Hypochlorhydria / Low Stomach Acid Can Cause Heartburn & Indigestion

Many people believe stomach upset, indigestion or heartburn are usually caused by too much stomach acid. This is not always the case & one should not always assume you have too much stomach acid as there is a chance your stomach may not have enough stomach acid.

A Possibly Under Diagnosed Problem

Most doctors, after hearing about a patients complaints regarding heartburn, prescribe a “Proton-Pump Inhibitor”(PPI). Proton pumps in your stomach are what supply the acid that helps digest food. For people who do have an overproduction of acid or have a malfunctioning lower esophageal sphincter(the thing that keeps food/acid from harming the tender esophagus), PPIs can be helpful. On the other hand, people who are producing too little acid may have an increase in symptoms when taking PPIs. PPIs have also been reported to have psychoactive properties, some people become more anxious or nervous while on PPIs due to how they work.

If you are dealing with chronic heartburn/GERD, it may be worth talking to your doctor regarding low stomach acid before accepting a prescription for PPIs. Or if PPIs are not helping you right now visiting your doctor and having a test run for low stomach acid may be a good idea. Many doctors do not run many or any tests before prescribing PPIs.


Treatment of Hypochlorhydria is usually a simple supplementation via Betaine HCL pills. Usually you take one pill before a meal and this increases acid in your stomach and hopefully improves symptoms. If symptoms worsen or do not improve, then you may not be suffering from Hypochlorhydria or there are other issues involved as to why you’re experiencing chronic heartburn/GERD.