Why You Need Strong Stomach Acid

Plenty of people suffer from low stomach acid and don’t even realize they do. If you have auto immune disease or cancer it’s nearly certain you do. Many of the conventional health issues today; heart burn, reflux, stomach aches and even skin problems are treated with medications that weaken stomach acid more — this makes things really complicated.

We need stomach acid for just about every function. However, when we make our lives overly stressful, it starts to turn down and leads to a whole host of issues. At the root of nearly every health problem; physically, there is this issue of low stomach acid.

This blog is dedicated to my clients and friends who need a foundational bit of health wisdom. Getting your stomach acid levels back up — through the right measures — will be pivotal in improving your health.

Because everything is connected, often fixing just one issue, we fix many. Let’s find out how we can do that…but first, a little bit more on why this stuff is so important.

Why Low-Stomach Acid Is Not A Good Thing

Stomach acid is the body’s first line of defense against germs, bacteria, viruses, fungus, yeast, mold and parasites. It’s call “acid” for a reason, and acid kills germs.

Alkaline substances, such as antacids neutralize acid, allowing dangerous bacteria to grow, which is why antacids are horrible for you. They stop the burning side effects of low-stomach acid — acid reflux — but make things much worse in the long run.

Most people are actually LOW in stomach acid, causing heart burn, reflux and every other digestive disorder we know of. When stomach acid (HCL) is too weak, we cannot digest properly.

Low stomach acid then leads to partially digested food, which means fermenting food in the gut, causing gas, contributing to yeast, bacteria, and parasite overgrowth! At the root of any disease you will find low-stomach acid and an imbalance of “gut-bugs”.

The Many Functions Of Stomach Acid

Stomach acid is incredibly important and serves many functions. It functions as one of the core processes in the digestive process, which influences our entire physiology. For example, iron is required by red blood cells to carry oxygen.

However, proper levels of stomach acid (HCL) are required for proper absorption of minerals like iron, silica and calcium. Because most people’s stomach acids are too weak to do the job properly we have an epidemic of anemia, digestive disorders and public bathrooms that make me want to commit sui.

Other reasons:

  • You need stomach acid to absorb B12, magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc. Anemic? Low B-12? It’s likely not your diet as much as it is your stomach acid. People who are stressed out all the time have low stomach acid and therefore are deficient in these nutrients.
  • Stomach acid stimulates the pancreas and intestines. The release of HCL stimulates the production of bile, which strengthens the intestines and triggers peristalsis. Without it, you’ll have a weak colon and suffer from constipation and a crappy mood.
  • It’s needed for amino acids. Proteins provide energy but are nothing without good digestion. If proteins do not digest properly then things get ugly. The body gets very acidic from undigested food matter, which becomes food for pathogens. Not to mention, without the breakdown of proteins you will not have sufficient amino acids for things like hair, skin, nails, hormones and neurotransmitters.
  • HCL provides the adrenals with nourishment. Adrenal fatigue anyone? If you’re stressed, your stomach acid shuts down. When this happens your adrenals stop getting the proteins and minerals needed to function properly. If you keep stress levels elevated for too long, the adrenals become starved and fatigued. Not only are they hungry, but undigested food causes cortisol to raise, which also depletes the adrenals.

Low-stomach acid is why we get gas. When the food we eat doesn’t properly digest it ferments like the pile of dog shit that’s sitting on my back porch. So it’s low stomach acid levels end up making us anemic, our bones brittle, gives us parasite infections, candida, and even makes our hair turn grey.

We need abundant amounts of silica to have beautiful hair, skin, nails, teeth and everything else in the name of vanity. Silica is a precursor to collagen and elastin, which is responsible for thick strong hair, smooth young skin, healthy nails and cavity free teeth. When we can’t break down silica it leads to not only wrinkles and saggy skin, but emphysema, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and countless other common “diseases”.

By the way, great sources of silica are; cucumber, okra, pine nuts, horse tail, and can be found in supplement form if you’re too lazy to eat real food. 😉

The Real Causes Of Low-Stomach Acid

A common misconception that people have is acid-reflux is caused by too much stomach acid, when in fact, the opposite is usually true. Indigestion is usually the result of not being able to properly digest, in part because of the crap people eat and their crap attitudes.

Candida and yeast overgrowth weakens the upper stomach sphincter valve, which allows stomach acid to leak upwards into the lower esophagus, thus burning it. Eventually, bacterial and yeast issues such as candida begin to grow.

Anything made with wheat or flour, refined sugar and sweet stuff weakens stomach acid. What people don’t know is that stomach acid kills yeast and bacteria and essentially “turns off” the candida growth gene. These bacterial and yeast issues are at the core of our health considering we are more bacteria than we are human.

No one can be totally healthy if they are low in stomach acid, and most people are low. But it’s not by mistake, many of our accepted unacceptable actions have caused it.

Here are a few:

  • Overeating– The stomach acid can’t digest whatever we throw into our mouths. If we don’t eat mindfully we end up only half digesting and ferments, causing rotting food and gas.
  • Stress– When we stress the body doesn’t produce stomach acid because it takes energy. In stress mode the last thing the body thinks it needs is food, so it doesn’t prepare. The thing that goes wrong is most people are just stressed out all the damn time for no real reason. Therefore, when they do eat in their wonderful home that their completely ungrateful for, they’re stressing out on how their life sucks and not digesting the food that some poor mexican just spent 14 hours harvesting sweating his dick off. Chill, be grateful you can eat you damn fools.
  • Poor diet– When we eat a diet that’s incorrect for our body type, one that’s not right for our unique body, high in processed food, and sugar we set up the circumstances for low-stomach acid. For example, processed foods have no nutrients leaving us deficient in nutrients like zinc and B-vitamins (both which are needed in creating sufficient stomach acid). Not to mention processed foods dehydrate the body, a primary cause of poor digestion and low stomach acid. Sugary foods feed bad bacteria and can lead to candida, parasites and H Pylori – a bacteria that is known for eating up the stomach lining causing ulcers and low acid. 
  • Dehydration– Without water our stomach lining dries up and in our protection the body stops making stomach acid. Otherwise, without a lubricated gut, the acid would burn holes in our stomach.

Rebuilding Stomach Acid Levels

The good news is that proper HCL levels can be rebuilt with dietary changes and certain herbs and supplements. There’s no short cut though. As you can see by now everything is connected, there’s no mistake we stop digesting food well and get sick, old and ugly — it happens because we make sick and ugly choices!

That being said, I’ll give you the most well-rounded approach to bringing up stomach acid levels and reclaiming your Disney princess hair, honey buttery smooth skin and that cupcake sprinkle glow back to your eye whites. Here ya go:

  1. Stop Taking Life So Seriously- Understand this word; enlightened, meaning to become light. Lighten up people, life ain’t so serious. The more serious you take something the more important you’re implying it is. What is more important than us, we cannot handle, therefore it handles us. The thing about seriousness is as you move up the degrees seriousness; serious, real serious, God Damn serious, you eventually reach Dead serious. You’re going to die eventually, why rush it? Stop letting life manhandle your ass and do what the cowards never do, and the most courageous people in the world do; stop giving a shit. The bravest thing you will ever do is be completely serine and blissed out because you CHOOSE to every moment. Stop handing fucks out like a horny 13 year old boy giving away Valentines on February 14th — no one even likes those things anyway. Instead, practice the Ancient Zen Art of Not Giving A Shit. Start giving away love, everyone loves that shit and it doesn’t give you a gut infection.
  2. Hydrate– This one isn’t rocket science, drink high-quality, REAL water. If you’re drinking tap water I feel bad for you son, you got like 99 problems and fluoride is only one. Ditch the tap, you’re better than that. Drink S. Pellegrino, Mountain Valley, or Gerolsteiner. These waters are pure spring water with the dissolved solids (minerals) still intact, making them incredibly hydrating. If you’re always thirsty and drinking water it’s because you drink poop water. At the very least get a gallon of spring water and add some real sea salt to it for minerals. Minerals, especially sodium and zinc, are needed for proper secretion of stomach acid.
  3. Restore Bacterial Balance-  If the stomach contains the wrong kind of bacteria, this can create an overly alkaline environment. In order to bring the inner ecosystem of the stomach back into balance, fermented foods are extremely important. Foods fermented with a culture starter provide beneficial bacteria and yeast that replenish your gut and help fight infection and overgrowth. If you show signs of bacterial overgrowth then the small intestine needs aid. This is where fermented foods will assist the bacterial environment of the small intestine in returning to a state of balance. Here’s a hot tip; the small intestine should be relatively free of all bacteria (the good and the bad)—it is the large intestine, or the colon, that offers long-term housing to your helpful microbes.
  4. Support The Small Intestine- Once the small intestine begins to digest and pull nutrients from food, we see the release of the remaining 10% of stomach acid. The small intestine is an alkaline environment; it releases alkaline fluids, like bile (from the gallbladder) and enzymes (from the pancreas). If the pancreas is exhausted it is unable to produce the enzymes that the body needs to break down food. Other times, there is an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, making the small intestine overly acidic and interfering with the activation of enzymes. Signs of bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine include cramping pain and heartburn. When the pancreas is exhausted and not producing the full spectrum of enzymes that you need to break down food, it is essential to supplement. My favorite is Assist SI targets the small intestine and specifically delivers enzymes to help with the digestion of food.
  5. Apple Cider Vinegar-  It helps to take some raw apple cider vinegar with water several times a day (3x daily just before meals). I go through tons of this stuff weekly. I add it to my  gauc, sauces and dressings for salads. You can find inspiration for recipes for salad dressing and sauces all over my Instagram.
  6. HCL& Betaine– As you eat and chew your stomach becomes increasingly full, along with the presence of amino acids trigger the release of stomach acid. Roughly 50-60% of stomach acid is released during this time. In order for your body to pick up on the presence of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), it needs to first break down proteins. It does this with the help of stomach acid. It is a vicious cycle. If you didn’t get enough stomach acid during the first step (de-stressing) you most likely won’t be able to release enough stomach acid during any preceding steps, no matter the fancy supplements. So considering you’ve lightened up and are working more importantly on a healthy mind and diet then HCL can be incredibly beneficially. My favorites are Thorne’s HCL and Body Ecology’s Protein & Dairy Assist. Both products use the purest ingredients on the market, they’re highly researched. These pills mimic the release of stomach acid and work wonders. Do not use them long term as they can make you dependant, but while healing they will dramatically help by warming your body back up to being comfortable with producing HCL.
  7. Mastic gum – This is a powdered tree resin that can be purchased in capsule. It is great for helping get rid of H Pylori. One of the first obstecles to regaining your digestive fire is getting rid of the roadblocks like bacterial infections.

So you see, stomach acid affects practically every bodily function, and without proper levels of stomach acid, we literally start falling apart at our core. Proper levels of stomach acid are needed by the body and mind for everything. I’ve covered enough here for the day.

If you want to learn more watch this informative video, and for specifics, you can get my eCourse at Perfect Digestion or coach with me.