Here is another test that you can easily do at home and that is quite reliable, although I couldn’t find any scientific data to back it up. There are some studies that show that betaine hydrochloride can re-acidify the stomach.
I usually recommend it to people who have all the major symptoms of insufficient stomach acid production and have failed the baking soda test. A bottle of betaine hydrochloride is around $20, which I consider to be a good investment if you don’t have enough stomach acid since it can help restore acid production.
Here are the steps to take the test
- Buy betaine hydrochloride with pepsin
- Eat a protein-rich meal with at least 6 oz of meat; you can accompany it with vegetables.
- In the middle of the meal (never at the beginning), take a betaine hydrochloride tablet
- Finish your meal and write down what you notice.
- You don’t notice anything in particular: If you don’t notice anything in particular, you probably have a low level of stomach acid.
- You notice signs of indigestion: If you feel burning, hot, or a feeling of heaviness in your chest, these are signs that you have adequate levels of stomach acid. It’s best that you do this test 2-3 times to make sure you don’t get a “false positive”.
There are 3 main reasons why someone might have a “false positive” result
- You didn’t eat enough protein: Meals with little protein don’t require a lot of betaine hydrochloride, and because of this, supplementing may increase the amount. So try to eat at least 6 ounces of meat, if possible.
- You took the supplement before a meal: This almost always results in indigestion since your body is not ready for the supplement.
- You have a functional esophageal sphincter disorder: Some people may have a hiatal hernia or weak esophageal sphincter contractions, which can cause symptoms of indigestion. It is always good to go to the doctor to check if this may be the case, if you suspect certain symptoms, before taking the test.
If you have 3 positive tests in 3 meals, using betaine hydrochloride supplement could help regulate stomach acid levels naturally.