If you have stomach pain and bloating, it could be due to a condition that is known as achlorhydria or hypochlorhydria.
This is a condition in which your stomach does not produce adequate amounts of hydrochloric acid, or HCI.
This condition is extremely common in those individuals who have been diagnosed with the conditions of fibromyalgia- also called fibro, chronic fatigue syndrome- or CFS, and also research has shown it is also connected to childhood asthma.
In order for your stomach to properly digest proteins and to empty correctly, it requires acid. If it is unable to do these things, it can result in a condition known as GERD, or gastro-esophageal reflux disease.
In addition, stomach acid is necessary for sterilization of the stomach and to kill any yeast and/or bacteria that is possibly ingested. When you experience pain and bloating, it means that your digestive tract is not happy at all.
If you experience symptoms of irritable bowel, undigested food in your stool, gastric reflux, nausea, allergies/sensitivities to certain foods, indigestion, acne, muscle and joint aches, problems with your immune system and other symptoms, you could be dealing with the condition known as hypochlorhydria caused by fibro or CFS.
In addition, many times individuals with the conditions of fibro, CFS, and other chronic pain conditions take medications to block production of stomach acid- which leads to more symptoms of bloating and pain- which creates a never ending cycle.
Pain/Bloating Due to Failure to Properly Digest Foods
There are some trace elements that are critical for your body to function normally.
If you do not have these, then the biochemistry of your body will slow down, causing organs to become sluggish, which results in the aging process accelerating.
If your stomach is unable to sterilize itself, you will be much more likely to develop infections of your gut such as enterovirus or gastro-enteritis.
Individuals who are suffering from the condition of hypochlorhydria will often also experience the following conditions:
Asthma, Hives, Eczema, Psoriasis, and Celiac Disease
These conditions often develop when food is not properly digested. Large particles of food enter into the lower intestines where your immune system attacks them- which causes an allergic reaction.
This results in food allergies that can manifest in symptoms in areas other than your digestive tract- such as your lungs and skin.
Macular degeneration, chronic fatigue syndrome, auto-immune disorders, pernicious anemia, lupus, osteoporosis
These conditions can occur as a result of nutrient malabsorption. When you do not have an adequate amount of hydrochloric acid to digest food and absorb nutrients, you end up becoming deficient. In order to function properly, our bodies need nutrients.
Stomach cancer, Helicobacter Pylori- or H. Pylori
These conditions result from the inability of the stomach to kill bacteria, fungus, and yeast because of the lack of hydrochloric acid used to kill it.
Stomach inflammation, acid reflux, stomach ulcers, Barrett’s Esophagus, GERD
These conditions are the result of the inability of the stomach to empty itself, causing the contents to simply sit, becoming stagnant and fermenting. This results in symptoms of bloating, belching, gas, and the opportunity for those acids to travel up into your esophagus.
Please keep in mind that if you have been experiencing any of the above conditions or severe signs and symptoms, you should speak with a gastroenterologist as soon as possible.
It is critical that you keep in mind that around 80 percent of your immune system is actually located in your digestive tract.
It is necessary to keep it as healthy as possible so that it can keep doing what it is meant to do:
How to Control Pain and Bloating
The very first and most important step you must take to prevent pain and bloating of your stomach is to keep your digestive system as healthy as possible.
This can be done by using a high-quality, plant based enzyme to help with digestion. These enzymes work with the low pH of your stomach- and a high-quality probiotic.
You should be taking a probiotic supplement each and every day. The best time to take it is when you wake up with a glass of water.
Experts say that probiotics are filled with good bacteria, which will help your body to properly digest foods and protect you against harmful bacteria.
The digestive enzymes should be taken just before each meal. You can chew them or sprinkle them on your food.
These enzymes will help your body to break down the nutrients so that your body will be better able to absorb them and then use them.
You can also speak with your physician about taking a hydrochloric acid, or HCL tablet. If you do this, you should take it after you’ve started eating a meal, as the directions will state on the bottle.
This tablet will break down fats and proteins and help your body to better absorb calcium, iron, protein, and vitamin B12. However, you should never add this supplement to your diet without first speaking with your physician.
Keep in mind that if you are considered to be “high risk”, you should not be taking an HCL supplement without being supervised.
You are considered to be high risk if you are currently taking any anti-inflammatory medications- which, if you have fibro or other chronic pain conditions- you probably are.
These medications can cause damage to the lining of your GI tract and taking an HCL supplement could cause it to become aggravated, which could lead to an ulcer or bleeding.
Following are some tips that can help you to properly digest your food:
- Make sure that you’re chewing your food thoroughly.
- Instead of eating three large meals, eat several small meals through the day, as they are easier to digest.
- Drink either before or after, not during a meal- fluids cause stomach acid to become diluted.
- Avoid tap water, as it contains chloride, which actually kills the good bacteria in your GI tract, which compromises the functioning of your digestive and immune systems.