Acid/alkaline balance in the body

What does pH mean to the body?

pH is the ‘potential of hydrogen’, but in lay terms we are referring to the acid/alkaline balance of the body. pH is calibrated on a scale of 1 (very acidic) to 14 (very alkaline) and 7 being neutral. Most of our body fluids run at a slightly alkaline state with the exception of stomach fluids. Our blood has a pH value of 7.35 to 7.45. Outside of this range death usually follows, so the body has many ways to counter any imbalances and create ‘homeostasis’ or balance, for its main aim is for survival.

Most things that go between our lips these days are acidic. Our lifestyles are generally considered acid-producing, and almost all forms of toxicity we expose our bodies to are acidic. Our body has to work hard to give us alkaline blood. I see this daily in practice when performing live blood analysis; acid crystals of all colours — some from drugs, pesticide residue, alcohol, uric acid and assorted others from the body’s effort to dispose of these dangerous substances.

Our blood passes through the heart at a rate of approximately 130 litres/hour. The kidneys filter one litre of blood per minute and if clogged with acid wastes may cause kidney stones and inflammatory conditions of the bladder.

Most of our blood passes through the liver every three minutes, doing an enormous job of filtering toxic waste and acids from the bloodstream. The liver also produces enzymes to alkalise the blood. Liver enzyme studies, often referred to as liver function tests, often show an elevation of these enzymes, signifying the liver is working overtime to reduce the acid wastes and toxins in the body, which means it hasn’t time to do many of its other functions. 

The liver is then forced to unburden itself of these excess acid wastes and deposit them in joints — causing arthritis, and muscles causing fibromyalgia and other problems. Another way the body alkalises the blood is through the respiration (lungs); ever notice, how when you’re sick (and usually more toxic) you seem to increase your respiratory rate, noticed more in children as panting.

Oxygen supports an alkaline environment in the blood and tissues. This is why breathing exercises, yoga etc are valued as good health practices. Oxygen not only gives more energy but helps to detoxify and alkalise the body. Another way the body deals with acidity is to ‘buffer’ with an alkaline mineral.

The body’s most abundant alkaline mineral is calcium — found in bones and teeth. In my opinion, osteoporosis is not caused by lack of calcium or of dairy products, but rather by the body having to beg, borrow and steal calcium from the bones etc for alkalising the body. Stress comes into the equation here too, as stress uses up a lot of magnesium (another alkaline mineral), and stress is also an acid producing lifestyle factor, robbing the body of both alkaline minerals. Both magnesium and calcium help to support each other.

An acidic body is also a stress factor on the body, low magnesium and calcium cause us to stress more easily too — ‘vicious cycle syndrome’. So where do all these acids come from and how can we deal with it? Most foods except fruits and vegetables are acid producing. Stress as we’ve seen is acid producing; poor digestion from not chewing etc causes excess acid wastes; alcohol, drugs, junk food, smoking, toxic debris, shallow breathing — sedentary lifestyle, all add to our acidic load.

To see how acidic a person is we can do urine and saliva pH testing, live blood analysis. Iridology often shows a typical whitish (in blue iris only) ‘acidic wash’, mainly the iris’ look a white blue instead of deep blue. The darker deviation from blue in the blue iris i.e. yellow or green over blue eyes shows green/hazel to brown iris the darker the discoloration over blue the more chronic the acidity and toxicity the body has retained. To tell in brown eyes, check if glassy, shiny, clear brown or muddy thick looking brown irises. (Be aware, some factors in the iris are hereditary and you may not have manifest them.)

To assist the body in being more alkaline we can choose to do any or all or combination of the following — eat an 80% alkaline (fruit and vegetable) 20% acidic diet (grains etc), supplement with alkaline substances such as vegie juices, especially beetroot, carrot and virtually any greens, also liquid chlorophyll, powdered or fresh barley, wheat grasses, spirulina, chlorella, calcium and magnesium supplements and drinking alkaline water.

Deep diaphragmatic breathing, yoga, Tai Chi and detoxification processes to dredge the acid wastes are also important. Steams and saunas to dredge the skin —our largest eliminatory organ, along with body scrubs, daily before showering/bathing or in-clinic with Dead Sea salt scrubs and mud wrap massage. Lungs as mentioned — breathing but also by the use of herbal oils in steam room and the use of negative ion generators. Kidneys and the bladder can be drained with the use of herbal teas, drinking alkaline water to dilute and excrete acid wastes and toxins. And last but not least colon cleansing. 

Originally published in Here & Now magazine, written by Sue Kira, from True Vitality

Related to - Food and Nutrition | Health | Naturopathy

By Sue Kira

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