Stomach Acid: The Right Balance to Avoid H. Pylori and Its Consequences

When patients complain of subtle bloating and heartburn, doctors typically diagnose them with high stomach acid and prescribe acid blockers.

However, reducing stomach acid frequently compounds the problem because, in many cases, the issue isn’t high but low stomach acid caused by a pervasive H. pylori infection.

H. pylori is a common bacterium that burrows into the stomach lining, suppressing stomach cells called parietal cells from releasing hydrochloric acid, the enzyme we use to digest proteins.

Common symptoms of an H. pylori infection can be subtle or significant and might include:

  • Heartburn
  • Burping
  • Bad breath after eating protein
  • Intolerance to digesting rich proteins such as eggs or meats — bloating or feeling like you just ate a brick

Left untreated, H. pylori can lead to severe consequences.

  1. H. pylori has been shown to be very destructive to the vascular endothelium, special cells lining the blood vessels. It gets into the blood vessels, destroys them, and sets the stage for atherosclerotic plaque in the arteries. More than 1,000 scientific papers show that H. pylori is as dangerous to blood vessels as Hepatitis C is to the liver.
  2. H. pylori, especially the “silent” type where there aren’t a lot of burning symptoms, is also a significant risk factor for developing gastric carcinoma. For someone who has heartburn, eats antacids, and does not get tested for H. pylori, the risk for gastric carcinoma is relatively significant in the next 10 to 20 years.
  3. H. pylori can cross-react with the thyroid and can be a trigger for Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.

Low stomach acid caused by H. pylori also sets the stage for various gastrointestinal imbalances throughout the GI tract.

We need proper acidity at the start of the digestive tract to neutralize H. pylori and other pathogens that might enter the body when we consume foods. When acid levels in the stomach are reduced it sets the stage for recurring H. pylori infections.

If you have symptoms such as heartburn, bloating, burping after meals, and trouble digesting rich proteins, don’t settle for a diagnosis of high stomach acid unless a lab test verifies it. We at The Emperor’s Medicine can test your stomach acid for H. pylori.

And remember, H. pylori is just one of the possible gut infections common to autoimmunity.