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Stomach Acid Deficiency (Hypochlorhydria)

Stumbled across this condition (low stomach acid production) and I think I may be getting closer to the "root of all evil".

In my search for a systematic 'cause' of my acne (prime suspects: hormones/digestion/candida/parasites) I didn't really stop to consider that there might be some other fundamental cause of it all. Sure enough, if you have poor stomach acid you become prone to an array of other problems that all start with not being able to produce the nutrients/hormones that your body requires.

"Even a slight deficiency of electrolyte minerals has a progressive effect (in hypochlorhydria) on our assimilation of all nutrients and every bodily process suffers. "

For me personally, along with explaining all of my other 'symptoms', this persuasively explains why I am ailing despite my excellent eating habits, exercise habits, and gentle/natural skin care regimen. Take a closer look into this and see for yourself (I've provided a snippet from page 3)


(Page 3) Published research has listed Dysbiosis as the cause of arthritis, autoimmune illness, chronic fatigue, cystic acne, the early stages of colon and breast cancer, eczema, food allergy/sensitivity, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, psoriasis and steatorrhea. All bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections found with hypochlorhydria are linked to Dysbiosis. Liver detoxification is further compromised by the growing load of toxic byproducts from these infections. [10] Because the body is extremely depleted with long term hypochlorhydria, there is a very low immune response (e.g. a significant number of the immune system's enzymes work best in the presence of zinc, iron and B 6.) [30] Antibody blood tests with negative findings may mislead doctors and patients while infections rage on unchecked. A rectal swab test (for parasites) may be helpful. Probiotic supplementation is essential. [16]

General Symptoms of Hypochlorhydria are: halitosis (bad breath), a loss of taste for meat, epigastric pain, distress, fullness, distension, nausea, gas, diarrhea and constipation, vomiting and even severe heartburn. [31]

The emptying time of the stomach is slowed and the food ferments, producing irritating acids and gasses. [2,10] Undigested food alone can damage the lining of the esophagus, stomach and intestine. [28] Under normal conditions, the stomach is protected by a thick alkaline mucous coating, and by prostaglandins, the underlying cell messengers which signal a cell to move over and take the place of a damaged cell. However, this protection is often missing under conditions causing or caused by hypochlorhydria, Under psychological stress, mucous secretion decreases and with the use of aspirin or anti-inflammatories for pain etc. the biosynthesis of prostaglandins is inhibited. [32] But far more damage results from the deficiencies caused by low stomach acid.

The synthesis of linoleic acid into gammo-linolenic acid (GLA), as well as GLA into the prostaglandin PGI, are dependent on zinc, B6 and magnesium. Prostaglandins of 3 series are dependent on zinc, niacin and vitamin C. (Manganese and chromium are also needed for the synthesis of fatty acids.)20 Series I and 3 (PG1 and PG3) are the anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. They work with antioxidants such as C and E (both low or missing with hypochlorhydria) to quench or modulate the inflammatory process. Through the inflammatory process, damaged cells are removed, toxins are eliminated, invading microorganisms are overcome, and the repair process begins. [2] With hypochlorhydria's deficiencies, this process goes seriously awry. The necessary nutrients for a healthy digestion, digestive tract and body are the same ones we have more and more difficulty digesting. [31] Vitamins A, E and especially C offer significant protection against virtually all forms of cancer, including cancers of the oral cavity, esophagus, col on; pancreas, breast and cervix; [20] their essential cofactors cannot be adequately supplied with low stomach acid. [15] Hypochlorhydria is self-perpetuating and has growing complex ramifications.

...however I'll be the first to admit that this then begs the question of what the underlying cause of low stomach acid is...

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There does seem to be some evidence that low stomach acid will cause acne. If you believe that you have some of the other symptoms of low stomach acid, such as feeling overly full after meals and not enjoying meat, then indeed you ought to consider what might be causing this.

Of course the first thing you should do is be tested to see if you in fact DO have low stomach acid levels. You DO NOT need to get a tube shoved down your throat for this, there are blood tests that can measure the levels of digestive pro-enzymes that are not being properly released because elevated stomach acid levels are needed to signal their release.

If for some reason you can't/won't be tested for low stomach acid, then current research suggests the most likely single cause would be Helicobacter pylori, an infectious bacterium that lives in the mucus surrounding your stomach lining and secretes an enzyme, Urease. This enzyme breaks down the urea your stomach secretes in order to help digest food, and one the products of this break down is ammonia, which is basic and neutralizes your stomach acid levels. You can get a blood test for Helicobacter pylori, which tests for antibodies your immune system has raised againt the bacterium.

If you find anything out, post it here!

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There does seem to be some evidence that low stomach acid will cause acne.


Quick search of pubmed for "stomach acid acne". Nope, no evidence there.

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There does seem to be some evidence that low stomach acid will cause acne.


Quick search of pubmed for "stomach acid acne". Nope, no evidence there.

seriously dude? uhh....let me google that for you.

low stomach acid leads to undigested food particles.

which can slip into the blood stream if there is Leaky Gut Syndrome.

low stomach acid can lead to more pathogens, candida and viruses in the body.

Here's some stuff from bodyecology.com

HCl's important functions include:

* Breaking down proteins into the essential amino acids and nutrients your body needs in order to stay healthy.

* Stimulating your pancreas and small intestines to produce the digestive enzymes and bile necessary to further breakdown the carbohydrates, proteins and fats you eat.

* Preventing disease by killing pathogenic bacteria and yeast normally present in food.

There are two main consequences of low stomach acid:

1. You become protein malnourished. When your stomach acid is low, you are not able to digest protein.

* Improper digestion of protein creates toxins in your intestines that can set the stage for illness and disease.

* Improper digestion of protein also creates acidic blood, since protein is by nature acidic.

2. You become mineral deficient. As your blood becomes more acidic, it will look for minerals from anywhere in your body, in order to get your blood to its more ideal alkaline state. Acidic blood robs your body of minerals, even taking minerals from your bones (which is important to know if you want to prevent osteoporosis).

Once this vicious cycle has started, there is a cascade of consequences:

* You could eat plenty of protein and still be protein malnourished. This raises cortisol levels (stress or death hormone), thereby raising your blood glucose (blood sugar levels). Elevated cortisol adversely affects your behavior and temperment.

* Eventually, your adrenals become depleted (adrenal fatigue) and DHEA, the youth hormone, is suppressed, leading to premature aging.

Symptoms of Low Stomach Acid

Here are some of the common symptoms and disorders caused by low stomach acid1,3:

* Bloating, belching, and flatulence immediately after meals

* Heartburn (often thought to be caused by too much stomach acid)

* Indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation

* Undigested food in stools

* Acne

* Rectal itching

* Chronic candida

* Hair loss in women

* Multiple food allergies

* Iron deficiency

* Weak, peeling, or cracked fingernails

* Chronic fatigue

* Adrenal fatigue

* Dry skin

* Various autoimmune diseases

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Isn't it opposite,that Higher acid causes acne and low acid makes you gain weight easily?I'm confused I have a very strong stomach acid...(I mean I could eat an hour later, after eating 5-7 full plates of food at Chinese buffet and still super skinny)...and I think that is the reason that I had acne...(Thank god I am clear now,oily but clear and that's most important... :angel: )

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Low stomach acid can be caused by many things. Poor diet, hypo/hyperthyroidism, stress, adrenal fatigue, etc.

I would get a comprehensive blood test done that takes a look at your thyroid and hormones and also your mineral levels.

Low stomach acid usually results in pretty severe, persistent acne.

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