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Lab tests for stomach acid levels

As I’ve said previously, there is a very accurate medical test for stomach acid level called the Heidelberg test.

If it was used regularly, most of the people with heartburn and acid reflux would discover their stomach acid levels were actually too low.

Low stomach acid causes reflux by weakening the lower oesophageal sphincter and allowing acid to splash back up into the oesophagus.

As we age, our stomach acid declines and can be accelerated by H. pylori, zinc and B6 deficiency, stress and damage to the stomach by inflammation caused by food intolerance (especially gluten and dairy).

The home tests I taught you are useful, but there are also some good lab markers you can use to assess your stomach acid level.

Lab test markers for assessing stomach acid levels

Standard blood tests:

When I say ‘standard blood tests’, I mean the tests you’ll typically get from your doctor (complete blood count and blood chemistry).

I assess client blood chemistry results by narrowing the  reference ranges, which allows me to see subtle imbalances that are missed by medical staff.

This is known as a ‘functional blood chemistry analysis’ rather than a pathological analysis.

Blood test markers giving clues about stomach acid levels are:

  • Increased blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
  • Increased globulin
  • Decreased total protein
  • Decreased albumin
  • Decreased phosphorus
  • Decreased ALP (indicates zinc deficiency, which is needed for acid production)

Stool test markers:

A stool test does not directly measure stomach acid, but certain findings are suggestive of low stomach acid:

  • Low pancreatic enzyme levels (you need optimal stomach acid to relay hormone signals to the pancreas, so when pancreatic enzyme levels are low, stomach acid is usually low as well)
  • H. pylori (it thrives when stomach acid levels are low, and then causes a further decrease in stomach acid in most cases)
  • Candida (thrives when stomach acid is low)
  • SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth can result from low stomach acid)

Nutritional testing:

  • A high indican level in a urine test is a good marker for low stomach acid
  • Elevated kynurenate and/or xanthurenate in the urine (suggestive of vitamin B6 deficiency)
  • Low plasma zinc
  • High or low hair zinc (a high zinc level in the hair happens when the body is losing zinc too quickly)

This testing is available for you…

It’s my mission to teach as many people as possible that a whole array of excellent tests are available to assess not only stomach acid levels,  but also many different reasons why you might not feel well.

I run testing to check various parameters of my metabolism every 3-12 months, depending on the specific test, to make sure I’m in good shape.

It doesn’t have to cost a fortune by any means, and if you’ve been experiencing digestive symptoms, low energy and mood, skin problems, aches and pains, etc., a couple of tests could help you uncover simple reasons for your discomfort.

Deciding which tests to use is the tricky bit, which is why I recommend you work with someone who knows how to take your symptoms and health history, then advise on the most cost effective test or tests for you.

We offer a case review and consultation service to help you navigate through the confusion and guide you in the right direction.

It’s no fun to be in the dark, so it’s a service that helps you gain clarity and reduce any stress and anxiety you might have about your health.

You can learn more, or schedule one, here.

Best,

Dave.