I’m a nutritionist – this home gut health test using BAKING SODA shows how good your digestion is
- A nutritionist on TikTok shared how baking soda can test stomach acid levels
- Low stomach acid can cause bloating, gas, constipation, and heartburn
- READ MORE: I’m a GI doctor– here are six things that might cause bloating
A nutritionist has shared how a simple test can help measure stomach acid levels, a key indicator of gut health.
Meg McDonald, a holistic nutritionist, posted a video on TikTok last month explaining the baking soda test. The test, which has 32 million views on the platform, is meant to give participants an idea of where their stomach acid levels are.
When these levels are too low, bloating, gas, constipation, and heartburn can occur.
‘I know I didn’t pass this test when I was working on my gut health, but with some time and consistency and the right strategies, you can,’ Ms McDonald said in the video, which has 1.2 million views.
Meg McDonald, a holistic nutritionist, posted a video on TikTok last month detailing the baking soda test, which she claims can help measure stomach acid levels
Baking soda has been shown to calm indigestion, but there is no research showing if the stomach acid test is accurate
In the video, Ms McDonald pours one-half cup of water into a glass and adds one-quarter teaspoon of baking soda.
‘You’re going to want to do this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, or the results are not going to be accurate,’ she said.
After drinking the mixture all at once, she recommends setting a timer to see how long it takes before you start burping.
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‘A tiny little burp is not really what we’re looking for,’ Ms McDonald said. ‘We’re looking for consistent burping or a really good belch.’
‘What this is showing us is baking soda combined with the acid in your stomach should create a gas that causes you to burp. So if the burping is not happening before the two-minute mark, likely stomach acid is low.’
‘Stomach acid is a really crucial part of digestion that gets depleted when we take a lot of acid-blocking medications or when we’re in high stress.’
Stomach acid, which is mainly comprised of hydrochloric acid, helps the body break down food. The stomach lining naturally secretes this, but if levels are too low, it can be difficult to digest food, which results in abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, and heartburn.
While prolonged use of antacid medications can lead to low stomach acid, being over age 65 and contracting certain infections can increase this risk.
One primary cause is Helicobacter pylori (H Pylori) infection, which usually results in no symptoms.
However, if symptoms do appear, they include stomachache, nausea, loss of appetite, and bloating.
Though the burp test has seen a resurgence on TikTok, it’s been used as a home test for several years. Baking soda has been shown to calm indigestion, but there is no research showing if the stomach acid test is accurate.
Doctors typically measure stomach acid through a Heidelberg test, which involves swallowing a capsule with a high-frequency capsule. Then, patients drink a baking soda solution, and the transmitter measures how long it takes for stomach acid levels to shift. This shows how much acid the stomach is producing.
Low stomach acid can be treated with vitamins like iron and calcium, if a patient is deficient in those, or with hydrochloric acid supplements.
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