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Topic Title: Low stomach acid & hair loss?
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Created On: 11/11/2006 07:56 AM
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 11/11/2006 07:56 AM
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worriedwoman
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This is new info to me.

I ran across an article that listed low stomach acid as a leading cause of hair loss in women--inhibiting digestion and absorbtion of key nutrients like B vitamins and amino acids. (?? why only women??...men have to digest/absorb their food too...don't understand).

Googled it further and found several antacid product sites (to treat TOO much stomach acid) list hair loss as a potential side effect. In other words--if you lower your stomach acid too much, it can cause hair fall out.

Here's a quote and a couple of links. The fact that they single this out as a cause of women's hair loss doesn't make sense. Has anyone ever heard of this before? Anyone here regularly using antacids that have noticed a connection?

http://altmedicine.about.com/cs/digestiveproblems/a/LowHCL.htm
http://www.youngagainforever.com/hairloss.html
http://www.jigsawhealth.com/articles/stomach_acid_reflux.html
http://www.iconocast.com/News_Files/HNewsX7_X_05/Health7.htm
http://www.nutritional-healing.com.au/content/articles-content.php?heading=Stomach%20acid%20deficiency%20(Hypochlorhydria)

"Stomach acid, technically known as hydrochloric acid, is essential for proper functioning of the digestive system. It activates digestive enzymes that break down food into small particles for absorption. Low acidity may result in only partial digestion of foods, leading to gas, bloating, belching, diarrhea or constipation.

Normal levels of stomach acid help to keep the digestive system free of bacteria and parasites.

With low acidity and the presence of undigested food, bacteria are more likely to colonize the stomach or small intestine and interfere with the digestion and absorption of protein, fat and carbohydrates.

Many vitamins and minerals require proper stomach acid in order to be properly absorbed, including calcium, iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid.

Signs and Symptoms of Low Acidity
• Bloating, belching, and flatulence immediately after meals
• Indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation
• Soreness, burning or dryness of the mouth
• Heartburn
• Multiple food allergies
• Feeling nauseous after taking supplements
• Rectal itching
• Weak, peeling and cracked fingernails
• Redness or dilated blood vessels in the cheeks and nose
• Adult acne
• Hair loss in women
• Iron deficiency
• Undigested food in the stools
• Chronic yeast infections
• Low tolerance for dentures
Although these signs and symptoms are helpful in the assessment of low acidity, they can also be caused by other health conditions. Thorough investigation by an appropriately trained health practitioner is essential. "

 11/11/2006 09:48 AM
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Pete
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Zinc is very important in maintaining stomach acid.


Regards
Pete
 11/11/2006 09:51 AM
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dhtfighter33
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I take a calcium supplement after every meal. This can reduce stomach acidity. Also foods that increase acid: high fat food, spicy food, caffeine, alcohol, citrus and chocolate to name a few.
 11/11/2006 10:39 AM
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worriedwoman
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Just found another site that suggests a link between low stomach acid and auto immune diseases. Interesting, considering the theory that hair loss can be a form of the body attacking itself. Not to mention the reduced absorbtion of nutrients. Low HCL levels in the stomach can be caused by long-term chronic stress. Also, habitual use of antacids (the little purple pill). And of course, certain diets... mostly crappy ones.


http://www.brondell.com/press/Naturally-Well-July-2006.pdf

(a brief excerpt)

"Control Autoimmune Diseases with Stomach Acid?

I believe proper digestion is vital to addressing the epidemic of autoimmune diseases in this country. Digestion is the ability to take what isn’t you and turn it into you by breaking it down, assimilating the useful components, and disposing of the rest. It’s a complicated sequence of secretions, hormones, enzymes, and bacteria—and the proper balance of these substances is important.

A key part of the process is hydrochloric acid (HCl), or stomach acid. The complete absence of HCl in the stomach is called achlorhydria, and an insufficient amount is called hypochlorhydria. If HCl is not present at the proper levels, the digestive process is disrupted from beginning to end—with one or more autoimmune diseases as a possible outcome.

Essentially, HCl sterilizes your stomach and food by killing most pathogens on contact—which means it prevents the overgrowth of yeast, fungi, and bacteria in your upper GI tract (an exception appears to be H. pylori bacteria). When you have enough HCl, pathogens and parasites just become part of a meal for your body. But when you have insufficient HCl, your body can become the meal."

Edited: 11/11/2006 at 10:40 AM by worriedwoman
 11/11/2006 09:19 PM
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maddoc23
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No, low stomach acid does not cause hairloss. The condition you are referring to is autoimmune gastritis and is very rare. Low stomach ph will not cause hairloss. In autoimmune gastritis, those people are more likely to also have hypothyroid, and low thyroid can cause hairloss.

D
 11/11/2006 10:22 PM
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austuser
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i had an endoscopy done a few weeks ago and they found a pollyp in my gastro-oesophageal junction. Basically this was caused by the fact my stomach sits above the diaphram inside the osophagus causing reflux and gerd. I am on full time nexium and need an operation to sort all the shyte out.

Basically, i have plenty of acid and am still losing my hair.
 11/12/2006 09:59 AM
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worriedwoman
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Maddoc 23,

Actually, the condition I'm referring to is not autoimmune gastritis, it's called hypochlorhydria--partial HCL insufficiency. Hair loss and/or thyroid disorders can be a result of too little stomach acid. Maybe not for everyone...but a lot of people are looking at causes other than DHT (adrenals, thyroid, pyroluria, etc.).

"Unfortunately, the symptoms of too little acid can mimic the symptoms of too much acid & an inflammation of the lining of the stomach can be associated with too little as well as too much acid. A general guideline is that hyperacid states may be more in those who are younger & low acid states are more likely in those over 50 years of age.

Hydrochloric acid (HCL) initiates the conversion of pepsinogen to pepsin & assists protein digestion. HCL renders your stomach sterile against orally ingested pathogens, prevents bacterial & fungal overgrowth of your small intestine, encourages the flow of bile & pancreatic enzymes, aids the absorption of folic acid, vitamin C, beta-carotene, iron, calcium, magnesium & zinc.

Numerous studies have shown stomach acid secretion declines with advancing age. Such decline may increase the risk of malabsorption & certain clinical conditions such as osteoporosis, asthma, eczema, chronic hives, psoriasis, arthritis, thyroid disorder, vitiligo,chronic candida, GI infections& parasites."



In addition to normal aging, chronic physical or emotional stress negatively affects HCL levels. It hinders absorbtion of nutrients essential for healthy metabolic activity, setting in motion a chain reaction of negative effects. Including hair loss. Just another piece in the puzzle, and another example of how stress directly affects our health (and hair).

You can't say that low HCL doesn't cause hair loss. Obviously it's not the only cause, but it IS a well-documented one. Zinc and B6 are the nutrients that are most difficult to absorb with hypochlorhydria. Key nutrients for hair and proper thyroid function (among many things). I'd rather address the root cause than a symptom. It's easier to balance stomach acid than take thyroid meds for life, if that's was causing it.

 11/14/2006 09:59 PM
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maddoc23
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Worried woman,

I hear what you are saying, but its still not correct. Proper gastric acidity is need for optimal nutrition and certain nutrients are needed for hairgrowth, but hypochlorhydia is not going to cause hairloss. If you are so malnourished from hypochlorhydia that your hair is falling out, you will be dead. Unfortunately, you can't say acid is needed for nutrition and nutrition is needed for hair growth so no acid=no hair.......thats too big a leap, and there are no reports of this occuring in the population. Now certain diseases that cause hypochlorhydia(autoimmune gastritis) may also cause hairloss. To say hypochlorydia causes hairloss you would have to set up a study where you randomly selected people to receive acid suppresion vs. placebo and then monitor haircounts. This hasn't been done so you can't say it causes hairloss. By the way, are you sure what you read is reputible?

D

Quote

Originally posted by: worriedwoman
Maddoc 23,



Actually, the condition I'm referring to is not autoimmune gastritis, it's called hypochlorhydria--partial HCL insufficiency. Hair loss and/or thyroid disorders can be a result of too little stomach acid. Maybe not for everyone...but a lot of people are looking at causes other than DHT (adrenals, thyroid, pyroluria, etc.).



"Unfortunately, the symptoms of too little acid can mimic the symptoms of too much acid & an inflammation of the lining of the stomach can be associated with too little as well as too much acid. A general guideline is that hyperacid states may be more in those who are younger & low acid states are more likely in those over 50 years of age.



Hydrochloric acid (HCL) initiates the conversion of pepsinogen to pepsin & assists protein digestion. HCL renders your stomach sterile against orally ingested pathogens, prevents bacterial & fungal overgrowth of your small intestine, encourages the flow of bile & pancreatic enzymes, aids the absorption of folic acid, vitamin C, beta-carotene, iron, calcium, magnesium & zinc.



Numerous studies have shown stomach acid secretion declines with advancing age. Such decline may increase the risk of malabsorption & certain clinical conditions such as osteoporosis, asthma, eczema, chronic hives, psoriasis, arthritis, thyroid disorder, vitiligo,chronic candida, GI infections& parasites."







In addition to normal aging, chronic physical or emotional stress negatively affects HCL levels. It hinders absorbtion of nutrients essential for healthy metabolic activity, setting in motion a chain reaction of negative effects. Including hair loss. Just another piece in the puzzle, and another example of how stress directly affects our health (and hair).



You can't say that low HCL doesn't cause hair loss. Obviously it's not the only cause, but it IS a well-documented one. Zinc and B6 are the nutrients that are most difficult to absorb with hypochlorhydria. Key nutrients for hair and proper thyroid function (among many things). I'd rather address the root cause than a symptom. It's easier to balance stomach acid than take thyroid meds for life, if that's was causing it.


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