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A Disgusting Taste in Her Mouth

Here’s another persistent patient story, a woman who endured years of symptoms and no definite answers. Then, six months ago, when her symptoms went into high gear, she knew she had to do something.

I first met Claudia, a bright, healthy looking woman, just a few weeks ago. She told me her longstanding digestive symptoms had started in her teens, manifesting as bloating, gas, and nausea after meals. Despite being written off as irritable bowel syndrome, she could detect no correlation to stress or food sensitivities. For Claudia, eating itself was never a pleasurable experience. In fact, once after a particularly stressful relationship when she became depressed and briefly stopped eating much at all, her digestive symptoms actually went away.

In her thirties, by avoiding junk foods she did a little better, but she was never “just fine.” Then, out of the blue, about six months ago, she began having a truly awful taste in her mouth, described as “bitter, sour, acid-y, disgusting!”

Again she played detective and tried to locate culprit foods, but she could find nothing consistent. By eating small meals, the vile taste would relent for a couple hours, but inevitably it would return. Claudia also mentioned she’d been having chronic vaginal yeast infections every four or five weeks, each severe enough to require treatment.

She took her problems to a gastroenterologist who suggested she take Nexium (to block acid production), but it had absolutely no effect. Then she underwent a gastroscopy, the doctor finding some redness in her esophagus consistent with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD, aka acid reflux or heartburn). He told her to double her Nexium. When Claudia tried it, her symptoms dramatically worsened. He suggested she keep taking the Nexium, but she chose not to and cancelled further appointments with him.

Next Claudia went to her colon therapist, my friend Alyce Sorokie at Partners in Wellness, who, after listening to her symptoms, suggested she try a particular supplement. Within a few days Claudia felt fine, the vile taste gone and her digestive misery also a memory. She felt better than she had in years. Not to disparage her gastroenterologist, but if he’d seen the supplement, he would have had his own “Aha!” moment and understood why his Nexium made everything worse. He also might have suggested some additional testing that would have been both uncomfortable and expensive, but wouldn’t have changed Claudia’s treatment one iota.

Claudia had made an appointment with me prior to receiving her supplement from Alyce, wanting an MD to explain just what was going on and why she needed this particular supplement. I explained that what she had was called hypochlorhydria, the medical term for when a person’s stomach isn’t producing enough acid to digest food. It’s actually far more common than people realize. The cause can be genetic or secondary to a separate condition, like hypothyroidism (low thyroid) or an autoimmune disorder that destroys the acid-producing cells in the stomach.

Most often, because people have varying amounts of stomach acid, hypochlorhydria just appears, sometimes starting early in life as mild chronic indigestion and then slowly worsening.

The condition is not all that easy to diagnose, and probably explains why hypochlorhydria is often overlooked as a possible cause of digestive symptoms. Strictly speaking, to diagnose it the doctor needs a rather expensive device called a Heidelberg machine that measures the acidity (pH) of the stomach. When I telephoned two gastroenterologists, neither owned one. Interestingly, when gastroenterologists are down there in your stomach with their gastroscopes, they’re endlessly looking for evidence of too much acid (“redness,” “ulcers”) and hunting for the ulcer-causing bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), but they don’t check for insufficient acid.

Also, probably in response to the bloated advertising budgets of Big Pharma, gastroenterologists (and family practitioners and internists as well) routinely prescribe the acid-reducing drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)—including Nexium, Prevacid, AcipHex, and Dexilant–for just about every digestive symptom known.

As you might have guessed, because the job of PPIs is to reduce stomach acid, giving a PPI to someone with hypochlorhydria only makes matters worse, as it did when Claudia doubled her Nexium dose. In addition, deigning to recommend something as mundane as a nutritional supplement is beneath the dignity of most gastroenterologists, so patients with hypochlorhydria often go untreated for years.

Your impressive GI tract
To understand Claudia’s symptoms, picture your gastrointestinal (GI) tract as the long continuous tube it is, one end of which you wipe with a linen napkin, the other with Charmin. The GI system is really an external organ, a continuation of your skin (note how it turns inward at your lips). Gastroenterologists jokingly think of themselves as hard-working dermatologists.

When you take a bite of anything–from a Big Mac to that $500 meal over at Alinea–your teeth grind the food to a pulp that your mouth mixes with digestive enzyme-laden saliva, and after a few seconds it all plunges southward toward your stomach. Yes, there’s something undeniably ephemeral about fine dining. Once in your stomach, the whole mess is churned with pure hydrochloric acid and still more enzymes into a thick sludge called chyme (pronounced kim with a long i). Burger King chyme and Alinea chyme would be visibly indistinguishable from each other, but fortunately everything is far removed from your visual field and you can continue to enjoy your meal.

Your stomach then forces the chyme into the 22 feet of your small intestine for further digestion plus the absorption of all the nutrients you need to keep going in life. Once the nutrients have been extracted, the chyme is propelled into your large intestine, where excess fluid is extracted and…you know the rest.

With hypochlorhydria, the whole process grinds to a halt. Your chewed-up food is held in your stomach, feeling like dead weight, needing more acid to break it down and convert it to chyme. As Claudia described, the act of eating becomes distinctly unpleasurable. The vile taste she experienced comes from slowly putrefying food, sitting there. Vaginal Candida overgrowth is a common side effect of hypochlorhydria because inadequate acid throws off the balance of good and bad bacteria, allowing yeast to flourish. Not surprisingly, certain nutritional deficiencies also develop, notably vitamin B-12, which requires stomach acid to be absorbed.

A simple supplement restores Claudia to balance
The supplement Alyce handed Claudia was Betaine Hydrochloride (Betaine HCL). When taken about 30 minutes before a meal, it converts into enough stomach acid to digest food. Both Alyce and I often add digestive enzymes as well, and might also suggest beginning each meal with a teaspoon of bitter herbs to stimulate the body’s own acid and enzyme production.

One interesting sidelight of betaine is its use for people whose GERD has failed to respond to PPI acid blockers. While it’s extremely counterintuitive to add still more acid for a condition that seems to be caused by too much acid, when Alan Gaby, MD, author of Clinical Nutrition explains it, betaine makes sense. With hypochlorhydria, there is some acid present, but the stomach retains the chyme awaiting more. As the stomach keeps churning the food, even though the overall amount of acid is small the excessive churning causes some backflow of acid that’s experienced as reflux.  Adding more acid (using betaine) signals your stomach to release the chyme into your intestine.

Thanks to a simple and inexpensive supplement, Claudia’s vile taste is now history. And her yeast infections too.

Be well,

David Edelberg, MD 

Leave a Comment

  1. Sabrina Pasztor says:

    Thanks Dr. Edelberg for an incredibly informative and insightful narrative on GERD/acid production and the true nature of our digestive processes. I too was diagnosed with GERD several months ago, was prescribed Prilosec which severely exacerbated the symptoms (and made me feel almost delirious/mentally compromised in addition to the digestive pain), and opted to look in to completely natural and holistic healing (I had such severe chest pain from the GERD I was in the ER four times before we figured it out, and I had that bitter awful mouth taste for months). I’ve been taking Betaine/HCL supplements, and also found DGL (licorice) 30 minutes before meals to be very helpful. Most importantly, I changed my eating habits completely, have lost 25 pounds, and my fibromyalgia, which you had helped with so wonderfully several years ago, is also almost completely gone. I eat probiotics in my yogurt, and digestive enzymes with my food. I now firmly believe that my health lies in my gut, because all the inflammatory symptoms I’ve had for many years are gone/significantly reduced. Such “simple” changes have such a great impact. I am grateful to have practitioners in the world like you and your staff who focus on alternative, integrative healing practices rather than “a pill” equaling the immediate and only solution for everything.Thank you!

    • Anne says:

      If you don’t mind me asking, which brand of DGL are you using? I am trying to start on one but there are so many brands.

  2. Jim says:

    Thanks for another interesting article. I’m wondering if someone with long standing heartburn, reflux, and some Barret’s esophagus should consider the possibility that they have hypochlorhydria even though they have responded well to PPI’s. Having had 40 years of these issues, it probably doesn’t make sense to experiment with a supplement that increases acid, does it? (On my own that is.)

  3. Dr E says:

    Hi Jim
    If your Barrett’s has been seen on the gastroscope and you have responded to PPIs, then betaine is not for you

  4. Gina Pera says:

    Great info! It’s just crazy how GI docs have no clue about this. Thank you, Dr. E!

  5. Ann Raven says:

    I find this very interesting!

  6. Mel N. says:

    I will be coming in to buy some betaine hydrochloride! I’ve read a lot about it lately. My PPIs are not working. This article couldn’t have come at a better time!
    Thanks for all that you do!
    Melissa N.

  7. Marva says:

    Good-afternoon, Dr. Edelberg, I’ve been experiencing bad taste in mouth for about two years and is happy to read this column. How can I obtain this supplement? I would really like to try. I am so frustrated, I need some help.

    Thanks in advance,

  8. Yvonne says:


    I have had issues with my GI tract for about 3 years now. Firstly I had to be treated for Helicobacter with several antibiotic treatments and am cured now – however after taking a lot PPI I suddenly started to develop a sour/bitter taste in my mouth which is highly irritating – even PPi’s wont help. I have had several endoscopies to confirm light inflammation of the esophagus.
    Thank you.
    Should I try above method?

    • Dr. R says:

      I would recommend you try the suggestions above; they are simple and safe when taken as directed. You might also find an integrative physician in your area to assist you in finding additional solutions.

  9. karon moffatt says:

    At the moment I am experiencing all these symptoms, since my pregnancies ive been taking omaprozole 10mg but now I have phlemge on the back of my throat with
    this tinny taste in my mouth wot can I take 2 get rid of it, its really distracting my daily duties pleade advise karon

  10. Dr E says:

    That metallic taste is a known side effect some people experience with omperazole. You can try your luck with difference medications in that same general group, like Dexilant or Prilosec, or try using a natural product like DGL https://shop.wholehealthchicago.com/supplements-by-condition/digestive-support/dgl-plus.html

  11. Andrea says:

    Hi. My
    Question is I have been on nexium for. Along time. I have the bad taste all the time and feel like food is sitting in my throat and constant Naseous all day. So annoying. I had an endoscopy (sp) and said my esposhagus “door” was tilted but otherwise fine. Would this supplement help. So desperate

  12. Dr E says:

    Hi Andrea
    I would start with the DGL and try one bottle only.If you are still having the same symptoms, go back to your gastroenterologist and ask him to consider checking how efficiently your stomach empties itself of food. These are called “motility studies” and if your stomach doesn’t empty well, there are good prescription meds for this
    Dr E

  13. daisy says:

    I found this article very interesting…thanks Dr Edelberg…

  14. lori says:

    I think I have this as my symptoms are similar, where do I get this supplement, thanks

    • Dr. R says:

      Hi Lori. You can obtain the supplements listed in this health tip at most good health food stores or just click on the links in the article to go directly to WholeHealth Chicago’s Natural Apothecary. Good luck.

  15. Annie says:

    I feel like I have the same every time I go to the gynecologist I always have a yeast infection not matter what I do about two weeks ago my belly started hurting really bad and not matter what I do the pain don’t seem to go away and this bad mouth taste has come into play is horrible and disgusting I hate it I hope this is also my answer I always have stomach problems but this has become beyond ridiculous

  16. Dr E says:

    Hi Annie
    This does sound like chronic candida (yeast) issues. It is probably worth having someone test you for stool and vaginal candida and get a blood test testing to see if your immune system is creating antibodies to candida (this is a way we test to see if candida is there at all).
    If the tests are positive, a 6 week course of Diflucan or Sporanox (anti candida meds) may be needed

  17. Virginia szott says:

    My history is complicated. When I turned about 30 years old I began having constant diarrah. I’m talking 24/7, my life was very much altered due to this condition. About 9 years ago a dr prescribed LOTRONEX.i am constipated 24/7 but I am literally in heaven not having the paranoid fear of constant diarrah. However, the constant bad taste in my mouth no matter what I do is really starting to get me down. I don’t enjoy any type of wine or alcohol, I am starting to find myself not enjoying my meals and I have a constant paranoia of bad breath. I’ve tried the acid reflux meds—that ended in violent bouts of inconvenient diahreah. HELP

  18. Dr E says:

    Hi Virginia
    The taste issue is unfortunately most likely from the Lotronex. This is printed from the drug’s website–: Memory effects, tremors, dreams, cognitive function disorders, disturbances of sense of taste, disorders of equilibrium, confusion, sedation, and hypoesthesia.
    You might try switching to a very old but generally side effect free med for chronic diarrhea called Lomotil–talk to your doctor about it. You start at a low dose and slowly increase until you are happy with your bowels
    Dr E

  19. Susan Chatlos says:

    I have had a terrible taste in my mouth for over 2 years now! I discribe it as a rotten lime or acidity taste. I have to chew gum all day in order to stay sane. I have been sent to the dentist, several doctors who sent a camera down my throat, exrays, mri; ear, nose and throat doctor who stuck a tube in my nose to look behind my voice box. He said it was classic acid reflux. My indigestion got a little better I think but the taste in my mouth got worse. I think the lack of acid is my problem. I also had a third of my thyroid remove 15 years ago and I know it isn’t an exact science to regulate my Armour med. Thank you for your information and would like to know what I do with it? Thanks, Susan

  20. Dr E says:

    Hi Susan
    If no one actually looked into your stomach to diagnose the reflux, then that may not be the culprit. I would suggest the supplement Betaine which you would take during a meal. This would increase your stomach acidity, help your digestion, and may actually help with reflux. Try it for a couple of weeks and see if your bad taste starts to clear. Also remember to use a tongue scraper every single day after brushing your teeth
    Dr E

    • Susan Chatlos says:

      Thanks for the followup. I have stopped taking my acid reflux script and started Betaine HCL and Digest Smart of Seniors for enzymes. I will let you know any results.

  21. Virginia szott says:

    My original correspondence was sent to you on Feb 1p, 2015. I live in Florida during the winter months. In May I will be back in BARRINGTON. Il. I would like to come in to see you and try to deal with my problems with you directly. Is that possible?

  22. sari sutton says:

    I have a very similar story to Claudia. I can’t get rid of this nasty bitter taste in my mouth for 3 months. Havee had an enoscopy. They said mild gastritis and acid reflux.went to a good holistic doctor but he didn’t mention hydrochloride. What should I do? Tryed everything. Even aloe vera juice.

  23. Susan Chatlos says:

    This is a followup. I have now been taking Betaine HCL and an enzyme supplement for the last 8 days. Stopped my Acid Reflux meds same day. My stomach feels better but the terrrible taste in my mouth is still there. Is it too early to make a difference? Thanks, Susan

  24. Dr E says:

    Hi Sari
    Yes, a trial of betaine hydrochloride is perfectly reasonable

  25. Charlene says:

    Dear Dr. Edelberg
    Over the years I have tried every ppi out there and get the same results. By evening my throat gurgles, like air or gas is trapped, and i mean loudly (by the way I never burp) and I usually get so bloated i look pregnant, this is from ppi’s.
    I just stopped pantoprazole after 2 months due to the above. Plus I have this terrible taste in my mouth,which is new from the meds.. I was scoped years ago and there was a little redness distally. What do you recommend for me? it is so hard for me to explain these side effects to my dr. and i don’t know anyone who experiences this from ppi’s. Thanks so much for your help.

  26. Dr E says:

    Hi Charlene
    Change in both taste and digestion have been reported as side effects from the PPI family. You might try a month of using digestive enzymes and betaine with each meal. Although it seems counterintuitive to add more acid (i.e., betaine), sometimes it’s a condition called hypochlorhydria (too little acid) behind your symptoms. If you get no improvement after a month, don’t continue the supplements

  27. Anna Schroeder says:

    I am interested in these supplements as I have been having a terrible bad taste in my mouth for past couple of months along with an IBS pain in right side. I do not have an appendix or orvaries. I eat healthy and dentist said my teeth were in good shape.

  28. Hi,I find your information very interesting. I have suffered from this exact condition for many years now,but it’s got so bad I really have to take action as I just can’t live with this anymore. I too have been subscribed Nexium 20 Mgs,but it just seems to be making my condition worse. I try to suck peppermints or anything to try to get rid of this terrible taste in my mouth,but as soon as I finish,the taste is there again. I am overweight,which I know doesn’t help things,but even when I had lost the weight,it still happens. I have also tried eating small meals but to no avail.
    I have purchased the Betaine H C L and am starting them today,and I’m going to try these instead of my Nexium. I did have a gastric bypass surgery about 8 years ago,but I had it reversed 2 years later due to severe medical problems. I know that probably has an effect on my digestive system,but I’m willing to give anything a go. I really enjoyed reading your article,and all the people that also replied. I really was surprised with how many people suffer from this condition. I live in Australia,and really enjoy your articles.
    Cheers Carol

  29. Sierra says:

    Hi, after reading this article I think I might actually have hypochlorhydria, I am twenty years old and have been diagnosed with so many different diseases— one being IBS. When I was ten I use to get these outrageous stomach pains out of no where (this came and gone for a few years) When I was sixteen I then started experiencing these pains again i learned when they were coming on because I would get this weird chocky taste in my mouth, I knew I was getting sick when I felt that feeling in my mouth. This pain got so bad for me when I was eighteen that I stopped eating completely for a few months and lived off of water and a few crackers here and there I went from 120lbs to 94lbs because it hurt so bad that I didn’t want to eat. Everything I did/still do doesn’t help. I also would feel like sometimes I was going to throw up (but knew I wasn’t going to) because of how painful the pains were. The last time I had a procedure done on me I was told that I had a red irritation with one of my intestines from it being “irritated” and “inflamed” and when I got blood work done multiple times I was told I have an autoimmune disease but they’re not sure what it could be— or that it was possibley Lupus because it runs in my family and I also have all the symptoms for that with me feeling weak, overly tired, and constantly getting bad chest pains (that make it dificault to breathe), ect. I have been in and out of the hospital, specialists offices, and doctors offices and had everything done to me so many times that they don’t want to help me because they don’t know what’s wrong with me. I want to know what’s wrong with me, I’m in pain constantly with chest pains and stomach pains. I’ve been told that it’s “acid reflex” but it’s not— I NEVER GET HEARTBURN, and have been put on every type of medicine for it and it doesn’t change anything. I just want to know what it wrong with me. Please help!!

    • Dr. R says:

      Hi Sierra. If you live near Chicago you may want to see one of our integrative physicians for a consult/evaluation. Otherwise, look for docs in your area that specialize in integrative and/functional medicine. They may be able to recommend additional options for you..

  30. janice says:

    I have also suffered with a horrible taste but only the right side of my mouth. This has been going on for 5 YEARS!
    I am at my wits end and it has zapped all the joy from my life. I wonder if this condition could be the culprit? I have had all kinds of dental work done and redone to no avail. I have seen ENTS,ORAL ORAL SURGEONSS,ORAL HEALTH SPECIALISTS IN BOSTON NO ANSWERS.
    I don’t really have too much trouble with indigestion or stomach problems except occasional heartburn etc.
    Do you think it is possible that this condition would cause bad taste on only one side? Any insight into this would be appreciated.
    Thank you.

  31. Dr E says:

    Hi Janice
    We think our bodies are symmetrical, namely that everything on the left side is the same as on the right, but we’re not. For example, I had one patient recently who had armpit odor only under one arm. I suggest giving the betaine a try. If you get relief, fine. If not, add digestive enzymes. If the combination doesn’t work, then at least you’ll know the issue is not undigested food
    Dr E

  32. Becky morales says:

    Please help me I’m having the same problems you are having my mouth has a bad taste everytime I eat I feel sick I’m very constipated I’m bloated I can’t even have meal please let me no

  33. Cynthia Ntie says:

    Where can I buy the supplement BetaineHCL

  34. Allen Lichte says:

    thank you for the info, my mouth is so acidy tasting and when I walk or do anything I experience the same and such pain with it. I haven’t yet tried you remedy but I will. Al

  35. Cherie S says:

    I have oral candida that keeps coming back. It is just a small red patch in the roof if my mouth. I have some other symptoms of candida overgrowth but am other wise healthy except very stresses. I am using the hcl with betaine and I am confused in when to take it. Some sites say before, others say in the middle and then others say after your meal. Could you please clarify this for me? Thank you

  36. Dr E says:

    Hi Cherie
    Nothing shakes faith like multiple points of view. I advise patient to take betaine HCl either during or after a meal

  37. jennifer cavender says:

    Thank u so much for this article. My grandfather has had a bitter taste in his mouth for 9 months now! He has lost weight and is getting depressed. He has beem to his gastro dr and has been scoped. He was told he had alot of acid in his stomach. He has been on prilosec for years. The only symptoms he has besides the bitter taste are feeling as if he is choking, (he gets his esphagus stretched ever so often) and soon after he eats he has loose stools. I called his gastro dr and they do not have the heidelberg test. Im thinking about goin and taking him some betain hcl tonight. He doesnt take any nsaids and doesnt have hx of ulcers. Im praying that this will help him. I hate it for him.

  38. jennifer cavender says:

    My grandfather took just one betaine hcl w pepcin this evening and stopped taking his prilosec. He called and told me his taste is 98-99% better!!!!!!! Im sooooo excited!!!!! Thank u so much for this information in this article!

  39. Geneine Lee Whiteman says:

    For the past few months I too have had this nasty nasty taste in my mouth. At first it was only once in a while but now it is a constant thing with me. I had an upper GI and other such tests but to no avail.
    I was sent to a dentist and other suggestions were made, again no help. I do have acid reflux and have been taking 40mg Omeprazole. It does help with the acid reflux but does nothing for the nasty taste in my mouth.
    My stomach has this dull ache all the time and thats about all. Claudia and you are my only Hope off having any relieve.
    Thank you Doctor for taking the time to read this.
    May God Bless you,
    Geneine Lee Whiteman

  40. Dr E says:

    Hi Geneiene
    Although I realize you are taking omperazole to reduce acid, there is some evidence that reflux may be caused by insufficient acid. I suggest betaine HCl with meals for a couple of weeks to see if you get relief from both the reflux and the taste

  41. jennifer cavender says:

    I posted a comment earlier about my grandfather. The betaine hcl did help the first two days that he took it but the third day he took it he said his stomach was on fire. He had to stop and started taking his prilosec again. Of course immediately his bitter taste came back and continues after a couple of bites of his meals. He was so happy for those two days. I feel so bad for him. He does have a appointment with his gastro dr next wk. Do u have any suggestions or thoughts on this? Thank u so much!

  42. Dr E says:

    Hi Jennifer
    Your grandfather can try taking some digestive bitters before each meal. These will stimulate his own digestive juices and facilitate digestion

  43. L says:

    Hi there,

    Chanced upon this site due to a persistent dry mouth / halitosis issue that I’ve been experiencing for some time now. NOTE: I’m currently wearing orthodontic braces as well, but I adopt an intensive flossing/cleaning regime with a water jet flosser/waterpik.

    I’ve adopted several methods:
    Visited a Chinese physician (who claimed it was due to heat in stomach as I had a previous case of acid reflux and IBS)
    Consuted a Western doctor from polyclinic (who said it wasn’t oral thrush)
    Tongue scraper
    Sugar free eclipse mints
    Raw Manuka Honey (Certified Organic, UMF 10+)
    Salt water rinse & Baking Powder
    WaterPik Flosser

    Hoping to get some solutions on what I can do/take to cure the issues.

    Halitosis – Fishy and bitter taste (The taste of water is bitter to me)
    Dry mouth
    White coating on tongue
    Little red spots & white coating at back of tongue
    Fishy smell in private regions (Could it be some kind of infection that’s linked with the fishy breath?)

    Could it be a case of yeast infection or candida?

    I’ve set my sights on Acidophillus and digestive enzymes. Do you think these products would work for halitosis sufferers? I’m in desperate need of a cure, as with all sufferers.

    • Virginia szott says:

      I have all the same symptoms except I have an added one that is also very annoying–as soon as I eat anything, my stomach blows up like a balloon…HELP!

  44. viv says:

    I have similar symptoms of dry mouth, halitosis, white coats on tongue, bad breath, and chronic yeast infection. I have tried PPI but it didnt help. Any suggestions as to what might help me.

  45. Virginia szott says:

    Dr edelberg, will taking these supplements affect my (long standing) history-with diareah? I have been taking lotronix and have a welcome relief from constant diareah, so I am hesitant to discontinue use of that drug. Just wondering if interaction with lotronix and these supplements would cause undesirable effects. Thanks for your direction.

  46. Dr E says:

    Hi Virginia
    The supplements and Lotronex should be safe together. That said, everyone is biochemically unique and if you notice some adverse effects adding the supplements then discontinue them. If the symptoms disappear, then the combination isn’t right for you. However, this should not occur

  47. Samuel says:

    COMMENT; Interesting story similar to my condition. Is this drug available over the counter?

    • Dr. R says:

      Samuel. The supplements mentioned in the article are available at most health food stores or you can click on the links to purchase directly from WholeHealth Chicago if you wish.

  48. Adewunmi Ologbonade says:

    please how do i get this supplement as am experiencing the same symptom

    • Dr. R says:

      To Adewunmi. You can go to a good health food store or simply click on the links to the supplements in the article and be taken directly to our Natural Apothecary. Good luck.

  49. mkgilbert says:

    How much should I take? I am having a bitter taste in my mouth and have often noticed that feeling that stuff is just sitting in my stomach! I cut out most grains about a year ago and that seems to help. I do have hypothyroid.

  50. Dr E says:

    Hi MK Gilbert
    If you’re referring to the betaine, take one capsule with the small meal, 1 or 2 capsules with a larger one

    • mkgilbert says:

      Thanx,I appreciate you quick reply! I’ve tried supplemental HCL before and it made my stomach burn. Does that mean I don’t need it, our just need to take less?

  51. Linda Pannetti says:

    I have barretts and I have been taking Omeprazole for years. I have had this sour bitter taste even before I was diagnosed. Can I still take this Betaine with Barretts

  52. Dr E says:

    Hi Linda
    When you have Barrett’s, you’ve got to keep your acid as low as possible to reduce your risk of esophageal cancer. That said, adding Betaine, which increases your acid, is not a good idea

    • Susan says:

      I have had this terrible taste in my mouth for almost 3 years now! I have had all the tests possible and am taking 3 prescriptions for acid reflux, one once a day and the other 3 times a day for over 3 months. The taste keeps getting worse and I am afraid that my esophagus is at risk. One doctor thought my valve between my small entestine and esophagus was stuck open, I but don’t know what to do next and neither do my doctors! Help, I have written in before and tried the Betaine and Enzyme combo, nothing is working!

  53. Christine Milkie says:

    This is the best information I’ve had in over 6 years. Tears.. I’m calling my G I doctor tomorrow. GOD BLESS WHO WROTE THIS

  54. Bill Gellman says:

    My symptoms certainly ECHO those of Claudia (with the exception of vaginal candida, obviously. I have been taking Nexium for at least eight years, as I have been diagnosed with GERD. The bad taste in my mouth (metallic) has been uncomfortable and ongoing for at least four-six months now.

    Should I discontinue use of Nexium, and use a different brand product? Can I assume that I can find the Betaine Hydrochloride (Betaine HCL) supplement at WalMart or Target pharmacies?

    Thank you very much! I look forward to some relief very soon.

  55. Dr E says:

    Hi Bill
    Yes, switch to another med from Nexium which has indeed been associated with metallic tastes. Yes, product is at any WalMart

    • Bill Gellman says:

      MANY Thanks to you for your response. I look forward to a successful change in my mouth taste on a permanent basis-

      If it works, I will certainly let you know.

      Thanks again!

      Bill Gellman

  56. Peter says:

    Will the betaine HCL destroy candida yeast by itself, or do you need to also take an antifungal like caprylic acid?

  57. Dr E says:

    Hi Peter
    You’ll need caprylic acid, too. You need not take them at the same time. Betaine is taken during meals and I suggest caprylic before meals

  58. Toshua says:

    I have a very toxic, nasty taste in my mouth which started today. I had my gallbladder out at 15, I am currently 25. I have had stomach problems my entire life, I’ve been given multiple types of medicines for my stomach. I have a problem with regurgitating my food. Not every time but it happens quite a bit. Also when I eat ice cream its the worst. When I was a kid it would be pain in the diaphragm area and I have grown to bring allergic to mushrooms because it would hurt my stomach to the point of tears. Now my tongue and lips swell if I have them and hurt in my stomach. Please help! The toxic taste worries me.

  59. Dr E says:

    Hi Toshua
    If you’ve only had this toxic taste in your mouth for one day, I wouldn’t worry. These often just pass by themselves. It does sound like you might have issues with dairy. Why not try eliminating all dairy for a week or so and see if this helps

  60. Karen Pasternak says:

    Very interesting finding and results. Thank you.

    I am experiencing very similar symptoms (minus vaginal yeast). Had been on high doses of Allicin prescribed to me by a chinese Dr. to treat chronic Lyme. Bitter taste in mouth developed after 3 months of Allicin (that was a month ago). Went into sinuses, head, mouth. Also indigestion. Very distressing.

    Had endoscopy 2 weeks ago which came out perfect. Just started double dose of Nexium. No effect for a week, then 10 days improvement, and bad again – though not AS bad.

    Taking digestive enzymes too.

    Where can I go and find out that this is in fact what I might have?

    Also, it is a bit daunting to start a plan of treatment to increase acid, if I am not sure that this is my problem.

    Are there known drs. in my area who could test me?

    Kindly advise, and thank you.

  61. Jomel says:

    Hi Dr. I have experienced this urine-like taste in my mouth for the past few weeks, but I do not have foul breath (though it constantly crosses my mind that I do have). At times I also have dry lips and lip sores. Please advise on a possible diagnosis for these symptoms, and suggest possible treatments. Thank you 🙂

  62. Dr E says:

    Hi Jomel
    Actually it sounds like you might be dehydrated. Try drinking 70-80 oz of pure water daily (until your urine looks almost clear) and see if the symptoms resolve. If not, ask your doctor for blood tests to check your kidneys

  63. John says:


  64. Nitin says:

    Hi Dr. I had a terrible salty taste in my mouth for last two months or so and then it changed to a sweet taste for some 15 days and now from last 3-4 days, I am having a bitter taste in mouth constantly for the whole day. This taste remains in my mouth til the time I am awake..I consulted with physicians, gastro-enterologists, and ENT Surgeons .. But couldn’t get any relief.. They could not figure out the reason for this problem. Could you please suggest what could be the probable reason and a treatment. I don’t have any other symptoms except a bit burning sensation in my stomach from last few days.

  65. Dr E says:

    This might be an effect of bacteria in your mouth. Get a tongue scraper and scrape your tongue twice daily. Get a specific probiotic called Probiomax DDS by Xymogen. It’s only sold through doctor’s offices so if you call our apothecary 773 296 6700 you can order from WholeHealth Chicago (or through your own MD or chiropractor)

  66. Yazmine says:

    With the exception of the yeast infection, I have been experiencing similar issues as Claudia for over a year. I eliminated different foods and coffee which gave some temporary relief but symptoms have worsen to the point that I can’t sleep. I feel better after being up for a few hpurs. I went to the doctor a few months ago and he prescribed Omeprazole. It has not helped. After reading the information in site, out of desperation I bought a bottle of HCL with pepsin and after taking one capsule I feel so much better. I was able to take a nap without problems. Should I still follow up with my doctor?

  67. Dr E says:

    Hi Yazmin
    If your betaine/pepsin has relieved your symptoms, stick with it and honestly you really solved your problem. No doctors needed

  68. Nancy Benoit says:

    I also was having a vile taste in my mouth. It came on suddenly, but was awful. Mi read that it could be caused by constipation and so started working on treatments for that which helped some but did not get rid of it. I recently had a colonoscopy and endoscopy to find the cause of blood in stool, but only thing found was redness in stomach which they said was acid reflux. I was already taking Protonic for that as a side effect of chemo done 2 years ago. So I started researching again and found this article. I found a probiotic digestive supplement with Betaine HCL and digestive aides, papaya, acidophilus and some others. If I take at 3 pills, the recommended dose before at least 1 meal, the taste is gone and digestively everything works better. So glad I found your article. Thank you!

  69. Sue says:

    I started having a bitter/metallic taste in my mouth about 4 months ago and thought it could be some of my medications but my PC told me it couldn’t be. This problem graduated to a loss of smell and taste. A month ago I thought I had food poisoning and had to go to the ER, but I’m not sure that’s what it was. I had diarrhea after eating a couple hours earlier and very bad stomach pains. When I finally vomited, it was projectile until dry heaves took over. I was given two bags of IV solution and some meds to help the nausea. I can’t eat red meat now and the smell of any meat being cooked repulses me. The only smell I can detect is bitter and kind of rancid. My urine also has the same rancid smell as well as my feces. I know my breath is bad because my 4 year old granddaughter told me that I smell funny. The inside of my nose seems to be irritated and red and any discharge also smells rancid. I’ve never had this problem before. Last Fall I was going to Dr. that suggested that I try Chelation Support to help rid my body of possible metals that I may have been exposed to in the Gulf War. I took these for a couple months but stopped at least 2 months before this condition started. I am very concerned about this bitter/rancid taste along with the inability to smell or taste. Do you think I may have hypochlorhydria. I do have several issues with my thyroid, including several goiters that are being watched, and I take synthroid, which had recently been adjusted to a lower dose due to my T levels being off. HELP!!!

  70. Dr E says:

    Hi Sue
    What meds or supplements are you taking (including any means of birth control)

  71. Caroline cleere says:

    I have bad taste in my mouth i tryed everything

  72. Linda Brashears says:

    Dr.Edelberg, From Sue: My PC doc left me a message and said for me to start taking antacid, which I have and the rancid taste is persisting. My meds are as follows: Simvastatin 20mg, for cholesterol, Synthroid.05mg, Hypothyroid, Estradiol 2mg HRT (just started in Dec 2015), Venlafaxine Hydrochloride 150 mg (for anxiety), Topiramate 25 mg bid for headaches, Metoprolol 25mg, bid for rapid heart beat,I also take B complex cap, Vitamin D3, 1000 IU, Calcium 600 mg. This is all I am taking at this time. Thank you so much for your help. I am supposed to take the antacid for 2 weeks and report back to my PC doc. Thanks again.

  73. Amie says:

    Hi I’ve been suffering for a year now, had endoscopy nothing showed, was put on ppi’s which made me worse. I get this salty horrible taste in mouth. I feel dry inside, like I need acid to break down food. It’s been affecting my throat. I started using apple cider vinegar, & enzymes when av meat. I feel abit better when take the vinegar so I may av low acid . Yet to try hcl as don’t feel any better with others. I feel full after eating, bloated, burping, I go to toilet ok. I’ve tried a healthy diet but find it’s everything I eat. Any suggestions ?

  74. Diana Greco says:

    I have taken every PPI on the market over the last five years. The first two years I felt fine but about two years ago I started feeling queasy, had no appetite and often have a bitter taste in my mouth. My GI doctor has done two endoscopies and insists I have acid reflux. He has me taking 40 mg of omeprazole in the am and 140 mg Zantac before bed. Some days I feel fine and other I feel terrible.
    I tapered to 20 mg omeprazole and no Zantac a few days ago. Yesterday I started with HCL. One tablet with breakfast, two at lunch and dinner. I feel a slight burn in the upper part of my chest and I am wondering if it is due to PPI withdrawal? I still have the bitter taste and it almost seems worse.
    The only person I have to talk to about this is my Chiropractor as my doctor has told me I definitely don’t have low stomach acid!! How long should I keep taking the HCL??
    Thank you.

  75. Dr E says:

    Hi Arnie
    Get yourself tested for small intestine bacterial overgrowth; start the betaine with each meal; drink at least 64 ounces of water every day
    Hi Diane
    Use the betaine for a month with your dose schedule, stopping it if you develop heartburn or GERD symptoms. If you don;t improve after a month, discontinue it

  76. Amie says:

    From last reply dr. Does my symptoms sound like low acid ? Don’t want to start hcl incase got too much acid. Are digestive enzymes with hcl ok to take ? My throat is very sore, what’s best way to heal it ? What symptoms would u get if acid low ? Can this cause a salty taste in mouth ?

    • cliffmaurer says:

      Hi Amie – These symptoms could be linked to low acid, enzyme deficiency, and a host of other issues. I’d recommend you discuss HCl supplementation with your primary care physician before starting as this should be done slowly and under doctor supervision. Considering digestive enzymes may also help and based on your feeling of fullness and bloating, getting tested for Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) might also help solve some issues. Here’s a health tip from November that might help: https://wholehealthchicago.com/2015/11/09/i-am-so-bloated/

      Wishing you the best in feeling better,
      Dr M

  77. Amie says:

    Will supplementing with digestive enzymes help my stomach acid get back to normal ? When do u know u need to start supplementing with hcl ?

    • cliffmaurer says:

      Hi Amie – Digestive enzymes will not directly effect stomach acid. Supplementing with HCl should be done with the assistance of your healthcare provider to ensure both that it’s the proper therapy for you and that it’s done safely. Sometimes jumping too quickly to using HCl or using too high of a dose can create a situation of too much acid leading to reflux, ulcers, etc. Please be certain that you discuss using HCl your healthcare provider. Best of luck in addressing your digestive concerns!
      -Dr. M

  78. Amie says:

    Thanks dr, I’m still confused about what to take. I get a salty taste which is making throat sore. One minute I’m taking apple cider vinegar then next enzymes, but very confused what to use. I found apple cider helped but hurts my throat. I have trouble digesting meats & fats. My stomach isn’t working right it’s like everything I eat causing it, I eat do healthy. Sometimes I find undigestive food in stools. I’m currently taking probiotics aswell. It’s affecting my life, I gave up bread & dairy but I don’t think it’s what I’m putting in its how it’s not digesting.

  79. Nancy Kriege says:

    I’m searching for someone who can help my daughter, she is suffering from digestive issues and depression. She has eosoniphilic esophogites (dairy and soy triggers), IBS, acid reflux, has had surgeries removing some of her small intestine and a Meckel’s diverticulum, depression, anxiety and general ill health. She self medicates with alcohol which is also a problem. We have been to many “traditional” doctors and psychiatrists and at almost 30 years old, she is sicker than ever. I’ve read about many alternative therapies for EE and I’m looking for a doctor that can look at all of her issues together and devise a course of action. Please help.

  80. Amie says:

    Thanks dr, I’m still confused about what to take. I get a salty taste which is making throat sore. One minute I’m taking apple cider vinegar then next enzymes, but very confused what to use. I found apple cider helped but hurts my throat. I have trouble digesting meats & fats. My stomach isn’t working right it’s like everything I eat causing it, I eat do healthy. Sometimes I find undigestive food in stools. I’m currently taking probiotics aswell. It’s affecting my life, I gave up bread & dairy but I don’t think it’s what I’m putting in its how it’s not digesting

    • cliffmaurer says:

      Hi Amie – It’s not entirely clear what type of therapy you need to be pursuing, and very difficult to help guide treatment over a forum like this. Seeing your physician and going over your history, symptoms, and testing makes the most sense. If you don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere with your current doc, perhaps seeing one of our medical physicians here at WholeHealth would be a good next step. If we’re not convenient to your location, you can google the Institute for Functional Medicine for other like-minded physicians in your area.

      -Dr. M

  81. Renee says:

    My son has this acid taste in his mouth all the time and his tounge get numb. He was checked by a functional medicine doctor and told he had low stomach acid and given the betaine/pepsin & digestible (enzymes). He took these under the doctor’s care for 2 months but his symptoms only got worse. He is off everything now. His stools are completely undigested and move through him extremely quickly. Over the past 2 years we have been to gastrointerologists, herbalists, functional medicine doctors. We don’t know where to turn. Can you help us?

  82. Dr E says:

    Hi Renee
    Two tests would be helpful
    1. intestinal transit time (how quickly xray contrast material goes from stomach to large intestine)
    2. breath test for SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth).

  83. Sandy Matuschak says:

    What is the recommended dose of Betaine HCL? Also, you mentioned to take it 30 min before eating, but the directions on various brands that I’ve seen say to take with food and never on empty stomach? It also says not to take if only eating a salad or fruit and mainly with protein (generally some sort of meat) so I’m confused. I’ve had this same history and strong acidic taste in mouth over last few years, the taste has recently become worse and for most of the day (I’m usually okay upon waking and it increases throughout the day). I just purchased this product which includes pepsin and opted for the 250mg capsules as could increase. I ended up taking 2 with dinner last night & 2 with breakfast/lunch. Cannot notice a change yet but less than 24 hrs since first dose and uncertain of the usual starting dose?

  84. Penny says:

    Where can i get this from? I too have a vile taste, everything tastes bitter even inhaling fresh air ! Blood tests are normal . Oral hygiene is good.at my witz end please help!

    • cliffmaurer says:

      Hi Penny – Which supplement are you looking for? I’d be happy to help you find a resource.
      Dr. M

  85. Dr E says:

    Hi Sandy
    Take your new supplements right when you start eating and generally they’re recommended for meals containing protein, fats, complex carbs (which is actually then most meals). A salad really doesn’t need enzymes. If you’re not getting satisfactory results by the time you finish the bottle, don’t buy another. Review all your current meds and supplements to make sure none has bad taste as a side effect. Finally, consider getting yourself tested for SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) which is turning out to be a much commoner cause of bad taste than we thought a few years ago

  86. Amie says:

    Hi, is the sibo test different to the H pylori test ? I also keep having a salty taste in mouth after everything I eat. I’m taking l-glutamine at mo. I’ve been trying apple cider vinegar but it doesn’t help my sore throat. Do u think I should try hcl next ? I’ve researched digestive enzymes do u only need them if constipated a lot ?

    • Dr. R says:

      Amie. It would be worthwhile to try HCL or digestive enzymes as discussed in the article to see if they might alter your symptoms.

  87. Amie says:

    Hi, I’m taking hcl with pepsin with fish & meat meals. It is helping my symptoms. When do u know when to stop taking these ? Also I think I need to take digestive enzymes as my food is not breaking down in stools. Can u take these along side hcl ? Is it ok to take a the same brand for hcl & digestive enzymes not one that’s combined with hcl ?

  88. Amie says:

    Dr R when do u stop taking hcl supplements ? Also I’m taking one just with protein meals, shall I use enzymes for other meals such as carbs ? Also I only take one hcl with meals & get no discomfort do I need to try taking more than one ? The salty taste in mouth is improving.

  89. Doris says:

    Thanks for this posting. I was just recently diagnosed with hypochlorhydria after finally seeing a Naturopathic Doctor. The first symptoms I endured for months were of not properly digesting my food. Every time I ate the food would just sit in my stomach and I would get major nausea – every single time. After seeing my naturopath I started taking digestive bitters before meals and also increased my protein consumption because I was a vegetarian for many years. They say that not eating meat/protein can cause this condition. After two months I am still feeling some symptoms, such as a burning/acidic feeling in my stomach gas and bloating. I am working with my naturopath to focus on food combining and see if this helps. I am hoping to get my HCL back on track as naturally as possible because stomach and intestinal diseases run in my family.

  90. Linda says:

    Hi I have suffered with acid reflux since I was a child my would give baking soda for it.I a much older now and still suffer with the problem bitter taste bad breath when I talk people cover nose

  91. Linda says:

    Hi Linda here I have suffered with acid reflux since child hood I take omeperzoal for my reflux it helps somewhat it seems everything I eat goes down slow nasty taste in my mouth.

  92. Betsy says:

    Does anyone here also have orange tongue with the bad tasting mouth?

  93. Amie says:

    I saw a gastro consultant & he said I have functional dyspepsia. I keep getting a salty taste in mouth, as I’m not in pain or get heartburn he said I don’t have a normal acid reflux problem. I feel I av silent reflux as something is affecting throat. He has never heard of low acid, but I think I have as I get no burning after taking two hcl tabs. I don’t no what to do next ?

  94. Dr E says:

    Hi Arnie
    I would order three tests, all available from Genova Labs”
    Breath Test for SIBO
    Comprehensive Stool Digestive Analysis, adding on the test for Helicobacter Pylori.
    You can order these directly from the company or ask them for some doctors in your area who can order them for you

  95. Tosin says:

    Hello doctor,I was tested positive for her pylori, got treated with antibiotics and I’ve not been myself since then. Gas, bloating, indigestion, numbness, tingling sensation, burning sensation. Tested positive again . I’m allergic to some foods and food sit in my stomach for a long time before digesting. What can I do?

  96. Dr E says:

    Hi Tosin
    From your description of symptoms, this sounds like small intestine bacterial overgrowth. Have your doctor order a breath test for SIBO or order it yourself from Genova Labs
    If you are positive, this is easy to treat with Xifaxan

  97. Vickie says:

    My symptoms are the same Its been going on for years I have had more procedures than you can imagine This is very interesting Where can I buy this supplement to try I have been to 4 doctors

  98. Claire says:

    Hi I have suffered from a bad taste in my mouth and nose since I was a child. Like a rotting/faeces smell.
    My dental hygiene is very good.
    The only way I’ve found to cover it in my throat is by taking Gaviscon.
    I have adult acne and it is a lot worse when I eat wheat (deep boils/spots/bloated/fatigue)
    The smell is worse after I’ve eaten.
    I had tests done some years ago and they said I had narrow passages through my sinuses but I don’t think that causes the bad breath, it seems to be coming up my throat.
    If you could give me some advice I would much appreciate it.

  99. Dr E says:

    Hi Claire
    1. Make sure you remain 100% gluten free
    2. “Fecal smell” is from methane gas. Have your doctor or anyone in your area who does functional medicine test you for Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). This test specifically checks for methane. If it is positive, a short course of an antibiotic (Xifaxan) may actually be curative. Here’s the SIBO test

  100. Vincenza says:

    Where can I purchase this supplement?

  101. Ann says:

    PPIs only make my GERD worse. Lemon juice w/ meals greatly improves symptoms.
    I recently bought Betaine HCL 650mg w/ Pepsin. I used right before my meal and my symptoms immediately improved. But three hours later I had horrible acid reflux. I am now wondering did I not take enough or did I use too much?

  102. Samar says:

    Hello Dr. I need your help. I have similar symptoms as Claudia. I tried the betaine hcl with pepsine… I can say that the bloated stomach that I suffered from since I was a child has almost gone;but the acidic taste in my mouth became worse and even made my teeth lightening…any explanation?should I take any supplements along with the betaine hcl?..or does it mean that actually I don’t have low stomach acid?thank you so much

  103. Dr E says:

    Hi Samar
    There are two diagnostic tests worth exploring. The Heidleberg test (see link) for the amount of stomach acid you produce (or are failing to produce)
    along with the breath test for small intestine bacterial overgrowth syndrome (SIBO)
    You can discuss these with any gastroenterologist

  104. Kell says:

    I have had an extremely metallic taste in my mouth for years. Once I took a tab of hcl, caused me to double over in excruciating pain. The pain was in my lower abdomen, which had been distended for several years. There is something happening with my system that involves ammonia production. My body feels singe-d and dry from the inside out by ammonia coming from my guts. Acid medications, digestive enzymes, hcl– none of these worked. The ammonia presence makes many bitter foods to be intolerable, especially raw bitter greens. The smell is in all of my body fluids and during dry months it causes my skin to become paper-thin and starched dry. The metallic taste in my mouth intensifies to include my teeth. My skin feels like it is being burned from the inside out all over my body. My hair falls out, my nails get brittle, my eyes get dry and I can’t concentrate on anything due to the discomfort. If I get too hungry, the ammonia will happen in my brain, which is the worst. I have been to so many docs, holistic and otherwise, over the years. I’ve also tried a lot of digestive supps and cleanses. The only thing my body responds to is all-fruit cleanses. They give temporary relief. But that’s it. I have NO idea if this could actually be related to stomach acid issues in some way but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask.

  105. Abi says:

    My husband says when we have sex he gets a bitter mouth he thinks because I’m taking euthyrox

  106. Robert the Bruce says:

    After a backread of all the notable procedures here, that there is no mention of my symptom which led me to take indomethasin. My major joints hurt and work only increased discomfort. Was told (not by GI or Rhumatology) that my blood leeched protein and calcium from the joint friction.

  107. Anna says:

    I have bad taste and no doctors know what it is.

  108. Linda says:

    Thanks so much i have suffered the same symptoms for many years just not the yeast infection where can i find this supplement thanks again

    • cliffmaurer says:

      Hi Linda – To which supplement are you referring? Please let me know and I’d be happy to help you find it.

      -Dr M

  109. Kathy Flow-Lamy says:

    I have had a bitter taste in my mouth for more than ten years. When I eat food tastes great – it’s after I eat or drink that I get this terrible taste. It sometimes makes me very nauseous. I have gone to all kinds of Dr’s and no one can help me. I have had a colonoscopy and endoscopy nothing shows up. I have been checked by dentists – everything is fine. Can you advise me on something else to try.

  110. Dr E says:

    Hi Kathy Flow-Lamy
    From your description of symptoms, this sounds like small intestine bacterial overgrowth. Have your doctor order a breath test for SIBO or order it yourself from Genova Labs
    If you are positive, this is easy to treat with Xifaxan

  111. Laurie says:

    I also have had for more than 10 years a nasty, sour, acid, bitter taste in my mouth. Brushing my teeth and tongue just seem to spread the taste around even more. Nothing I’ve tried has helped. I thought maybe it is due to hiatal hernia or GERD as I sometimes have to wait for food or drink to go down after I swallow. I also have a history of Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction (SOD) and have had 2 surgeries, however both failed to give any relief. My new GP said that any symptoms remaining from the SOD are from some other condition because after ablating the muscle twice there isn’t anything left to cause pain except for maybe scar tissue. I’m beginning to wonder if I was misdiagnosed all those years ago. I’m wondering if I would benefit from Betaine HCL?

  112. Jo says:

    hi Dr E

    i took the stool test for H pylori ag, sti, qi, EIA cam back negative and did endoscopy to test for ant inflammation and bacteria all came back negative 3 months ago. i took prevacid for two months now, i still have sour taste in mouth after each meal last 1 hour. the sour taste not going away i have took prevacid for 2 months already. prevacid did not make my symtom worst but the chest pain and sour taste not going away completely. some day the sour taste in mourh is bit better and some day has more sour last 1 hour. i am on 30 mg in morning and 15 mg at nite for prevacid straight 2 months. what should i do next.

    • cliffmaurer says:

      Hi Jo –

      Have you been seen by a WHC practitioner? If so, best to follow up with them either in an appointment or over the Patient Portal. If not, I recommend seeing whomever has been following your healthcare. These symptoms are worthy of follow-up.

      Dr M

  113. alicia says:

    what was the supplement called. many would like to know if there is something secondly, is there something for excessive “belching” at times …. something one should stop consuming…. I have found that that didn’t matter.
    Perhaps I’m just an airswallower. I can live with that. No straw drinking/not eating fast,not talking while eating. Incidently, taking prevecid 30 min. before consuming DID not make a difference. So I stopped. Is there a danger in stopping abruptly ?

  114. Dr E says:

    Hi Alicia
    I would start by using
    Similase(digestive enzymes),
    and Betaine (converts to stomach acid), 1-2 capsules with each meal.
    Also get tested for small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). You can order the test from Genova Labs http://www.gdx.net

  115. Thank you
    I had had a mild stomach bug for a week and had not taken any of my meds.
    The first time I did I got the awful taste in my mouth after I ate. I then realized I had not experienced it since I had been sick.
    My husband suggested I look up side effects of Pepcid nand protonix. I did and although foul taste was not listed, I kept researching and ended up on this site.
    I am anxious to try this supplement.
    I also have that full feeling and don’t line to eat.
    I had read the book, “dropping acid, …..” and too much acid was mentioned in that book I believe. I had also read to try drinking apple cider vinegar.
    Any comments on those last 2 thoughts.
    Where can I buy the Bethanie HC L.
    Can hardly wait to try it !
    Thanks so much for writing this post.

  116. Linda says:

    Hi doctor. I have had this acidic metallic taste in my mouth for the last year. I have seen a gastroenterologist, 2 ENT specialists and 2 neurologists. I have had numerous tests including an endoscopy, a colonoscopy, CT scan of the lungs and MRIscan of the brain. All of the results were good- no abnormalities. I was prescribed all of the PPI medications- nothing worked. All of the doctors have told me they cannot help me as they don’t know what is causing this and I have to live with it. I also cannot taste anything salt or sweet. This is affecting my life and I am in severe depression. Any advice would be appreciated

    • cliffmaurer says:

      Hi Linda – this definitely sounds like something we may be able to help you with, but it would require an in-depth conversation about your history, symptoms, tests that have been performed (and those that may not have been performed). If you’re in the Chicago area, any of our doctors or our nurse practitioner would be happy to meet with you. If not, google the Institute for Functional Medicine to find like-minded clinicians.
      Dr M

  117. Kelsey McDaniel says:

    Can you take this supplement in place of omeprazole? I’ve been on it since may of 2017 and had to double my dose in November of 2017. Just recently I have had an awful taste in my mouth bitter sour and salty but don’t have any underlying condition other then gerds. My doctor isn’t worried about what is causing this taste in my mouth. My gi says Our next step is the test the acidity in my stomach. The only thing I can come up with is my Gerds. I’m lost and not sure what is causing this taste.

  118. Dr E says:

    Hi Kelsey
    I think your GI doc is on the right track. He will be testing you for hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid) which I describe in the article. If you have this condition, then betaine with enzymes would be right for you.
    Should you try the betaine/enzymes beforehand? It wouldn’t hurt to give them a try to see if you improve (and then you wouldn’t need the testing). But if your GI test is scheduled, don’t use them because they’ll interfere with the test results

  119. Pamela Picot says:

    Thank you, I have an appointment with my GP in April and will suggest this is the answer. The vile taste in my mouth along with the nauseous feeling is now ruining what is left of my life. Eating is a chore and even water tastes disgusting. You have described my symptoms perfectly in Claudia’s story.

  120. Lourdes Rodriguez says:

    Read this, and I have most of her symptoms. Would like to speak with Dr. David Edelberg by phone or an appointment,
    Where is the Doctor located, address, phone, what state is his practice.

    Your help will be greatly appreciated as I don’t have a quality of life with this problem over 4 years now.

    Pleas help. Thanks so much for the help I can get to resolve this.

    • Dr. R says:

      Hi Lourdes. Dr. Edelberg can be seen by appointment at our Center; WholeHealth Chicago, 2265 N. Clybourn Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614; 773-296-6700. Hope you’re available to see him.

  121. Jen says:

    Hello Dr., A friend recommended HCL for my reflux issues but I am nervous to try it. I have symptoms of LPR, especially lump in throat. No typical “heartburn” symptoms though I have had them in the past. But lately I find acidic and spicy foods I used to tolerate really burn in my throat, so I am avoiding them. I am worried I have damaged my throat with pepsin. I want to get in to see an ENT but it may be awhile. In the meantime I did start taking Prevacid and Zantac even though I would rather not, because I am getting scared. I have read of others online whose LPR was made worse by trying HCL. Some say that digestive enzymes without the HCL might be best in this situation, but I am nervous about them too. I really don’t want to burn my throat. But I do think this is a stomach problem at root. I often have pressure under sternum. Would it be safe to try something like Plant Enzymes? Thank you.

  122. Jen says:

    Oh, I should have mentioned, I have also been burping a lot. That is my real worry, that I will burp up the enzymes and they will hurt my throat. With all this burping, I sometimes do burp up supplements I take and that is not pleasant. Thank you!

  123. Dr E says:

    Hi Jen

    For some people, betaine HCl works wonders for reflux. For others, nothing. Same goes with enzymes. In either case, you’ll not have any permanent damage. The lining of the entire gastrointestinal tract, mouth to anus, heals very quickly

  124. Bonnie says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I hope it’s the answer for me.

  125. Marylou says:

    I am ecstatic. After having this miserable sour taste constantly present since having both large and small intestines partially removed due to a bowel blockage, I think you might have given me the answer–hypochloridia. If I complain to my colorectal surgeon, he tells me to see my gastroenterologist,who. in turn,refers me back to the

    colorectal surgeon, who always recommends antacids, which always makes it worse. Eating has become a nightmare. I do have an autoimmune disorder and have had numerous yeast infections. My physicians treat me as a hypochondriac because I won’t give up. I only weigh 98 pounds so just not eating is not the answer. Now I feel I might have some credibility with my colo and gastro docs. I repeatedly ask my husband if my breath is bad even though I brush my teeth several times a day.
    I am still having Botox injection for Ramsey Hunt infection which has left the left side of my face partially paralyzed and with triennial neuralgia, so just to be able to eliminate the disgusting taste will make life
    significantly better. I’m 76 years old and like to start enjoying my remaining years. I will try the supplement immediately. Thank you for the article. Just read it by chance, in desperation. Can’t believe after all this time there could be a simple solution and just maybe I’m not nuts.

  126. Juana Bustamante says:

    I have suffered stomach problems for about 3 yrs. have had all kinds of tests done w/no results. Have used dexilant and other PPIs n nothing has worked. Now my sour taste in my mouth is getting worse. Nauseated stomach w/burning feeling thruout stomach day in and day out. Have lost a lot of weight.

  127. Zach says:


    I’m just wondering… If I was to try this supplement, would I discontinue my Nexium during this trial, or take them together then wean off the Nexium as possible. I used to be on 40mg Nexium, and weaned myself down to 20mg daily due to excessive stomach polyps. I’m now having this odd heartburn sensation followed by a bitter, rotten milk type taste and a feeling of being extremely bloated. I’m going to try the Betaine out of desperation, but am wondering on the Nexium use with the supplement

  128. Dr E says:

    Hi Zach
    Try the betaine alone for 2-3 weeks just to see if you really need the Nexium. You can always return to it

  129. kim saxby says:

    hi my daughter is 13 and has been suffering with a really nasty taste in her mouth with result of being sick for 2 days. This as been going on for 9 years and doctors cannot find nothing wrong. would this supplement help her

  130. Rita Clementi says:

    I’m having trouble with a bad bitter, foul, or metallic taste in my mouth for last 4 years. Also oral thrush and vaginal yeast infection twice in that time. Bloating gas etc as well. Doctors dont help. I think I have low stomach acid and candidiasis overgrowth. Help please want the bad taste to go away

  131. Dr E says:

    Hi Rita
    You need to find a functional medicine doctor in your area. Go to http://www.ifm.org and click ‘find a practitioner.’
    You should be tested for (1) small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO); get a Comprehensive Stool Analysis (CDSA) which will determine if you have insufficient acid and will look for candida overgrowth, and (3) test you for the presence of excess heavy metals in your body

  132. Susie Soares mcadam says:

    Thank you for your story Claudia. I have been experiencing very similar symptoms as you for two years now. But no yeast infections. The taste in my mouth is extremely bitter and tingly. I’m on ppis twice a day but they’re really not healthy symptoms are still there. Waiting to do my motility studies test in August of 2019. As you know this is very frustrating. I’ve done all kinds of tests I do have low-grade GERD. I’ve read your article. I will be trying the betaine HCL. Is there anything else that you suggest to take with it to combat this taste in my mouth? Best wishes Susie

  133. Rika says:

    Hi doctor, I have a terrible taste in my mouth, build up of saliva but here is the real kicker. I can’t eat hardly anything stomach is too sick, pain and my mouth is raw, I have sores throughout my mouth and my lips are swollen. It has been like this going on three weeks.
    My stomach acids have been bad for years but I got Ill 3 months ago and it got so much worse.

  134. Tracy Upp says:

    Thank you Dr. Edelberg,
    The article was very helpful and I believe I have low stomach acid as well. I have been on corticosteriods and synthroid for almost 20years. I have had a nasty metallic taste in my mouth for about 4 months now. Went to GI doctor had an endoscopy and everything came back fine. Was put on PPI’s and nothing has changed. Next appt is ENT. I have been researching the internet and finding a lot of folks with low stomach acid and went out and bought Betaine HCL. Just started taking the supplements this week and haven’t noticed a difference yet. Hopefully this will help. I’m also drinking 8oz. of celery juice on an empty stomach in the morning. I do have a question I read on the internet that if you take corticosteriods you shouldn’t take Betaine HCL? Thank you kindly, Tracy.

  135. Dr E says:

    Hi Tracy
    Yes, corticosteroids and betaine shouldn’t be taken together as they’re both stomach irritants
    Youcould take your steroids in the AM with breakfast and the betaine with lunch and supper

  136. Jess says:

    Hi Doctor, my mum have sjogren’s syndrome and osteoporosis. About 7 to 8 months ago she start to have lasting salty taste in her mouth, the doctor cannot figure out why. She is toothless only wearing dentures and only eating porridge not eating any salty spicy food and only drinking water. She used to be able to eat fruit at that period of time (papaya / banana) but lately when she tried eating this the salty taste become worse same goes for when she eat fish or chicken. Told her doctors but they are not sure why this is happening. She is currently on hydroxychloroquine sulphate, alendronate sod, calcium carbs, mtx and omeprazole. Should i let her try the betaine hcl?

  137. Dr E says:

    Hi Jess
    It might be the alendronate whose full name is alendronate sodium and is known to cause changes in taste (metallic, salty)
    Dr E

  138. Jess says:

    Hi Dr E,
    Thanks for the reply, i spoken to her doctor, she say we can tried to stop taking the alendronate sodium for 3 months and see if the salty taste will goes off.

  139. Jeri says:

    I have many of the same symptoms as Claudia. About four years ago I went to dr because I would bend over and just throw up for no reason. No pain, or nausea precursor. They put me on Prilosec saying it was an ulcer with zero testing. I have been on it ever since. I have had a lot of issues with pain, was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and I went to a pain clinic and they did an SI joint injection of cortisone in December. A week later I had the most God awful taste in my mouth and stopped eating, I was so miserable for about two weeks and suicidal. They diagnosed me with thrush(even though I had no appearance of it in my mouth, they did a scrape and I tested positive). I was having constant anxiety and panic attacks and my menstrual cycle was nonstop(for the next 4 months I bled approx 20 of every 30 days). After a course of diflucan pills for 8 days as well as Clotrimazole lozenges for a week… I felt no better. The horrific taste was still there, and the drs just said it was in my head. I tried to ignore it and move on but about two weeks ago(May 1), it came back full force and I went back in to dr begging them to do something. He put on the thrush meds again, without even testing for it and gave me lorazepam for the anxiety. I am so completely stressed out over it. I feel like I can’t enjoy anything, I have panic attacks if I have to be in a small space with other people for fear of bad breath, even though the dr and and my family has reassured me that it isn’t. I have had horrible left side pain and constipation and bloating for a couple of years, and just feel miserable every time I eat. It is a hundred times worse with red meats or sausage and anything fatty, especially things like cream or cheese sauces(like alfredo). Eggs and mushrooms and anything heavy like pasta often make me miserable and things that are high fiber like beans I suffer for hours after with nausea and gas. The strangest thing is that I have been gaining weight, even though I barely eat anything because of the bad taste and misery afterward. I eat a few bites and don’t feel well so I stop. I don’t understand how I can be gaining weight(I have gained 15 pounds just since January). My acne has been terrible too since the cortisone shot(I am 49 years old). Have you ever heard of any of this stuff being connected? I don’t know where to go from here… I went back to dr for physical a week ago, and he said now that he thinks it is OCD! I am just obsessed with my mouth and the awful taste. Help me, what do you recommend?

  140. Dr E says:

    Hi Jeri
    Ask your doctor to test you for Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). You can get the test yourself here:

  141. Jeri says:

    I was in the ER suicidal last night because no one will help. I cry all day every day. They ran basic blood tests and did a brain scan and sent me home with a prescription for Carafate. All tests normal as always. Told me to follow up with GI dr and maybe a neurologist. Not one person has done anything beyond look in my mouth and say hmmm, seems normal. Why is it so hard to get them to look past the anxiety it is causing and find a reason for the foul taste? I feel like I am going to die before someone even tries. GI dr on Tuesday, I pray they will listen, not sure if the SIBO test can be done without prep since this is a consult? and what is the next step if it isn’t SIBO? Because of my state of mind over this, I feel like I don’t have time to waste. Thank you for answering my questions and for your site.

  142. Dr E says:

    Hi Jeri
    You can start SIBO treatment with two natural products available online called Candibactin AR and Candibactin BR. Start with AR, two caps twice a day, then switch, same dose. Two rounds of each usually clears SIBO

  143. Brooke O'hara says:

    Wow,I have had these exact symptoms for the last four years; with the addition of head and sinus pressure, earaches, ringing in my ears. I did some research because every doctor or ER visit turned up nothing but IBS, gastritis, panic attack, mental issues, and heartburn. I found information about Laryngopharyngeal reflux, and because I’m a professional singer with trouble warming up due to phlegm, chronic cough, and the feeling of a lump in my throat. I thought maybe this was it and I talked to my doctor, where she prescribed 40mg Prilosec a day essentially for 4 years everyday; then when I didn’t get relief he added liquid Gaviscon 15 minutes after every meal…. I then started vomiting more often and spending more days in bed, where my severe depression took a hold of me, and I just stopped eating because I was fighting severe stress at eating anything. After a 100 pound weight loss my doctors office simply said congratulations, knowing that I made no physical effort to lose weight. Now with access skin hanging from my belly, my symptoms increased to literally unbearable, and I couldn’t eat and panicked everytime I had a bowel movement.I got to a point where I thought about suicide, because I was suffering from a living nightmare. After days of research on PPI medications I decided to quit taking them. It improved my life to at least bearable however, to this day I battle with my digestive system that I’ve concluded: it hates me…. reading this has given me a little glimmer of hope, and I am so grateful for. Thank you!

  144. Linda Grant says:

    Hi I have been suffering with water brash for 3 years now, nothing has helped, ranitidine, omeprozol, peptac , etc. Nothing works! Had endoscope which showed very small hiatus hernia and barium swallow showing my oesophagus is weak so food is travelling back up and causing me to have this bitter taste in my mouth and I am often sick! I do not want the fundo op as heard it’s horrendous! Can anyone help me please? Z

    • Dr E says:

      Ask your doc his opinion about Reglan which improves forward motility of your stomach and intestines. I’d certainly try that before even considering surgical intervention. If you get partial relief from Reglan, there’s a better version called domperidone, easily avalable in Canada but unavailable n the US

  145. Lori says:

    Would this supplement help me o have a sulfur taste pumping up the back of my throat I cant taste food it’s making me sick doctors cant help me I’m desperate I need help

    • Dr E says:

      Reglan is a prescription drug. A newly released med called Motegrity taken in very small doses (1/4 tablet four times a day) is also supposed to help with symptoms like yours. If you want to try a natural product, get Mega Guard(in our apothecary), one capsule twice a day

      • Abigail says:

        I had a bout of gastritis 2 weeks ago and took antacids that have aluminium hydroxide as an ingredient. Since then I’ve been having a constant metallic/bitter taste on my tongue and my stool Color is a lighter Brown. The metallic taste is driving me nuts – what can I do? I have a suspicion that the aluminium hydroxide has affected my liver in some way

      • Pam Barber says:

        I have had the bad taste in my mouth for 2+ months. I used to take Prilosec. I have lost 40+ pounds. I don’t eat. Doctor has me on Sucralfate and Pantoprazole. Would this drug help me? I am so weak now it’s hard to go to work.

        • Dr E says:

          Hi Pam
          Unfortunately, I can’t give you an answer without tests. It sounds as if you needa gastroscopy (looking in your stomach)

  146. Susie Soares. McAdam says:

    My name is Susie. I have been ill for 2 years now. My symptoms are daily bad taste in my mouth sour bitter and tingly feel on my tongue and mouth. I have had all tests done. None show acid reflux. I can’t eat lost 20 lbs in 8 months. Also going thru menopause. I need urgent help or any suggestions please.

    Thank you.

    • cliffmaurer says:

      Hi Susie –
      I definitely suggest coming in for a thorough conversation and work-up. If you’re in the Chicagoland area, our nurse practitioners Wendy Ploegstra and Katie McManigal would be happy to help, as would our functional medicine physicians Drs. Sharma, Edelberg, Gemelas and Scott. We hope we can help you on your journey!

      Dr Maurer

  147. MJ says:

    Hi Susie, I have the exact same symptoms you describe. Were you able to figure out the root cause? Did you try the Betaine HCL? Did it help? Thanks.

  148. JORDAN COOPER says:

    I just found your article. I have been begging everybody for help and I’m wondering if you have figured out. I would love your thoughts. I will try to be quick:

    I went to my ENT complaining I often lose my voice. He sent me for an endoscopy which showed esophagitis and a hiatal hernia and inflammation in my small intestine. A PPI, Pantoprazole, was prescribed.

    Two days on Pantoprazole my throat became on fire and a rancid hot taste in my mouth. I stopped the pantoprazole after three days and was put on Omeprazole instead.

    It has now been ALMOST A MONTH and my throat is still soar and in pain and hot, and my mouth has the horrible taste that will not go away. I have heavily restricted my diet to the GERD diet and did all of the lifestyle changes but NO improvement.

    Do you think I should try this supplement? I have been to three GI doctors and they all say I should continue the Omeprazole because my inflammation and esophagus needs to heal. But there has been absolutely no improvement in a month and I never even had these symptoms to begin with (only losing my voice.) Not until I took Panto.

    Please help with any suggestions you can. I have been absolutely miserable and stressed out for a month and no doctor has helped me.

    • Dr E says:

      Most likely the problem is not that you ave too much acid but rather too little. I suggest you start with digestive enzymes. There are several good brands, Similase, for example. Take two capsule with each meal. If you get some improvement, add Betaine, again with each meal. Obviously, discontinue if these don;t work

      • JORDAN COOPER says:

        Thank you. I purchased some digestive enzymes on Amazon that had the highest reviews. Sometimes probiotics work for me and sometimes they don’t, it’s very confusing.

        Do you think the pantoprazole and omeprazole made my mouth get a bad taste for a month? No doctor that I saw will admit this to me but I can’t think of any other explanation. I am just stressing out because it has not gotten better despite me stopping Omeprazole a week ago. Is there any known amount of time this takes for these side effects to stop? Thanks so much. I can barely find anybody else with a similar story to me and this article was extremely revelatory.

      • JORDAN COOPER says:

        Hi, another thing that I can’t get an answer for. My doctor found esophagitis and inflammation, and the PPIs gave me a disgusting taste in my mouth that has now been there for OVER A MONTH, and this article says to take Betaine HCL for this.

        But everywhere it says DO NOT take Betaine HCL if your stomach needs to heal from inflammation, ulcers (my endoscopy found “shallow ulcerations”), etc. So what do I do? How do I get out of this? The bad taste is making me insanely depressed and anxious and I see no way out of it.

        • Maria A Litwin says:

          Hi! How are you feeling after trying the supplements. I am experiencing the same symptoms as you. Horrible bitter taste in my mouth. I have been taking Esomeprazol and Pantoprazole for a few months for gastric reflux.

          • JORDAN COOPER says:

            Nothing has helped me and no doctors have helped me. I have had a second endoscopy and seen two more GIs and they are clueless.

            It has been a nightmare. Betaine did not help me at all and gave me stomach pain so this is not an option for me either. My esophagitis has gotten worse, it is hard to talk. I have tried every supplement you could think of: mastic gum, marshmallow root, slippery elm, apple cider vinegar pills, d-limonene, manuka honey, DLG. Nothing has helped me. I tried taking a Pepcid and I had chest pain the next day. I have no idea what to do.

          • JORDAN COOPER says:

            I forgot to mention, I also have been taking digestive enzymes as suggested by the doctor here but they have not helped me.

            I was also tested for everything. I had several biopsies and nine vials of blood taken from me and a stool sample. Everything was normal and no yeast or fungus was found. So this article did not explain why pantoprazole gave me a horrible taste in my mouth and burning throat and why 4 months later there is no improvement.

  149. Janet says:

    Hi,, my daughter has a white coating on her tongue and a vile taste in her mouth!! Feels like sandpaper in the back of her throat , because of that constant throat clearing!! She has been on strong antibiotics, which seem to make her mouth feel better , but never takes it away. We are going on 7 months with this nitemare. Caffeine, alcohol , make it so bad. She has refrained for 7 months plus on a low acid diet!! She is having a endoscopy on fri, can they see if it’s low acid ? She has always had yeast infections. Please help. Thx

  150. Stephanie Campbell says:

    I am going through a very similar situation in Australia and yeast infections are practically smirked at or ignored. I was put on double dose somac before meals. It did help reflux for a very short term only. Would this supplement help me. Some time back the vaginal infection had been picked up by my then GP. I was reluctantly given oral cream treatment which didn’t last in solution at all.
    I have had this problem on and off most of my adult life and was told by a naturopath That I had it through all of my body including joints. Natural remedies were always immediately too strong and drying.
    I was going to GPs with it clearly showing all through my mouth and throat, but told nyastatin wasn’t available any more.
    Strangely enough in more recent time I seen an elderly Indian university oral health professor who immediately prescribed nilstat by script which I acquired from the same chemist as all my GPS scripts, this helped immensely for quite a while. Bu I don’t have the ability here in Australia to revisit this man.
    In earlier days I was given nyastatin known as nillstat antibiotic by an elderly university oral health professor which worked very well.
    In more recent times I seen an

  151. June says:

    Thank you for this information.
    I take Vimovo for arthritis and to control my GERD.. Now I have a metal taste in my month, intermittent diarrhea , gas and bloating. Sounds like I need to stop the this medicine start the Betaine HCL and go back to Aleve.

    • Yoniet says:

      Hello, I would like to ask you if it is possible that low acid causes burning and painful mouth, tongue and throat? After 1 year on antibiotics for treating osteomyelitis and with that using omperazole.. I stayed with so much pain in my mouth.. its burning as well so much.. furthermore its dry, bad taste.. I tried already a lot.. antifungals.. nexium.. nothing helps 🙁 I wonder if the HCL pepsin can help me… thank you so much already

    • Elizabeth Rose says:

      Hey there Doctor E. This is about the third time I have experienced this awful taste in my mouth in about 4 months. Last two times I also felt ill and brushed it off as having something to do with the baby turtle we just got. Okay fourth time. But only 1 time did I get so I was in bed and the pain was too the point I thought I easily could have died. In fact if I didn’t get better soon, thank god I did within an hour of telling myself this having already been down for about 1 and 1/2 days, I was going to the hospital. That’s big for me. One day at the library I was talking to an older native outside about my thing and he said to eat a nice thick juicey steak. Hmm I thought, thinking that would absorb up all that nasty that seemed to be floating around 8n there. So next time I got a glimpse of that taste, I did eat that steak, and wahala all gone. Well with the covid 19 running a mock. It doesn’t seem to prudent to run to the grocery store. So in search of possible causes, GERDS isn’t to fitting, food poisoning? Maybe but still. It is not a metallic taste! It is disgusting like how i guess mold might taste after smelling it. Stale. Like uncirculated air. No yeast infections most my life not now either.as that would be one sign associated with hyperchlorydia. Excuse my spelling. So does this sound like it could be am onset of such a condition? I’m 46 by the way and have been experiencing an increasing problem with milk. Let then that I can eat anything. Especially new mexico grown red chili. Hot hot if you didn’t know. Thank you. Elizabeth.

      • cliffmaurer says:

        Hi Elizabeth –
        I ran this by Dr. Edelberg and he thinks it’s worth a further discussion. He suggests calling to schedule a telemedicine visit with him. This can be done by reaching out to our patient services folks at 773.296.6700. Telemedicine is billable to your insurance, and Dr. Edelberg can order tests and recommend where to start with treatment, all done over the phone from the comfort of your home. He’ll look forward to speaking with you soon.
        -Dr M

  152. Allison Lipscomb says:

    Unfortunately with this virus going around I wont be able to see a GI until mid June. I’m in lansoprazole right now its help with the throat clearing but I still cant chew food everything I eat has to be liquid I was tested for oral thrush which came back negative. I had pneumonia in January and was on zpack then in February my thyriod was inflamed had to be on more antibiotics and now I’m dealing with this I’m only 19, I’ve lost 20 pounds in 2 weeks because I cant swallow anything everyone is telling me the same thing we cant take you until june or July I just hope I’m not dead by then. I’ve also started to have this weird metallic taste in my mouth. I’m always short of bresthe too which hasn’t gone away I’ve had 4 chest xrays and they dont see anything. More than anything I want to eat again god what I would give for a slice of pizza.

  153. Lesley Keogh says:

    Hi Doctor, I can’t taste anything anymore and have a very salty taste in my mouth at all times. This started after taking Somac for just a few days. It’s been neally 5 days without a Somac tablet but the condition hasn’t improved. Do hou think Betaine HCl would help?
    Cheers Lesley Keogh

    • cliffmaurer says:

      Hi Lesley –
      Betaine might be helpful, but it’s best to have a functional medicine practitioner go through some additional work-up with you and assist you with a protocol with Betaine if necessary. I recommend calling the front desk and scheduling with one of our functional medicine practitioners; whomever has an opening soonest so you can get started. They can meet with you over telemedicine and get things sorted out. Please call 773.296.6700 to schedule.

      Hope this helps!
      -Dr M

  154. H B Jones says:

    What about someone who also suffers from interstitial cystitis?

  155. Herlinda Cuellar says:

    Hello Dr. I have similar symptons like your client and I wonder if I have the same diagnosis. I have been diagnosed with GERD, had a hietial hernia procedure and my gallbladder was removed. Currently I have bloating of the stomach, back pain from right shoulder to the left lower back, with sour mouth and sore throath. I have been waiting for an endoscopy but due to the corona virus I have not had that procedure. what do you think i might have?

    • cliffmaurer says:

      Hi Herlinda – Symptoms like these can come from so many different places. It’s best to schedule a telemedicine visit with one of our functional medicine providers so we can go through your history and get a good understanding of what’s going on. Give our patient services staff a call at 773-296-6700 and they can set up a telemedicine visit for you.

      Best wishes, and I hope we can help you get to the bottom of this!
      -Dr M

      • Sieglinde mays says:

        I came across this post searching for reasons why I have had a salty taste in my mouth for 6 days now. I can’t enjoy food for it taste horriable. I tried chewing gum it was horrible. My berries i have most mornings are horrible. I have had stomach issues but went on a aip diet for 3 months. It helped with the stomach bloat and nausha i had for years. I started introducing grains back in my diet but no wheat. I’ve have not introduced gluten back in diet yet. I was on antibiotics for bladder infection and put on a second dose to clear that up. 2 weeks later salt taste in mouth..i am again put on antibiotics for this taste. I have two days left of this medicine and I still have salt taste and it hasn’t seemed to help. My doctor said if this doesn’t work I will have to go see a ent doctor. I am low in iron go for infusion the 1rst of june. I have really heavy periods. Ive spoken to doctor about an ablation. I would like to speak to someone who knows alot about how to get rid of this awful taste.

        • cliffmaurer says:

          Hi there –
          I highly recommend calling and getting a telemedicine visit arranged with our nurse practitioner Wendy Ploegstra or naturopathic doctor Caley Scott. They both treat patients with issues like this frequently and would be happy to help! Our scheduling staff can be reached at 773-296-6700. We’re looking forward to speaking with you!
          -Dr M

  156. Shirley comer says:

    Could My sense of smell also be involved. Also vaginal or urine smells.

    • Lally says:

      I have had a dry almost burning tongue for 4 months as well as excessive burping all through the day and feeling of nausea and sometimes acid reflux (actually particularly after taking certain supplements – which i’ve stopped!) Also a dull pain in my left abdomen and general sense of my tummy not feeling right. I was tested via blood for h-pylori which came back negative and also had a full blood count check which was normal. I’m a bit at a loss as the gp here in England seems unkeen to progress it forward during covid.
      I have made loads of dietary changes but nothing seems to be cutting through! I’ve also taken mastic gum and consulted a herbalist. After reading this post I’m wondering if it could be low stomach acid. I have had this problem in the past and it went away overnight… I think stress has played always played a big part but it now feels like I’m in a loop and can’t get out of it! In the past I’ve had two abdominal ultrasounds which turned up nothing but that was before I suspected it was a gut/stomach problem.

  157. Jacki Staude says:

    VERY INTERESTING! I had been on 2x40mg Somac and then same of Nexium for 3 months . Little change. I was diagnosed with a sliding Hiatus hernia and Barrett’s Syndrome in March this year. Now on 40 mg Nexium once a day. I’m keen to try anything to relieve symptoms. To try the Betaine HCL ..do I ease off the Nexium? They sound like they will counteract each other?

    • cliffmaurer says:

      Hi Jacki,
      Situations like this need to be closely monitored and in order to give good advice for your specific case, I suggest scheduling a telemedicine visit with one of our functional medicine practitioners. This can be done by calling our scheduling staff at 773-296-6700.
      Best wishes to you!
      Dr M

  158. Kinda Grant says:

    I have that fowl taste in my mouth had it for 4 years! Help!

    • cliffmaurer says:

      Hi there,
      Please consider a telemedicine visit with one of our functional medicine providers and we can get the ball rolling on figuring out what’s going on and how to help. Our scheduling staff can be reached at 773-296-6700.
      Best wishes,
      Dr M

  159. mamaligadoc says:

    With respect !!!

  160. C J. Bonvechio says:

    Could lack of stomach acid also be associated with burning mouth syndrome?

  161. Crystal says:

    Good day I have GERD plus h pylori I am taking two antibiotics plus a PPI and probiotics but before this I was not responding to ppi I was having this bitter taste in my mouth that dried out my saliva give me throat pain now on these medication I’m still having bitter taste in my mouth dry mouth and throat and pain are all the symptom caused by h pylori are a. I having bile reflux

    • cliffmaurer says:

      Hi Crystal –

      All of our functional medicine physicians at WHC are experienced in helping patients with these issues. We’d love to be able to help you with this. Please consider calling to schedule a telemedicine visit with one of our practitioners. Our scheduling staff can be reached at 773-296-6700.

      Best wishes,
      Dr M

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Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

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The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Telemedicine – Now Available at WholeHealth Chicago

In order to maintain your continuity of care, WholeHealth Chicago now offers telemedicine appointments with most of our practitioners. During a telemedicine visit, you and your healthcare provider can review medical history, discuss symptoms, arrange for prescriptions, and more. When necessary, labs and diagnostic imaging can be ordered from a facility near your home, and our Natural Apothecary can ship supplements quickly to your door.

Please contact Patient Services for details and scheduling a telemedicine appointment, or to change a regular appointment to telemedicine by calling 773-296-6700.

We’re looking forward to meeting with you in our virtual consultation room soon.


Far and away, the commonest phone call/e mail I receive asks about COVID-19 diagnosis.
Just print this out, tape it on your refrigerator door, and stay calm.


• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Red, swollen eyes
• Itchy eyes and nose
• Tickly throat
• No fever

• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Sore throat
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild dry cough
• Rarely a low fever

• Painful sore throat
• Hurts to swallow
• Swollen glands in neck
• Fever

FLU (Standard seasonal flu)
• Fever
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Sudden onset over few hours
• Headache
• Sore throat
• Fatigue, sometimes quite severe
• Muscle aches, sometimes quite severe
• Rarely, diarrhea

• Shortness of breath
• Fever (usually above 100 degrees)
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Slow onset (2-14 days)
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild fatigue
• Mild sneezing

Recent Health Tips

  • Commonly Missed Diagnosis: Early Autoimmune Disease

    Amazingly enough, there are more than 100 different autoimmune conditions, which collectively are responsible for more chronic illness and disability in women than heart disease and cancer combined. Men can get autoimmune diseases too, but the predominance in women (2:1) is striking and also puzzling, though current thinking attributes this susceptibility to a combination of genes and hormones. Because autoimmune conditions can affect any area Read More

  • Six Commonly Missed Diagnoses: B12 Deficiency

    You’re pretty sure you know your body and you tell your doctor you’re just not feeling right. You’re tired, maybe a little depressed, a bit achy. Maybe your digestion is “off.” The list of foods you can’t seem to enjoy is definitely longer. Your doctor’s empathic, not at all dismissive of your symptoms, but after a physical exam and some apparently appropriate tests she can’t Read More

  • What is Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) and Can It Help Me?

    Ten years ago April marks the anniversary of the first time I wrote about low-dose naltrexone (LDN). I described it as an orphan drug, meaning that its patent had long ago expired, that it was generic, and that it was not owned by any one company. For these reasons and because they’d never recoup their investment, no Big Pharma company was interested in pursuing the Read More

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