How to figure out your Digest (HCL/Enzymes) dosage:
Each person will have a specific supplementary HCL dosage. Unfortunately, there isn’t a special formula to figure it out. This is a case of trial and error until you get to the correct dosage. Failing to get to your correct dosage can remove the benefits of supplementing. This guide refers to Digest
, a digestive support that has digestive acid and enzymes.
- Eat a meal that contains at least 20-30 grams of protein (about 4-6 ounces of meat).
- Start by taking 1 cap of Digest in the middle of the meal, not before and not after the meal as this may cause discomfort. If 1 cap causes a problem, try going down to a ½ or a ¼ of a cap if possible.
- Finish the meal as normal and observe your body for any changes in feeling associated with the stomach and belly button area. Things to look for – heaviness, hotness, burning, or other GI distress.
- If you are not experiencing any digestive distress when increasing your dosage, you can continue to increase 1 cap per day with all of your meals. For example, if you started on Monday, 1 cap would be taken with all three meals then Tuesday 2 caps with all three meals etc.
- Keep increasing the number of caps taken with each meal until you notice some GI discomfort described above or until you are at a maximum dosage of 5 Digest caps.
- When GI discomfort occurs, you will know your ideal HCL dosage is 1 cap less than that current dose. For example, if you felt the discomfort going from 4 caps to 5 caps, then 4 caps is your proper dosage for a normal meal.
If you don’t feel an improvement in your digestion when going from 3 caps to 4 caps, or 4 caps to 5 caps, a good average HCL dosage will be 2-3 caps per meal.
You don’t want to cause a peptic ulcer, so be very careful when going above 5 caps per meal. Be very mindful of whether you experience distress or digestive symptoms at all. If you feel better at this dose, or even higher, please check in with Dr. C at your next consult regarding your progress.
If you have a history of an ulcer or blood in your stool please make sure you discuss this with Dr. C, before starting the Digest. As long as you are stable and there has been no active bleeding for a few months, you can start with 1/8th of a Digest cap mixed with food. As long as there is no irritation, you can gradually increase to a 1/8th of a Digest. This is a very small dose and should be a safe way of dosing up. Just make sure it is done with food. Please also add in Collagen, Glutamine, and Butyric Acid to help rebuild the gut lining as well (see Dr. C for these).
- If the Digest is too much, Swedish bitters, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar can be used first.
A couple points to clarify:
- If you eat a snack or a meal without much protein, you won’t need as much Digest (for a small snack like a piece of fruit you won’t need any at all).
- When you experience GI discomfort finding your correct dosage, you can mix ½ teaspoon of baking soda in 8oz of water and drink it to help lessen the pain.
- Dr. Wright notes in his book that “paradoxically adverse symptoms are most likely to occur in individuals with the lowest levels of stomach acid. This is because these people are most likely to have atrophic gastritis (a thinned-out stomach lining), which makes them much more sensitive to even small quantities of HCL than a normal, thicker stomach lining.” This makes sense because a super-inflamed stomach lining won’t have its normal protective barrier intact to contain the stronger acids. In this case, it is wise to start with digestive bitters or get smaller dosed HCL caps in conjunction enzymes.
- If you have low stomach acid and you can’t supplement with Digest, there are a few natural methods to help with symptoms. Start by taking a shot of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in water just before your meal to help with digestion.
- Avoid drinking more than a few ounces of water with your food. This will dilute your digestive enzymes and raise the PH of your stomach. This will also make the acid in your stomach less potent, which can create indigestion.
- It’s very common for people to stop short of their needed HCL dosage. In fact, in the beginning, I was nervous about taking 6 caps of Digest at a meal. Sometimes HCL levels need to get up to 3 to 5 grams per meal to have a therapeutic effect. Start slow and work your way up. If you don’t notice a difference back down to 2-3 caps per meal.
- Remember a normal functioning stomach is capable of producing and handling extreme acid ranges. If your dosage starts getting extremely high without any GI distress, you must use your GI symptoms as a guide instead. These include burping, bloating, flatulence, and stool consistency. Keep everything else the same in your diet as you wait for these indicators to change for the better. For patients that are having a difficult time, there is usually an underlying gut infection that needs to be addressed to ensure long-term digestive success.
- Contact Dr. C by having a troubleshoot consult if you have any concerns or questions.