Betaine HCl Dosage for Acid Reflux and Poor Digestion
*Melissa's note - This submission was originally posted in the comments section for my HCl Supplements Effect on Body pH page. I moved it here because I thought the story shared by this anonymous visitor deserved its own page.*
I was recently told I had pancreatitis which I believe is a result of poor digestion that I began noticing two years ago.
It has been a long road and several doctors, but I feel that I am finally figuring it out.
First it was an allergist who told me that I had a host of food sensitivities via blood test and high candida. I followed his elimination regimen and felt better for a while until I started experiencing LPR (a kind of acid reflux) in my throat and ear.
An ENT prescribed me a generic antacid which I took for a while but it didn't seem to do much.
Then I saw a nutritionist who took a more natural approach, and helped me with digestive enzymes and candida support.
All these treatments helped, but nothing really cured me.
Having begun an HCl regimen, I feel that the last of my symptoms are going away- no more extreme fatigue after eating (my energy is actually quite good now), no more yawning all day, no more heart palpitations, no more poor bowel movements, and no more just generally not feeling great as I eat very well.
Your description of what is going on all makes perfect sense to me. If I was not assimilating the food that I was eating properly - if my stomach did not aid in digestion - it would end up stressing my other digestive organs.
I had blood work done today for H. Pylori and some other things the GI ordered, but I am going to have another doctor look at them as he told me to take Nexium the same day I put myself on HCl and refused his prescription- and felt much better for it.
Now my question is....I have taken up to 7 650 mg HCl with Pepsin tablets and felt no burning- why? I have dosed back down to 5 because I feel good when I take 5, sometimes 6 if I feel any reflux, sometimes 4.
I've read on another site that this method is really only testing the strength of the mucosal barrier in your stomach. Is it possible I have low acid and a strong barrier? Or is the HCl just shadowing a different digestive problem.
I'm feeling much better on the HCl, but really just trying to figure out the source of all my problems. Your help is much appreciated.RESPONSE
Good for you for refusing the Nexium prescription. Standing up to your doctor and taking your health into your own hands takes courage.
These acid reflux/heartburn medications that the doctors profit off of actually make the problem worse. I describe why on this page:Acid Reflux Medications Negatively Affect Body pH Levels
The Betaine HCl tablets will actually address the issue and remedy your acid reflux and poor digestion. It's natural, safe, and inexpensive.
Now, onto your questions. Are you taking the 7 Betaine HCl pills with each meal or per day? Seven per day seems quite reasonable to me (2-3 per main meal). Seven per meal would be high, but not unheard of.
In any case, if you are feeling better taking five HCl pills, then stick with it. It is very important to listen to your body.
Once your alkaline mineral reserves start being replenished, you'll no doubt start to feel a little bit of burning with your current dose (which then would be the signal to lower the dose).
Keep in mind we are talking about just a little burning – it would be easy to miss if you are focused on something else. Don't expect to be breathing fire. :)
It also isn't unusual to need slightly different numbers of tablets each day. It depends on your meal really.
If you are eating a meal with a lot of protein and fat, you'll need to take more HCl then if your main course was mostly carbohydrates. Bigger meals also require more HCl than smaller meals.
Eventually you'll get to the point where you won't need the Betaine HCl supplement anymore. Once your mineral reserves are completely replenished, and your body pH
returns to normal, your stomach will be able to make as much acid as it needs.
And, most importantly, you will be much healthier for it.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Wishing you the best of health,