Townsend Letter The Examiner of Alternative Medicine
Alternative Medicine Conference Calendar
Check recent tables of contents


From the Townsend Letter,
the Examiner of Alternative Medicine
April 2006


An Easy Way to Evaluate Digestion
by Judy Kitchen

Search this site

Online Publication Only

There is a simple and practical way to test whether or not one needs stomach acid supplementation (betaine HCl with pepsin) and even estimate how much one needs. A kind doctor gave me this method to share with the readers of the TLDP. It is so easy and almost instant, one can use the method during meal times to ensure the correct dose of betaine HCl with pepsin at each meal. Place your hand just underneath your sternum (in the center of-your chest) in-between your ribs. Move your finger an inch down (to the center of your diaphragm) and about one inch to the left, next to the left edge of the rib cage. Press in deeply, and if you feel pain or tenderness, you need more stomach acid (or betaine HCl with pepsin). The more tender it feels, the greater the problem. Return to the point one inch below your sternum, and then again move your finger about an inch, this time to the right. Press in firmly.1 If the spot is tender, you need to take pancreatic or combined enzymes about a half-hour before, or at least two hours after, meals.1,2

If the central point (one inch below your sternum) or pancreatic point are sensitive, but the HCl or stomach point is not, you probably should not be taking betaine HCl. You need to stop taking it and see if either of those points continue to be tender. Make sure that your diet is high in organic sodium and potassium, as in fresh vegetable juices (organically grown, if possible). If any of the reflex points are unmistakably tender, it would be wise to make an appointment with a physician who is skilled in natural medicine to have the tests and the guidance you need, For example, you may need to be tested for specific nutrient deficiencies, heavy metals, celiac disease, or infections such as H. Pylon.3 (Simply by taking a gram of mastic gum daily for two weeks, 99% of H. Pylon can been eliminated.4) With positive changes, such as the avoidance of allergenic food, your tissue levels of minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and fatty acids can be restored.3,5,6 Enzyme systems, cells, tissues, and organs can then repair themselves, and you will in all likelihood no longer need betaine HCl.4,5,6 When none of the reflex points are even faintly tender, your digestion has been fully restored.1,6

Do not rely on this test if you are not really sure that you are able to find or feel these reflex points. Some people have lost the ability to feel them.3 If you suspect that you have a digestive problem, without delay ask a nutritionally knowledgeable doctor to give you the Heidelberg capsule test (which shows the stomach’s exact pH) or the Comprehensive Digestive and Stool Analysis (which shows how well food is being digested). Digestion is of foremost importance. No other therapy works when long-term low stomach acid has not been corrected.6 Remember not to take anti-inflammatory medicine when you take betaine HO. Cortieosteroids, aspirin, or non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (e.g., Motrin or Advil) irritate, and can even further damage, the gastrointestinal tract.7

I would like to thank Dr. Mark-Charles Berquist, DC, ND, for informing me about these helpful reflex points.

Also read Judy Kitchen's Digestion and Inflammatory Disease

Judy Kitchen
3637 Serra Road
Malibu, CA 90265

1. Functional Evaluation of Digestion, Berquist, Mark-Charles, DC, ND, Fax: (715) 392-5669.
2. Kitchen, Judy. Alkalizing diet for anemia, TLDP. October 2004;255.
3. Communication with the readers of the TLDP.
4. Dean, W. Acid indigestion: fight it with more acid. Vitamin Research News. August 2004;18(7).
5. Rogers, Sherry. No More Heartburn. New York: Kensington Books; 2000.
6. Personal experience.
7. Wright, Jonathan V., Lenard, Lane. Why Stomach Acid is Good For You. New York: M. Evans and Company, Inc.;2001.


Subscriptions are available for Townsend Letter, the Examiner of Alternative Medicine magazine, which is published 10 times each year.

Search our pre-2001 archives for further information. Older issues of the printed magazine are also indexed for your convenience.
1983-2001 indices ; recent indices

Once you find the magazines you'd like to order, please use our convenient form, e-mail, or call 360.385.6021 (PST).


Order back issues
Advertise with TLDP!
Visit our pre-2001 archives
© 1983-2006 Townsend Letter
All rights reserved.
Web site by Sandy Hershelman Designs
April 21, 2006