To test stomach PH, it's necessary to perform a stomach acid test. This type of test will determine the amount of acidity present in the contents of your stomach and should be performed by a qualified physician. The test is also known as a gastric secretion test. If your doctor believes you should undergo a stomach acid test, you should be prepared for how the test is performed and what is expected of you as the patient.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Avoid consuming anything for a time period of at least four hours before a stomach acid test. You may be asked to fast for up to six hours. During this time, you shouldn't consume any food or liquid, including water. This is necessary for the stomach acid test. After four to six hours, your stomach will remove all food and liquid that has been consumed, and all that will be left is gastric residue. This process must be completed before removing stomach contents to be analysed.
Be prepared for your doctor to give you an injection during the stomach acid test. This injection may be given intravenously, intramuscularly, or subcutaneously. Subcutaneous injections are given just under your skin. Any one of these injections may be used to administer gastrin, which will secrete acid. An intravenous or subcutaneous injection of insulin may also be administered. This will cause your vagus nerve to release gastrin in your stomach and secrete acid. After one of these types of injections, the contents of your stomach can be removed by your doctor and analysed.
Understand that your doctor will need to remove the contents of your stomach in order to test your stomach PH through a stomach acid test. In order to remove your stomach contents, your doctor must insert a tube through your mouth or nose and into your oesophagus. This process is not pleasant, and you should expect some degree of discomfort. You may also experience a gagging sensation. Let your doctor know if you experience any extreme discomfort or pain.
Wait for your doctor to give you the results of your stomach acid test. A normal PH level is 1.5 to 3.5. Some slight variations may occur. Your doctor will let you know what your test results mean and the best course of treatment to pursue for your individual situation.
Tips and warnings
- Understand all the risks of a stomach acid test before the test is performed. Your doctor should discuss the risks with you in detail and be available to answer all your questions and concerns. The main risk factors are improper insertion of the tube into your lungs and symptoms of low blood sugar caused by an insulin injection. (reference 2)
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