Hydrochloric Acid and Digestion

September 8, 2015

Hi I’m Dr. Amanda Ward from Bloom Natural Health, and today I’m going to talk about my favorite part of the body, the digestive tract. But more specifically, the stomach, which is the beginning of the digestive tract. Even more specifically, let’s talk about Hydrochloric Acid. This is something that comes up repeatedly when I’m working with patients and going through their lab work. What we’re seeing is that a lot of people are no longer releasing enough hydrochloric acid, and this causes a whole cascade of digestive issues. We all know that digestive issues can cause issues everywhere else in the body.

What’s supposed to happen is that when we start eating, we chew our food, and it goes down our esophagus, through a valve, and into the stomach. In response, we have cells called parietal cells in the stomach that should start to release a TON of hydrochloric acid into the stomach. Food is going to churn in there for a while.

Hydrochloric acid is very acidic – this is the one place in the body that we want to be acidic. This serves purposes: #1: if we just swallowed a bunch of parasites, bacteria, god-knows-what, it’s going to kill all that off, and #2: it literally pulverizes our food and mashes it into small particles, so that by the time the food gets down into the intestines it is super small, so that all our little villi, those finger-like things on the intestines, can extract and absorb our nutrients.

The bummer that happens when you don’t have enough is: A) it’s going to be easier to catch infections because you don’t kill it off, B) you’re not going to absorb nutrients from your food because it wasn’t broken down well enough, but the third thing that happens is because you don’t break down that food well enough, it’s going to sit around in your intestines and going to overgrow bacteria and yeast. You’ve all heard about candida and E. coli. The root of much of that is the lack of hydrochloric acid. The way you can feel this is extreme bloating: you eat a meal and your stomach goes from flat to 9 months pregnant in like 2 minutes – NOT NORMAL!

So, it’s a common issue, and seriously, if you think you have a little digestive issue, you might want to come in and ask some questions. So, I hope to see you here at Bloom Natural Health!

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