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Gastric Acid Self-Test

Low (NOT High) Stomach Acid Causes GERD and a Surprising Number of Health Problems

The stomach's primary job is to digest protein and emulsify fats, and it does this by making an extremely powerful acid called hydrochloric acid (HCL) and a protein-digesting enzyme called pepsin. The hydrochloric acid made by a healthy stomach is one million times stronger than the mild acidity of urine or saliva. A leather-like strip of jerky can be quickly turned into "beef soup" by the action of hydrochloric acid and pepsin in the stomach. That's how normal digestion is supposed to work.

But just like the rest of an aging body, the stomach's hydrochloric acid and pepsin production decreases over time. As a result, we do not digest food as well. Many older studies conducted on several thousand people in the 1930's and 1940's showed that half of all people by age 60 were functioning at only 50% gastric acid output. Numerous contemporary studies verify that that stomach acid production often declines with age.

Jonathan Wright, M.D., well-known and respected holistic physician, states:

“Although research in this area is entirely inadequate, its been my clinical observation that calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, chromium, selenium, manganese, vanadium, molybdenum, cobalt, and many other micro-trace elements are not nearly as well-absorbed in those with poor stomach acid as they are in those whose acid levels are normal. When we test plasma amino acid levels for those with poor stomach function, we frequently find lower than usual levels of one or more of the eight essential amino acids: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Often there are functional insufficiencies of folic acid and/or vitamin B12.”

Remember, these are essential nutrients. Deficiencies of any single one of them can cause serious health problems over time. Weak bones, diminish immune function, failing memory, loss of eyesight and many other “diseases of aging” are often the result of decreased stomach function.

Diseases Associated with Low Gastric Function

Low stomach acid is associated with the following conditions:

  • Acne rosacea
  • Addison’s disease
  • Allergic reactions
  • Candidiasis (chronic)
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Celiac disease
  • Childhood asthma
  • Chronic autoimmune hepatitis
  • Chronic cough
  • Dermatitis herpeteformis
  • Diabetes (type I)
  • Eczema
  • Gallbladder disease
  • GERD
  • Graves disease (hyperthyroid)
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Laryngitis (chronic)
  • Lupus erythromatosis
  • Macular degeneration
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Reynaud’s syndrome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Scleroderma
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Stomach cancer
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Vitiligo

It also appears that many cases of depression, which appear related to too little neurotransmitters (which in turn are made from amino acids) may in fact be inability to absorb the necessary precursors due to - you guessed it - low stomach acid. I suspect there are a large number of other diseases that begin with a failing digestive system and that have not yet been recognized as such.

Even so, many people who have low stomach acid do not have symptoms of heartburn, “acid indigestion” or GERD.

The Gastric Acid Function Self-Test

You can perform a gastric acid self-test at home using some betain HCL capsules taken with meals. If digestion improves - bingo! You’re hydrochloric acid deficient. If you did not have any digestive complaints but you don't feel anything with added HCL, it is highly likely that you have a stomach acid deficiency and would benefit from taking betain HCL with meals.

This issue of low stomach acid is central to so many diseases that I recommend a gastric acid self-test to EVERYONE over age 50 and anyone under age 50 who has any medical complaint related to nutrient deficiency.

I’ve put together a “Gastric Acid Function Self Test Kit” that includes full instructions for testing your own stomach acid plus “test sizes” of the supplements - including hydrochloric acid and pepsin - needed for the test.

It’s super-easy with the included instructions - no blood draws, needles, sample collections or anything yucky or unpleasant!

Testing your own digestive function is simple and easy, and it could save you much grief, sickness, and yes, heartburn.

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