Have you heard about alkaline diets and alkaline water? The interest with alkalinity began with studies associating high acidic levels with being predisposed to some diseases. Therefore, doctors recommend their patients to maintain a healthy acid-alkaline balance.
The pH scale, a term for “potential of hydrogen,” ranges from 0 to 14. A pH level below 7 means more acidity, while a pH level higher than 7 indicates more alkalinity. The normal range is 7.35 to 7.45.
Do you want to know how to measure your body’s current pH level? The easiest and fastest way is by using pH strips. However, knowing your pH level is only the first step. In this article, we will discuss the reasons why people reach abnormally high pH levels, its dangers, and how continuous monitoring will lead to optimal health.
What causes the imbalance?
If your body contains excessive acids, the condition is called acidosis. Alkalosis, however, is the opposite end of the scale. According to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), pH levels of 7.35 or lower lead to acidosis. Alkalosis is associated with having pH levels of 7.45 or higher.
So, what causes the imbalance?
First of all, the kidneys and lungs are responsible for keeping the pH levels balanced. Therefore, people suffering from conditions like asthma, pneumonia, diabetes, kidney failure, and fluid loss are more prone to pH imbalance.
But that’s not all. According to the Potential Renal Acid Load (PRAL) table released by the National Institute of Health, some foods release more acids to the bloodstream. Generally, fruits and vegetables contribute more bases (or alkali). Excessive consumption of acidic foods disrupts the healthy pH balance.
Moreover, a few prescription drugs used to treat diabetes, blood pressure problems, HIV, infections, and inflammation also make people prone to acidosis and alkalosis.
Fortunately, you can easily monitor your pH level by using pH strips. Each strip comes with a color chart explaining your pH level. Just tear off one inch and hold it under your urine. The color will show whether you are healthy, acidic, or alkaline. You get your results immediately.
How does it work?
The term pH, also known as potential hydrogen, is a measurement of how much hydrogen is in a solution. The pH strip changes color depending on the acidity or alkalinity of the urine sample.
The secret behind the color change is the presence of the chemical flavin. It turns red in the presence of acid and turns green with base or alkali.
Are abnormal levels of acidity and alkalinity dangerous?
In an acidic environment, the body does not have enough oxygen to bring nutrients to the cells. Plus, the body gets magnesium and calcium from the bones to safeguard against excessive acids in the blood. If this happens over an extended period, a person develops osteoporosis and chronic fatigue.
Over acidity also increases the risk of having yeast and fungal infections. Taking antibiotics, for example, contributes to an acidic pH that encourages the growth of yeast and unhealthy bacteria.
Alkalosis, however, occurs when there is hyperventilation, excessive vomiting, or overuse of antacids and laxatives. Sudden loss of potassium due to diarrhea or excessive sweating could also lead to alkalosis.
If you are experiencing similar symptoms, an essential first-aid step is to check your acid-alkaline levels using a pH strip. Consult a medical professional if your pH strip shows consistently abnormal levels.