Stomach acid is a substance that is created by your stomach’s lining and has many different responsibilities regarding your health. Stomach acid helps your body properly break down the food you consume, it helps you absorb the essential nutrients from the food you consume, and acts as the first defense against any microbes that are trying to invade your body. It is vital that you have a balanced amount of stomach acid, because having too much stomach acid or too low of stomach acid can cause complications.
The Impact of Stomach Acid Fluctuation
Low levels of hydrochloric acid in your stomach acid can cause you to experience issues such as bloating, indigestion, heartburn, and irregular bowel movements. There are certain situations that can cause you to have lower levels of hydrochloric acid including a rise in stress levels or even a change in medication.
On the other hand, extremely high levels of stomach acid can cause issues as well. Certain medications, health complications, and stress levels can cause one’s stomach acid to fluctuate too high. Ulcers, which are indicative of stress, can also be responsible for a rise in stomach acid. You can experience heartburn, bloating, nausea, and/or an unpleasant taste in your mouth when you have too much stomach acid. If the rise in stomach acid remains unchecked, it can lead to more serious complications such as gastrointestinal bleeding.
Depending on the cause of your stomach acid fluctuation, there are certain medications that your doctor can prescribe. However, there are also natural ways to promote healthy stomach acid and to stabilize your stomach acid when it does become erratic.
How to Stabilize Low Levels of Stomach Acid
Before trying to treat lower levels of stomach acid, it is important to understand what is causing the fluctuation. However, there are some ways you can work to increase your stomach acid and they are identified below.
1. Practice Mindful Eating
How we eat is just as important a factor to consider as what we eat is. Practicing healthy eating habits during your meal times can help to improve your stomach acid levels, because it will help to alleviate some of the responsibility off of your digestive process. For example, people tend to be distracted when they eat which tends to lead to eating too quickly and eating too much. Eating too quickly means that you are most likely not chewing your food as efficiently as you could.
Chewing your food thoroughly is one of the first steps of digesting your food, and the more broken down you can get the food before it enters your digestive system, the better it will be for your stomach acid production. Chewing your food helps to stimulate your gut health enzymes which are essential in food absorption.
Eating too quickly can also lead to stomach pain, because you are more likely to eat more than your body needs to feel satisfied. Overeating causes digestive complications, but if you eat slower and with intention then you are giving your body enough time to signal to you that it is satisfied.
2. Increase your level of probiotics
Inflammation and an imbalance of bacteria in the gut can go hand in hand with low levels of stomach acid. In order to improve the adverse effects, you can increase your level of probiotics through eating certain foods and taking the right supplements that help with bloating.
The best vitamins for bloating contain probiotics like our Probiotic Renu. It helps to regulate the bacteria in your gut and in turn reduce inflammation. It is recommended to increase your intake of fermented foods as those are the ones that contain probiotic properties. Specifically, raw apple cider vinegar can help to increase your acid levels due to its own acidic levels.
3. Increase your consumption of bitter foods
Bitter foods like arugula, brussel sprouts, and kale are all helpful in increasing your stomach acid levels. It pushes your body to produce the stomach acid and bitter foods are even known to help move digestion along. They are known to help promote the production of digestive enzymes. Due to their taste, many bitter foods can act as a great base for any meal. The next time you are meal planning, be sure to add a bitter food to further promote healthy digestion and stomach acid.
How to Alleviate Heartburn Caused By High Levels of Stomach Acid
Heartburn occurs when your body is experiencing high levels of stomach acid that works its way back up towards your esophagus. As always, be sure to monitor any adverse symptoms you might be experiencing and to give note of those to your doctor, but there are ways you can work to alleviate any immediate heartburn issues that might arise.
1. Be mindful of your post-eating habits
Your body is working through the digestive process immediately after you finish eating. The actions you take after eating will directly impact the effectiveness of your digestive process. Working out or laying down can cause there to be digestive complications. You are increasing your chance of exacerbating the lower esophageal sphincter when you lay down after eating which can cause the contents of your stomach to travel upwards leading to heartburn. On the other hand, do not start being active straight after eating a meal, because it can cause a similar disruption to occur.
2. Limit your soda intake
The carbonation in soda can cause you to start burping which can promote acid reflux to occur, so it is important to limit your intake of carbonated beverages. Instead, try consuming your meals with water or tea.
3. Identify foods you are intolerant to
Acid reflux sometimes occurs when your body does not react well with a certain type of food. For some people, spicy foods tend to trigger an acid reflux reaction in their bodies. It is important to keep track of what foods are impacting you negatively in order to decrease the chances of experiencing acid reflux and heartburn.
The journey to stabilizing your stomach acid is not easy, but in the long run you will benefit from better understanding how it works and how to control it.