Gastric Analysis

Malabsorption is probably the most important word in GI and general health. Even if we eat well and take supplements – there is no guarantee that we will absorb the adequate amounts of our individual and special needs. This is especially true of us “older folk” who are aging in the gut. Heart and kidney failure are well recognized, but diminished digestion and absorption are rarely evaluated, and yet this is a major course of disease in the elderly.

The use of fiberoptic “endoscopes” to look into the upper and lower GI tract has advanced the early detection and treatment of cancer in these areas with great success. Endoscopies have provided little to no help in the evaluation and treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease (ileitis and colitis). This is because these conditions are caused by biochemical and physiologic dysfunctions that cannot be seen by the naked eye. Traditional treatment is with anti-immune and anti-inflammatory drugs, but it often leaves out nutrition and supplementation, which play an important part in treatment and healing.

Through the proper use of vitamins, nutrients, probiotics, enzymes, etc., we can relieve the common symptoms associated with these conditions, and provide eating guidelines that are both nutritious and delicious! For IBS, by examining absorption and inflammation, and using nutrition strategies along with supplementation, we can help relieve pain and treat the IBS.

We also have special programs for “ostomy” patients, as well as those considering or undergoing gastric bypass surgery.

The stomach produces gastric juice which is composed of both digestive enzymes and acid. This gastric juice plays a double role, not only in initiating the digestion of foods, but also providing a chemical barrier to prevent various bacteria, fungus, and other unwanted bugs from entering our intestinal tract. Sometimes these digestive juices get up into the esophagus often causing a “burning symptom.” Unfortunately, the sensation of burning has always been associated with acid, where as it is actually the result of both the acid and the digestive enzymes attacking our normal tissue. Although acid has always been blamed as the cause of the many upper GI conditions, in fact more than 40% of people over age 65 produce an inadequate amount of stomach acid to provide them with proper digestion and protection. Although doing an upper endoscopy, the procedure by which a fibrotic instrument is inserted down the esophagus into the stomach, often finds inflammation, it is a totally inaccurate way of deciding whether the patient is producing normal, excessive, or decreased amounts of acids. This is extremely important since it decides the type of treatment given and it is estimated that one-third of the people taking acid suppressors such as Nexium and Prevacid or taking a medication that actually make their condition worse.

The only way to determine one’s acid production and acid producing reserve is to do a gastric analysis. Today, this is simply done by swallowing a small capsule, not any larger than the average vitamin pill which contains a device that not only measures the amount of acid but sends a weak radio signal to a receiver which is placed next to the patient’s abdomen. The patient is then asked to swallow various types of liquids which help to determine the body’s response to either an acid or alkaline substance, and thus we are able to determine what the proper treatment is. The capsule provides a continuous reading of the acid environment over the 15-20 minutes that the capsule has done and this is provided on a printout. The procedure has a code number and is often covered by insurance.

The Heidelberg pH Capsule is a technically advanced Micro-Electronic Diagnostic Tool that can accurately diagnose a patient who may have Hypochlorhydria, Hyperchlorhydria, Achlorhydria, Pyloric Insufficiency, and Heavy Mucus. For more info visit