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  • Rachel Bright, N.D.

Upper digestive complaints? Your issue may be from not enough stomach acid!

By Rachel Bright, ND – May 23, 2019


Disclaimer: Please read the information below with an open mind.


Let’s just dive in: High stomach acid is typically not the culprit of acid reflux or indigestion. In actuality, these symptoms usually indicate that there is not enough stomach acid.

You might be thinking by now: “Whoa, whoa – put on the brakes! You mean that taking heartburn medication or Tums may not be the long-term solution?”

Well, maybe for a short time and then they are less effective over time and may contribute to new health issues. In fact, many of the medications to treat heartburn have been shown to create negative effects in your body – some of them being a contributor to heart disease, lower calcium levels, low B12, muscle weakness, severe leg cramping, and hindering your ability to digest protein and other nutrients.

Below are reasons why you want your stomach acid pH between 1.5-3.0 (which is quite acidic):

Stomach acid helps you to digest and extract the nutrients from your food to FEED your cells. Do you see why just from this fact that stomach acid is important?Stomach acid kills harmful bacteria and pathogens that may enter your body through your mouth. This is your first line of defense by stopping any harmful invader from entering the rest of your digestive tract and then bloodstream!If you are B12 deficient, not having enough stomach acid could be contributing to your body not making enough intrinsic factor to extract B12 from your food.

While too much acid can happen too, it’s not typically a common, modern day concern. Nowadays, it is mostly too little stomach acid that is the culprit to your upper digestive concerns.

What can you do to maintain healthy stomach acid levels? Bitters. I get mine from the Greenbrier Herbalist. We sell them in the office too.


Herbal Dandy Bitters: Put 10 drops of Herbal Dandy Bitters on your tongue 10 minutes before eating. Yes, they’ll taste bitter, but overtime, you’ll notice less indigestion, gas and bloating after eating.

Word of caution: If you do in fact have a known ulcer, DO NOT use the remedy listed above. Speak with a natural health care practitioner on how to heal your ulcer.


Before we say goodbye, I have one more piece of important information to add:

Simply drinking ACV or taking bitters isn’t the end-all-be-all approach to correcting your upper digestive tract complaints; it is just one piece to provide relief and help restore your stomach’s pH balance. The other pieces would be looking at food triggers (high fat diets, refined sugar, tomato products, all alcohol, and dairy products), losing weight and balancing emotional upset before or during eating.

Words of “digestive” wisdom: Be open to listening to your body’s whispers and it will lead you in the right direction in terms of looking dipper at food and emotional triggers to your upper digestive complaints.





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