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April 2, 2020

Our stomach produces acid called hydrochloric acid or HCL to help absorb and digest our nutrients. When we don’t have enough stomach acid it can cause bloating this is because food sits in your stomach for an extended time it can ferment and release gas.

HCL Hydrochloric Acid


Hydrochloric acid (HCL) is found in the stomach and breaks down food. HCL needs heat, enough liquid in the body and nutrients (zinc and sodium chloride (salt)) to be synthesized to a potent acid.

Without enough HCL the food sits in the stomach unable to digest properly which can lead to feelings of fullness, bloating and/or reflux.

Those with low HCL (hypochloridria) often feel bloated generally straight after eating this is because food sits in the stomach instead of being broken down.

Food staying in the gastrointestinal tract or GIT can ferment when it has been static for too long, this fermentation releases gas which distends or expands the stomach or intestines this is often the cause of bloating.   

Low HCL can be mistaken for food intolerances in many instances because there are similar symptoms to food allergy.

There are many things you can do to increase your gut function.

Don’t Drink While Eating. Drinking liquid while eating dilutes hydrochloric acid (HCL) of our stomach this is the primary acid used to breakdown food.

Diluted HCL reduces the digestion of food which can result in food sitting in the stomach giving you that heavy uncomfortable feeling. Food starts to ferment when it has prolonged periods in the gastric system. Fermentation can result in gases being release from food, which cause bloating and discomfort.

Drink water before a meal or 30min after a meal and you will enhance your gastric abilities because HCL needs liquid.

Lemon in water: Including lemon in water in the morning helps to stimulate gastric acid secretions. This will increasing your ability to digest your food and reduce your bloating.

Apple cider vinegar 30-10min before a meal can increase HCL secretions, if pain occurs with apple cider vinegar you may have too much HCL already so please discontinue use.

If you are experiencing abdominal issues and want to understand what is happening in your body you may benefit from getting a one on one consultation. We thoroughly assess and investigate your condition and work individually to suit you. .

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