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As someone who has spent most of my lifetime with digestive issues of pretty much every sort you could imagine, I feel for them.
What I explain to people who voice their concerns and issues to me is that when it comes to digestion, there are many moving parts. And, like any machine, an issue with any one part can affect the whole system.
One of the key players in digestion is the stomach. More specifically, many issues arise from a problem with Hydrocloric Acid - one of the stomach's principle secretions and an essential part of the digestive process.
Hydrochloric Acid, or HCl, unfolds protein chanins to make them easier to break down. It also combines with another stomach product Pepsinogen to produce Pepsin. Pepsin is needed to actually break down the protein chains so that we can digest them.
A common problem that people experience is having too little stomach acid. This can happen due to a number of factors, including stress, diet, age, overeating, eating while stressed, and even drinking with meals - do any or all of these situations sound familiar?
The effects of having too little stomach acid are many. Most commonly, people with insufficient stomach acid may not be properly absorbing minerals, vitamins, and proteins. They also often experience heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD. Because the latter experiences are felt to be due to too much acid, people take tums or acid inhibitors, which actually can make the situation worse.
If you are experiencing digestive problems, it's important to uncover the cause and to determine whether they are stemming in fact from a low level of essential HCl.