stomach acid | Integrative functional medicine blog

How to test for low stomach acid



How to test yourself for low stomach acid





Link to Leaky gut test
Link to Purchase Betaine HCL for test


How to test for low stomach acid.

Previously we talked about how to test yourself for leaky gut, or at least get an idea of if you might have leaky gut.


In this quick post we are going to discuss how to test yourself to see if you have enough stomach acid. This is one of the many reason that you will often hear how good apple cider vinegar is for you.


Stomach acid has many different functions. Some of the primary roles are to break down protein into amino acids so that they can be absorbed and utilized.

Stomach also aids in the digestion and absorption of certain nutrients and minerals such as magnesium - think leg cramps and relaxation, sodium - think blood pressure and adrenal fatigue, and Iron - think anemia or decreased ability to carry oxygen.


HCL or hydrochloric acid also act as a disinfectant aiding your body in the fight against all those sick bugs we get exposed to on a daily basis in our foods. Low stomach acid levels have been noted to increase the risk on someone getting H. Pylori and vibrio. Infections of the digestive tract.

So if you get sick a lot you might want to check your stomach HCL levels.

As a little side note, many people that have gastric ulcers or acid reflux often get put onto PPIs
Proton pump inhibitors. I encourage you to do some research on the side effects of these drugs. They aren't all they are cracked up to be.

And often, these people often have too little HCL, not too much. But, that is a detour we aren't going to take right now. I have that scheduled for a future post. So keep tuned in.

So here is what you do. And this is my particular approach and many doctors have different ways of doing it.

First you are going to have to buy some
HCL, don't use apple cider vinegar, and don’t use betaine HCL with pepsin. First it will be too hard to figure out exactly what your dosage might be, and second you may end up drinking a whole bunch of it. Which isn't too tasty.

So now you have your
Betaine HCL (stomach acid)

Over the next few days you are going to take varying amounts of the HCl pills until you get a reaction.

You are going to test it by taking the pill/pills before your largest meal of the day, make sure this meal has a protein. Remember protein uses HCL to be broken down. So if you have a response when you eat the protein the symptoms should go away.

The type of response you should feel is a slight warming, discomfort, or upset stomach, almost like heart burn.

So on the first day of the test you take 1 pill 15-20 minutes before the meal. If you don't feel any symptoms, the next day you will take 2 pills before the meal, and continue on like that until you get to the point that you actually have symptoms.

This will tell you how well, or poorly your stomach acid levels are.

Keep tuned in. In a future vlog/blog I will be discussing what you should do about it.

If you need a little help and guidance in your quest for better health give my office a call. Id love to help you.

Until next time

Im Dr. Craig Mortensen

Be healthy, be happy.

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