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Low Stomach Acid? Check Your Stress Levels - Teri Cochrane

Low Stomach Acid? Check Your Stress Levels

Stress. No matter who you are or what you do, you experience some form of stress. We know that stress can impact our weight, skin health, and mental wellbeing - but did you know it could also be disrupting your digestion on a chemical level?

HCL (hydrochloric acid or stomach acid) is critical for good digestion and immune health. Yet so many of us are put on antacids when we have acid reflux. In my clinical experience, reflux is (surprisingly!) usually a symptom of low stomach acid. When we have low stomach acid, our protein digestion is impaired. With low stomach acid, protein moves into the small intestine partially-digested, which can cause fermentation and putrefaction - and even worse, leaky gut.

What's The Stress Connect?

Hydrochloric acid secretion may be completely inhibited by stress, emotion, or worry. It is the low-grade, long-term, emotionally-oriented life stress that is generally the culprit here. Initially, stress caused by intense situations or a desire for high performance is associated more with HCL over (hyper) secretion and peptic ulcer disease. As stress continues, even at low-grade levels, the body is exhausted and HCL production is no longer adequate for healthy digestion.


One way to naturally increase stomach acid is by drinking a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar before a meal (avoid this method is you are experiencing significant stomach irritation or and Ulcer). Zinc carnosine, or a plant enzyme like bromelain or papain may also be helpful in supporting a low-acid system.

Food for thought! If stress is causing your issue, then consider prayer or meditation before a meal to calm the system before food is introduced - or review your lifestyle. Do you always watch TV while you eat? Are you on your phone? Do you spend dinner worrying about what will happen tomorrow?

Cut it out! Focus on the abundance of your food - blessings & nutrition, always. 

To The Tru Of You,
Teri Cochrane

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