Hi Dr. Sutter, my ND recently took me off HCL and switched me to swedish Bitters - saying they work better at getting your body to naturally start producing more stomach acid (I have low stomach acid). Since taking I have noticed a definite increase in the lowering of my reflux, which has been great. Nothing else has helped that. I also have lost 7 pounds which is great, as I struggle to lose weight. However, I have also noticed increased anxiety and raised heartbeat. I am taking Gaia Herbs Swittish Bitters. I called the company and they said it was possible to have something akin to a healing crisis for a few days, but that it should go away after that. I read that bitters work by stimulating the vagus nerve, which in turns gets the stomach to start producing it's own acid. Could the stimulation of the vagus nerve because causing these feelings of anxiety and faster heart rate. It also seems sporadic. The first 5 meals I took it I felt fine. Then from the 6th meal on is when I noticed the first symptoms. Sometimes I feel hot when I take it took which I figure is from the Tumeric. I do have candida and lyme, so I thought the Tumeric might be killing some candida.
The other concern I had is that I read that bitters have Berberine in them and that Berberine can kill intestinal flora, etc. Having poor intestingal flora to begin with from the candida and leaky gut, I worry about this and yet so many people talk about how Bitters have improved their digestion so much. If it kills the flora, how can the digestion be better overall? It's all very confusing. However when I checked the ingredients on my bottle no such mention of Berberine or any Berberine ingredients were listed, so maybe Gaia Herbs doesn't use it. I want to stay on them, because my stomach overall it definitely better in only a week but the anxiety stuff is not great. I am under a lot of stress right now, so I don't know if the stress is causing the anxiety and not the bitters, but the anxiety seemed to flare once starting the bitters. Perhaps the Phytoestrogen effect from the Wild Yam?
Also have been having bad dizziness/motion sickness/vertigo for two months. I do have Meniere's, but only have had Tinnitus from it until recently. Had basic labs done three weeks ago and all normal, including sodium, so it's not a low or high salt issue. Eosinophils were high though (only abnormal thing on test). Histamine test was normal. My ND had me tested for Pyroluria, as she suspects I have it, but we won't have the test results back for about another week and a half. I am feeling panicky because I about to drive back to another state next week (my husband will be driving, but riding in a car for 8 hours with major dizziness panics me), to go pack up our house and move back to CA. I feel anxious about doing this because of all the dizziness and anxiety I have been having. Thanks for any advice you can offer.