When searching Internets for a home-based way to test for Hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid) the so called HCL Challenge is widely suggested.

In the HCL Challenge one gradually increases the dosage of HCL pills until a burning in the stomach occurs. If burning occurs with low dosage the acid level in stomach is assumed to be adequate (and vice versa - if burning occurs with a high dosage, one has a deficiency of stomach acid).

However, I found one source claiming that this way of testing is wrong, because a burning at a low dosage might also occur when your mucosal barrier is damaged (and your acid level could still be too low in this case).

The source isn't backed by any source, however I found similar conclusions in this book. On the other hand, I haven't even manage to find any scientific proof for the whole idea of HCL testing. It seems to be more of a wisdom of the crowd.

So, can one trust the HCL Challenge?


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