Take the easy low stomach acid test at home:
- Mix 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in 4-6 ounces of cold water first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything. Drink the baking soda solution.
- Time how long it takes you to belch. Time up to five minutes.
- If you have not belched within five minutes stop timing.
In theory, if your stomach is producing adequate amounts of stomach acid you’ll likely belch within two to three minutes. Early and repeated belching may be due to excessive stomach acid (see Heartburn). But don’t confuse these burps with small little burps from swallowing air when drinking the solution. Any belching after 3 minutes indicates a low acid level.
Because the time frames can vary person-to-person, as well as how they drink the solution, this test is a good indicator that you might want to do more testing to determine your stomach acid.
Betaine HCL Challenge Test for Low Stomach Acid
The most reliable test you can perform at home is the Betaine HCL challenge test. In fact, if you do enough searching on the web, you’ll find several health websites who will try to sell you a kit to perform the steps below (don’t fall for this). This test can be performed safely if you follow the directions below. It will cost you around $20 or less to do this test.
Note: NSAIDs and Corticosteroids increase the chances of ulcers in the stomach and together with Betaine HCL increase the risk of gastritis. Consult a health practitioner before trying this test or supplementing.
Each case of low stomach acid is unique and will require a custom dosage of HCL. But one way you can find out if you have low stomach acid is by using Betaine HCL supplements. Dr. Jonathan Wright suggests using (1) 650mg or less pill that includes Pepsin.
Each case of low stomach acid is unique and will require a custom dosage of Betaine HCL.
To Perform the Test do the Following:
Use Betaine HCL supplements.
- Dr. Jonathan Wright suggests using (1) 650mg or less pill that includes Pepsin
- Buy some Betaine HCL with pepsin (I like these)
- Eat a high protein meal of at least 6 ounces of meat
- In the middle of the meal take 1 Betaine HCL pill
- Finish your meal as normal and pay attention to your body
There’s really only 2 outcomes from this test.
The first is that you won’t notice anything. As you go about your normal life after the meal nothing will change. This means it is very likely you have low stomach acid levels.
If as you go about your normal life and start to feel stomach distress characterized as heaviness, burning, or hotness – then these are signs that you don’t have low acid levels.
This test isn’t completely fool proof either and should be repeated at least one more time on a different day to confirm the first test. One of the biggest causes of false test results is the amount of protein eaten at the meal, so make sure to eat a chunk of meat with the test. If you do get some burning, don’t worry it will pass in about an hour. You can also mix up a ½ teaspoon of baking soda and drink it to help stop any discomfort.
After getting 2 positive tests, it is time to start supplementing with Betaine HCL or other Nutraceutical Products to get your stomach acid levels where they need to be for good digestion.
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