Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, dietician, nutritionist, or any other food/health/medical expert. All of the information in this blog post has been gathered on the internet and I’m simply sharing what I read. If you are having digestive distress, I would recommend that you speak with your doctor immediately and not self diagnose.
It is an ongoing battle over here, Angela vs. her stomach. I was feeling much better Wednesday and ate pretty normal. Thursday was a whole different story. I woke up fine but was in pain from breakfast on. I made sure to thoroughly pay attention to my symptoms throughout the day and have come to a new self-diagnosis (not recommended): low stomach acid.
Low and high stomach acid can often be confused (luckily I knew this already because I’ve had both before). Often times, acid reflux (heart burn) is caused by low stomach acid. Basically, not enough acid means your food is just sitting there in your stomach, eventually fermenting, and pushing gases up your esophagus – heart burn. So you can see how it could be confused with high stomach acid.
On Tuesday, my pains were similar to the gastritis I had in the past (high stomach acid, one giant stomach ulcer) and came on after eating a high acidic food, but all of my symptoms on Thursday point to low acid (so confusing!). Some symptoms of low stomach acid include:
- Stomach upset (obviously).
- Heart Burn (burning sensation in esophagus).
- Burps after eating.
- A feeling of fullness, like your food is just sitting in your stomach.
- Gas a few hours after eating (from all that fermented food).
- Constipation. (Or diarrhea – basically abnormal bowls).
- Passing undigested food.
So I got to more hunting on the internet for natural (and Paleo) solutions to this little problem and what I’ve read is that I can:
- Do the beet juice test to see if I’m right.
- Start drinking Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) or lemon water with meals.
- Eat fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi.
- Eat less carbs, more protein.
- Eat more sea salt.
So that’s the new plan of attack. Luckily, those foods I bought the other day were on the right track (mostly high protein, except the bananas). Today, I’m going to run to the store for some fermented vegies and a couple other things. I’m drinking some tea with ACV and honey (to mask the vinegar) right now and its going ok so far. If I had high stomach acid, I would have increased pain but so far, its been decreased so that is a good sign. I haven’t eaten anything yet today either. Now that I know protein and fat are safe, its time to break into those hard boiled eggs I have!
I’m going to continue to keep track of my symptoms and eat safely. I’m hoping its all gone by next week. Also, this seems to happen to me often so I am going to start supplementing daily with ACV in my tea. In the meantime, here are some websites I used for the information above:
I’m just providing this in the hopes that it can help someone else too!
Have you had stomach acid imbalances before? How did you treat it?