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Can taking hydrochloric acid tablets help my stomach?

With continuing stomach problems, I went to an alternative medicine specialist. He gave me hydrochloric acid tablets to take in order to help with my digestion. Is this a risk to my health? I thought that stuff was dangerous for your body...
I would strongly recommend against taking these hydrochloric acid tablets unless you get it cleared with a medical doctor. There are several reasons for this. If you have problems with your digestion for any reason, you should have a workup of these problems so that you can be properly treated. If you are having abdominal pain that is associated with food, then there is a significant possibility that you have a stomach or small intestine ulcer. If this is the case, the treatment regimen may include reducing acid in your stomach, not increasing it. I cannot think of any scenario in which increasing the amount of hydrochloric acid in your stomach would be a good idea. If your digestive problems are caused by a problem with your pancreas or gall bladder, then your problem will not be helped by taking these pills. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can review your current symptoms, your past medical history, and perform a thorough physical exam. If your doctor then finds something wrong, you may undergo more diagnostic testing. If not, then your doctor can discuss a medication to help with your symptoms. Almost certainly, this doctor will ask you to stop taking the hydrochloric acid.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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