Beach Metro Community News
Many people do not realize the importance of maintaining proper acid-base balance for obtaining optimal health. Because many symptoms and chronic conditions can arise from the body being overly acidic, it is something that needs to be addressed more frequently. Most people tend to be more acidic than alkaline and this can lead to more serious health concerns. Therefore, it is not a condition that should be taken lightly.
How is acidity or alkalinity measured?
The acidity or alkalinity of a substance is measured by a value called the pH. pH is measured on a scale from 0 (most acidic) to 14 (most alkaline), with 7 being neutral. One way to determine if someone may be too acidic is to measure the pH of their first morning urine. This can give an indication of how their body is metabolizing acids. (Keep in mind that pH levels will fluctuate throughout the day, so it is important to take the reading at the same time every day for consistency).
Why is acid-base balance essential for optimal health?
The pH of blood in the human body is 7.4 (slightly alkaline) and it does not deviate much further from this. Even the slightest changes in pH can result in drastic consequences. Therefore, it is essential that the body does whatever it can to maintain this slightly alkaline blood pH of 7.4. (Although blood pH is tightly controlled at 7.4, the urine pH can vary from 5 to 8).
Now, if the blood starts to become too acidic, the body will pull minerals (calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium) from the tissues to alkalinize the blood. Therefore, excess acidity depletes the body’s stores of minerals. Because minerals are necessary for many important biochemical reactions in the body, it is essential to replace them when they are lost/depleted. The body cannot make its own minerals, so one way in which they can be replenished is through the diet.
How do we become too acidic?
Hyperacidity is not a condition that occurs overnight. On the contrary, it is a result of long term exposure to factors which contribute to acidity. These factors include: excessive consumption of acidic foods and inadequate consumption of alkalinizing foods, excess stress (both emotional and physical), prescription medications, toxin overload, lack of exercise and fresh air.
What are some signs of excess acidity in the body?
Common symptoms of excess acidity in the body include: aches and pains, migraines, allergies, digestive difficulties, early morning bad breath/coating on the tongue, difficulty concentrating/poor memory, fatigue, and insomnia. Other specific conditions such as certain cancers, osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis have also been linked to excess acidity in the body.
How do we alkalinize our body?
The good news is that hyperacidity is a condition that can be treated. Ways to improve acid-base balance include: increasing alkaline-forming foods such as fruits, vegetables, and greens drinks (to replenish lost minerals), decreasing acid-forming foods such as meats, white flour/refined grains, sugar, and bad fats (depletes body of minerals), incorporating exercise/activity and exposure to fresh air (optimizes oxygen supply to cells), ensuring adequate water intake (helps to maintain optimal excretion of acidic waste products through the kidneys or the skin via sweating), and managing/avoiding stress.
For some individuals, achieving a healthy acid-base balance is just a matter of changing the diet and incorporating lifestyle changes, but for others, further action may need to be taken. There could be other underlying factors which can contribute to excess acidity (such as other inflammatory process in the body or digestive disorders) which may need to be identified and resolved. This is where a qualified healthcare practitioner can aid you in achieving optimal pH balance and therefore, optimal health!
Note: This article is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace proper diagnosis and treatment by a qualified healthcare professional.