Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Chest Pain- Cause: Low Stomach Acid?

Alright chicks and dudes, let's talk about low stomach acid and your chest pain. I had another appointment this week with my dietitian. The entire appt. was about Costochondritis. He's crazy smart. By the way, I haven't had a stabbing attack in 7 days. Holla.

First, what would cause low stomach acid?

Well, you'd need a reason to have low stomach acid for it to cause your chest pain. This could be caused by aging, disease or a host of conditions. Here's in excerpt I found:

"Normally, stomach acid kills harmful bacteria, working to keep diseases at bay. People with low stomach acid have a higher than average incidence of illness such as candida because harmful bacteria ends up in their small intestine, rather than being killed off by HCL in their stomachs. Often, without knowing why, people with low stomach acid simply never feel good. This is hardly surprising since many health problems are associated with low stomach acid."

Conditions Linked to Low Stomach Acid include:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Celiac Disease
  • Chronic candida (low stomach acid can cause candida)
  • CFS
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Chronic hives
  • Dry skin
  • Eczema
  • Gallbladder Disease
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) infections and parasites
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Lupus
  • Osteoporosis
  • Psoriasis
  • Reduced night vision
  • Rheumatic arthritis
  • Rosacea
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Type I and II diabetes
  • Vitiligo (a skin disorder characterized by white patches or spots)
  • Weakened hair, nails, and skin

Next, how would low stomach acid cause your chest pain?

Okay, hang with me. If your stomach acid is low due to any of the reasons above, your food will not digest properly since it doesn't have enough acid to break it down, especially bigger meals and protein. So for those who's chest pain gets worse after eating, listen up- this is about you! -)

So the stomach cannot digest the food without enough acid, so the food gets hard in your stomach, causing more pressure in your chest. You have 2 valves in your stomach, one on top and one on the bottom of it. And since the stomach is trying to digest the food and cannot push the food through bottom valve and into your intestines, the pressure on the top valve gets crazy bad. And that, my friends, is what can cause pressure in your chest, and worse pressure when sitting down, if you have low stomach acid. As per the burning, if you have low stomach acid, it can mimic the conditions of too much acid when you eat certain spicy foods- however, it can simply be low stomach acid. Crazy, right?

So how do you find out if you have low stomach acid and what do you do?

It's cheap and easy to snag product called Betaine HCL. It's the acid your stomach may not be able to create. So to those who want to test this idea, you simply take a pill at the beginning of your meal and see what happens. If you get acid reflux, simply drink water to dilute the acid and drink some pepto, and then you'll know that your stomach has plenty of acid and this theory ain't for you. However, if you don't get a warm feeling in your stomach, or acid reflux, you should jump up and down and do a little dance, cause it means that you're on to something. Which leads me to a side thought about glucosamine and apple cidar vinegar- both of these calm the stomach acid situation, so if you take or drink either of those and notice that your pain is less, trying the HCL is a great option. I use THIS HCL.

Wrapping it Up...

In conclusion, there you have another option to try my friends. Hugs to all, I pray you are doing well. I won't lie, I've had a rougher week for multiple reasons. And I keep pushing to get better, not being patient enough...but tomorrow is another day. And if we wake up, my friends, that makes it a good one. I will share this though, so my hubby is always throwing out ideas for me to do at home...sweet man is always trying to help me not feel like I'm not a useless bump on a log...and his latest idea is that I should tell children stories on You-Tube, and sing kids songs and do skits and stuff. I could not stop laughing, I don't do crafts, I suck at cooking, and I don't want to be Barney on You-tube. That is all.

Lucy the log

53 comments:

  1. Hi Lucy,
    I guess I was a little confused by this post, but don't claim to have as much knowledge as you do. I still have not been diagnosed with Costo, but seem to have all the symptoms. During my journey, acid reflux was considered as the reason for all my chest pain and I was put on acid blockers. Acid reflux is caused by the upper valve of your stomach not closing as it should, allowing acid to enter your esophagus and sometimes lungs. This can cause terrible chest pain, so probably can cause a misdiagnosis of Costo, and I know for sure because I know of someone- asthma. I had an endoscopy at Mayo that showed some slight stomach damage they thought probably due to all the NSAID's I've taken. I also had a tube put down my nose into my stomach for 24 hours which proved that my upper valve was working properly. I guess what has confused me is I thought Reflux was caused by a misfunctioning upper valve, and stomach burning was caused by too much acid - not too little...that's why drugs such as Pepcid, Rolaids, etc. are on the market. Just some thoughts!
    Jean

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  2. Jean,

    Hi there. I get confused too. =) Still just a learning as I go. Sounds like you have really been through it as well. Again, my heart really goes out to you. Glad to hear your stomach valves are working great- good news.

    As per the acid reflux, my dr. told me that low stomach acid, at times, can mimic a highly acidic stomach. And the pepto etc., can address the symptoms of both low and high stomach acid. Just passing on what he shared. Of course, he or I could be wrong. Maybe talk to your doctor about it?

    Lucy

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. hiya lucygirl!!! its your music teacher friend, remember me-- anonymous? (((HUG))) i want to catch you up- i just now today this moment had a revelation, a breakthrough! are you ready for this? its reflux. its the laryngeal kind, not the esophogeal kind. all i can say is gods ways are mysterious indeed. oh boy its so long and involved im having difficulty making this short and sweet... anyway, of course near the beginning i saw my gastro doc who did both barium swallow (no reflux) and upper endoscopy (clean and clear) who cleared the esophogus of suspicion. (she should have known about the laryngeal kind, i say!) so i went on my way seeing more docs -and you know that story, all along taking nexium (for gastritis) as i had been for about 10 years. i started with prevacid and may have tried one other one in the beginning, but for at least the last 5-6 years i was on nexium. my stomach doc had told me i could go off it twice- each time following routine endoscopy which came out clean and clear of gastritis (and GERD for that matter). somewhere around august i decided i was taking enough meds now, and id really like to go off the nexium. after all doc said i could, even tho i hadtried many times before but ended up in more pain than ever. not an easy task, that. one gets used to it and a rebound effect happens. so i managed to 'wean' myself off of it- i was determined. got off the nexium- it was rough but i did it, successfully i thought (of course i coubled the acidophilus, and added digestive enzmes to my regimen). until i went to see the big fancy ENT voice/singing specialist in philly who saw evidence of irritation and swelling on the vocal cords. tell tale sign on this other more incidious reflux. i still didnt believe- didnt want to. he wanted me to- get this- not only go back on nexium, but take it twice a day, and add to that zantac 300 at bedtime! i was still in denial. darnit- i just got off it and it took a month! last thing i wanted was to go back on it. had to be wrong i just knew it. i took the scripts but didnt fill them. here i am two weeks later, and last night had a long conversation with my professional singer friend who recommended this fancy doc. she happened to mention to me that her husband (also a musician) had had terrible back pain, and came to find out that it was reflux. now, for me the costo pain has significantly improved, except for the back pain that persists. back and ribs. some days good, some days not good. today, i woke up with back pain AND gastritis pain. its been years since i felt that familiar pain, and during the course of the day it all came together for me. that talk with my friend last night was a huge sign. i spent some time googling costo and laryngeal reflux and as it turns out the two are confused often. w h a t a r e y o u r
    t h o u g h t s ???

    sorry so sloppy- really havent had time to process all of this- wrote more in a stream of consciouness style... hope you can interpret!

    i am off to read about you and how you are these days. havent visited your site in a while. ther must be lots new! i hope you are well and happy. love to you lucy.

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  5. by the way, i have started with speech and voice therapy, my voice is already showing improvement. i have also been seeing a great physical therapist who is doing myofascial massage on my back, and traps and neck. ive also started acupuncture- ill see him tomorrow and will ask him to get my digestion in order! thats huge with acupncture. curious he didnt pick up on it when evaluating me... ill ask about that tamara.

    have you been tested for laryngeal reflux lucy? i know you had some vocal issues as well... this is a key feature of it.

    nite now, xo

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  6. hi...ive been to doctors and even though I was diagnosed with stress, my meds all included stomach antacids..
    I am off my meds and pain came back...only this time with a bang...so I started checking out blogs and found yours...this is me and so much more..i will def try HCL and see what happens...I have no idea where you are, but thenk you...Lucy the Log for a wonderful blog...wish docs in South Africa were as smart as yours to try different options than to just say its stress(which I know can be a major factor) lol

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  7. Stomach acid is something that is curable. Digestion problems such as regurgitation, stomach gas and constipation are easily curable. Banana is a good cure for stomach acid and heartburn.

    Acid reflux treatment

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  8. i find your article very inspiring, i also have some stomach problems and reading this info, made me think things from other perspective! thank you

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