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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Low stomach acid and can't take HCL
Posted by: Rick
Date: July 18, 2005 3:45 PM

I've had a severe eating problem for ten years which started with symptoms of low stomach acid (getting full too soon). It started when I became a vegetarian and ate under stressful conditions for two months. It grew into a severe carbohydrate/sugar addiction and I lived on chiefly cereal for eight years because I had so much trouble eating anything else. Last year I started eating meat again, but I have a lot of digestive problems. I've tried HCL supplements three times with very bad results - I had a lot of trouble eating for quite some time afterwards and never seemed to recover my capacity. This last time I took a tiny bit of a full spectrum enzyme capsule containing only 75 mg of HCL but as soon as it hit my stomach I could feel a bad reaction happening. Last year, I took a similar type of capsule, which I think had a lot more HCL. I took it without food and it didn't seem to have any bad effect. It all seems very quirky, but a lot of things about this eating disorder do. Can you make any recommendations?

RE: Low stomach acid and can't take HCL
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.,
Date: July 18, 2005 4:25 PM

You need to know if you are making too much acid, not enough, or if this is even an issue at all. GI docs have methods of doing that, so that might be the first stop you would want to consider making. There may also be a complicating factor, hiatal hernia for example. The bottom line is that you need to have a diagnosis and without that you are in the dark as far as treatment goes. I could easily say try this, or try that, but without a diagnosis I would also be in the dark. Some of the testing GI docs do is rather dramatic (esophagrams, endoscopy, etc.), but if you need 'em, you need 'em. You have to know what is going on to go forward to an effective treatment. What GI docs are not good at treating is chronic infection of the gut wall, and they can diagnose it only if they get their endoscopes at the right level and see inflammation of the gut wall but are clueless of what to do about it. If it comes to that, get back to me.



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