Low stomach Acid (Hypochloridia)


Low hydrochloric acid (stomach acid) levels are very common. The older you are, the more likely you are to have low levels: at least 30% of the population over the age of 65 have hypochlorhydria. Hydrochloric acid plays a vital role in digestion and if levels are too low then you whole digestive process does not work properly and you increase your risk of developing food intolerance.

Stress and age contribute to low acid levels, as do nutrient deficiencies, including low levels of the mineral zinc and vitamins B1 and B6.
Deficiencies in zinc and B vitamins are extremely common due to

  • lack of intake from food
  • chronic stress
  • depletion from drinking alcohol and/or smoking

A very small minority of people have high stomach acid, but this is not as common as is generally believed.



The indicators and symptoms are:

  • Belching or gas within an hour of eating

  • Bloating shortly after eating

  • Heartburn or acid reflux

  • Halitosis (bad breath)

  • Loss of appetite for meat

  • Malodorous perspiration

  • Gastric reactivity to vitamin supplements

  • Sense of fullness after meals

  • Desire to avoid breakfast

  • Feel better if avoiding food

  • Post meal sleepiness

  • Easily broken finger nails

  • Anaemia unresponsive to iron

  • Stomach cramps/pains

  • Chronic diarrhoea shortly after meals

  • Black or tarry stools

  • Undigested food in stools

  • Veganism

  • Long-term use of PPIs (Proton Pump Inhibitors) such as Omeprazole or Lanzoprazole


Murray, M & Pizzorno, J 1998 Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Little & Brown

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