Betaine HCL worked like a miracle for me too after many months of suffering from GERD (chronic heartburn or acid reflux). It felt like a rat was living in my tummy, gnawing my insides every day.
It is necessary to take 5-7 caps instead of the 1-2 the bottle says, and ONLY take it with protein meals, never with light meals. Made my suffering that lasted for months go away in several days. I still maintain my stomach health by using this supplement occasionally with a heavy meal. (If you take betaine HCl with a light meal you will probably feel burning in your stomach.)
If you have been suffering, you have got to try this method. The reason it works is because when we get older and the stomach acid level drops, the signal sent to the brain weakens and the sphincter closing the esophagus off from the stomach relaxes and lets a tiny bit of the very strong HCl (hydrochloric acid) through. It is counter-intuitive, but raising stomach acid during a protein meal will send a stronger signal, and the esophagus sphincter will shut tightly again.
Using a drug that shuts off stomach acid can be detrimental since stomach acid kills germs that you do not want entering your intestines, and makes minerals from food available to the digestion. Mineral deficiencies can start a new host of illnesses.
Actually, sipping a slightly strong ACV drink with a protein meal *might* create the same situation of raising stomach acid during a heavy, protein-laden meal. God bless!
I Suffered terribly with GERD for a long time. A Dr Charles Duffy of Dallas Ft Worth Texas said in 30 years of practice ,the majority of his patients that had GERD were deficient in stomach HCL [hydro-chloric acid]. I was told to do this;get Betaine HCL[500 mg] capsules.To start, take 1 capsule fifteen minutes bsfore meal;next meal take 2, 15 minutes before; next meal take 3 as before.Keep doing this until you feel a peppery burning in stomach,esophagus.Then back off one capsule. This I did and my limit was 7 caps,then I backed off one. Amazing how this stopped the GERD.I then modified my diet to 75% raw food.
It did not take long before I was able to cut back on the Betaine HCL caps. I now follow "The Metabolic Typing Diet".