As of last November, my stomach was a mess. For the previous few years I had been dealing with IBS-like symptoms, including frequent bouts of diarrhea, irritability right after meals, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, etc. (I even noticed undigested food in my stool, which really bothered me).
You name a stomach problem, chances are I had it. And of course trying to eat 4000 calories a day wasn’t making things better… I would eat a huge meal, feel like shit, and then have to run to the toilet.
Fortunately for me, I read one of Poliquin’s articles where he mentioned HCL supplementation. The list of symptoms was identical to the list you would have gotten from me had you asked me to write down all the shit that was wrong with my stomach!
Anyhow, I figured I had nothing to lose, since it couldn’t possibly get any worse, so I gave it a shot. I bought a bottle of HCL pills from my local co-op, (SolaRay HCL with Pepsin) and started a four-month journey to happiness.
I also bought the book “Why Stomach Acid is Good For You” by Wright and Lenard, which was incredibly eye-opening, and I realized that I almost certainly had low acid levels (you never know for sure unless you get it tested, but I had all the symptoms), and could get myself patched up with an HCL supplementation.
I started with 1400mg and stuck with that for a couple of months, and then reduced it to 700mg over another month or so. I immediately noticed a huge difference. My mad dashes to the shitter were a thing of the past, I could eat really big P+F meals without any nasty after-effects, I had less foul-smelling gas. It was like someone had waved a magic wand over my stomach…
I was aware that the supplementation would eventually be unnecessary as normal acid levels would be achieved by my stomach without any help, so I stopped taking HCL around February.
Well, it was a bit premature, because my stomach issues immediately returned, and so after a two-week lapse, I started back up on the HCL, but stuck to the 700mg dosage.
I continued until about 2 weeks ago, and this time I had no problems going off the HCL. My stomach is able to handle any kind of food, my shits are regular and easy on the eyes, and I no longer have any gas pain or nausea.
So, long story short, HCL supplementation got me back to being a normal human being with a healthy stomach. Not to mention I feel better, sleep better, and have more energy.
Here is a link to the Polquin article which mentions HCL:
Also, I figured this would be a good thread for other people to talk about their experiences with different supplements like digestive enzymes, pro-biotics, etc.