How to test for stomach acidity



Stomach acid test

  1. Beetroot juice

  • Drink ½ cup of beetroot juice once daily for 3 consecutive days
  • When the red colour from the beets is passed into your urine, it may indicate a low level of hydrochloric acid
  • Please note that with the right amount of gastric acid, the betalain in the beetroot juice would be broken down and not appear in your urine
  1. Bicarb test

  • Drink ½ tsp Bicab in ½ glass water first thing in the morning – note burping within 5 minutes: no burping or little burping can indicate low stomach acidity
  1. Lemon juice or vinegar

  • Have lemon juice or vinegar before a meal to help to relieve the symptoms of indigestion. Please note that these do not actually help the digestion of food only the symptoms
  1. Betaine HCL challenge test

  • Increase daily with 1 capsule until you experience heartburn
  • Be cautious with Betaine HCL when you consume any anti-inflammatory medicines eg. corticosteroids, aspirin, Indocin, ibuprofen or other NSAIDs. These drugs can damage the GI lining and supplementing with HCL and could aggravate it. You can increase the risks of bleeding or ulcer

Special precautions for Betaine HCL

Adverse symptoms can occur in individuals with the lowest levels of stomach acid. You probably have atrophic gastritis (a thinned-out stomach lining), which makes them more sensitive to even small quantities of HCL. It is wise to start with digestive bitters or a smaller dose Betaine HCL pills (350mg or less). You can also give zinc or PepciX.

Low stomach acidity is common and can be addressed with the correct intervention. If you cannot solve your low acid problem, please consult with your Integrative Healthcare Practitioner.


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