A Simple Test To Find Out – Is Your Stomach Acid Too High or Too Low?

Discover the simple test you can do at home to find out if your stomach acid is too low or too high?

Play Video about Cover screen to a video. On the left on a dusty orange background is the title A simple test to find out if your stomach acid is too high or too low written in White. On the right is An image of a stomach sliced so you can see the acid inside. Along the bottom in a dark dusty blue is the white It's All About Health Logo

So Why Is Your Stomach Acid Important?

Stomach acid serves so many vital functions when you’re eating:

  • It’s your first line of defense against pathogenic (disease causing) bacteria and yeasts.
  • Stops potentially harmful bacteria into our body – I’m sure this must help to prevent many cases of food poisoning.
  • Along with digestive enzymes it helps to break down proteins.Stimulate the pancreas and small intestine to produce digestive enzymes and bile which breakdown proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
  • Help your stomach to empty properly
  • Helps your body to absorb and assimilate particular vitamins and minerals which include calcium and magnesium, zinc, vitamin B12, selenium, boron, copper and iron.

The Zinc Paradox

Ironically your body needs zinc to be able to make its own stomach acid and then at the same time, if there isn’t enough, you can’t absorb the zinc putting you in a vicious cycle.  If you find you have low stomach acid this is covered in that video.

The Need For Stomach Acid To Absorb Nutrients

If long term you have low stomach acid, then you’re not absorbing these really essential and vital nutrients for your own body. Often when it is cited that supplements are a waste of time because we don’t absorb them I do wonder whether this is  partly because we CAN’T absorb them in part because our stomach acid is too low to begin with…?

With regard to heath and to give you an idea of some of the functions that the vitamins and minerals are really important for:

  • B12 – Health of our blood and nerves. Helps to make DNA and important for energy.
  • Zinc – Immune system and skin/wound healing. Zinc is important for our ability to taste and smell.  Did you know that the loss of sense of taste and smell thought of as ‘normal’ part of ageing could be due to decreasing zinc levels.  How often do you see all three signs, loss of taste and smell and fragile skin with cuts that heal poorly or become ulcers?
  • Calcium and Magnesium have thousands of different functions within your body, but as far as going for what well known, then that would be to do with your bones and muscles as well as energy.
  • Selenium – reproduction, thyroid gland function, DNA production, and protecting the body from damage caused by free radicals and from infection.
An image of all of the different vitamins and what foods to eat. They are spread around a circle like a clockface with 13 segments to it. In the center it says Eat your Vitamins and in a circle around that are the letters of each vitamin written in white in the centre of a different coloured circle. To the outside of each vitamin is a wedge of the same colour with pictures of the foods that contain that vitamin and around the outside of that, cirlces with white drawings of the part or system of the body that needs that vitamin.
  • Boron – bone and muscle strength, muscle coordination, treating osteoarthritis, increasing testosterone levels, and for improving thinking skills.
  • Copper – helps your body form red blood cells. Important for the health of your blood vessels, nerves, immune system, and bones.
  • Iron – growth and development. Improves muscle endurance, immunity and concentration.  Probably best known in connection with the blood.  Iron is needed to make haemoglobin which is a protein that transports oxygen around our body.

It is important to remember that nutrients shouldn’t really be taken in isolation, without expert guidance.  Many of them rely on other vitamins and minerals to work at their best and the ratio’s between them are important.  As an example 2:1 calcium-to-magnesium ratio but without getting overly complicated Vitamin D is needed to help your body to absorb calcium in the first place.

I believe that is why it is important to work with a trained professional rather than guess.  It is also worth spending the extra money on natural, food state supplements that are absorbed in a better way by your body.

Are You Taking Medications?

A couple sitting side by side at with dinning room table. the husband is opening his packet of tablets and his wife is checking the leaflet from inside the packet. There are more bottles and packets of pills on the table in front of the man. On the table is a cup of coffee, plate of lemons and a plant. You can just see their cream sofa in the background.

These are only ever meant for short periods of time.  It is important once you have done the test outlined below and find out if your stomach acid levels are too high or low that you then make the necessary changes to help improve the situation. 

If you need prescribed medications and antacids then the best strategy is short term whilst your lifestyle changes take effect.  You certainly should not need an antacid on a meal by meal basis

Are You Taking Antacids?

If so there are a few things that you need to be aware of.  Many contain sugar, sugar will be exacerbating the situation.  It is important to avoid artificial sweeteners.  Some antacids contain aluminium, a toxic metal which you body finds difficult to clear so levels can build up ,so again best avoided altogether.

How To Test Your Stomach Acid Levels At Home.

It is essential that you do this test first thing in the morning as soon as you wake up, before you’ve had a sip of water, eaten anything, even cleaned your teeth.

  • Have a timer with you set up ready to press go as soon as you have drunk the solution.
  • Mix 100ml of body temperature water with ¼ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.
  • Drink it down quickly in one go.
  • You may have the feeling of bubbles at first.  As soon as you have drunk the solution set the timer. 
  • As soon as you burp stop the clock.

The meaning of the time from when you drank the liquid to when you burped:

0-1 minute : means your stomach acid is too high.

1-2 minutes is the ideal level of stomach acid.

2-3 minutes, then you’re slightly reduced stomach acid.

3-4 minutes means low stomach acid.

5+ minutes before you burp then it’s really very, very low stomach acid levels, and so something that you really do need to make a big priority.

Depending on your result you will then need to watch the video that is relevant for you.

Low Stomach Acid

High Stomach Acid

It is also really important to watch the video about your Ileocaecal valve (ICV) to make sure that you are doing all that you can to make sure that your whole digestive system is working at its best.

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