When you eat food with low hydrochloric acid, it releases high levels of hydrochloric acid into your stomach which makes your digestive tract work faster and causes the gallbladder to become weak and experience pain. It also neutralizes the effects of the pepsin and gastric juices. It also activates pancreatic enzymes which start to digest food from the stomach into your small intestine. The small intestine slowly empties all its contents, a thin, alkaline mass called chalk, into the large intestine. The low pH of chalk triggers the release of pancreatic enzymes, a complex combination of amino acids, water, amino acids, salt, and hormones that helps digest food and break down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
When digestion starts properly, you experience fewer stomach pains and are not likely to experience any heartburn or acid reflux symptoms. However, prolonged use of antacids or stomach acid blockers can reduce the efficiency of your digestive system and thus affect your overall health. Chronic low stomach acid levels also increase the risk of developing serious health conditions like ulcerative colitis and diverticulitis. These conditions affect the lining of your digestive tract and restrict your movement. In some cases, when left untreated, they can lead to cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Common symptoms of hydrochloric acid intolerance
Some common symptoms of hydrochloric acid intolerance include gas or bloating, frequent belching, severe burping, nausea, abdominal distress, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, and excessive food intake. In some people, these symptoms manifest as headaches, asthma, rashes, and skin irritation. You should consult your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. It is best to get regular medical checkups to ensure that there are no serious medical conditions.
If your digestive system does not function well because of too much hydrochloric acid in it, you need to take steps to normalize its function. For starters, you can increase your intake of fluids and fibers and reduce the amount of protein you eat. Simultaneously, you should avoid consuming too many refined carbohydrates and simple sugars. Reduce your consumption of dietary supplements that contain indigestible proteins, and don’t eat excessive amounts of dairy products.
The level of hydrochloric acid in your stomach
The hydrochloric acid produced in the stomach to digest food is normally neutralized by an enzyme called gastric bromide. The level of hydrochloric acid in your stomach may drop below the appropriate level because gastric juices are not secreted as often as they should be. If this occurs, excess stomach acid is secreted instead of being neutralized. Increasing the frequency of your meals, and reducing your consumption of fatty foods and simple sugars can reverse the damage to your stomach lining and help you prevent acid reflux disease.
The absorption of nutrients is also affected by the acidity of your stomach. Because of gastric juices being secreted, your nutrient absorption is decreased. You may also experience a decrease in nutrient absorption if your stomach is unable to produce the number of acids needed for gastric juices. The production of digestive enzymes and probiotics can help alleviate some of the problems caused by stomach acidity, especially if these products are used in large enough amounts.