The Stomach Acid Problem Nobody Thinks They Have


I’ve written before about our body’s epithelial cells, about which we know next to nothing. But the carnage caused by damaged epithelial cells–atrial fibrillation, COPD, interstitial cystitis, irritable bowel disease, dementia, and/or a whacked endocrine system, is very well known, indeed.

So, what to do?

First, avoid two major causes of epithelial damage: Medical treatments, such as gastric bypass surgery, that wreak havoc on us, and fluoride, a complete health disaster.

And fix the common health problem nobody thinks they have–low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria, for those who like big words).

And let there be no mumbling about high stomach acid, please. You may think that’s your problem. Perhaps you were even told it was, maybe even given a prescription to take the acid down a notch or two.

Well, I hate to be the one to break the news, but you almost surely don’t have high stomach acid.

But, but, but, how can that be? I mean, what about all the symptoms that point to an acid flood as far as the eye can see?

Here’s the deal: High stomach acid and low stomach acid have the same symptoms. Both give you heartburn, acid reflux, GERD and so on, with no way to tell them apart.

Insurance companies have ruled that stomach acid tests are unnecessary, and doctors who order the test risk the wrath of medical poobahs, even losing their medical license.

And since medical schools don’t teach anything about low stomach acid, doctors have no hesitation to pass out scripts for antacids. To them, acid reflux, GERD, heartburn, etc. can only mean one thing, and an antacid is the solution.

But if you have low stomach acid, antacids make things worse. A lot worse.

Realizing something was amiss, Jonathan Wright MD set up an experiment. For about a year, he tested all patients who mentioned stomach acid symptoms and found that more than 90% of them actually had low stomach acid levels.

Why is this important?

Without enough stomach acid, you can’t digest protein, and the undigested protein starts chewing up the epithelial cells that line your small intestine. This leaves cracks through which the undigested protein leaks into your blood, where it doesn’t belong. If you find yourself dancing a fast tango to the bathroom upon frequent, unexpected occasions that’s probably what’s going on.

And if you don’t do something wonderful, the epithelial damage will spread along the path of least resistance to create mayhem in other body parts.

This is how damaged epithelial cells can lead to autoimmune diseases, including lupus and celiac. Gallbladder problems, too. All sorts of skin aggravations. Most cancers. Etc.

I talk about solutions in my Moving to Health program. They aren’t difficult, but they do take some understanding.

For now, let’s talk about some of the symptoms that point to low stomach acid. Everybody probably has one or two of these symptoms from time to time, but if the list seems to call your name, consider it a big clue.

Ten symptoms of low stomach acid
•    Bloating, belching and/or excessive gas after eating
•    An itchy rectum
•    Digestive dismay that interferes with your life
•    Food sensitivities, with more and more foods joining the parade as time goes by. Tests may find antibodies
•    Small, broken blood vessels on your face, mainly on your cheeks, perhaps on your  nose
•    Nausea after eating or taking supplements
•    Weak, splitting, cracking fingernails
•    Food comes out looking a lot like it went in, a sure sign digestion’s not happening
•    Anemia
•    Candida that moves in and takes over

And I should also mention that adequate stomach acid is your body’s defense against food poisoning.

Unfortunately, we’re on our own when it comes to dealing with low stomach acid.

Fortunately, this is a natural do-it-yourself process.

God is good,
Bette Dowdell

About the author: Bette Dowdell defines determination. In a really deep health ditch, with doctors who didn’t help, she got her Oh-Yeah! attitude in gear and researched her way out. She never intended to be a health expert, but sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. You can subscribe to Bette’s free e-mails on how to solve health problems at

Bette Dowdell
A drunk driver pretty much destroyed my health a month before my first birthday. Doctors said I was fine--for years. Finally realizing my health was up to me, I started researching. I got out the health ditch I was in, and found my future: Giving people the information they need to understand how to take control of their own health. It's been an amazing journey, and I look forward to all that is yet to come.