In March 2013 (age 28), I was diagnosed with low gastric acid. This turns out to be really important for things like “digesting food.” I could manage macaroni and cheese and candy and other things that aren’t really food, but protein and fiber made me feel ill. My doctor prescribed me HCl Supplements as both diagnostic test and treatment, and suddenly I was able to eat both.
In hindsight, this went back a very long time. When I was in pre-school or early elementary, the family joke was that I must photosynthesize, because I never ate anything. I distinctly remember my mom telling me I would never make it as a cave man because all the plant life was too tough for me to chew, and meat was just out of the question. My best friend from 3rd grade still remembers how I ate nothing but bagels when I slept at her house.
So from age 0 to 28, I survived on spaghetti with tomato sauce. This transforms the question from “why do I have so many chronic problems (constantly sick, anxious, musculoskeletal pain, terrible oral health, adrenal-fatigue-no-hypothyroidism-no-adrenal-fatigue-again)?” to “how are my chronic issues so minor? Were we on to something with the photosynthesis thing? My hometown is the #2 most overcast city in the country, and my current home is #1. What super powers would I develop if I moved to Phoenix?”
Now that I have the HCl supplements and can actually digest food, I’m feeling a lot better. I have more energy and more cope. I get sick less and recover faster. My dentist commented that my (previously miserable) oral health was looking a lot better, without being told anything had changed. Friends commented on how much better my skin looked. I gained muscle mass. And oh yeah, I don’t constantly feel ill for no reason. Pretty much everything you would expect for someone suddenly gaining the ability to digest food.
Coming up: My experience with hypochlorhydria and its treatment and the science of the stomach.