Low Stomach Acid and SIBO

Low Stomach Acid & SIBO

Hypochlorhydria is a deficiency of hydrochloric acid within the stomach. The lining of your stomach is protected by stomach secretions that are made up of hydrochloric acid, a mucus coating, and several different enzymes. Stomach acid or hydrochloric acid helps the body break down and digest foods, as well as, absorbing nutrients. It also plays an important role in eliminating viruses and bacteria in the stomach, protecting the body from infections.

  • What Causes Hypochlrhydria?

  • Chronic Stress: Too much stress can lead to a decrease of stomach acid.
  • Medications: Different medications such as acid reflux and heartburn medicines can lower the amount of acid in our stomach.
  • Bacterial Infection: Numerous health issues can lead to decreasing stomach acid and also the increase of stomach acids. Bacterial infections lead to a decrease.
  • Stomach Surgery: Surgical procedures can alter the amount of stomach acid. A gastric bypass decreases the amount of acid in the stomach.
  • Zinc Deficiency: Zinc is required for the production of stomach acid, a deficiency of this mineral will lower the amount of stomach acid created.

Low Stomach Acid Symptoms

  • Bloating
  • Gas (Belching)
  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhea
  • The craving to eat when not hungry
  • Indigestion
  • Upset Stomach

The Link/Connection

SIBO or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is a condition where there are too many bacteria present in the intestines. Bacteria isn’t such a bad thing when it comes to our gut health, they’re actually necessary for the digestion process. SIBO symptoms are relatively similar to those produced by having low stomach acid.

Low acid levels in your gut can lead to extra bacteria lingering around when they shouldn’t be. Food isn’t breaking down as sufficiently as it should be, the undigested food combined with unabsorbed nutrients and digestive enzymes creates an environment perfect for bacterial overgrowth.  Now with that said, it is also possible for SIBO to cause low stomach acid. Taking a LBT or lactulose breath test is one of the non-invasive ways to test for SIBO. If you have low stomach acid or SIBO symptoms schedule a breath test or get one of the at-home breath test kits so you can begin SIBO treatment. 

The use of SIBO antibiotics and the necessary dietary adjustments will help to treat SIBO, as well as, getting the hydrochloric acid levels balanced out. Pharmaceutical antibiotics can cause harsh effects on the lining of the intestine which simply adds more fuel to an already lit fire you can use a natural SIBO treatment regimen that can be just as effective if not more effective.