Achlorhydria is a medical condition in which the stomach does not produce enough hydrochloric acid, resulting in a decrease in the pH level of the stomach contents. Hydrochloric acid plays a vital role in the digestion and breakdown of food in the stomach, especially proteins.
The primary symptoms of achlorhydria include bloating, belching, nausea, and vomiting after eating. Individuals with achlorhydria may also experience diarrhea, weight loss, and malnutrition due to the impaired digestion of food. In addition, people with achlorhydria may be at an increased risk of developing certain gastrointestinal infections and other diseases.
Achlorhydria can be caused by a variety of factors, including autoimmune disorders, chronic gastritis, Helicobacter pylori infection, certain medications, and surgical procedures that remove or bypass the stomach. The condition may also be inherited in some cases.
Diagnosis of achlorhydria typically involves measuring the pH level of the stomach contents and performing blood tests to check for levels of gastrin, a hormone that stimulates the production of stomach acid. Treatment of achlorhydria depends on the underlying cause but may involve dietary changes, supplements of digestive enzymes or hydrochloric acid, and medication to manage symptoms.
It is essential to seek medical attention if you experience symptoms of achlorhydria or have concerns about your digestive health.