Heidelberg pH testing is a procedure done to measure the amount of stomach acid a patient produces. The amount of stomach acid is important because it affects the patient’s ability to absorb and digest nutrients, and an inability to properly absorb and digest the necessary nutrients can lead to a number of adverse health effects.
If you think you might suffer from low stomach acid, don’t hesitate to contact Los Angeles Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition by calling 310.289.8000 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Does Heidelberg pH Testing Work?
The test begins with the patient swallowing a small capsule. Inside the capsule is a high-frequency transmitter. This transmitter shows your doctor the pH levels of the gastrointestinal tract. One significant advantage of the Heidelberg pH test is that it causes less discomfort for the patient than the traditional stomach tube, which can be difficult and painful to swallow.
At LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition, we attach a thin thread to the capsule. This gives us better control in positioning it in the stomach. After the measurements are taken, patients may allow the capsule to continue through the gut and be expelled in the stool, or they can choose to have the capsule removed through the mouth.
The time required for the test varies, yet most patients can expect it to take around 2 hours. Patients who are taking medications that reduce stomach acid may need to wait for a certain period of time to allow the effects of the medication to wear off before having the test.
Why Should You Get a Heidelberg pH Test?
The Heidelberg pH test is used to diagnose hypochlorhydria (reduced stomach acid output) or achlorhydria (lack of stomach acid). These conditions may be associated with gastrointestinal disorders such as:
- Abdominal pain or distress after eating
- Altered bowel habits
- Irregular bowel movements
- Excess gas
- Increase in acid reflux
- Poor tolerance for red meat
- Early sense of fullness while eating
- Iron deficiency
- Mineral deficiency
- Food sensitivity
- B12 deficiency
- Gastric cancer
- Leaky gut
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is it important to known my stomach acid levels?
A: Stomach acid is essential to digestion. Without the chemicals and compounds in it, foods such as meats, cheese, and fish become difficult or impossible to properly digest. This can lead to a number of problems, including malabsorption and abdominal pain.
Q: Is the Heidelberg pH test safe?
A: Yes, this test has been used around the world for many years and has been proven a safe and reliable way to gauge stomach acid levels.
Q: What will happen if I find out I have low stomach acid?
A: If you do have low stomach acid, our doctors will take steps to help you regain a more appropriate level. One of the most common treatments is the use of hydrochloride (HCL) with meals.
Q: Who should not have a Heidelberg pH test done?
A: Generally, the test is not recommended for young children or patients with a history of Crohn’s disease or bleeding of the intestines. Please consult with a physician familiar with Heidelberg testing for more details.
Q: Do I need a consultation prior to Heidelberg pH testing?
A: A consultation is highly recommended to better understand if Heidelberg testing is right for you, to rule out other associated pathology and to receive orientation for performing the test.
For more information, please send us an email at email@example.com so that we can provide you with a screening questionnaire, consent form, and fee schedule.
Contact a Los Angeles Gastroenterologist
Do you suffer from gastrointestinal distress but don’t know why? You may have low stomach acid. Please contact LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition by calling 310.289.8000 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.
Next, please read about colonoscopies.