The Way Up rainbow separatorThe Way Up Newsletter
Vol. 10
"Having rests on giving, and not on getting"
Course In Miracles


It almost gives me heartburn to hear how many new patients come to me having been prescribed various acid-blockers, & antacids. These are such items as Zantec, Tagamet, Pepsid, Prilosec, Tums, Mylanta, & so on.

Unless they have clearly substantiated high acid production, an ulcer, gastritis, or esophagitis ( inflammation of the stomach or esophagus), there is no reason to block acid. It can even be counter-productive. Occasional use of such products is okay, but chronic usage can lead to problems.

After 50 years of age more people suffer from the effects of low than high acid. The digestive symptoms of low acid can be intense, with pain, even burning pain. gas, bloating, cramping, & general indigestion. Low acid can further predispose to bacterial & fungal overgrowth in the intestines. as well as creating maldigestion & malabsorption leading to nutritional deficiencies & a build up of toxic metabolites in the gut.

Your stomach acid begins the breakdown of food, especially protein. If the digestive process does not begin correctly, it certainly cannot proceed correctly.

Low stomach acid has more chronic consequences & is more common than high acid, yet millions take acid blockers. Even children can have low stomach acid & associated problems.

Over time, chronic use of acid blockers can lead to vitamin B12 deficiency. One of the first effects of the bacterial overgrowth resulting from decreased acid is the decline of B 12. Vitamin B12 that is bound to dietary protein needs to be released to be absorbed & utilized. This release requires the normal secretion of hydrochloric acid & pepsin. Serum B12 levels are not an adequate way to access B12, though many non-nutritionally oriented doctors only test B12 in this way. A functional B12 defiency occurs before the serum levels are low. There are tests for functional B12 deficiency such as urinary methylmalonic acid, or plasma homocysteine to name a couple. We'll go into more ramifications of B12 in another newsletter.

Low stomach acid also impairs iron & calcium absorption. Other effects of the small bowel bacterial overgrowth are changes & interference with the gall bladder produced bile salts, folic acid & protein deficiency,bacterial degradation of carbohydrates, damage to the lining of the intestines from bacterial enzymes, auto-toxicity, & liver & joint disease.

If you chronically have bloating, an excessive sense of fullness, gas, burning, or indigestion soon after eating, you are a probable candidate for having decreased stomach acid.

If you only occasionally have these symptoms, it may more likely be a food intolerance or another cause.

Other symptoms consistent with low stomach acid are:

Diarrhea or constipation, multiple food allergies, undigested food in the stools, rectal itching, chronic yeast or parasites, acne, dilated blood vessels on the nose & cheeks, & weak, peeling, cracked finger nails.

Some of the illnesses associated with low stomach acid are asthma, adrenal insufficiency, diabetes, eczema, gall bladder problems, chronic hives, psoriasis, osteoporosis, autoimmune disorders, arthritis, thyroid disease, & Helicobacter pylori overgrowth in the stomach.

Food sensitivities can commonly cause GI symptoms. My usual approach to GI symptoms is to first check for food allergies by blood testing. See the labs in the links at

If you have a history of chronic gastrointestinal problems, & changing your diet has not completely corrected the symptoms it is helpful to find out how your gut is functioning.

The tests I like for measuring gut function are the Comprehensive Stool & Digestive Analysis at &/or the Gastrointestinal Function Panel at Immune Science Lab. The first does provide a stool PH measure which gives some info re acid. Diagnos-Tech at 1-800-87-tests has Gastro Test Capsules for actually measuring gastric PH. Your Dr would have to order these or the lab would need to give you the name of a Dr in your area who orders their tests.

If you want to learn more about this topic see
I particularly refer you to:
HEARTBURN AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT by James Balch M.D. & Morton Walker D.P.M.
POWER HEALING by Leo Galland M.D.


Dr Clayton Varga at The Pasadena Rehabilitation Institute at 626-403-6250 is calling for participants in a clinical trial for the treatment of chronic neuropathic & malignant pain. Some with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy who have contacted me may want to have your Dr look into this.

If you know anyone who might like to receive this newsletter, please forward to them.

I appreciate your requests & feedback re topics & will eventually hope to address them all.

Wishing you all that you desire! Until next month.

Priscilla Slagle M.D.

"All healing is release from the past."
Course In Miracles
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