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The Unusual Link Between Low Stomach Acid and Osteoporosis

Integrative physician Jonathan Wright. MD, discovered that 90% of his patients with osteoporosis suffered from low stomach acid. Here's what you need to know.

stomach 260x172 The Unusual Link Between Low Stomach Acid and Osteoporosis Dr. Jonathan Wright, MD, a well-known natural healing physician in Renton, Washington reports that 90 percent of his patients with osteoporosis have low stomach acid. What’s the link? If stomach acid is low, he explains, your body won’t be able to absorb calcium, strontium, magnesium and the other minerals critical to good bone health. Good health is determined not only by what you eat, but also by what you absorb.

Your stomach’s role in bone health

Your stomach produces hydrochloric acid, which is used to digest food. This stomach acid along with the digestive enzyme pepsin can reduce even the toughest piece of meat to liquid. As we grow older, the stomach’s capacity to secrete hydrochloric acid sometimes becomes impaired and the result is lower acid and impaired digestion. Dr. Wright observes that many patients do not respond well to a nutritional program until hydrochloric acid and pepsin are added to their regimen. The same is true regarding a person’s response to some herbal remedies or nutritional supplements. Herbs and supplements can’t exert their therapeutic effects until the active ingredients are released by the action of hydrochloric acid and pepsin in the stomach.

How to know if you have low stomach acid

Hydrochloric acid levels decrease with age, when you are under a lot of stress, and/or when you are taking acid-suppressing medications such as Zantac or Pepcid. A procedure called the Heidelberg test measures the acidity of the stomach, but it is not widely available. You may have low stomach acid if you demonstrate some of the common symptoms of this condition:

  • broken fingernails
  • thinning hair
  • heartburn
  • bloating after meals
  • belching or a feeling that the food is just sitting in your stomach after meals.

We have been taught that those gastrointestinal symptoms are caused by too much acid, but the exact opposite may be more accurate.

Discover what causes osteoporosis and learn natural remedies for osteoporosis symptoms with our top five osteoporosis guidelines in our FREE 13-page report, Osteoporosis Guidelines: Natural Remedies for Osteoporosis Symptoms!

Increasing stomach acid

If you think you would benefit by more stomach acid, you can conduct a therapeutic trial of betaine hydrochloric acid. Available in capsules or tablets, betaine hydrochloric acid is derived from beets and can be found at any health food store or online supplement retailer. Start by taking one capsule in the early part of each of your meals. Then gradually increase the dose by one capsule every few days until you feel a warming or burning sensation within 30 to 60 minutes of taking the dose. Then cut back by one capsule, and stay at this dosage.

Remember, the more stomach acid you have, the better you will be able to digest foods and absorb minerals. Many older adults have a low level of stomach acid as a chronic health condition and it may be necessary for them to continue taking betaine hydrochloric acid tablets indefinitely. Work with your nutritionally oriented doctor to determine if this is necessary or if there is a root cause for you low stomach acid production that can be corrected.

This technique of using betaine hydrochloric acid tablets should not be used by people who have active ulcers, gastritis or heartburn; it may further irritate the stomach lining. Those who are regularly taking medications that can cause ulcers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and other anti-inflammatory drugs should work with their integrative physician to optimize stomach acid production. Remember, without adequate stomach acid, you are just wasting your hard earned dollars on calcium and other bone building supplements.

Learn more about treating osteoporosis naturally in these blogs:

Trace Minerals and Osteoporosis

The Osteoporosis Superfood

Share your experience

Have you used a natural remedy or non-pharmaceutical approach to preventing or treating osteoporosis? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

 

This blog originally appear in 2011 and has been updated.

 

Posted in Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment.

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  1. Igor says

    I have treated acid refulx, GERD, and heartburn by homeopathy and acupressure.You can see if it works for you.Homeopathy:Try a combination of Acid Sulphuricum 30 + Carbo Veg 30 + Nux Vomica 30 4 pills ever 2 hours for one day, then every 4 hours next day, and 4 times daily for 4 days.There are no side effects in homeopathy.There are some home remedies too: Drinking milk or eating milk products are helpful in relieving symptoms of acidity. Foods such as pickles, vinegar, fried foods, hot spicy foods, chocolate, pastries, and raw salad vegetables like onion, radish, cabbage, and peppers should be avoided.b7Clove also helps to relieve the symptoms of acidity. Suck one piece of clove slowly to relieve the symptoms. It also helps to reduce the onset of disease that arises due to acidity. A cup of vanilla ice cream or a glass of cold milk also helps to get relieve heartburn and acidity within minutes. Almonds are also a good source for relieving the heartburn and acidity. Eat several almonds when heartburn symptoms persist. Lemons also help to prevent heartburn. Cut a lemon into thin strips and dip in salt. Eat before meals to prevent heartburn. Take some mint leaves and chop these and then boil in a cup of water and sip slowly after meals. If a person drinks Fresh mint juice every day he will never experience acidity. Jaggery or gur taken after every meal also helps to reduce the acidity. Keep a piece of gur in the mouth and slowly suck it till acidity decreases. Eating bananas is also helpful in preventing the symptoms of acidity and heartburn. To prevent acidity it is advised to eat a banana daily. A mixture of 2 tsp of natural apple cider vinegar and 2 tsp raw honey in a glass of water before meals fights with acidity. Basil (tulsi) leaves helps to get relief from burning, nausea and gas. Chew some leaves of tulsi to decrease the acidity. Coconut water 4-5 times a day decreases the symptoms of the acidity and the heartburn. Harad (Terminalia chebula) if taken after every meal prevents the symptoms of the acidity. 1 tsp juice of chebulic myroblan mixed with 1 tsp of amla (Indian gooseberry) juice helps to prevent acidity and heartburn. Boil one cup of water. To this add 1 tsp of Aniseed (Saunf). Cover and leave overnight. Strain the water in the morning, add 1 tsp of honey. When this is taken 3 times a day it prevents acidity. To 1 bd liters of water add 1 tsp Caraway seeds (shah jeera). Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Sip while warm. Take this liquid 2-3 times a day for 5-6 days. It will decrease the acidity. Take a glass of water, add a pinch of baking soda and drink it. It gives immediate relief from acidity. Take a glass of warm water, add a pinch of hing (asafoetida) and have it every morning to prevent acidity.b7Eat a serving of cucumber or watermelon 4-5 times in a day to fight against acidity.b7Fennel helps to relieve abdominal pain, colon disorders, gas, and gastrointestinal tract spasms. It is an effective remedy for acidic stomach conditions (heartburn). Ginger is very useful for digestive disorders. It help to relieve indigestion from rich foods.b7Make a fine powder by adding equal amounts of ginger powder, black pepper, dried mint leaves, asafetida (hing), anise seeds, coriander seeds, cumin, fennel and common salt. Dosage: Take about 1 teaspoon of this powder with water, twice a day after meals. It is advised to eat 8-10 glass to water daily. Drinking water gives immediate relief to symptoms like wind, distended stomach and acidity. Chewing bubble-gum also disappears the acidity. This is an easy and best way to get rid of Acidity. For heartburn drink a teaspoon of vinegar. It is because there is not sufficient acid in our stomach to digest food properly, thus gasses come back up and burn our stomach. Calcium also helps to fight with the heartburn and acidity. Yoghurt or ice-cream gives immediate relief from acidity and heartburn. 1 tsp juice of chebulic myroblan mixed with 1 tsp of amla (Indian gooseberry) juice daily relieves acidity. Powder one clove and one cardamom; use the powder as a mouth freshener after every meal. No more acidity and no more bad breathe. After food maintain an upright posture to prevent the reflex and to prevent the symptoms of acidity. Sleep with your head and shoulder on a high pillow for elevation. Do not skip meals. Do not keep large gap between meals. This produces gas / wind. Eat dinner 2-3 hours before going to bed. Last but not the least stop smoking and cut down on alcohol. After all three meals, take a small piece of jaggery and keep it in your mouth and suck. Boil one cup of water. To this add 1 tsp of Aniseed (Saunf). Cover and leave overnight. Strain the water in the morning, add 1 tsp of honey. When this is taken 3 times a day it prevents acidity. To 1 bd liters of water add 1 tsp Caraway seeds (shah jeera). Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Sip while warm. Have the concoction 2-3 times a day for 5-6 days. Powder one clove and one cardamom; use the powder as a mouth freshener after every meal. No more acidity and no more bad breath.

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