Betaine HCL for Bloating and Heartburn

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If you haven’t heard of Betaine HCL (hydrochloric Acid), here’s the gist: It’s a supplement taken by those who have a hard time digesting meals. It stimulates and helps your stomach acid do its job. It can also be helpful for people with heartburn, which sounds counterintuitive, but mainstream medicine has it wrong.

For more details, check out the resources at the bottom of this post.

Part of the process of healing my IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) included taking Betaine HCL supplements. During my initial healing year, when I still had way too many digestive issues, HCL helped. Especially when I ate starches, big meals, or fatty meals.

Since then, I’ve had times where I can be off the HCL completely and feel fine. Other times, I’ll enter a period where the bloating, distention, and heartburn come back right after or during a meal. These times are a resurgence of bad bacteria in my gut (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth).

While I try to figure out once again what went wrong, I’m back to taking Betaine HCL supplements with each full meal. At one point, I got up to eight pills with a meal.

It probably won’t help everyone (didn’t help my husband when he had some digestive issues). But, if you’re still struggling with ups and downs of healing your digestive system, think about trying some Betaine HCL. Definitely ask your doctor about it.

Here are the ones I’ve tried with good results: (These link back to Amazon, which helps support my blog)

Resources:

1. Chris Kresser on GERD

2. SCD Lifestyle: How to Supplement with Bentaine HCL for Low Stomach Acid

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A Little More of My Story

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I’ve had IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) most of my life.

My IBS symptoms waxed and waned through my twenties. The only thing doctors told me were: take more fiber, enjoy this acid blocker for the rest of your life and stay away from broccoli. It all culminated at the age of 27 when bloating, erratic bowel movements, pain, and heartburn escalated to red levels. On top of that, my bladder began to hurt. A lot.

There was a burning, stabbing pain deep in my pelvic area near my bladder that doctor’s couldn’t explain. One doc diagnosed it as Chronic Urinary Tract Infection. He put me on months of antibiotics which ruined more of my gut flora than I could have imagined. The other doctor wanted to stuff me full of pharmaceutical overactive bladder drugs, with no results.

So, I said good-bye to mainstream doctors and went in search of alternatives. This is where the alternative and functional integrative practitioners come in. They are licensed health professionals that help you treat your whole body, not just one symptom. And they never resort to covering up one symptom. They always get to the heart of the problem.

With the help of an integrative medicine practitioner, a bunch of blogs and some books, I began to treat my IBS with diet, supplements and herbal concoctions.

With the help of research and a pelvic floor physical therapist, my bladder pain was diagnosed as IC (Interstitial Cystitis) and subsequently treated with other supplements, herbs, and 2 years of pelvic floor physical therapy.

Throughout this alternative healing journey, I experienced profound healing. Both my IBS and IC symptoms reduced by about 80%. No, that’s not perfect, and yes, I have had many setbacks, but healing a chronic issue is a rocky journey. Staying healthy is an everlasting one. At least I now have options that mainstream medicine never gave me.

I started this blog to share my journey, so that maybe someone else will benefit or perhaps share their own insights to help me.

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