Gastric acid is a substance secreted by the stomach that helps digestion. If you have too much or too little gastric acid, digestive diseases occur. See how you figure out if your gastric acid level is normal.
The test that measures stomach acidity
To perform this test, you need to mix ¼ teaspoon of baking soda with 150 ml of lukewarm water. Drink this solution in the morning on an empty stomach. Baking soda and gastric acid create a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide. Thus, in a few minutes you should burp to remove the dioxide.
If your stomach produces enough gastric acid, belching should appear in two or three minutes. You will need to keep an eye on the clock. If you don’t remove carbon dioxide in five minutes, you probably have too little stomach acid. For more reliable results, the test should be repeated in three consecutive mornings.
Gastric hyperacidity is accompanied by other symptoms, such as bloating, digestive problems, diarrhea or constipation and allergies to certain foods. Sometimes nausea can occur, brittle nails, fungal infections, acne, anemia and hair loss.
The most common signs are bloating, flatulence and heartburn. When the acid flows up into the esophagus, the gastro-esophageal reflux disease occurs, which creates an even greater discomfort for the patient. The patient may face hoarseness and other respiratory problems.
How to balance stomach acidity
Healthy gastric acid contains hydrochloric acid, a very strong substance that decomposes each food you eat and protects you against harmful bacteria. When an imbalance occurs, you are prone to infection and the development of unhealthy bacteria colonies may occur. If you want a healthy gastric acid level, you have to consider a few rules.
First, it is important not to eat while watching TV or while doing other activities. Before you sit down, take a deep breath and release yourself from negative thoughts. Relax and always eat seated. Smell the food, and your brain will send signals to your stomach that it’s time to eliminate gastric acid and to start digestion.
Secondly, it’s advisable to consume fermented foods to maintain a healthy intestinal flora. Pickles and yogurt are products that help in this situation. When the food reaches the small intestine, the last amount of acid is discharged. Normally, this is an alkaline environment, but unhealthy bacteria growth may occur, which increase the acidity inside the small intestine. In this case, you can face burns and cramps.
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