This is a simplistic explanation of the downstream effects of being on a PPI (stomach acid blocker) or having low stomach acid (HCl)

B1, B12, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and sodium chloride (salt) are needed to make HCl. Stomach acid is needed to break down protein (large) into amino acids (small). Amino acids are recognized as safe, while large protein molecules can be recognized as invaders. The body can react to these large proteins causing inflammation, food allergies, and autoimmune reactions.

PPIs block stomach acid resulting in the inability to break down large protein molecules as well as decreasing the ability to assimilate vitamins and minerals like B12, iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Studies in animals and humans have shown that iron deficiency anemia (IDA) impairs thyroid metabolism.

This suppression of stomach acid can lead to the lower esophageal sphincter not efficiently closing causing GERD. GERD is one of the number one reasons PPIs are recommended. PPIs lead to poor digestion of protein in the stomach leading to putrefaction in the stomach creating gas; and/or an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestines (SIBO).

Most of our zinc is stored in the brain and is needed to make calming neurotransmitters like GABA and serotonin. Zinc deficiency can lead to symptoms of depression, ADHD, difficulties with learning and memory, seizures, aggression, and violence. Our immune function is decreased as well.

Stomach acid helps liberate vitamin B12 from food and helps activate intrinsic factor required to enable B12 to be absorbed. Symptoms of B12 deficiency include memory loss, disorientation, hallucinations, and tingling in the arms and legs.

Having low stomach acid or using PPIs decreases the ability to break down protein certain vitamins and minerals. Three of these amino acids (cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine) and selenium are needed to make and utilize glutathione. Glutathione is needed to carry the active form of thyroid hormone (T3) from the cell membrane into the mitochondria.

Hypothyroidism (Low T3 utilization and/or conversion) can be solely a low stomach acid problem. Depression, obesity, tiredness, GERD, IBS……… can all be due to a lack of stomach acid and/or PPI use.

This problem is exacerbated by using fluoride toothpaste and/or regularly receiving fluoride treatments from your dentist. Fluoride can permanently damage the thyroid as well as cause/contribute to Hashimoto’s disease.

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