Frequent Heartburn? Here’s What Your Body is Trying to Tell You!

June 21, 2023
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

Before you reach for an antacid the next time you experience heartburn… 

Keep in mind that LOW, not high levels of stomach acid are often an underlying cause of digestive discomfort, even if it seems counter-intuitive! 

Stomach acid (HCl) is your body’s front line of defense, so low levels make you more susceptible to infection from Salmonella and other bugs in food and water.

A lowered level of HCl also leads to malabsorption, poor assimilation, and ineffective distribution of essential nutrients, such as sodium, iron, calcium, and magnesium. Fifteen minerals, eight essential amino acids, and numerous vitamins depend on HCl for absorption! 

You might be surprised just how many signs of low stomach acid there are…


15 Signs of Low Stomach Acid
In this blog, I not only dig deeper into this issue of low stomach acid and how it can be easily resolved, but also look at a little known digestive glitch that can hinder your ability to burn fat, who knew?!
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Take the HCI Challenge
Radical Health Tip

Is your stomach acid low? Take the HCl Challenge to find out!

Here’s how it works:

Take a hydrochloric acid (HCl) supplement (500 to 550 mg betaine hydrochloride and 150 mg pepsin) with a meal. I recommend HCL+2 from UNI KEY Health 

Observe your body’s response. Extreme warmth means you have sufficient stomach acid—don’t add more!

If you have no relief from digestive problems or feel no pain or warmth, double your HCl dose at the next meal.

Continue adding HCl until you feel warmth or experience relief.

After reaching your limit, take one less tablet with meals, and after 3 to 6 months, try gradually reducing your dosage.

*If you have a weakened stomach lining, ulcers, or hiatal hernia, these conditions need to be addressed with your health care practitioner and healed before you try the stomach acid challenge.

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Turn the heat down on heartburn and poor digestion

Optimizing the body’s HCl levels can help restore comfortable digestion. HCL+2 is a quick delivery and absorption HCl supplement formula that contains hydrochloric acid (HCl) with pepsin and ox bile for healthy digestion of protein and fat, as well as digestion of acid-based minerals calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Taking an HCL supplement may help:

  • Act as a natural solution for acid reflux.*
  • Alleviate indigestion, GERD, gas, belching, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.*
  • Serve as a first line of defense against harmful bacteria, yeast, parasites and other pathogens in the GI tract.*
  • Break down and metabolize protein and minerals, such as calcium and iron.*
  • Neutralize byproducts of drugs and toxins.*
  • Eliminate the cause of body odor, gas, bad breath, and offensive urine and stool odors.*

Tricia says, “I used to have bloating after meals but not any more! Taking HCL+2 before meals has really helped my bloating and I can feel my digestion is working better!”

Kathy says, “I have struggled with acid reflux for years. I had heard that the issue was low stomach acid but has never found a product that worked. Until now. As soon as I started taking regularly my acid reflux decreased until it was not existent. Very happy with this product!”

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Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Rachel

    I had gastric bypass (roux-en-y) about 11 years ago. I seem to be experiencing GERD even though it is rare in gastric bypass patients. I’m very interested in trying the HCL test to see if HCL+2 will help me. Do you know if it’s safe to use that supplement after a gastric bypass?

    • Web Admin

      It’s best to check with a health care practitioner in this case, but if you get the go-ahead, we would recommend starting with a very small amount — like 1/2 tablet and see how your system reacts.

  2. Jane

    I have had to be on Pantoprozale for years and know I shouldn’t, but can’t get off due to acid reflux. Do you have a suggestion for this? I know it’s decreasing my stomach acid….so doing any of these things is doing the opposite. I get so confused and not sure what to do. But don’t want to spend the rest of my life taking this. I’m 54


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