Low stomach acid is common in celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis. It is also common in the general population, as well, affecting 50% of people age 60 years and about 80% by age 85 years. Nevertheless, low stomach acid is not generally looked for as a cause of acute and chronic disorders that rob health with far-reaching effects.
Is Low Stomach Acid New?
No. Low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria), has been well investigated much of the past century in both the general population and those with gluten sensitivity. For example, a 1985 study investigating gastric acid secretion in 116 subjects with dermatitis herpetiformis found that 41% had low stomach acid and 26% were achlorhydric (no acid). Of those older than 50 years, 47% were achlorhydric. When compared to subjects with celiac disease, the frequency of achlorhydria was significantly higher in those with dermatitis herpetiformis than in those with coeliac disease. There was no correlation between achlorhydria and small intestinal villous atrophy (damage).
Why Is Low Stomach Acid Overlooked?
Failure to understand nutrition and malabsorption…an area of science that is barely taught in medical schools is a big factor. Also, (more…)