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acid vs alkaline

One of the many downsides to a modern junk food diet low in vegetables is that it makes your body too acidic. The human body must maintain a healthy pH for optimal cellular function. When it’s too acidic, diseases take root.

A body that is overly acidic sets the stage for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain, inflammation, autoimmune disease, and other chronic health problems.

Fortunately, you can sway your body toward a more healthy and alkaline pH through your diet.

Symptoms of being too acidic

Many people are too acidic but are not aware of it. Below are common symptoms of over acidity:

  • Swelling and bloating
  • Frequent urination
  • Poor brain function
  • Brain fog
  • Salt cravings
  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle twitches
  • Constipation
  • Reduced endurance for exercise
  • Difficulty holding breath
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Poor sleep

Testing how acid or alkaline you are

People use several different methods to identify pH levels, but not all are reliable. The most well-known test is a salivary pH test, however this method does not have much support in scientific studies.

Testing blood pH is also not accurate because it only fluctuates in events such as poisoning, kidney disease, or lung disease. However, looking at functional medicine blood ranges of CO2 and anion gap can help identify a pattern of over acidity.

Urine testing has shown to accurately reflect how acidic or alkaline you are. It can also help you assess whether dietary changes, such as eating more leafy green veggies and less sugar, are helping you become more alkaline.

Ideal urinary pH is between 7.2–7.8. Please note, however, that infections, bacterial overgrowth, dehydration, incontinence, and other issues can affect your results.

How do you become more alkaline?

The modern American diet makes it easy to become too acidic. Sugars, processed starches, industrialized oils, and junk foods promote excess acidity.

Excess caffeine, sodas, and alcohol also promote acidity, as does too much meat and not enough colorful vegetables and fruits.

You do not need to become a vegan or vegetarian to maintain good alkalinity, however your diet should be based primarily on leafy green and colorful vegetables and low-glycemic fruits.

An alkaline diet is rich in magnesium, potassium, calcium, and other minerals that help maintain a healthy pH.

An added bonus: A plant-rich diet also feeds the right kind of bacteria in your gut so that you are less prone to food sensitivities, enjoy better brain function, and better immune function.

Avoid an alkaline stomach

The stomach needs to stay strongly acidic in order to digest proteins and fight pathogens. Many people suffer from insufficient stomach acidity, which paradoxically causes symptoms of acid reflux. Taking supplemental hydrochloric acid (as long as you don’t have ulcers) can actually help promote a healthy pH.

Health conditions that promote being too acidic

While being overly acidic can promote poor health, certain health conditions can likewise promote acidity. These include anemia, asthma, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), or high blood sugar (insulin resistance or diabetes).

Acidity that is too severe becomes life threatening. Diabetes, kidney disease, and lung disease acidify the body to a severe degree and require medical attention.

Contact my office for ideas on how diet and nutritional therapy can help improve alkalinity and health.

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are you alkaline enough copy

If your body becomes too acidic it can lead to health problems—good pH balance is necessary for cells to function properly. Too much acidity plays a role in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain and inflammation, autoimmune disease, and other chronic conditions. Fortunately, we can make the body more alkaline simply through changes to the diet.

How do you know if you are too acidic?

Many people are overly acidic today because of the modern diet. Below are some symptoms:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle twitches
  • Constipation
  • Frequent urination
  • Brain fog
  • Poor brain function
  • Reduced endurance for exercise
  • Swelling and bloating
  • Salt cravings
  • Difficulty holding breath
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Poor sleep

Testing for acid or alkaline pH

You can also test your body’s pH. Although a salivary test is a popular way to test pH it does not have much support in the scientific literature. Testing through blood is not accurate because blood pH fluctuates only if there is an acute event, such as poisoning or kidney or lung disease. However, if the blood test markers CO2 and anion gap are outside of functional medicine ranges it suggests acidity.

A urinary test has been demonstrated to be an accurate reflection of how acidic or alkaline you are and reflects whether nutritional therapy or changes in your diet are helping you become more alkaline. Ideal urinary pH is suggested to be between 7.2–7.8. It’s important to note, however, that infections, bacterial overgrowth, dehydration, incontinence, and other issues can affect the results of your urinary pH test.

How do you become more alkaline?

It’s easy in today’s world to become too acidic. Diets high in sugars, simple starches, and junk foods can lead to excess acidity. Caffeinated drinks, sodas, and alcohol promote acidity as well. Eating too much meat and not enough produce is another dietary factor. It is not necessary to become a vegan or vegetarian to maintain a good pH, however a diet based on ample leafy green and colorful vegetables as well as some fruits are at the foundation of an alkaline diet. The alkaline diet is rich in magnesium, potassium, calcium, and other minerals that help your body maintain a healthy pH.

Anemia, asthma, and poor blood sugar regulation can prevent you from being alkaline enough

Certain health conditions such as anemia or asthma can prevent you from being alkaline enough. Stable blood sugar levels are also necessary for good alkalinity. A diet high in carbohydrates and sugars will promote acidity, as will having low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or high blood sugar (insulin resistance). It’s important not to skip meals or to overeat and to eat regularly enough to prevent your energy from crashing if you want to maintain a good pH.

If acidity becomes too severe it can be life threatening. Diabetes, kidney disease, and lung disease are health conditions that can raise the risk of acidifying the body to an extreme degree and require medical attention.

Nutritional therapy to be more alkaline

Although sodium bicarbonate can quickly alkalinize the system, it is too high in sodium to be used regularly. Instead, in addition to adopting a more alkalinizing diet, some nutritional compounds may help move you toward a more alkaline state more quickly.

Contact my office for ideas on how nutritional therapy can help you to be more alkaline.

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