When I went to my first consult with the GI Specialist I asked the question about acid. The doctor said that the PPI medication cuts the acid down by approx 1/3 so you still have enough to digest your food. I imagine it is also dependent on what dose of medication you take. The doctor seemed to indicate that in my case it wasn't necessary to test specifically for how much acid was currently in my stomach because the problem was caused by other medication and would be resolved after I stopped that medication. Hopefully someone else posts who knows what those tests are called that can determine the amount of acid in your stomach.
So the PPI cuts down only a 1/3rd of the acid, that is good to know, as you need acid to digest your foods, and protect your system for harmful bacteria as well. I have heard some pretty bad things about long term use of ppi's, as I have Barretts, and take Prilosec 40mg, but will be cutting down to 20 mg in about another wk, hopefully I will do well on just 20 mg. I have IBS and the Gerd med seems to upset my stomach more.
An endoscopy would know. Too much acid also causes erosion in there. You could buy litmus paper and test your ph level also. You pee a bit and test it.The litmus paper (ph testing) will tell you were your body is level wise.
I always wondered this baldy. Because low stomach acid can cause lots of problems, heartburn, indigestion, GERD, and so on. If you don't have enough stomach acid to break down the food you eat the food will sit there undigested and hence acid reflux. Plus, with all of the toxins and bacteria in food today, these toxins have a better chance of getting into your bloodstream and causing even more problems. Google low stomach acid and check it out once. I had an endoscopy done and they found nothing by a hiatal hernia. Just becuase I have a hiatal hernia doesn't mean I should have acid reflux. My Gastro doc told me everybody will eventually develop one over there lifetime. I suspect that I have low stomach acid becasue I didn't have any erosion or ulcer formation. I take 20mg of Prilosec when I need it. I used to take it everyday and knew it couldn't be a good thing. There are things you can take if you have low stomach acid. I'm by no means a doctor, but have done a considerable amount of research on it.
I had a 24 Hr. PH test done to confirm my reflux. The endoscopy didn't show anything, but the PH test confirmed I had reflux, showed me when during the day it flared up, what some of my triggers were and how often I had acid in my esophagus. Throughout the test, you can see your PH levels on the computer you are wearing.
I also had a manometry done that tested how well my esophageal sphincter was working.
My results showed that I had acid in my esophagus 36% of the day (and I was on my low acid diet at the time). This was helpful for me because my primary reflux symptom is a chronic cough and it is also a symptom of many other things.
After this, I ended up switching to taking Prevacid 2x/day. My coughing decreased significantly after only one week. That was back in April. I have maintained my lifestyle changes and continue taking Prevacid and my cough hasn't come back yet.
It is easy to do, but wasn't really comfortable. You have a tube down your nose and coming out and connected to a computer for 24 hours. You are instructed to do all normal activities for the day.
There is also a Bravo test that is wireless that you may want to do some research on.
Last edited by MountainReader; 11-01-2006 at 08:38 PM.