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How to determine the acidity of the stomach? Why is low stomach acidity dangerous?

In order for food to be well digested, hydrochloric acid is produced in the stomach . If it is not enough, it threatens indigestion, bloating and abdominal pain, as well as frequent colds. The latter is not surprising! After all, the acid cracks down on bacteria and viruses that enter the food and does not allow them to penetrate further into the body.  

Normal stomach acidity is pH 0.8-1.5. For comparison, the pH of a lemon is about 5.0. This means that the contents of our stomach are much more acidic than lemon juice. Usually, with increased acidity of the stomach, the main symptom of which was previously considered heartburn, doctors prescribe antacids and hydrochloric acid blockers.  

In addition, patients suffering from heartburn are advised to revise their diet, excluding fried, smoked and fatty foods, alcohol, concentrated juices and carbonated drinks from it. Bread with increased acidity of the stomach should be consumed only yeast-free, and it is better to abandon it altogether.  

According to gastroenterologists , an overly acidic environment in the stomach is not good. It can injure the intestinal wall and accelerate the development of gastritis or ulcers. However, the modern view of the occurrence of heartburn is fundamentally different from what it was before. Proponents of this theory are sure that the main cause of heartburn is not excess, but a lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. 

During the day , a healthy stomach produces 2.5 liters of concentrated hydrochloric acid. There cannot be more than this norm in the stomach of hydrochloric acid, therefore there cannot be increased acidity. The acidity of the stomach can only decrease with the development of inflammatory processes in the stomach or stressful situations that increase the tone of the sympathetic nervous system, which is involved in the regulation of gastric motility and the production of gastric juice.  

With an increase in the tone of the sympathetic nervous system , pylorospasm of the stomach occurs – a condition when the secretion of gastric juice is blocked and the work of the stomach “stops”, as it were. This leads to the fact that food stagnates in the stomach, begins to rot and ferment. As a result, heartburn occurs.  

The appearance of heartburn is associated with an increase in acetic acid and lactic acid fermentation , as a result of which acetic and lactic acid is formed. If the stomach produces an insufficient amount of hydrochloric acid, then naturally the epithelial cells of the stomach will die under the action of acetic and lactic acid, and gastritis and ulcers will form in this place, which further increase the tone of the sympathetic nervous system and may even contribute to the development of stomach cancer. 

Based on this, it can be argued that low acidity of the stomach is the cause of the development of stomach cancer and other chronic diseases. The risk of these diseases is exacerbated by taking medications for increased gastric acidity. In this regard, you should not listen to advice such as drinking milk or taking soda to reduce the acidity of the stomach with heartburn. They can cause an even stronger reaction in the body.    

Determining the acidity of your stomach is a major step towards your health. In clinics and hospitals, to determine it, gastric juice is taken using a special probe. This procedure is called ph-metry and it is performed on an empty stomach. But there are also home methods for determining the acidity of the stomach, which, even before the onset of unpleasant symptoms, will help to understand whether a visit to a doctor is required.  

Here are the most popular ones 

1. Drink a glass of freshly squeezed apple juice on an empty stomach . Discomfort or soreness? The acidity is increased. Everything is fine? The amount of acid is most likely normal. Want some more juice? Decreased. 

2. Drink half a teaspoon of baking soda with water on an empty stomach . There was an eructation with air immediately – increased acidity, after 1-3 minutes – normal, there is no belching – acidity is lowered. 3. Add 1 to 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to 0.5 cups of water and drink this solution slowly. If you feel relief in your stomach, then you have low stomach acidity. 

If there are any reasons for concern, do not wait until problems with the acidity of the stomach spill over into the real symptoms. Go to the gastroenterologist. He will conduct an examination that will show what acidity is in your stomach and what kind of treatment you need.  

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