5 At Home Low Stomach Acid Tests for Reflux

Show Notes

If you are new to this site, you should first read my How I Cured My Silent Reflux article as it explains the underlying root causes of acid reflux, its corresponding treatments, and provides the necessary context to follow some of the concepts in this episode.

Episode Transcript

(Note this is not a word-for-word transcription - it's loosely paraphrased. Alternatively, feel free to watch on YouTube).

Apple Cider Vinegar for Acid Reflux

Now, one way to test for low stomach acid is to try something like apple cider vinegar. Take a cupful or so with meals and see if it helps you to improve your digestive. If it does, it typically works by promoting acidification, but also improving gallbladder and pancreatic function, which can help you to digest better. I wouldn’t do this on a long-term basis because it is an acetic acid, which can irritate, previously inflamed tissue and can also erode tooth enamel. So if you’re going to include apple cider vinegar on a regular basis then I would use apple cider vinegar capsules like these.

4 Reasons You May Have Low Stomach Acid

Our second test is going to be a bit of a logical test. It will give you four things to consider. For one, if you’re dealing with persistent stress, you are unfortunately causing blood flow to divert away from your digestive process. And this can do a number of things, not limited to reducing gastric serum production. Similarly, if you’ve dealt with reflux for an extended period of time, you’ve got issues typically with vitamin and nutrient absorption. Some of those (such as Iron, Vitamin B, and Zinc) may be key in producing stomach acid. Surgeries can be another form of stress, but particularly those that remove a portion of the stomach (as in gastric bypass surgeries), thereby reducing the amount of surface area that can be used by the stomach to produce stomach acid. If you’ve been dealing with reflux for a considerable period of time, you typically have a following dysbiosis, which is an imbalance in the gut bacteria in the stomach. In particular, a bacteria like H. Pylori can create an antacid cloud in the stomach to reduce the acidity and make it more hospitable for them.

Baking Soda Test for Acid Reflux

Now our third test is the baking soda test. You take four ounces of water, add two at about a teaspoon of baking soda, and then you swallow it. And if it takes anywhere from three to five minutes to burp, there’s a chance that you’ve got low stomach acid. And you can repeat this a couple of times in order to improve the accuracy, but stick around to the end because I’ll share with you a test I find to be a lot more scientific.

Proton Pump Inhibitors Cause Low Stomach Acid

The fourth test is another logical test. If you are taking proton-lump inhibitors like omeprazole, pantoprazole, prilosec, nexium, H2 blockers, or antacids on a regular basis, then you have low stomach acid. I mean, this is what the medications are designed to do.

Betaine HCl Challenge

And many of them can reduce stomach acid by up to 95%, which leaves your body with very little to perform digestion. Quick bonus tip for you before we get on to our fifth and final low stomach acid test. And that’s age. As we age, the stomach acidity typically decreases. Now our fifth low stomach acid test is the Betaine HCl challenge, which we covered in last weeks episode!

Medical Disclaimer: The content of this site is for informational purposes only, and to give you ideas for you and your physician to research. It is not intended as individualized advice to treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any medical condition.

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Don is a best selling author of 'How I Cured My Silent Reflux,' and a former acid reflux sufferer for more than 15 years. With several family members with the disease, and a medically diagnosed hiatal hernia he resigned to the fact that he would take acid blockers for the rest of his life. Dissatisfied with medical advice, he researched the root causes of acid reflux and by solving them was able to eliminate his acid reflux for good!
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