If it is low acid causing the food to ferment and then produce more acid and gas, then wouldn't taking PPI's lower the acid further and worsen the problem?
In a few cases it can. But most people have such a low stomach acid production that 1-3 capsules a day completely stop any acid production. So you have no stomach acid - and no heartburn. But probably some other serious health issues soon.
I was taking parriet and it definitely helps my symptoms. Prior to the parriet I have experimented the low acid idea by taking ACV and at one time I took some acid, but I can't remember what. Neither of the acids helped at all. In fact it made matters worse.
There's a simple test to figure out if you have a lack of stomach acid. However you need the supplement "Betaine HCL".
How do you test for low HCl? Here are a few ways:
1. From your blood chemistry screen values, or by a urine test
2. A string test where you swallow a string in order to measure your stomach pH ? not a pleasant test, incidentally
3. An examination of the reflex point on your abdomen, an inch below the bottom of the breastbone on the edge of the left rib cage
4. Presence of a zinc deficiency; an insufficient amount of this mineral is associated with hypochlorhydria
5. Presence of vertical ridges on your nails
6. Stool testing
7. Amino acid profile tests
Finally, there is a simple test you can do at home, but I suggest you talk to a physician qualified in nutritional medicine before you try it. Nutritionally oriented physicians often prescribe this test along with a zinc challenge test. It requires a bottle of Betaine HCl, at 200 mg potency per capsule. Here is how it is performed:
Have a high-protein solid meal (no shakes). Let's say for illustration purposes a 12-ounce steak and vegetables.
Eat half the protein, roughly 6 ounces of the steak.
Swallow a 200mg capsule of HCl.
Eat the other half of the steak and the vegetables.
Wait 15 minutes.
If your stomach acid is normal, you will feel like you just drank a hot cup of tea. If you feel nothing, you need HCl as a supplement. So what do you do next? At every meal repeat steps 1 to 6, upping the dose one capsule per meal until you feel the burning sensation. So if it takes five meals to get a burning sensation, you need on average four capsules per meal. If you get to seven capsules and you have no burning, stop the test ? you are achloridic!
At our Phoenix center alone we have been doing over 250 tests a year for the last four years, and in that time I have never seen one person not need at least one capsule; the average person tested could feel it after five capsules. You are getting better when you start feeling a burn at your initial determined dosage. For example, if you found that five capsules was your initial need, you may find that three days later it starts to burn, so then you would cut back to four capsules with a typical high-protein solid meal. And so on.
I will likely give niacin a shot because I figure it can't hurt anything, but I would really like to understand this a bit more.
I'm glad you will try it and I'm pretty sure the B-vitamins will help you. But please be aware that it may be just one vitamin you lack - usually it's either Vitamin B2, B3 or B6. In a few cases it might be B1 or Folate (B9/B11). I didn't get any improvement after taking B1,B3 and B6 but finally after adding B2.