Understanding Acidosis (pH)

What happens in the body when your pH is off?

The human body needs to take in the right amount of acidic and alkalizing nutrients to maintain a healthy pH balance.  Your daily intake should be 20% acidic and 80% alkalizing.

If this balance is not maintained, the body has to compensate in the following ways.

It first robs minerals from the bones, joints, muscles, gallbladder and mucousal lining of the digestive track.

When the body robs calcium from the bones you can develop a weak back.  If Ieft untreated, this can develop into Osteoporosis (low bone density).

Robbing calcium and sodium from the joints can cause them to start to lock up, get stiff, sore and/or crack.  After a time, the immune system often attacks acid which may settle in the joints.  A doctor would probably diagnose this as "arthritis".

Minerals robbed from the muscles, ligaments, and tendons increase the likelihood of an injury or tear.  Acid deposited in the muscles can cause fibromyalgia, soreness and/or stiffness.  Minerals robbed from the heart muscle can cause weakening, arrhythmia and angina.

If the body needs to rob minerals from the lining of the intestinal track, or if the body tries to eliminate acid through the intestine, you could develop pain in the colon, colitis, diarrhea, Crohn's or irritable bowel.

Natural sodium is often robbed from the lining of the esophagus.  If enough erosion happens, it can prevent the sphincter muscle at the top of the stomach from closing properly, resulting in heartburn, acid reflux or GERD.  Damage to the esophagus can cause difficulty in swallowing or a narrowing of the esophagus.

To protect you, the body will try to eliminate acid through the bowel, kidneys, skin and respiratory system.

Eliminating through the lungs (lower respiratory system) can cause asthma.  If acid settles in the sinuses (upper respiratory system), the body will try to dilute it with mucus, which can result in post nasal drip or sinus problems.

Eliminating through the urinary system can cause blood in the urine and/or bladder irritation, cystitis, and later on kidney damage.  It can also increase the likelihood of developing UTI's (Urinary Track Infections).

When the body's pH is acidic for a long period of time, it can start changing the blood's pH from an ideal 7.41 to a more acidic 7.35, which can cause irritation and inflammation in the arteries.  In response to this, the body will line the arteries with cholesterol to protect the arteries from the pH imbalance.

When the body gets to the point that it can no longer rob minerals safely, the body will commission the liver to produce ammonia in order to help neutralize the acid.  This causes alkalinity or a pH above 7.0

Since Dr. Otto Warburg was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 and 1946 for his studies on how cancer can not thrive in an alkaline medium, people often think the more alkaline the better.  This is incorrect!  Although acid burns the cells, alkalinity poisons.  Alkalinity mimics symptoms of acidosis.   THE only way to know your pH for sure is to test your saliva and urine with test strips.

 pH test strips  

 To determine your saliva and urine pH, get test strips that are in increments of .5 (you can get them locally at most health stores.  If you cannot find a retailer, you can purchase them from me, but the shipping would cost more than the strips).

Following the directions that came with the strips, test your urine and saliva (using a separate strip for each) first thing in the morning before you brush your teeth, smoke a cigarette, chew gum or mints, drink or eat anything.

Often the liver loses its ability to produce ammonia and then cells are bathed in acidic fluid.  The body uses enzymes to break down abnormal cells in the body.  Enzymes cannot work in an acidic medium.  Therefore, the body cannot protect you from the growth of abnormal cells.  This is why they say acid feeds cancer cells.  More accurately, it protects cancer cells from enzymes used by the immune system.  Without the enzymes to break up the cancer cells, the body can not eliminate them.

I believe it is wise to check your pH on a regular basis in hopes of reversing and avoiding the health conditions which can be caused directly by a pH imbalance, such as:

Lower back pain or Weak lower back

Arthritis or Rheumatism Osteoporosis Cracking, painful, or stiff joints 
Fibromyalgia Acid Reflux  Heartburn

GERD 

Crohn's or Colitis  IBS  Ulcers  Gallstones or Gallbladder problems 
Cystitis (bladder irritations)  Lung problems  Asthma  Sinus problems (mucus) drip 
Cancer  Plaque build up in arteries  Malabsorption of nutrients  Skin problems 

Which foods are acidic and which are alkalizing?

This can be very confusing because it isn't the pH of the foods while they are outside of the body that is the deciding factor, but rather how they affect the body once the nutrients are ingested and used.

To understand this, I will use the anaology of a piece of wood.  If you would test the pH of wood it may have one pH, but after you burn it the ashes may have another pH.  So it is with food.  When there is food ingested and digested, the nutrients used by the body leave what could be thought of as an ash.  It is this ash that affects the overall pH of the body.

For example... lemons are very acidic if you test their pH... however, they are alkalizing to the body.  For this reason we are at the mercy of chemists to determine which foods should be considered acidifying.

Below is a modified chart of Dr. Theodore Baroody, Ph.D., N.D.

Your diet should be 80% alkaline and 20% acidic foods to maintain a correct pH balance, no matter what your pH.

Most
Acidic

 Acidic

Slightly
Acidic 

Food
Category 

Slightly
Alkaline 

 Alkaline

 Most
Alkaline

Bluberries
Cranberries
Prunes







Cherries
 (Sour)
Rhubarb


Fruit Juices
 (processed)
Plums


FRUITS









Avocados
Bananas
Cherries
Oranges
Peaches
Pineapples

Apples
Berries
 (sweet)
Dates
Figs
Grapes
Kiwi
Melons
Papayas
Pears
Raisins
Grapefruit
Lemons
Limes
Mangoes
Watermelon





Carob
Soybeans







Pinto beans
Navy beans
Lima beans
Potatoes





String beans
Kidney beans
Spinach






   BEANS
   LEGUMES
VEGETABLES






Cabbage
Carrots
Corn
Mushrooms
 (fresh)
Olives
Peas
Potatoes
 (with skin)
Tomatoes

Beets
Celery
Greens
Lettuce
Okra
Squash
Sweet
 Potatoes
Zucchini

Asparagus
Broccoli
Carrots
Onions
Parsley
Spinach (raw)
Vegetable
 Juices (fresh)

Beef
Pork*
Shellfish*
Chicken
Lamb
Turkey

Fish
 (cold water)
Venison

 MEATS

     
Flour*(white)
Pastries
Pasta
Wheat

Buckwheat
Corn
Oats
Rice (white)
Rye

Bread (sprouted
 wheat)
Rice (brown)
Spelt
 GRAINS
 CEREALS


Amaranth
Millet
Quinoa
Wild rice
   

Peanuts*
Walnuts

Cashews
Pecans

Pumpkin seeds
Sunflower seeds
 NUTS
 SEEDS
Chestnuts
Almonds
 

Cheese*
Ice cream*
Milk*
 (homogenized)

Milk* (raw)
Soy cheese*
Soy milk*

Buttermilk*
Cottage cheese*
Eggs
Yogurt*
 EGGS
 DAIRY

Goats milk
 (raw)
Goat cheese
Whey
Breast milk
Butter

 
Beer*
Soft drinks*

Coffee*
Tea*

 
 BEVERAGES
Ginger Tea
  Herbal teas
Lemon water
    Corn oil
 OILS
Canola Oil* Flax oil Olive oil
Equal*
NutraSweet*
Sweet "N" Low*
Sugar (brown)
Sugar (white)*
Honey 
 (processed)
Molasses
SWEETENERS

Honey (raw)
Sugar (raw)
Maple syrup
Rice syrup

Stevia

I believe items marked with an * in the above chart should be cut out completely and items marked with a + should not be used if the sources is GMO (genetically modified, also called BioEngineered)

Fruits such as oranges and grapefruit and berries such as strawberries can be both acidic and alkalizing depending on ripening, if they are sweet they are alkalizing if they are tart or sour they are acidifying.

"Diets that are rich in animal foods and low in vegetable foods, typical of industrialized countries, lead to a dietary net acid load that has a negative affect on calcium balance."  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol 73, No.1, pg. 118

The most common causes of acidosis are coffee, tea, soda and milk product consumption, stress, poor diet and/or poor digestion.

Alkalinity of the body can not be caused by eating too much alkaline foods.  As stated before, alkalinity (saliva or urine over 6.8) is the result of a lack of mineral reserves causing the liver to produce ammonia.

People would assume that in order to correct alkalinity (6.8 saliva or higher) they would need to eat acidic foods.  This is not true.

Acidic foods are typically void of minerals.  Therefore, eating acidic foods would only compound the problem.  Alkaline foods are typically rich in minerals, which fills the mineral reserves in hopes of turning off the ammonia mode which is causing the alkalinity of the body.

pH imbalance can also lead to cell malnutrition

Fluid bathes all the cells within the body.  This fluid also allows nutrients to go into the cells and toxins to come out.  If the fluid is between 6.3 and 6.6, the cells can accept nutrients and release toxins easily.  

ph accepting nutrients

If the pH of the fluid is off, the cell's outer membrane becomes a little thicker to protect the cell.  Much like the body will protect the hand by toughening the skin to a callous.

The chart below I received from Joan Vandergrif during a lecture she had on the importance of pH.

Some people find the above chart difficult to apply to their pH testing, so I have used Joan's information and put it into charts that may be easier to use.

What do I do if my pH is balanced?

I don't believe there would be a need for any supplements, but I would still follow the 80% alkaline and 20% acidic diet.  I would also monitor my pH on a regular basis.  I personally do it every Monday morning because stress, diet, etc can cause a fluxuation in the pH and knowing that, you can rebalance it, hopefully before any damage is done to the tissues of the body.

 What do I do if I am alkaline?

I would eat the pH balance diet to help build up the mineral reserves and take Nature's Sunshine's Liquid Calcium.  I suggest this calcium because it provides the body with calcium to build up it's reserve, but was made acidic specifically for those who are alkaline.  So you get your calcium which is usually around 10 pH without adding to your alkalinity. 

Also, when people take the regular calcium and are alkaline, they get constipated or do not feel well.  Some even have their blood pressure spike. 

What do I do if I am acidic?

If I had an acidic pH, I would GRADUALLY adjust my diet to the suggestions above, cut out all tea and coffee and milk products (except butter).

There are some alkalizing herbs, but most of the balance has to be maintained by diet.  Herbs which promote correct pH are:  Liquid Chlorophyll (approx pH 11.6); Skeletal Strength; Herbal CA; Vitamin Calcium; Slippery Elm; and Parsley.  My favorites are Liquid Chlorophyl and Skeletal Strength.

Even a correct diet which is not digested well can ferment, causing gas, bloating and acid.  A lack of HCL (Hydrocloric Acid) produces the symptoms of burping... for this I would suggest taking PDA.

A lack of digestive enzymes produces the symptom of bloating or flatulence (farting)... for this I would suggest Proactazyme.

Food Enzymes contains both HCL and enzymes.

To remove acid from the body, I would suggest either Una de gato or Devil's Claw.

What should pH be?

I believe that your saliva pH should be 6.3 - 6.6 and the Urine should be 5.5 - 6.8.

Please remember, before you start any pH balancing program, take your saliva and urine pH with pH testing strips.  If an imbalance is profound, it can be very serious and I would suggest soliciting the help of an alternative health professional to get the pH back into balance.

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