Can Being Having an Acidic pH Cause Disease?by Carissa Andrews - August 22nd, 2016
Ordinarily, your body’s pH stays fairly neutral at or near 7.4 on a scale which ranges from 0 (which is extremely acidic) to 14 (which is extremely alkaline). Most small changes in either direction have very little effect on your health.
When the pH in our bodies are out of balance, there are tons of things that start to go wrong. For instance, as we become too acidic, our digestive system doesn’t work properly. Not only does this mean the rise of constipation and other issues, but also nutrient deficiencies. This is because your body ends up unable to absorb all the nutrients from the foods you’re eating. As your digestion is disrupted, insulin and cholesterol levels rise and your immune system falters.
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In addition, an acidic body is much more susceptible to disease. This includes cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, osteoporosis, obesity, and more.
How Do You Become Acidic?
There are a number of ways your body can get off course and venture towards being to acidic. Some of the ways include:
Poor DietFried, low-fiber, high-carb, overly processed foods have become an unfortunate part of society. When we eat unhealthy foods in place of a nutritious substitute, we are deliberately choosing to pollute our bodies. Steer clear off sodas, too much alcohol and Remember the old adage: You are what you eat. Try instead to eat more raw, organic fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean meats. Your body will thank you.
DehydrationWater is the vehicle that cleanses the body inside and out. When a person’s dehydrated, they’re not functioning optimally—including reducing the toxins and acid buildup. Minerals and nutrients that help buffer acid are also not absorbed properly, exacerbating the problem.
ConstipationTrapped toxins in the colon can wreak havoc on the body. When a person is chronically constipated, these toxins will ferment, decay, and ultimately get reabsorbed into the bloodstream. This ends up polluting the cells and tissues of the body and making proper absorption more difficult. Likewise, eating too much, too fast, can also contribute to the body being unable to break down the food properly and absorb healthy nutrients the body needs. Slow down, be mindful when you eat, and remember to get in your daily fiber.
StressWhen our bodies are constantly under stress, cortisol and insulin levels rise, and our immune system is suppressed. All of this affects every cell in the body and can inhibit a natural homeostasis over time.
AntibioticsAntibiotics, while being an incredible cure for many bacterial infections, can and do mess with a person’s digestive system. As the work to kill off bad bacteria in the body, they also end up killing off plenty of good bacteria in the intestines. This is often why doctors are now telling patients to consume probiotics for at least the duration of their antibiotic prescription. When good bacteria aren’t present in the body, it sets off a host of problems. Many of which look a lot like the symptoms list on this page.
Sedentary LifestyleWe live in an increasingly sedentary world. Unfortunately, this means many facets of our bodies get neglected. Exercise stimulates neurogenesis, and the circulatory and lymphatic system. It builds muscles, and keeps your nerves, blood, lungs, heart, glands—basically everything else—healthy. Homeostasis can’t occur when these aspects are failing.
Symptoms of High Acidity:
Being highly acidic can have some surprisingly common symptoms. Many of which you could miss if you weren’t looking for a common cause. Check them out:
- 1. Irritability
- 2. Brain Fog
- 3. Constipation
- 4. Low Endurance (Exercise)
- 5. Salt Cravings
- 6. Rapid, Shallow Breathing
- 7. Fatigue
- 8. Headaches
- 9. Loose Teeth
- 10. Tooth Sensitivity
- 11. Inflamed Gums
- 12. Mouth Ulcers
- 13. Gastritis
- 14. Acid Reflux
- 15. Ulcers
- 16. Dull Hair
- 17. Dry Skin
- 18. Pale Face
- 19. Leg Cramps
- 20. Infections
- 21. Depression/Loss of Joy
- 22. Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- 23. Thin/Split Nails
- 24. Restless Sleep
- 25. Morning Exhaustion
- 26. Excessive Weight Gain
How Do You Correct It?
In order to correct your body’s pH, the first thing you need to do is find your baseline. You can’t determine how far off the norm you are until you have a number in your head. From there, you can start taking daily measures to put yourself right again. Here are a few tips to try:
• Test your pH – You can purchase fairly cheap over-the-counter pH strips at your local superstore, or online that allow you to test your body’s alkaline-acidic balance. Generally speaking, this can be done one of three ways:
Urine – Urine taken first thing in the morning, but after you’ve already gone once or twice, seems to be the most effective way to measure your body’s pH.
Saliva – Though this is a quick and easy way to test your pH, it doesn’t have as much support by the medical community. Testing saliva could be used if acidity is suspected to be high, and you’re simply looking for a quick answer.
Blood – This is a less used option, as its not overly accurate. Blood pH generally only fluctuates when there’s an acute event happening – such as kidney failure, lung disease, or poisoning.
• Get familiar with the pH spectrum of foods, so you know what’s acidic and what’s alkaline
• Increase intake of dark colored fruits and veggies
• Reduce intake of high-protein, processed foods, flour, sugar, coffee, tea, and alcohol
• Drink lemon water
• Try miso soup
• Use olive oil instead of vegetable oil
• Use buffered vitamin C powder
Diets to Try
If you’re concerned about the acidity of your pH balance, there are full diets you can try.
Alkaline DietThis diet works by helping you consume more alkaline foods, and thus manipulating your pH in the process. The thought behind it is to deliberately shift your chemistry towards a more alkaline state, over simple health or better diet habits. Although, the results are often the same.
Gluten-FreeBy now, everyone’s aware, at least on some level, about gluten-free diets. Going gluten-free is a great first start, but it can be a challenge. It means reading labels and knowing how your food’s been processed. Gluten can hide in many things, even food items you’d never expect. Once you’ve been gluten-free for a while, the diet itself does become easier.
When our bodies are in balance, not only do we feel better, but we’re able to ward of bigger issues. No disease has ever been found to thrive in a neutral or slightly alkaline pH environment, but the worst will always thrive in an acidic one. Understanding your own body chemistry so you can live your best life is a great start to overall health. When you find you’ve veered a bit off course, you’ll then know what you need to do to get yourself back on track.
Carissa Andrews is a freelance writer, graphic designer, and author. You can learn more about her at her website.