Many people, in the process of aging, develop various stages of Hypochlorhydria; however, it is not confined to this aging group. Many young people also develop this problem. Bear in mind that the presence of HCL in the stomach generally inhibits (slows down or stops) the reflex of “rapid-dumping” of foods out of the stomach, rendering the critical First Stage of Digestion partially or totally incomplete. Also, HCL performs a natural sterilization of the foods that we swallow. This is quite important, because nothing that we eat is sterile.
In the pre-digestion phase of the stomach, HCL, Pepsin, certain Enzymes, plus the Intrinsic Factor, which is essential for the absorption of Vitamin B-12, play key rolls in the conversion processes of Proteins to Amino Acids and Starches to Sugars that can be utilized by our bodies (in conjunction with the Duodenal, 2nd Phase of Digestion).
Many Allergies can be traced to Patients with Hypochlorhydria. The lack of these intricate pre-digestion processes, cause many of these undigested Proteins to become Allergens. These Allergens often develop into bizarre effects (Allergic Reactions) upon millions of people throughout the world. Medically controlled desensitizing (‘Allergy shots’) is often very helpful, especially against airborne Allergens. Generally speaking, Hypochlorhydria Patients seem to be more prone to Allergies, other ailments, and “premature dumping” of the stomachs contents into the Duodenum (which helps “set the stage” for undigested Proteins). Gas, Belching, Bloating, common to Hyperchlorhydria and “G.I. Spasm” are very often equally present in Hypochlorhydria giving confusing signals.
The second form of Hypochlorhydria is Hidden Hypo. When the pH Capsule enters a fasting stomach the pH level may be on the Acid Side with a level of 1.2 pH or more. When challenged with the 5 c.c.s of Saturated Solution of Sodium Bicarbonate, the stomach will neutralize close to pH7.0 or higher (toward 8.0) and may not come back down into the Acid range for several hours, sometimes longer. These patients have a “Hidden” Hypochlorhydria.