Unlocking the Hidden Impact of Low Stomach Acid: Examining Its Effects on the Entire Digestive Tract from a Holistic Perspective

If you take a look at the image in this post, and imagine your digestive tract like a line of dominoes that starts the moment you start thinking about food, see it, smell it… and ends with a flush! (I’m referring to the final step – a bowel movement) There are many steps along the way, that are ALL important in the process of breaking down food into energy, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your body needs to function properly.

If there’s ONE step that can stop ALL of the others from doing their job as they should, it’s STOMACH ACID.

When there’s not enough stomach acid, protein isn’t broken down properly and the chain reaction further along the digestion process is interrupted.

In this post we’re going to talk about a bunch of the downstream impacts that can happen when your body isn’t producing enough stomach acid, or if you’ve been to your doctor with heartburn, acid reflux or GERD and are taking a medication that actually lowers stomach acid production even further. If this is YOU, it’s not at ALL your fault! But having some awareness of what’s actually going on has been very helpful for some many people we’ve helped with improving digestion, so I wanted to share with you!

Low stomach acid can have a devastating impact on your body, both in the short-term and the long-term. It can prevent your body from properly digesting food, which can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms, such as:

  • Bloating
  • Cramps
  • Burping
  • and heartburn

In the longer term, it can lead to the development of more serious conditions, such as:

  • SIBO
  • nutrient deficiencies
  • autoimmune diseases
  • and even dementia


When stomach acid is low, it can lead to a number of digestive issues. This is because the stomach acid is responsible for breaking down proteins, minerals, and fats, making them available for absorption in the small intestine. Without sufficient acid, these nutrients cannot be properly absorbed and you can suffer from nutrient deficiencies, which can lead to a host of other issues. Low stomach acid is also associated with an increased risk of bacterial overgrowth, such as SIBO which can cause bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

Low stomach acid can also increase the risk of developing autoimmune diseases. This is because stomach acid helps to provide the body’s first line of defense against foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria. When stomach acid is low, these invaders can make their way into the body and trigger an autoimmune response.

Finally, low stomach acid has been linked to an increased risk of developing dementia. This is because the stomach acid is responsible for breaking down certain compounds, such as amyloid beta, which are associated with the development of dementia. When the stomach acid is low, these compounds are not properly broken down, leading to an increased risk of developing dementia.

Now hopefully you have a better understanding that low stomach acid can lead to digestive issues and nutrient deficiencies. But did you know that low stomach acid can also lead to low bile production?
Bile is produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. It is released into the small intestine when it is time to digest food. Bile helps the body to break down fats, absorb fat-soluble vitamins, and remove waste products.

When stomach acid is low, it can affect the ability of the gallbladder to produce and release bile into the small intestine. Low bile can lead to nutrient deficiencies, as the body is not able to absorb the essential vitamins and minerals from the food we eat. This can cause deficiencies in:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • as well as calcium and magnesium (which are all essential for strong bones and teeth!)


Digestion is such an important part of optimal health, if you’ve been living with heartburn, GERD, acid reflux or any other systems, we can help find the cause, and work with you to put together a custom strategy to help your body start moving towards better health today! Click HERE to book your assessment

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