic)
  • diarrhea shortly after meals
  • black or tarry colored stools
  • undigested food in stool

 

Though these are not the only possible symptoms or signs that show you are not adequate in either stomach acid or pancreatic enzymes, they are the most commonly understood signs. What was your score? A score of 3-9 indicates a low priority, but you likely need some stomach acid and probably digestive enzymes. A score of 10-14 is a moderate priority meaning you’re on your way to worse things if you don’t get it ironed out, you definitely need hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes, 15 and above is a high priority and should become your top priority to work on. I am going to teach you a million things (well maybe not a million, but a lot) in this course. Please do not try to implement everything all at once. Don’t even try to do more than a couple of new things while you are taking this class. Why? Because you didn’t get to where you are overnight and you’re not going to heal overnight either. It will be important to take your time working on things little by little. One key piece will be finding a dietary game plan that will work to further your healing. Add to that some basic supplements starting in the northern most parts of digestion and tackle that first. Most of us will need some time to see the benefits happen.

 

Heartburn & GERD

 

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Heartburn occurs when acid from the stomach irritates the tissue that lines the esophagus. Since acid does not belong in the esophagus it is very irritating, it is not made to handle the acid. The stomach however, is lined to deal with the extremely acid environment. The stomach is an acid producing machine. The acid in the stomach is secreted at about 0.8 if you took a drop of this acid and dropped it on the floor it would burn a hole in the floor.

 

Acid reflux can be caused by many things including obesity, smoking, eating fried foods (fast foods), coffee, alcohol, and carbonated beverages. These foods or conditions end up causing acid reflux by increasing pressure in the abdomen and this causes the gastric contents to be forced up into the esophagus. This can irritate the esophageal sphincter and cause there to be a decrease in muscle tone. Frequent or chronic heartburn may have a structural piece to it.

 

Hiatal hernias are associated with frequent or chronic heartburn. (Hiatal hernias are an out pouching of the stomach lining through the diaphragm.) I believe the main reason most of us are ‘impaired’ in this way is due to the standard American diet full of lifeless processed sugar and starch ridden foods.

 

Hydrochloric acid is needed for protein breakdown. Not chewing thoroughly, eating excessive amounts in a given meal, or overcooking our meats puts a strain on us in this area. Gluten, casein in pasteurized dairy products, and heavily processed soy can also lead to issues. Our diet, how we eat (not in a relaxed state), stress, and anxiety can contribute to lack of HCl production as well . How well we chew, and the quality of our proteins as well as consuming some raw and not always well done or reheated etc. can go a long way to correcting issues with low stomach acid.

 

Hydrochloric acid is  produced in the presence of proteins, and it’s also inhibited by sugars and starches. High carbohydrate diets are all too common today, and actually contribute to acid deficiency. This is why I really like a Paleo/GAPS dietary template.

 

[Note: A great, great cookbook that I have reviewed is called ‘Primal Cuisine: Cooking for the Paleo Diet’ by Pauli Halstead. Pauli is a former chef/caterer and she became a client of Nora Gedgaudas (one of my nutrition heroes – who also attended the Nutritional Therapy association and wrote one of my favorite books; ‘Primal Body-Primal Mind‘. ) Thanks to what she learned from Nora she was able to heal and her cookbook has a great amount of information on proper diet and sourcing foods. I highly recommend this book! Dietary game plans are a great starting point for anyone wanting to heal. Then you can take it further as needed by removing other common allergens, such as eggs, gluten cross contamination foods, nightshades, and maybe even high oxalate foods, or FODMAPS – depending on your specific health situation. ]

 

Often problems with heartburn are due to a LACK of stomach acid, not too much stomach acid which is what mainstream medicine claims. There are those that may be hyper acidic, but it is VERY rare. This can be ruled out by a Heidelberg capsule test and may not necessarily mean that someone is always hyper secreting acid. The majority of Americans today produce too little stomach acid. Often the issue can just be inappropriate timing of acid secretion.

 

Low stomach acid secretion (also known as hypochlorhydria) can lead to irritated and inflamed mucosa in the stomach. This condition sets up the ideal environment for infection by Helicobacter pylori. You see the stomach acid is your body’s first line of defense against pathogens. It kills bacteria, viruses, pathogens, parasites and more, but only when it is adequately produced. Helicobacter pylori is an opportunistic bacterium that seems to prefer the chronically irritated environment of the gastric mucosa. H. pylori is also associated with gastric ulcers. If you have had a history of acid reflux or heartburn you may want to get tested for H. pylori, especially if you have been on acid blockers for any length of time.

Acid Neutralizers/Acid Blockers/PPI’s

 

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  • Antacids – Tums, Rolaids, Maalox and Mylanta (partially reduce acid)

 

  • H2 Acid Blockers- Tagamet, Pepcid, Axid and Zantac (partially block acid)

 

  • Proton Pump Inhibitors – Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium (these block the acid completely – NOT GOOD NEWS!)

 

PPI’s are a huge money maker, they are the 3rd highest of all drugs sold worldwide! They were designed for only very short term use while ironing out the underlying problem. Now they can be purchased over the counter and used without supervision and used for far longer than they ever were intended for, this is alarming!

 

If you have been on acid blockers and want to get off of them, I recommend you do it gradually, never cold turkey. You can wean off acid blockers and use antacids in place while you work to heal the issue and add in whole foods/supplements that support the underlying issue.

 

Taking acid blockers long term can erode the esophagus, it can lead to cancer, leaky stomach, decreased levels of calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron deficiency, vitamin B12 deficiency, and an increased risk of developing osteoporosis, depression, IBS, pneumonia and more. Blocking stomach acid increases your risk of SIBO. It is has been found that people on PPIs have higher levels of IgE antibodies after 3 months of usage.

 

Women over 50 increase risk of hip fracture with use of PPI’s. The longer anyone takes a PPI the higher the risk of fracture due to poor mineral absorption. This is scary since there are now so many people on acid blockers unmanaged by any practitioner. They are never told that it’s dangerous to their long term health.

 

(In my online course: Heal Your Gut, I teach a method on how to wean off of acid blockers. Learn more about the course here: HEAL YOUR GUT).

Hydrochloric acid Test

Precautions: If you are taking acid and too much of it, can cause a burning sensation. If any discomfort arises, stop taking it immediately. If you have a known peptic ulcer do not take acid. Start by healing the ulcer first. HCL can irritate sensitive tissue and be corrosive to teeth. Capsules should not be emptied into food or dissolved in beverages. Spend 1-2 months using support other than the HCL to heal the sensitive tissues in the stomach if needed, then try the HCL test. This process tends to be self-weaning, your stomach should tell you when you need to back off with a warming sensation. If your dose is not decreasing over time then it’s time to look at deeper issues, such as H. Pylori overgrowth, poor thyroid function, or other pituitary issues. It’s best to work with a qualified practitioner to help you evaluate the possible deeper reasons you are not seeing progress.

Self-testing for stomach acid: There are two ways for you to do this assessment. One is a gradual slow approach and one is an approach to find out your dose in just one meal. I will just say that the approach you use to find your dose in one meal can cause a lot of potential die off reactions and can be unpleasant for some. I’ve seen some people very sensitive even to one pill and some people not have any noticeably uncomfortable reactions from several.

Please realize if you have anything going on in your stomach, such as H. Pylori or have had a low pH for a time taking even just a little bit of acid could really cause a reaction. Please don’t think this means you don’t need the acid or shouldn’t take it.

The only reason to NOT take it or stop immediately is if you have any ulcerations in the stomach. You will know because it will be very painful. If you suspect you have any ulcerations or have been on acid blockers for a long time you may want to spend 2-4 weeks working on your stomach health before trying the acid supplementation. People with ulcers, or acute reflux should take some time to heal prior to starting acid supplementation.

Self-Test Instructions
1.    Begin by taking one 350 to 750 mg capsule of betaine HCl with a protein-containing meal. A normal response in a healthy person would be discomfort – basically, heartburn (or a warming sensation in the stomach). If you do not feel a burning sensation, at the next protein-containing meal, take two capsules.
2.    If there are no reactions, after two days increase the number of capsules with each meal to two capsules.
3.    Continue increasing every two days, using up to eight capsules at a time if necessary. Build slowly to a maximum of eight capsules with each meal. You’ll know you’ve taken too much if you experience tingling, heartburn, diarrhea, or any type of discomfort, including feelings of unease, digestive discomfort, neck ache, backache, headache, fatigue, decrease in energy, or any new odd symptom. If you experience tingling or burning, or any symptom that is uncomfortable, you can neutralize the acid with 1 teaspoon of baking soda in water or milk.
4.    When you reach of state of tingling, burning or any other type of discomfort, cut back by one capsule per meal. If the discomfort continues, DISCONTINUE the HCl and consult with your health care professional. These dosages may seem large, but a normally functioning stomach manufactures considerably more, about 2,000 per meal.
5.    Once you have established a dose (either 8 capsules or less, if warmth or heaviness occurs), continue this dose.
6.    With smaller meals, you may require less HCl, so you may reduce the number of capsules taken.

Individuals with very moderate HCl deficiency generally show rapid improvement in symptoms and have early signs of intolerance to the acid. This typically indicates a return to normal acid secretion. Individuals with low HCL/pepsin typically do not respond as well to so to maximize the absorption and benefits of the nutrients you take, it is important to be consistent with your HCl/pepsin supplementation.
Over time you will rebuild your own stomach acid and no longer need supplementation. If you are needing supplementation with HCl for more than one year you may need to address deeper issues and use digestive enzymes, bitters, nutrients and possibly some body work like acupuncture or learn stress management techniques.

To heal the stomach first: Make sure to chew slowly at every meal, relax, support with herbal bitters before and/or after meals, licorice (DGL – deglycyrrhizinated), digestive/pancreatic enzymes, Gastrazyme  by Biotics (gut healing nutrients), and maybe some Aloe Vera Juice if there are ulcerations. Cabbage juice, several ounces daily, could be very helpful and start to help the parietal cells of the stomach to make its own HCL (this is only if you do not have a thyroid problem – goitrogenic foods such as cabbage are contraindicated in thyroid issues). Vitamins A & D and even L-glutamine may also help. Supplemental B1, methylated B12 and zinc – nutrients support acid production.

Then add the HCL, keep using probiotics and enzymes daily. Working to add properly fermented foods daily would be optimal, aim to have a small serving with each meal.

Truly, it is best to find out what your own unique biochemistry is based on a simple hair tissue mineral analysis. There are several markers that can help to determine whether you need or don’t need to supplement with HCl. It will also help you determine, based on a retest, if you still need it or not. For example: Someone with sluggish thyroid and adrenals may find they need longer term HCl supplementation because digestion slows down in this case and it can take some time to get the glands back up and functioning more efficiently.

If you enjoyed this post, please share!

{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenn March 7, 2012 at 1:18 pm

This post came out at the perfect time. My husband had acid reflux and I have been getting him to take HCI w/Pepsin at meals. He is complaining that it is too many pills and he thinks his stomach acid is fine. I of course disagree and think he needs to take way more than he is. Thanks for the idea of finding a higher dose so that he take less pills at once.

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Hannah Elise March 7, 2012 at 7:54 pm

My naturopathic doctor has me on Metagest, an Hcl supplement that is 650mg per tablet – she had me do a “challenge test” – take one with dinner, then the next day two, and so on up to four, until I experienced discomfort, and then I was sposed to back off by one. Yeah, I never experienced discomfort. So, I am on 2600mg every day! That and getting off gluten really seems to be helping my system… while I have not regained weight, I have stopped losing. She said I probably won’t until I’m done nursing, though.

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lydia March 8, 2012 at 7:09 am

I wouldn’t worry too much about losing weight while nursing. Just to make you feel better, I know people that had to use WAY more – isn’t it amazing that we can be that depleted and not know it – I am so glad to have this information. Good luck with it all Hannah!

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Nancy March 7, 2012 at 11:45 pm

This truly is a “divine” post for me today! I started eating paleo-style a year ago, after largely a lifetime of SAD or vegetarian eating with just the last few years on mostly WAPF/Nourishing Traditions foods. In spite of (or perhaps b/c of) improved nutrition and dropping a lot of carbs and fiber from my diet, I am now enema-dependent. Even the http://www.gutsense.org ColoRectal Recovery Kit didn’t phase my gut into working on its own. Now I’m on GAPS Intro and had just figured out I should start taking the HCl, but your directions on using it (and reassurance that some people may need tons of it) are way clearer than those given by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride in her GAPS book. I pray this works! The only other reason I can figure I’m not able to “work” is perhaps adrenal fatigue. But then that’s tied up a lot with the ability to digest and assimilate nutrients, too. Can’t wait to get started! Thank you!

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lydia March 8, 2012 at 7:07 am

I’m glad this post was helpful for you Nancy! Pretty much everyone nowadays needs to supplement with HCL for awhile. Keep me posted!

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Lore March 8, 2012 at 12:16 pm

What is the difference between taking HCl and Hydrogen peroxide? I know the latter is for oxygenation but I wonder about it’s affect on stomach acid? I was reading about distilled water (with H2o2) and there is so much controversy about distilled or non-distilled, what’s your opinion?

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lydia March 8, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Well they are two completely different things – I have never heard of using hydrogen peroxide internally to correct stomach acid. Distilled water is okay for occassional use, but I wouldn’t use it long term. It has no electrolytes or minerals – so you would have to purposely add them back in.

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Laura Black March 8, 2012 at 6:32 pm

I knew I had low stomach acid, but I didn’t know you could supplement with HCl pills. Over the years, I have simply eliminated those foods that I had trouble digesting, and then took enzymes when needed. Interesting idea.

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Starlene March 22, 2012 at 12:30 am

Lydia, I have heard if you happen to take too much HCI you can use baking soda to neutralize it. Do you have any idea what amount and how to take it?

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lydia March 22, 2012 at 9:14 am

Starlene, Yes you can. You likely would not have any discomfort from doing this UNLESS you have some kind of ulceration in your stomach. You only need to do the test once to find your dose. I am not sure how much baking soda, maybe a 1/2 tsp in some water. I also think drinking something fermented or plenty of water or even aloe vera juice would help with any discomfort. If you start with a low dose HCL and slowly add in one at a time, you should be fine. Heck half my class never even felt the warming sensation and ended up needed a TON of HCL to start out with. Hope this helps.

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Briana March 23, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I just stumbled upon your blog and I wanted to say thank you for all of the work you are doing! =) Little communities like this are so valuable nowadays. I have had problems with acid reflux/indigestion for over 6 years now. I just recently got into WAPF, GAPS, Primal, Paleo, LC eating and have found a great deal of relief with it, but not enough. I tried taking HCL, but I’m not sure if I need it or not. I’m going to do your test later on today and see how it goes. I usually take 1-2 capsules of a 200mg HCL with Pepsin at meal times. Typically, however, I always notice that I get back pain and sometimes even upper back/lower neck pain after the capsules start dissolving in my stomach. Have you ever experienced this? I have never heard anyone with GERD mention this problem when taking HCL. I also feel like I have more burning sensation problems at the top of my stomach when I take the HCL. Does this most likely mean that I don’t need the HCL? It is SO hard for me to believe that I would not need more stomach acid! Thankfully, I live in Seattle near the Tahoma Clinic where Dr. Jonathan Wright works. He is not serving the general public, but he does have others on staff that are trained by him and meet with him weekly. I am very blessed to have this opportunity, but until my appointment, I was wondering if you had any thoughts on my issues. I am currently on an anti-candida diet (eating mostly GAPS intro foods) supplementing with Candi-Gone by RenewLife. When I am done with that, I plan to start the GAPS diet and see if that helps me. Thanks a lot for all of your time and for your blog! =)

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lydia March 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Hi Briana! Glad you found this post and my site helpful.

From what you shared it sounds like you may have some type of stomach ulceration or something that would need to heal prior to taking stomach acid. If you are getting such a reaction from such a lose dose, that is my only conclusion. So GAPS would be great, but until then I would discontinue HCL and take things to soothe any possible issues in the stomach itself. It doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t need stomach acid, but it could mean you have some irritation in your stomach lining that needs to be healed before you can tolerate the stomach acid. Things such as aloe vera juice, or bone broth, or some green juices could help to heal your stomach and are completely safe and also beneficial in other ways too. I am sure when you have your appointment they will look into what is going on in your stomach.

Did you previously suffer from GERD? Were you by any chance on acid blockers for any length of time?

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Susanna August 8, 2012 at 11:20 am

Hi Lydia,

I came across your post when I was searching on the web for how to take HCL. I’ve been dealing with food intolerance symptoms caused by a leaky gut for about 8 months now. Some of the symptoms went away when I took starches out of my diet, and continued to improve even more when I started the GAPS Intro diet. However, in the last few months, my progress has plateaued and now I’m sad to say some of my symptoms are coming back. I started seeing a new doctor who found through a stool test that I was not digesting fats and proteins properly, so he gave me some enzymes to take. The enzymes gave me a burning sensation at a specific spot just left of belly button. Aside from that, the enzymes seemed to help a little bit with my upset stomach, but not fully. He then suggested I take 2 capsules of HCL with each meal. So far I haven’t experienced any progress, but after reading this post, I now understand that I probably need more. My three questions for you are:
1. When during the meal do you take it? Some say 15 minutes before, some say with the meal, and some say 30 minutes after….I’m very confused, haha!
2. Could you describe the burning sensation one is supposed to feel when they have reached the appropriate dose. Where in abdomen do you feel it?
3. What is you take on supplementing enzymes along with HCL?

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lydia August 9, 2012 at 6:40 am

Susanna,

HCL needs to be taken halfway through the meal or at the end.
You should not feel a burning sensation per se, but more of a warming sensation, you will know when you feel it. If you don’t, then you likely need a lot of HCL. You will feel it in your stomach.
I think taking enzymes is fine too – take those before the meal, about 10-15 minutes. so long as the burning spot just left of your belly button does not bother you (I am guessing that may be your small intestines).

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suaymakmak July 1, 2014 at 5:59 pm

I tried this test and shortly after I got back pain and discomfort in my rib cage area- could that mean that I don’t have low stomach acid or could that be indicative of something else?

thanks-

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Christina January 25, 2013 at 9:34 am

Lydia,

Thanks so much for this post. I am trying to find my right level of HCL after going off my PPI (Prevacid), and it does seem to be helping with reflux and digestion generally. I appreciate your clear in instructions and all the follow-up comments!

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Sarah Gray March 22, 2013 at 3:10 pm

I’m taking the exact HCL you told suggested on your website, and after 20 pills, I’ve felt nothing. When should it catch up with me? I’m taking 15 now with every meal, and I’ll try taking them more at the end of the meal, but so far, nothing? Do you know about how long it should take for me to feel something? I can’t miss it, right?

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lydia March 22, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Sarah,

Just so we are clear – you are taking 15 of the Hydrozyme or the Betaine HP Plus? What is your dose in units/mg?

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Crystal June 13, 2013 at 10:27 am

Okay, so I have been taking 638 mg of HCL with 100 mg of pepsin, and I am up to 5 pills and don’t THINK I feel a warming. I dunno what I’m supposed to feel! I mean my tummy doesn’t feel any warmer than usual, and i’m paying extra attention to it! I dunno what it’s supposed to feel like! Taking a shot of apple cider vinegar has a more warming feeling than this.

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lydia November 24, 2013 at 8:57 am

Crystal,

You would know the feeling if it happened.

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Judy June 13, 2013 at 8:44 pm

I don’t feel so alone now that I see other women have the same problem. My supplements are also not digesting. I also started to be very tired – guess from not enough nutrition. My dr’s nurse said eat much smaller meals and eliminate the supplements (including the new bioidentical hormones). I already take 1 Betaine Hydrochloride but don’t know if that’s the same thing as HCl. AND I don’t have a gall bladder, if that makes a diff.

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lydia November 24, 2013 at 8:55 am

Judy,

Without a gallbladder you may also want to consider bile salts – you can read this post here: http://divinehealthfromtheinsideout.com/2012/04/are-you-digesting-fats/

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alberto July 22, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Judy i think you need to increase your betaine /hcl is the same thing. Get adrenal support “adrenal desiccated” the brand is “standard process”( great energy with this ones). If your not digesting food your adrenals are running very low. Eat organic too, probiotics, like kefir.

Crystal im with you on that one. I just try to have smaller meals and im currently taking 6 i guess we have to take more.

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sani September 19, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Hi Lydia !
l’m taking Metagest 18 pills (which has 650mg of betaine &45mg of pepsin)with my supper now and l have not felt that burning sensation….l’m always so bloated and my stomach feels full, and l have lower abdominal discomfort,this has been going on for a while, my naturpath put me also on Adreset & Licorice plus twice daily for a month now l’m so tired of this just wanna get better….do you have any suggestions for me….thank you kindly.

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lydia November 24, 2013 at 8:54 am

Hi Sani,

Since I don’t know much about your situation specifically -my only suggestion would be to make sure you are not eating any foods you might be intolerant too. Chew your food well, eat in a relaxed state – choose foods that are more easy to digest/assimilate – pair foods with bone broths and fermented foods to help you better digest. Good luck!

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Bethany October 6, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Hi Lydia!
I have been on Betaine Plus HP for a few years now. I have a major yeast overgrowth… however, I am trying to turn on my OWN stomach to produce it’s own acid. I’ve tried supplementing with everything under the sun: digestive bitters, vitamin C, AVC before meals, dandelion greens, ginger tea, zupplementing zinc etc. etc. and I still feel like I need the Betaine Plus HP to make me feel warmth. Do you have any other ideas of ways I could vamp up my own system? I get bloated when I eat fats. I just did a gall bladder flush and got out TONS of stones. I love, love, love your posts THANK YOU. I am trying to teach my gall bladder how to digest fats again! It’s tricky! I keep on getting bloated–even with the biotics supplements taken with the fats. Any ideas on either of those two issues?
Thank you Lydia!
Bethany

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lydia October 17, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Bethany,

I don’t recommend long term supplementation with HCl. You also do not need to feel the warmth each time you eat. If you are getting bloated when you eat fats, you likely need support specific to fat digestion -read more about that here: http://divinehealthfromtheinsideout.com/2012/04/are-you-digesting-fats/ Possibly start with the Beta Plus instead of the beta tcp and cut back on fats a little to give your gallbladder a break. Be careful with gallbladder flushes on your own, you don’t want any large stones getting stuck and throwing you into an attack!

Also, are you considering possible food intolerances or cutting back on sugars/starches to deal with the yeast. I’d consider candida as a possibility -check out this eBook too: http://wholeintentions.com/my-books/healing-candida-with-food/?ap_id=LydiaJ

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Bethany October 18, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Lydia,
Thank you so much for responding to me!
I have tried Beta Plus and Oxbile, and nothing has helped to help me digest the fats. I get super bloated and in pain each time. I LOVE your article on digesting fats and also Digestion 101. It makes so much sense!
Again, I appreciate you taking the time to respond. I have Candida, and have been battling it for the past 3 years. I have been getting out long colonies of yeast for about a year and I wonder what else I can do to purge the yeast out of me. I am not eating any starches or carbs. But Proteins seem to make my legs feel lethargic and heavy and the fats make me feel bloated. (I think because I have very little HCL) I would love to get this book, but I feel hesitant, because I don’t know know if I could digest the foods that it recommends. I am semi-doing GAPS, but strain the fat and the meats off of the broth. Any ideas of how to increase my food palate? After I do another gallbladder flush–I’m hoping I’ll be able to reintroduce fats gradually without massive pain and bloating. Thanks again! (again the Biotics products didn’t seem to help in the least bit when I tried them. My practitioner thought I still had some stones lodged in the bile ducts)
And guess what–if I ever get better– and get pregnant–coincidentally, our #1 name choice for a girl is Lydia Joy!!! :o)
Thanks again for your timely response!
Bethany

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lydia November 24, 2013 at 9:03 am

Bethany,

That is a wonderful choice for a girl’s name! :)

I don’t recommend doing gallbladder flushes alone, especially if you have not had an ultrasound of the gallbladder to determine if there are stones and the size. You don’t want to get one lodged in the duct-it’s really risky, please be careful. It sounds like you might need some serious gallbladder support in addition to the HCl. I might consider some bile salts for awhile, maybe some gallbladder juice recipes and stick with easy to digest fats like coconut oil, raw egg yolks, avocado, maybe ghee and go light on them.

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Eric October 16, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Lydia,

Thanks for sharing. I have Hashimoto’s, and many of us are known to have low stomach acid. I haven’t been tested for low stomach acid but my digestion seems to be nonexistent. I eat a big meal and it’s like my stomach is dead -no activity. Anyway, I tried HCL a while back. Took 12 pills at one point, but didn’t notice much difference. Maybe I didn’t give it long enough and/or wasn’t consistent(?) I just started back on Solaray HCL w/ Betaine, 600mg. How long was it till you noticed a change??

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lydia November 24, 2013 at 9:11 am

Eric,

First I need to say that everyone will be different.

I used to not be able to eat beef or much fat – back in the beginning of 2010, I could only eat beef once every 3-4 days without feeling like my gut had a lead bowling ball in it. I spent many months using an Apple Cider Vinegar tonic before and even after my meals. I also spent time getting out food intolerances and making sure to eat raw/enzyme rich foods or ferments with every meal as I could, plus using bone broth and l-glutamine to help heal my gut. When I found my HCl dose 2 years later – I needed about 2100 mg, within one month it was reduced, a couple months later it went down again – It took me 10 months total to reduce it to nothing -though I likely still could have used a small dose, however I decided to just use organic herbal bitters and only take HCl when I ate heavy protein meals. Some people may need more pepsin, some people may need more lipase to digest the fats. Some people have an HPA axis issue, some may have H. Pylori and on and on. All I know is that, in order to digest our foods fully, our stomach is the first place we need to focus -maybe you don’t want to take so many pills -if that is the case spend some time using other means to help you better digest your food. Keep eating a healing diet and remove food allergens as best you can -it takes time to heal the gut and iron out digestion and stress does not help! Good luck!

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Jenny January 1, 2014 at 7:54 pm

Hi Lydia, how much of reflux do you think is les related? I have had reflux with most all of my pregnancies. I have had 9 pregnancies. With my last 9 months ago my reflux went away right after birth but came back along with chest heaviness and now I am dealing with nighttime acid and wake up in the morning with my mouth and throat burning. Have I just ruined my les with all of my pregnancies or do you believe this is reversible? I had a gi scope done in October which showed mild reflux and schlotzkys ring…he put me on omeprazole but I’m terrified to continue because of the side effects…need done guidance.

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lindsey February 6, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Hi there! Just found your site. Great article. I just started playing around with HCL and even taking 2500 mg I don’t fee anything in my stomach. My issues are related to veggies, though. Protein and dairy seem to be fine but give me a salad, broccoli, cabbage, etc. and I balloon and get terribly uncomfortable! Does that sound like a low acid issue to you? I don’t really want to go higher with the HCL but was thinking about just adding in two with each meal along with some digestive enzymes.

Great site!

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P R February 8, 2014 at 12:59 am

I was linked to this article for instructions for dosing HCI I read through the article several times and can’t find the information. I haven’t read through all the comments. In the article you talk about two ways to find dosage but I can’t find where you describe the two ways. Help please :)

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lydia February 8, 2014 at 1:44 pm

P R,

My apologies! And I can’t believe you are the first person to mention that. I actually edited the post to show the slowest/safest approach to starting supplementation with HCl, rather than both methods.

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violette February 15, 2014 at 10:23 pm

Hi Lydia.

I have recently been to an ENT who told me after using a scope that I have moderate gerd. I also had a barium swallow which with normal – no hernia. My only symptom of gerd, which was the reason I went to a specialist was constant throat clearing for aprx. 3 years. The ENT put me on tecta and it made me sick as I’m very sensitive, then he put me on zantax which didn’t help. After hours of research I discovered I probably have low stonach acid instead of too much acid. I have taken hcl with pepsin for 3 days now with no results – burning etc…but strangely my throat clearing is alot less now. Amazing! I am also getting acupuncture, taking digestive enzymes and am on a liver cleanse. I am still clearing my throat and do feel bloated after meals. Should I continue with the acid. P.s. thank you for helping correct wrongly believed medicine. Best, violtte

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Nicky February 17, 2014 at 11:11 pm

Thank you. There is a much useful information here. It’s been a huge help.. Your writing and story is really easy understand since I got a stroke.

I have bleeding down there.. And bad really bad low stomach acid.. I’m 22 and I was in a coma.. Got a stoke from the car accredit. All drugs, sugeries from antiiontcs and previous eating habits have put me in a bad situation.

I’ve been on a gaps intro.. First stage.. Your information on low statach acid to help like aloe Vera maybe be good help.. In Natasha Campbell’s book.. She said to take aloe for a while later in the diet.. It has been gotten worse by taking HCI and sourkout. I think i have stay away from acid things for a few days maybe.. apple vinegar, lemons.. sourkout. Now it hurts and burns all the time. I will stick carrots juice.. Broth and I will go to the store to get fresh aloe vera.. Any other suggestions?

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lydia March 5, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Hi Nicky,

If you are having burning in your stomach you could have an ulcer. I would get a doctor’s appt. to get that checked out.

Cabbage juice is a good idea -it’s healing to the stomach and helps the parietal cells to work better too! Good luck!

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Kristi Hugo March 2, 2014 at 1:00 am

You said in your article, “Please realize if you have anything going on in your stomach, such as H. Pylori or have had a low pH for a time taking even just a little bit of acid could really cause a reaction. Please don’t think this means you don’t need the acid or shouldn’t take it.” I scored a 9 on your test above, and normally I have excellent “plumbing.” I have been taking digestive enzymes for years and take probiotics daily, but suspected that I was low in hydrochloric acid. I am now experiencing lightheadedness, gas, and diarrhea after taking HCL with pepsin. Even amounts as low as 162 mg make me feel lightheaded. Are these the kinds of reactions you were talking about if H. Pylori or low ph is present? Thanks.

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lydia March 2, 2014 at 7:43 am

Kristi,

How long have you been supplementing with the HCl?

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Anonymous March 2, 2014 at 12:03 pm

I have been supplementing with HCL for 4 days.

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Kristi H. March 3, 2014 at 11:49 am

I have been supplementing with HCL for about 4 days. I took yesterday off from supplementing since I had to be away from home (read bathroom!) all day, and found I did not experience the symptoms I associated with taking HCL. Thank you for any insights you have about this.

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lydia March 5, 2014 at 7:47 pm

Kristi,

I would take a break from the HCl – you could have something else going on in your stomach. I’d try using digestive bitters for awhile, or maybe an Apple Cider Vinegar tonic but be sure to take one or the other before every meal. Then retry the HCl in a month or so. If you still get those bad reactions, I’d go get tested for H.Pylori.

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Denise Rice March 5, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Hi Lydia

I started taking HCL about a week ago and it seems to be helping my bloating, however I am up to 9 pills and I still don’t feel the burning sensation I am supposed to be feeling. I have taken up to 5 capsules with a snack and even one on an empty stomach and I still haven’t felt any burning. Do you know why?

A little background on my digestive issues:
I’ve had terrible abdominal distention for the last 4 years. I went gluten free and it helped temporarily. Then I went Paleo and it helped… Temporarily… I was diagnosed with h pylori 6 months ago and then with SIBO 2 month ago. I have taken oregano oil and peppermint oil and now taking candibactin AR, candibactin BR and biocidin. It helps until I eat a normal size meal. My servings are miserably small and ever since this all started I have gained 20 lbs eating close to nothing

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lydia March 5, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Denise,

When you say 9 pills what does that equal mg. wise? How many mg. of HCl per capsule?

I’ve seen people take as much as 5000 mg. or more of HCl and not get even the slightest tingle. We really can be THAT deficient.

So sorry about the issues you are facing. The distention is likely due to both the H. Pylori and the SIBO. One thought for you is to make sure you are drinking plenty of water to help you clear out the toxins from the things you are taking to kill the bacterial overgrowth. More water than you would think -and plenty of sea salt or electrolytes so you don’t get those off balance. I’d also say, find a way to support your liver right now!!

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Denise March 6, 2014 at 2:59 am

Thanks!!
Each capsule contains 650 mg of HCl, 25 mg of Pepsin and 20 mg of Gentian Root. What do you mean by finding something to support my liver?

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lydia March 6, 2014 at 8:00 am

I mean to help your liver detox pathways to clear the toxins.

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Teresa March 8, 2014 at 8:27 am

I recently started taking Thorne Betaine HCL & Pepsin (1.04 g of Betaine per 2 pills). I started with one and worked up to 5 per meal without noticing any burning. However, since I’ve been taking 5, I’ve been so sleepy I can barely function. Yesterday I forgot to take them at lunch and skipped dinner and today I feel more awake. What’s going on here?

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lydia March 8, 2014 at 8:31 am

Teresa,

First of all you don’t want to feel a burning sensation -more of a warming sensation (burning/pain could mean ulcers).

My guess is your reaction is a die-off reaction. Are you drinking plenty of water? I’d start back up more slowly – take 1 pill for a week, then go up to 2 for a week, then go up to 3 for a week….and so on. If you find at any point you still feel uncomfortable from taking it, I would stop and consider that there may be other things going on like H. Pylori. In that case you can use digestive bitters before your meals instead.

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Joyce March 30, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Hi Lydia,

I have been taking the hcl with much success when I eat fish. I am vegetarian and eat mostly fruits and vegetables…(sometimes vegetable based protein shakes). I still get stomach issues when not eating meat. Should I be taking the hcl when I eat a meal that contains no meat?? How should vegetarians proceed when taking the hcl?

Thanks

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Joyce March 31, 2014 at 7:17 am

Hi Lydia,
I have been taken H CL and pepsin when I eat meat usually fish because I am a vegetarian. Could you tell me how to proceed when I’m only eating meals made up of mostly vegetables and no proteins or small amounts of protein? Also I do take vegetable protein shakes…should I take hcl with those?

Thanks

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Arletta May 5, 2014 at 4:30 pm

I took HCI, for a wee while. It did help, just as long as I took about 15 pills before each meal and I was eating meat.

Even at 15 pills, I was not getting a warming sensation, but, I could feel a little help with digestion.

I ran into this post while doing research, because, I was trying to follow Dr. Oz’s advice on rebuilding good bacteria, which involves taking magnesium supplements (400 mg per day). Allegedly, magnesium helps foster good bacteria.

I could believe that, because, people with Fibromyalgia (me) tend to be yeasty people (also me) and be low in magnesium.

Only, now, I have started to get sick, my stomach feels bound up, I have rashes breaking out on my face and shoulders.

Some of what I am experiencing could be die-off reaction. Other things, like numbness and tingling in my limbs and even my face, spots in front of my eyes, are the sort of thing that happens to me when I accidentally ingest milk.

So, I am trying to find out if this particular magnesium supplement has milk in it.

Along the way, I have found out that magnesium neutralizes stomach acid. Obviously, not a very helpful thing for someone who has extremely low stomach acid to begin with. This could explain the symptoms, since, milk and cheese (with whey or lactose present) slow down my digestion terribly, too.

Strangely, I have found that I can eat non-fat, plain Greek yogurt, with little to no trouble, so, maybe that’s because most of the whey and lactose are removed.

Anyway, what I am trying to do is balance out my need for magnesium with my need for more stomach acid.

I am thyroidal, so, I can’t drink cabbage juice. I can’t even eat well-cooked cabbage, even though I know some can. Except, weirdly enough in egg rolls. I never have a problem with a well-cooked egg roll.

Do you know what to do, if you need magnesium supplements or high magnesium foods, are mostly vegan in eating style, have low stomach acid and are thyroidal?

Any clues would be great.

I enjoyed your post, by the way.

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Arletta May 5, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Oh! PS:

Back to HCI supplementation: As I said, they worked, if I took mass quantities and ate meat.

What I did not say is that they did not work at all if I ate potatoes, pasta, sugar, bread, or any other grains or starches in any sort of quantity at all.

The other thing is, taking apple cider vinegar in just water or tea (hot or cold) helped way better, with much less cost and effort.

I am not looking for a meal by meal fix, though. I am looking for a cure.

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Gina May 8, 2014 at 9:55 am

Hi there! I am a new bee to this….long story short, told I was a type A and really should cut down if not out meat from my diet. I was Paleo!! (LOL) so…. should I talk to my ND Dr. about this and see what he says? After much research Type A lack the production of this acid to break it all down…and what does apple cider vinegar do? SHould I try that instead? How much should one take?

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lydia May 8, 2014 at 5:48 pm

I’m not sure why you think you need to cut meat out of your diet just because of your blood type. We all need protein for optimal health – you could cut back a bit if you are having trouble digesting it or choose to cook it with methods that help to break it down more making it more digestible.

Apple cider vinegar doesn’t replace hydrochloric acid, it will help a bit with digestion more for the enzymes it contains. You can take a couple teaspoons or a tablespoon in some water before meals if you like.

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NF May 20, 2014 at 4:27 pm

I’ve just started supplementing with 650 mg of betaine with pepsin at each meal and while my indigestion is better, my stomach is a little bit upset. Is this a side effect that will go away or a sign that perhaps I need something else?

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lydia May 20, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Hi there! Can you explain further what you mean NF – when is it upset, how long, what exactly are you feeling, how long have you been taking the HCl? Thanks….

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Joe June 1, 2014 at 9:47 pm

Hi there,

I feel HCl is the missing link I’ve needed for a long time. Please reply to me. I once flew across USA to see Dr Wright in WA. I’ve had 2 Heidelberg tests, both found I have very low HCL output. I once took 5-7 capsules per meal but have had to back off them, or I quit them. I’m a male, age 63, and I feel I need to work my way back to a therapeutic dose of Hcl to heal my chronic GI and skin issues. I can only seem to take 1 capsule per meal, or even one 325 mg tablet per meal. If I take too much, my alkaline mineral reserves collapse. Any tips on what I can do to prevent this? I’m thinking of consulting with Dr Biamonte by phone to get this resolved, unless you can teach me how to fix my alkaline gut. It could get very expensive, but I feel it’s a must if I want to improve. thank you.

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lydia June 3, 2014 at 10:27 am

Hi Joe,

In order to pull minerals from our food we must have adequate stomach acid in the first place. If your stomach is too alkaline you won’t be able to rebuild your mineral status. I would work on building back your stomach acid for the next 3 months and see how it goes -use the method I shared in the post to find your dose!

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Joe June 5, 2014 at 9:10 am

Hi,

I’m starting to think that taking more than 350 mg of HCL per meal is asking for trouble by creating a new imbalance of other minerals. I have had this problem a few times, at least. Many years ago, when I was taking 2-3 HCl caps per meal, I got on a pH balancing program called Life Balances, and the first thing they told me was that I was taking way too much HCl, and I improved when I followed thier program. To each his own, but for many years I have not fared well by taking huge doses of HCl. I think we need to use many things to increase our own HCl, like proteins, sea salt, ACV, bitters, fermented foods, proper GI flora, enzymes, etc. I also never seem to do well if I take HCl after about 2 in the afternoon, it often disrupts my sleep.

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Lauren July 1, 2014 at 10:11 am

I have just started taking a betaine HCL supplement as stated above. The supplement has Lactose in it (appears to be part of the capsule). I’m not intollerant, as far as I know, but I am wondering if this may neutralize the acid somewhat and make the burning less noticeable? Also I keep forgeting to take it before the meal and then take it right after. Is that an issue? Thank you
Lauren

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Thalia M July 11, 2014 at 11:55 am

Hi, I have terrible heartburn and acid reflux (to the point I wake up choking on acid sometimes). I’ve also been diagnosed with an esophageal ulcer. In an effort to get off my otc meds (Omeprazole) and into a more natural routine, I took ACV when I’d heard that this condition could be caused by not producing enough acid. It made my heartburn unbearable so I stopped immediately. The only thing I’ve found that helps is eating more mild foods like avocado and if I have a bad flare up, taking a pinch of ground ginger with ground turmeric before bed. But for the most part, I have had very little control over this very uncomfortable condition. I’m going to try some of these suggestions here and see which work for me. Thanks for the info.

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lydia July 11, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Thalia – I’m so sorry! Please do not take acid or ACV when you have an ulcer. The ulcer needs to be dealt with first!!!!

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Renee July 12, 2014 at 4:22 pm

My husband has suffered with heartburn for years. He has been on rabeprazole for quite some time, he decided to try supplementing with HCL and started today. He had heartburn before eating, took one tablet of Betaine HCL with fenugreek when he had his lunch. He already had heartburn at this time. He still has heartburn (which I would expect), but he is unsure if he should continue trying the supplementation, or if he should stop. Any advice?

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Renee July 12, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Addition to my previous post! I just talked to my husband again, he said the heartburn is the same as it was before he ate. Nothing has changed, it’s no worse, but it’s no better. Any idea on guidelines as to how long it takes for a change to be noticeable? I don’t expect instant relief from the heartburn for him, but I would like to let him know how long until he can expect to see results from taking the supplement.

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lydia July 12, 2014 at 9:07 pm

I wish I could answer that more concisely for you -but it really will be different for everyone.

My boyfriend had suffered from heartburn for probably 12 years when I met him – he took Prilosec for almost a decade. I begged him to take apple cider vinegar tonics first and then the HCl -within one month he was completely off the acid blockers and has not touched them again since.

what he eats may matter too – a lot of carbs/starches etc…could exacerabte acid reflux….anyway, he should try upping his dose at the next meal containing protein (half way through or at the end of the meal). He could also take an apple cider vinegar tonic BEFORE the meal too to help.

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Renee July 12, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Thanks for your reply! He upped his dose with his dinner tonight, but he took it at the beginning of his meal, so tomorrow he will be sure to take it mid meal. He is hoping to start having some relief, but the acid blockers have done absolutely nothing for him.

Any idea if the HCL could cause drowsiness? He got super sleepy after taking them. Is this a normal response? I have no idea. I have never had heartburn a day in my life (through 3 pregnancies) so I cannot imagine how he feels, but I know it keeps him up at night, and he tends to choke and sputter through the night sometimes from it.

I have some organic AVC in my pantry and will make him a tonic to try tomorrow too. Thank you so much for this post! It has been super helfpul!

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lydia July 13, 2014 at 9:37 am

Renee,

Yes – if he has been on acid blockers for any length of time he could have some things that are getting ‘killed off’ in the stomach from the hydrochloric acid. I’ve seen a number of detox type reactions with folks starting on HCl -some are very extreme.

Let me know how things go in the next week – I can’t consult you through comments on this but I want you to know you can email me for a consult if need be. There are so many things to consider.

The ACV will be good just go slow with both so he is comfortable.

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Renee July 13, 2014 at 11:26 am

Hi Lydia! Thanks so much!!! I have sent you an email. It has some details about his situation, and his progress so far, and a few questions in it. I understand you are busy, and I truly appreciate that you have even responded to my comments at all! But when you have time to reply to my email, I will be even more grateful!

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Mandy August 10, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Hi!

I loved reading your post!

I have been taking HCl for a few weeks. I worked up to about 5 pills per meal. But something odd is happening!

I never have any burning or acid when I take Hcl with a meal. However I have been getting a strong acid/ burning in my throat in the morning around breakfast. I never take hcl with breakfast because I usually just eat some berries and nuts- nothing high protein.

I am concerned about this and it seems so strange. Why would I be getting burning 12-15 hours after taking my last Hcl tablets?

Thanks so much for your help!
Mandy

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Scooter August 20, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Hello. I have taken up to 9 tabletes of HCL (650 mg per tablet) and feel absolutely nothing. Do you suggest to keep adding more? The instructions say not to take more than 10 per day but I know they are trying to cover themselves. If I do not feel any warmth sensation nor see any real difference in my digestion, should I keep adding pills to that sensation comes along, even if it is like 12, 15, 20 pills etc..? I guess to ask a better point blank question…..what should be my maximum doseage?
I would like to thank you in advance for your time and for writing the article and answering so many questions.

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lydia August 20, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Scooter,

Let me ask you this – do you think it’s sustainable to take 12, 15 or 20 pills at each meal for even one month?

I don’t recommend you worry about getting to the warming sensation at this point, it’s clear you have a need for hydrochloric acid supplementation. I recommend you stop at 4000 mg. and hang out at that dose so long as you don’t experience any uncomfortable reactions. It should be self-weaning in time but if you still need the supplement after 3 months time you really need to be looking at the underlying reason as to why your body is not producing enough on it’s own.

This is something I work with clients individually on all the time and cover in my online course, Heal Your Gut (which is open for registration)—-> Heal Your Gut

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Scooter August 21, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Thank you for the response. No, I do not think that is sustainable. However, I have come across several sites that say to just keep taking more and more until you feel the sensation of warmth. Honestly, I have tried Soloray brand a few times in the past with little to no success. I know that HCL is to digest protein but it seems to me that acid of any kind should be able to wreak havoc on an apple slice. I did an experiment where I broke 2 of my Soloray capsules open and poured the HCL directly on a couple of thin apple slices in a bowl of shallow, warm water (figuring it would somewhat simulate a stomach). I let the acid sit in the water with some of the acid directly on the top of the apple for 40 minutes and there was absolutely zero difference in the apple.
After that experiment, I decided to seek another brand. I just started trying Standard Process’ brand today which is 605mg. I tried two pills at breakfast and 2 pills at lunch. Hopefully this stuff will be better for me.

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