The hype of hypochlorhydria a brief review of gastric acid analysis
Taylor Seier, BCom, ND cand & Thara Vayali, BSc, MA, ND

Naturopathic medicine distinguishes itself upon established principles of healing, including Tolle Causam(identify and treat the cause). Diagnostic procedures within our profession vary by provider experience and knowledge; hence, a discrepancy exists between validated and unvalidated approaches to identifying the cause of a condition. These approaches contribute to the understanding of a patient’s adaptive physiological process and assist in providing accurate measures for treatment and prognosis. Reliable and valid diagnostic procedures are essential for proper assessment and care of a patient in clinic practice.

Gastric acid output is one clinical concern that is frequently assessed by unsubstantiated tests, and, as such, may result in misleading interpretations. The purpose of this paper is to review diagnostic approaches for low gastric acid assessment so that physicians can choose their testing from an informed perspective. Throughout this paper, the term conventional tests refers to assessments regularly utilized by the allopathic medical profession, whereas the term functional tests refers to assessments commonly used in naturopathic practice. Included will be a brief review of gastric physiology, with discussion of the signs, symptoms and pathologies that may indicate a state of suppressed gastric function. This paper serves to benefit the naturopathic profession by highlighting strengths and weaknesses of available gastric assessments, to act as a nucleus for further discussion, and to enhance and validate available functional testing through future research. The literature summarized for this topic was obtained through peer-reviewed publications via PubMed and Google Scholar scientific databases, as well as books compiled by respected medical authors. Read More