This is another at-home test that is quite reliable in my opinion, although there is no scientific data that I am aware of to prove this. There are studies that show that supplemental betaine HCL does reacidify the stomach for a period of time.
I typically recommend it for individuals who have the major symptoms of low HCL and have failed the baking soda test. It will only cost about $20 for a bottle of Betaine HCL, which is most likely a good investment since you will probably need it to help you restore your HCL levels if they are truly low.
To Perform the Test do the Following:
- Buy some Betaine HCL with pepsin
- Eat a high protein meal of at least 6 ounces of meat (you can have veggies too)
- In the middle of the meal (never in the beginning) take 1 Betaine HCL pill
- Finish the meal and observe what you notice.
- You Don’t Notice Anything: If you don’t feel anything then it is most likely you have low stomach acid levels.
- You Notice Indigestion: If you experience a burning, hotness or heaviness in your chest than these are signs you have adequate stomach acid levels.
It is best to do this test 2-3 times in order to make sure you aren’t getting a false positive. There are 3 main reasons for someone getting a possible false positive.
- Didn’t Consume Enough Protein: Low protein meals don’t need much HCL and therefore the supplement can cause too much of an increase. Be sure it is as close to 6oz of meat as possible.
- Took the Capsule Before the Meal: This will almost always cause indigestion as your body isn’t ready for the supplement.
- Have Esophageal Sphincter Dysfunction: For some individuals, they may have a hiatal hernia or poor contractile activity of the esophageal sphincter that can cause an increase in indigestion like symptoms. It is always good to get a medical exam to rule these things out before doing the test if possible.
If you get 3 positive tests in 3 separate meals than begin using the HCL supplement to improve your stomach acid levels naturally.