I know too many people who are swallowing antacid pills and potions and even taking prescription drugs on a daily basis, and it got me thinking about stomach acid and pH levels. I recently read an article titled “Too Little Stomach Acid Can Be a Problem Too” by Pharmacist Suzy Cohen. Imagine my surprise—finally someone in mainstream medicine was echoing what we in the natural health field have been saying for years now: most physicians do not test you for pH levels and just assume you have a high stomach acid level, and they hand you a prescription to reduce stomach acid—not what you need!
In reality you likely have a condition known as hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid) and can be setting yourself up for compounded health issues by taking the acid-blocking meds that are commonly prescribed. The article then goes on to say that a simple blood test for gastrin levels can indicate whether or not you have low stomach acid.
Gastrin is a hormone that is produced to stimulate the production of stomach acid. Because it works on negative feedback, high blood levels of gastrin can indicate that your body is producing too much in an attempt to produce more stomach acid. This could be one way to test for hypochlorhydria, but a more accurate test would be the Heidelberg capsule test.
I have to say, I was very impressed by the information contained in this article and by Dr. Cohen’s understanding of basic physiology and natural health approaches to this growing problem. Check it out for yourself, or better still, take a copy to your physician and get properly tested before swallowing any more meds.