The Heidelberg Test for Stomach Acid

What is the Heidelberg Test?

This system was first developed at the famous University of Heidelberg in the city of Heidelberg, Germany.  The Heidelberg pH capsule is a pH monitoring device that transmits information about the level of acidity in your stomach. The pH capsule is similar in size to a vitamin capsule and is easy to swallow.

Why test the level of acidity in my stomach?

Many people in the process of aging develop various stages of hypochlorhydria (lack of adequate production of HCl by certain stomach cells).  However, many young people also develop this problem.  Typical signs of low stomach acidity include: gas, belching, bloating, osteoporosis, mineral deficiency (like iron and zinc), auto-immune disease, diabetes, vitaligo, rosacea, heartburn, and others.

What happens if I find out I have low stomach acid?

Dr. Hirani will start you on a protocol of HCl with meals to help you absorb your nutrients.

What is involved in doing the test?

You will need to fast overnight (8 hours).    When you arrive at our office, you will swallow a pH capsule which is about the size of a vitamin capsule.  A computer will record the readings sent by the capsule to a small medallion placed on your stomach.  You will be required to recline for approximately 30-40 minutes.  It is your choice for our medical staff to remove the capsule via the thin string attached, or let you pass it.  A graph (gastrogram) will be printed for Dr. Hirani that shows your stomach acidity level.

Who should NOT do this test?

Patients with a history of Chron’s disease, bleeding or adhesions of the intestines.

What is the role of HCl?

The normal stomach contains HCl and pepsin to promote digestion and absorption of minerals and amino acids.  Stomach acid helps digest meats, cheese, and other foods.

What are the Pre-test requirements?

Stop taking prescription pH blocking agents for 4 days prior to the test.  You should be fasting for 8-10 hours when you arrive at the office.

The Heidelberg-capsule has been used over 30 years.  Well over a million capsules have been used to date.  A major area of use in in pharmaceutical research.  There has been over 143 published clinical studies with over 73 pertinent studies published since 1977.

For more information you may visit the Heidelberg Medical website.

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Hirani Wellness Medical Center
Karima Hirani, MD MPH
9736 Venice Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
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Phone: (310) 559-6634
Fax: (310) 559-6652

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