How to test your Stomach Acid Levels

There are a number of tests that can be used to determine HCL levels in the stomach.

Go With Your Gut

The Lemon Juice Test

When you have heartburn take one tablespoon of lemon juice on its own, if this helps the heartburn then your stomach acid is likely low but if the symptoms get worse then you are naturally producing too much acid.

If this happens, eat something immediately.

Do not do this test if you suspect you have a stomach ulcer.

Sodium bicarbonate or The Bread Soda Test

Open the stopwatch function on your phone. Dissolve a level teaspoon full of bicarbonate of soda in water (Supervalu and Dunnes sell the Shamrock brand of bread soda) (just make sure on the back of the container that it is simple bread soda and that it does not contain other raising agents. Stir it up in 200 mls of cold water and drink it down in an empty stomach and set your stop watch. 

If you do a big belch within 3 minutes more than likely you have sufficient stomach acid. Repeat this test every day for 10 mornings as some days you might burp and other days you wont, so 10 days will give me a good idea of your situation and report all your findings to myself at your next appointment.

If you do small burps or no burps in the 1st 3 minutes then you are likely to be suffering from low stomach acid. Repeat this test every day for 10 mornings and report your findings to myself at your next appointment.

How to take stomach acid supplements: You CAN’T buy these in a regular chemist or health food shop. The dose they sell is only a fraction of what you would need. See our online shop to purchase what I sell. It’s called Betaine HCL and Pepsin. Also Digestive Enzymes.

Start with one capsule in the morning with your breakfast and two capsules with your lunch and 2 with your main meal. If you notice a warm feeling in your stomach or you feel sick then you do not need to take anymore capsules and reduce them accordingly. 

You may need to take five capsules with an evening meal. Everybody is different and you have to decide for yourself. Smaller meals need fewer pills. Larger meals may need more. Personally I have found one at breakfast and two at my main meal is sufficient to keep the bad bugs at bay when I am on them for a while.

Also what you might notice after a few weeks of taking the capsules if you feel sick nauseous then that might be a sign that you are now producing enough stomach acid of your own and you need to reduce the capsules. You can stop them completely for a week and go back to maybe one in the morning and one in the evening, cut down your doses if you feel you need to. Keep track of this for your next appointment.

Glass of water