So you’ve been to the naturopath and they’ve given you a bunch of new supplements to jumpstart your healing. Over time your progress is moderate, not great; and you lose sight of what all the supplements are and what they all do. Gradually you stop taking a few.
WHOA, stop! Don’t let Betaine HCl* go by the wayside.
This is the single most important supplement you should be taking, and here’s why…
As you may know, most diseases result from an unhealthy gut: SIBO, autoimmune diseases, IBS, hormone imbalances, nutritional deficiencies; the list goes on.
The GAPS Diet, as well as a few other powerful healing diets, espouse as their premise that if we can heal the gut, it being the underlying issue, our diseases, too, will heal or go into remission.
Diet itself plays a huge role in the healing. Removing sugars, starches and grains helps the gut lining to rebuild itself. Here’s more information on a few of my favorite healing guidelines if you’re interested in dietary changes.
But diet alone is not enough.
The proper ph of the stomach should be between 1 and 3. Most of us with ailing guts have a ph between 4 and 6. Betaine HCl* (hydrochloride) is a powerful acid that sets things right.
YOU MAY ASK WHY HCl AND NOT ACV
As you may know, apple cider vinegar is an excellent source of acid to improve stomach ph. I love ACV and look forward to sharing some ACV “Cocktail” recipes with you, to incorporate this serum into your diet more often.
However, HCl is superior to ACV for those who need serious healing.
If you are well, and want to keep your stomach ph happy, check out my Facebook page, Eat Beautiful, every day this week for a new ACV “Cocktail” recipe! They include powerful ingredients like fresh ginger, turmeric, saffron, and hibiscus.
(And yes, fresh lemon juice is also useful for creating proper stomach ph. Lemon water is a delicious way to start the day right.)
But for those of us with autoimmune diseases or other serious health issues, HCl is the big gun.
SIBO AND HCL
Regarding SIBO (Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth) treatment, even most naturopaths in America are putting their patients on antibiotics. But it’s my opinion, that if we heal our digestion, SIBO will heal itself.
There is a little “gateway,” a flap, between the large and small intestine. It’s called the Illeocecal Valve (ICV). When stomach ph is too high ALL the other organs do not secrete their proper digestive juices and that flap stays open.
Consequently, the small intestine, which is supposed to be the one area of the gut with only a small number of flora, gets flooded. The good and bad gut bacteria from the large intestine swim up and voila, sadly, SIBO is born. By creating the proper gut ph, gradually the valve will shut and the flora population will level out.
Diet is a part of this healing regimen, because invasive pathogens love feeding on starches and sugars. Pathogen-killing herbs are also key. Regarding diet and additional supplements to help your gut heal, read my article here.
Regarding HCl, it will not only help your ICV stay closed, all your digestive organs will be triggered to begin working properly.
My naturopath recommends that I take 500-1000 mg. of HCl with every meal. Ask your naturopath for dosage and about taking HCl with pepsin for added effectiveness. Remember, I am not a doctor, nor do I pretend to be. I am just sharing my personal experiences and hoping they may help you on your healing journey.
 My views on healing SIBO naturally have been shaped by two doctors:
Dr. Jared Zeff teaches naturopathy in Portland, OR. He also has a naturopathic practice in Vancouver, WA. His unorthodox form of treating SIBO has inspired me to be a guinea pig. I’ll let you know how it goes. So far, my SIBO symptoms have improved by 75%. I still stay away from inflammatory foods that cause bloating and gas. I LOVE his foundational principles for healing, based in homeopathy and old-fashioned naturopathic techniques: the body knows how to heal itself if we get it back on track and give it healing information. We can’t heal with antibiotics the same problems that antibiotics have caused.
Please also see the revolutionary book by Dr. Norman Robillard, Fast Tract Digestion IBS: Science-based Diet to Treat and Prevent IBS and SIBO without Drugs or Antibiotics. He does an awesome job of charting foods and their fermentation potential.
*What is Betaine HCl? If you’re not familiar with Betaine HCl already, it is a laboratory-made, chemical substance that increases the level of hydrochloric acid in one’s stomach. Although I usually advocate for only whole foods, some lab. supplements can be helpful especially when food allergies are present. Apple cider vinegar and lemon juice are not appropriate for many with fruit or citrus allergies; and, as is discussed in this article, HCl, as it is more commonly referred to, is far more powerful for more serious digestive disorders. HCl is not recommended in conjunction with anti-inflammatory medications.