A home stomach acid test isn’t difficult to do, but it can provide an awful lot of important clues about your health.
As you saw in the previous article, I was in my mid thirties when I discovered I had low stomach acid.
My zinc deficiency, B6 deficiency, a history of H. pylori and high urinary indican were indirect indications.
I then did a gastro-test (described below), which a home stomach acid test that confirmed a low stomach acid level.
It is BIZARRE that doctors don’t measure stomach acid.
Most natural health experts agree that low stomach acid levels are far more common than excess stomach acid levels.
In testing more than 2,000 patients at the Tahoma Clinic, Dr. Jonathan Wright and colleagues found that more than 90% of all heartburn and reflux patients had LOW stomach acid.
As paradoxical as this may seem, low stomach acid is the culprit for many of the symptoms associated with high stomach acid!
Low stomach acid leads to food fermentation and SIBO, both of which cause heartburn.
Low stomach acid levels reduce lower esophageal sphincter function, which allows acid to splash back into the esophagus, causing reflux.
This is why it’s so important to understand the dynamics of stomach acid and health.
If your doctor doesn’t run stomach acid level testing using the Heidelberg capsule test (which has been around since 1976), you do have options to do a home stomach acid test.
Whilst they’re not as accurate as the Heidelberg capsule test, they may be all you can get!
If you ingest baking soda, it reacts with stomach acid to create gas. As such, you belch. That’s it – that’s the basis of the test.
A lot people choose to try this home stomach acid test first because it’s very safe, low cost and you can get started right away.
I recommend performing the test 3 consecutive mornings to find an average response.
This isn’t a perfect test, but it’s worth a go because of its safety and simplicity.
In theory, with properly functioning stomach acid you’ll likely belch within 2-3 minutes.
Early and repeated belching may be due to excessive stomach acid (but don’t confuse these burps with small little burps from swallowing air when drinking the solution).
Belching after 3 minutes likely indicates a low acid level.
Unfortunately, this test on its own is not accurate enough to rule out low stomach acid.
To rule out low stomach acid you will need to try the Heidelberg test (if you can find a doc who does it) or gastro-test.
This test is also not 100% accurate, but when it’s done properly it can be helpful.
There’s really only 2 outcomes from this test.
Should you experience burning, don’t worry. You can dissolve 1/4 tsp baking soda in some water and drink it to nullify the burning.
If you do this test 2-3 times and keep getting a ‘positive’ result, there is a good chance your stomach acid level is too low.
But remember, it’s not 100% diagnostic by any means.
The GASTRO‐TEST provides an immediate reading of stomach pH – it is a more direct test than the previous two, but it’s not as easy to do.
It’s not easy to follow a set of written guidelines describing these tests because it’s not very easy to explain in writing!
The gastro-test device consists of a weighted gelatine capsule with 70cm of highly absorbent cotton floss coiled within.
One end of the floss protrudes through a hole in the cap while the other is loosely attached to the capsule.
It looks a bit like this (note that when I did the test, my acid level was low, reflected by a green string colour):
Note: It’s not easy to explain this test in writing, so please do NOT try it on your own, without first consulting a practitioner experienced in the procedure)
Basically, you swallow the capsule on string, leave it dangling in your stomach for 10min, then withdraw it to read your pH level / stomach acidity.
Here’s the explanation in full:
Reading the stomach pH/ acidity
See, I told you it was hard to explain this test in writing!
I’ve shown you three options for a home stomach acid test.
The baking soda and HCL capsule tests are simple options to try on your own, beginning with the baking soda test because it’s easy to do.
The trouble with these two tests is that while they’re good, they’re not 100% accurate and therefore cannot be considered as conclusive.
The Gastro test is excellent, but it’s not easy to do and ideally you would want to work with someone who knows how to do it properly because it’s so hard to explain the process in writing.
Would you like some help?
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A case review andwould be an excellent starting point for you.
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