Hydrochloric acid (HCL) is produced in the stomach and is needed not only for digesting food but also for killing pathogens that enter our body through our food and water, as well as for nutrient absorption.
If you experience any of the following symptoms or conditions, you may have high or low HCL levels:
· Excess gas, bloating, heartburn, gastritis
· Feeling full soon after you start eating
· Bad breath
· Soft or brittle nails
· Iron, mineral or protein deficiencies
· Undigested food in stools
· Fatigue or depression
· Allergies or asthma
· Acne or other skin conditions
· Food allergies
The issue is that the symptoms of low stomach acid are the same as those of high stomach acid so it's very common for low stomach acid to be misdiagnosed. Your doctor can help test your stomach levels but if that is not an option for you, you can do two tests at home, to help determine which scenario you may be in.
I don't recommend relying on this test alone as there are many variables that are out of your control. Try this test a couple days in a row, followed by the HCL Challenge Test, for more accurate results.
Here is how to do the Baking Soda Test
This test works by drinking baking soda and creating a chemical reaction in your stomach between the baking soda and HCL. The result is carbon dioxide gas that causes burping.
Mix 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in 4-6 ounces of cold water, first thing in the morning, before eating or drinking anything.
Drink the baking soda solution.
Time how long it takes you to belch. Time up to 5 minutes.
If you have not belched within 5 minutes, stop timing.
If your stomach is producing adequate amounts of stomach acid you’ll likely belch within two to three minutes. Early and repeated belching may be due to excessive stomach acid (but don’t confuse these burps with small little burps from swallowing air when drinking the solution). Any belching after 3 minutes indicates a low acid level.
Please note this test is not meant to diagnose you. Always consult with your health care provider for an accurate diagnosis and before taking any supplements.