Keep your stomach acid healthy
If you have a chronic or auto-immune condition, I always like to test to see if you have low stomach acid. Low stomach acid can make you more prone to absorbing toxins like parasites, heavy metals etc and to developing a fungal overgrowth.
One of the key roles of stomach acid, apart from breaking down protein, is to kill off unwanted pathogens. Low stomach acid can mean that more unwanted pathogens get through than they should. Over time this can be one of the factors that can lead to disease.
Unfortunately the symptoms of low stomach acid can often be the same as high stomach acid (getting reflux during the night is more likely to be a sign of low rather than high stomach acid).
For this reason many people may be misdiagnosed and put on anti-acid prescriptions unnecessarily.
The way you digest your food is key to your health. If you do not break down your food effectively this may mean you are unable to absorb nutrients efficiently.
The result is sub-optimal health.
Something as simple as failing to chew your food efficiently over many years can set off a cascade of events that can lead to an inefficient digestive system – a contributory factor if not the starting point for many diseases.
Your digestive system does not just involve your mouth, oesophagus stomach and small intestine. It also relies on your pancreas, liver and gall bladder, so looking after all of these organs is important to your well-being.
Low stomach acid can be a contributor to bloating where undigested protein makes its way into the small intestine, causing irritation to the gut wall. One of the reasons that gluten is such a big problem is that it is a very difficult protein to break down making it a prime catalyst for disease.
This type of continued irritation can lead to something we now know as a ‘leaky gut’ which allows this undigested protein into the blood stream. Over time, this process can kick start the type of on-going low level inflammation I referred to earlier as being the starting point for a chronic or auto-immune condition.
This is made worse if you have a fungal (candida) overgrowth.
So, low stomach acid can be a precursor to bloating, but there may be other factors involved.