How to Improve Stomach Acid Levels: A certain level of stomach acid protects you from many diseases. So do you know how to optimize this level? I am sharing 10 ways to regulate stomach acid levels for you in this article.
As it is known, stomach acid is important to neutralize bacteria and perfect protein digestion in the body. When the body cannot produce enough stomach acid, it causes insufficient digestion and excessive microbial proliferation, especially in the intestines. Most importantly, even if you notice the problem, it takes a while to improve stomach acid levels, so you must make significant changes in your diet and lifestyle to bring the situation to a good level!
The normal volume of gastric acid fluid is 200 – 100 ml, and the PH value is between 1.5 and 3.5. Due to the logarithmic nature of the PH scale, the PH value should be in the range of 1.5 – 2.2 for healthy protein digestion.
So even small changes in stomach acid strength for good digestion will seriously change the result!
6 important functions of stomach acid
- Sterilization of Food; Food brings bacteria and microorganisms, even if they are pasteurized and cooked. No matter how well you think you clean the freshly consumed vegetables, there is a stomach acid waiting inside to deal with the overlooked problems. In this process, unwanted bacteria and microorganisms will become ineffective and make the foundations of a good digestion strong.
- Protein Digestion; Stomach acid is essential to begin the process of breaking down protein. If your stomach acid is weak, the proteins you consume can cause indigestion.
- Pepsin Activation; Pepsin is an enzyme that our body needs to effectively digest protein. Stomach acid makes it work by activating pepsinogen and converting it into pepsin.
- Intrinsic Factor Activation; Stomach acid helps the intrinsic factor (the vehicle that carries B12) work properly, which is a protein produced in the stomach and necessary for vitamin B12 absorption .
- Stimulation of Bile and Enzyme Release; Stomach acid provides the release of bile from the liver, stimulation of the gallbladder and digestive enzymes from the pancreas, which is one of the important elements that will directly improve the digestive system.
- Closing the Esophageal Lid and Opening the Pylorus Lid by Gastric Acid
The pylorus valve is a cover made of circular muscles between the stomach and the duodenum that prevents the waste in the intestine from going back to the stomach. The task of stomach acid here is to activate the pyloric cap and allow food to pass from the stomach to the small intestine.
The esophageal valve at the end of the esophagus is triggered by stomach acid in order to protect the soft tissue of the esophagus. All these processes are essential for a healthy digestion.
Looking at all these substances, even the slightest problem in your digestive system may indicate a problem with your stomach acid. So how do you know if your stomach acid is weak? Let’s examine!
Weak Stomach Acid Problem!
When the body cannot produce enough stomach acid, it cannot digest protein molecules and essential nutrients. Partially digested, protein molecules enter the small intestine and put significant pressure on the pancreas to efficiently digest the protein and produce adequate enzymes.
If the pressure occurs again over time, it wears out the pancreatic enzyme store and causes irritation of the intestinal lining.
Also, if protein molecules are not digested efficiently, the absorption of amino acids required for many of the body’s vital functions does not occur. This may cause amino acid deficiency, delayed recovery, and impairment of important bodily functions.
Large protein molecules and incomplete digestion irritate the gut lining and lead to the leaky gut syndrome. Incomplete digestion can overstimulate the immune system. It also creates a favorable environment for bacterial overgrowth ( SIBO ) in the small intestine, overgrowth of the candida fungus, and the development of parasitic infections.
When we cannot digest the food we eat enough, it causes an increase in inflammatory activity that consumes key minerals and antioxidants in the body. Mineral depletion causes gastric acid deficiency, insufficient digestion, and chronic inflammation. If you think you have a weak stomach acid problem, take a look at the items below.
12 Signs You Have Weak Stomach Acid
Weak stomach acid causes insufficient digestion and the inability of the pylorus valve , which we mentioned at the beginning of the article . With the lids inactive, the food settles in the stomach and is digested by bacteria that survive due to lack of stomach acid, this bacterial fermentation will cause bloating, stomach cramps and belching.
The most common symptoms that indicate a weak stomach acid production are:
- Burping: With a burping that occurs shortly after a meal (within about 60 minutes), it is possible that you have weak stomach acid.
- Reflux : of stomach acid and food from the stomach into the esophagus (esophagus). As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, the most important reason for reflux is the low production of stomach acid and the root of the pylorus is the failure to open the lid.
- Bloating and tightness: Gas from bacterial fermentation in the stomach causes bloating and tightness . This feeling, which usually occurs within an hour after a meal, is one of the biggest symptoms of weak stomach acid.
- Bad breath: One of the reasons for bad breath is caused by toxic metabolites produced by bacterial fermentation in the stomach.
- Bad body odor: Insufficient production of stomach acid causes microbial proliferation in the body in general. More microbes produce more waste.
- Undigested foods appearing in stool: If your stomach acid is weak, you cannot activate or supply other digestive enzymes. This disrupts all digestion and causes you to see undigested food in your stool.
- Red Meat Consumption: Many people with weak stomach acid avoid eating meat and have digestive problems while eating. If you feel bloating and indigestion, especially after consuming red meat, your stomach acid may be weak.
- Post-meal fatigue: If you have a feeling of fatigue even though you do not do any activity after a meal, this may be the result of your digestive system working harder than normal due to the lack of stomach acid.
- Anemia Problem: Anemia is the condition of not having enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the tissues of the body. If you are experiencing conditions such as extreme tiredness, weakness, pale skin, irregular heartbeats, difficulty breathing, dizziness, you may be anemic. In fact, many people with weak stomach acid cannot fill their iron stores despite taking iron supplements. This is another indicator of bad stomach acid.
- Weak Nails: If your nails have signs of protein, mineral and B12 deficiency, such as breakage or peeling, it is useful to monitor your stomach acid level. If the minerals and vitamins you take into your body through food or supplements do not show you positive results, this may be a sign of weak stomach acid.
Additionally, the less you produce stomach acid, the less will be to sterilize the nutrients in the stomach. For this reason, you may be more prone to food poisoning. The clearest example of this is; Although 2 people eat the same food, one gets sick and the other is not affected.
10 Ways to Improve Stomach Acid Levels
How to Improve Stomach Acid Levels: If you suffer from the conditions I mentioned above, if you have weak stomach acid, I want to give you a few tips to help improve your digestion.
By following these substances, you can reduce the stress in your digestive system and absorb nutrients more effectively. These substances will help your body have the resources it needs to produce adequate stomach acid in the future. Once your stomach acid level returns to normal, you will find that there will be a big difference in your overall health and quality of life!How to Improve Stomach Acid Levels:
- Liquid Food Intake: You should take care to consume liquid food throughout the day, you should take at least half of your meals in liquid form. Bone broth with high protein and collagen content is easy to digest and does not need much to break down.
- Ginger Consumption: Ginger is one of the most beneficial sources that can be used to improve digestion. Drinking 2 or 3 glasses of ginger tea every day or consuming ginger (essential) oil by adding 2-3 drops to the water will activate your stomach acid.
- Water Consumption: If your stomach acid is weak, water consumption will activate intestinal motility and reduce microbial fermentation and toxicity in the body.
- Water consumption in meat or meat dishes: When you are going to eat meat, you should stop drinking water at least 60 minutes beforehand. Not drinking water with meat dishes will facilitate digestion and keep the ph level of your stomach acid at a normal level.
- Water consumption after a meal: To improve digestion, you should start drinking fluids at the earliest 60 minutes after eating.
- Lemon: The use of lemon juice in meat and vegetable dishes is an important aid for digestion and absorption of food.
- Protein consumption primarily in the meal: The stomach secretes stomach acid, especially when protein foods are consumed. Generally, people prefer to eat a salad before protein-containing foods, but this is not very suitable for stomach acid production. It would be better to consume protein with salad or vegetable dishes.
- Use fermented vegetables: Fermented foods such as sauerkraut and pickled ginger all contain organic acids, enzymes, and probiotics that help improve digestive juices. I will recommend you to use one of these fermented foods for protein meals.
But make sure your gut is healthy when consuming fermented products. Otherwise, you can damage your intestines.
- Pre-meal relaxation: Your body needs to activate the parasympathetic nervous system for adequate gastric acid production. Pre-meal relief is one of the best ways to improve stomach acid production!
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