Gastric acid output test

What is a gastric acid output test?

A gastric acid output test provides information on how much acid your stomach produces to determine if you have low stomach acid, known medically as hypochlorhydria.

You do not need a referral from a doctor for this test, but your doctor may recommend it if you are having symptoms such as bloating, belching, indigestion, nausea, and feeling full quickly or for long periods.

How is a gastric acid output test done?

The gastric acid output test involves inserting a small tube (catheter) about the width of a piece of spaghetti through your nose, down your oesophagus and into your stomach. A topical anaesthetic will be applied to your nose and throat to make the passage of the catheter more comfortable. Then you are given a nutrient drink and the tube is left in place for 2 hours.

How much does a gastric acid output test cost?

If you are paying for this test yourself and not through private medical insurance, the cost will be £350.

How do you prepare for a gastric acid output test?

There is some preparation required before your arrival at the clinic. This preparation involves stopping certain medication and fasting.

What does a gastric acid output test show?

This will measure your stomach acid levels to see if you produce enough or whether you have low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria).

Following your test, the data will be analysed, and results written up into a report. The report will be sent to you and your referring consultant/doctor, who will explain the results to you in a follow-up consultation where they will advise you on the next step in managing your symptoms.