Many people emailed me to let me know their results from last week’s Super Simple Self Test for Stomach Acid. The most common response was that they didn’t burp at all or it took longer than five minutes. As described in the previous post, this a likely indicator of low—or at least, insufficient—stomach acid. Remember: You need enough stomach acid to completely digest your food.
Is that you? Are you one of the non-burpers? (If you haven’t taken the test yet, read on but commit to taking the test tomorrow morning). If so, you might be asking, “Does that mean I should eat a lot of acidic food?”
The Connection Between the Food You Eat and Digestive Symptoms Isn't Always So Clear
Let’s say you feel lousy after eating tomatoes. Since tomatoes are acidic, you suspect that you have a problem with too much stomach acidity and they tip you over into acid reflux territory.
First let me remind you that it’s usually not high levels of acid that cause reflux. It’s more likely to be the opposite. High levels will keep your LES valve shut and no food will be able to make it back into your esophagus. If you took the Super Simple Self Test for Stomach Acid and found out that you likely have low levels, then the picture sharpens. An acidic food backing up into your esophagus will not feel pleasant.
But there can be more to the picture than that. Heartburn and indigestion are symptoms and symptoms can have a multitude of causes. You might have a lectin sensitivity (you can read about it here.) Even more common would be that you’re sensitive to the tomatoes’ proteins, and your immune system is on the attack (read “Here’s What to Do if Food Sensitivities Are Harming Your Health” and take 15% off EverlyWell’s Food Sensitivity Test to find out your personal problem foods.)
The important thing to remember is that it’s much more effective to treat the root cause and not symptoms.
Okay, but what can or should you eat right now? Whatever makes your body feel good. Seriously. Don’t eat things that you know cause any negative digestive symptoms. Regardless of why they’re doing so, your body is letting you know that these foods should be put on your “Don’t Eat Me” list, at least for the time being.
There are various supplements that can help heal your digestion. You’ve may have heard of digestive enzymes and Betaine HCL. While these can be very effective, it’s best to follow a methodical program or you may not get the results you’re looking for. I’ll share my program with you soon.
Until then, if you’re fairly sure you have low stomach acid, you can try adding a spoonful of either lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to a glass of water that you’ll drink either before or with meals. This might help. It definitely won’t hurt. You may even feel like you’re at a spa (more with the lemon than the ACV).
I’ve been sharing a lot of information about your digestion over the past couple of months. Why don’t you click on the highlighted links below and reread what I’ve written? It should all make sense now, though there’s still a lot to *digest*.
Next week I’ll give you a break and write about something completely different…