Understanding AcidosisLuke Coutinho
Consider any health condition, be it a cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular issues, mild to severe migraines , headaches, obesity or simply the inability to lose weight , the root cause of all of these is having an “Acidic” body. An acidic body doesn’t necessarily mean one would have to go through typical symptoms like acid reflux, chest pain or burning sensation. Sometimes, an acidic body can mean no symptoms at all. Hence its prevention or timely diagnosis is extremely important.
What is pH?
The pH level is potential of hydrogen. It ranges from a scale of 1-14, where 7 in the centre stands for neutral, 7 and below for acidic and 7 and above for alkaline. Human blood requires a slightly alkaline (7.35-7.45) level to function the right way. An alkaline environment means oxygen-rich environment which is important for life to sustain.
What does it means to have an acidic blood?
Blood is a medium to carries oxygen and nutrients from the food to each and every cell of our body. . Each blood cell tends to bear a positive charge in the centre and a negative charge on the outside. This makes it possible for cells to repel each other creating space between each blood cell. This space allows blood to flow freely, reach capillaries, nourish every cell and also take away waste .All if this is possible in an alkaline body. In an acidic body, because of excess acids, the negative charge from outside gets wiped off. The cells thus start clumping together creating hindrance in blood circulation. End result: you end up feeling fatigued because your cells are not receiving nutrition and oxygen it requires functioning.
What leads to Acidosis?
The human body has its brilliance and intelligence to manage the right pH level of blood with the help of an inbuilt buffer system. The problem begins when we follow faulty lifestyle practices like eating too much animal protein, instant cereals, refined sugar , tobacco intake ,smoking, overconsumption of alcohol, tea and coffee, less water intake , over-exercising as well as under exercising ,all of which leave an acidic residue in the body leading to a shift in the ph value that is below 7. This is called as Acidosis. Not only that, emotional and physical stress and less sleep also have its own contribution towards acidosis.
What all can Acidosis lead to?
There are approx 37.2 trillion cells in our body and each cell demands a certain environment (ph level, nutrition and oxygen) to function normally. It requires to maintain a pH level of approximately 7.3 to 7.5 to maximum 7.8.The moment pH shifts below 6.8 or above 7.8 , thats when cells starts to die , leading to degeneration, low immunity and thus paving way for most chronic diseases to take birth like Migraines, Candida and Yeast infections, Inflammation, Cardiovascular conditions, Low immunity, Kidney and Gall stones, Hormonal issues, Osteoporosis , Cancer, Muscular cramps, Diabetes, Lupus, Tuberculosis, Ulcers, Gastritis, Cracked lips and low sex drive.
Our body cares for one thing, ie Survival. If it gets too acidic, it will do anything to make the blood alkaline, even if it means leaching minerals like sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium from bones and other organs. As these minerals start getting depleted from our vital organs, it leads to low immunity, degradation of organ health and that can expresses itself into a disease in the long run. Low calcium in bones can lead to low Vitamin D3, which are one of the biggest problems in our country right now and the main cause of osteoporosis and arthritis. It not surprising why so many people today suffer from poor health of liver, kidneys, lungs, brains, skin, hair and colon. It’s all due to loss of minerals from vital organ into the blood. Even Cancer for that matter. Cancer cells thrive in an acidic medium because that’s devoid of oxygen.
Moving over to gall bladder, when our blood gets too acidic it starts leaching alkaline salts from bile to maintain equilibrium. This results in thickening of bile that can no longer flush out cholesterol from gall bladder leading to stone formation. This means, sometimes all that it takes to cure gall stones is to keep body alkaline and may be do a liver flush, not a gall bladder removal. With balanced diet and clean eating, when blood ph shifts back to alkaline even those gallbladder stones break down.
It’s a challenge for our body to heal from diseases like diabetes or cardiovascular conditions in an acidic medium. One can neither digest and absorb nutrients from food, nor can detoxify in an acidic medium. Furthermore, if you are constantly fighting fatigue and feel tired throughout the day, chances are you are acidic because that kind of an environment prevents oxygen and nutrients to reach 37.2 trillion cells in our body.
For parents who are worried about their children’s growth, if your child’s body is acidic, the production of human growth hormone will be hampered, that can result in stunted growth.
How to prevent or cure Acidosis?
One doesn’t need to take an extreme step to keep body alkaline. Nature’s given us some of the most alkaline foods , which is why it’s very easy to maintain the right pH level with a natural and (mostly ) plant based diet. The moment packaged and processed food is introduced, there is a gradual decline in ph value as all processed foods are acid forming. We must aim for a diet that majorly comprises of wholesome and natural foods and less of processed foods. To put it in a ratio: 80% alkaline and 20% acidic foods or 60% alkaline or 40% acidic foods.
Taking about specific foods, there are many that might be acidic in nature but doesn’t make your body acidic. It’s the right combination and proportion of such foods that result in the right ph. Lemon for example, in its raw form is highly acidic but leaves an alkaline residue post digestion. Meat on the other hand, is highly alkaline but when digested leaves a completely acidic residue.
Surrounding yourself with nature is one of the best strategies to keep body alkaline. This is because when we step out we are surrounded by charged negative ions. Negative ions have to capacity to revive and rejuvenate us whereas gadgets and cell phones that produce positively charged ion has the capacity to drain our energy.
Having said all of this,
An alkaline body is important but it’s also a much hyped subject today. There are so many myths around the importance of an alkaline diet or chugging alkaline water. Companies are selling expensive water machines that promise alkaline levels of 8, 8.5, 9, 11 and even 11.5. It’s about time we break these myths. Anything less than 6.8 (overly acidic) or higher than 7.8 (overly alkaline) is useless and dangerous for the human body. So in our honest attempt to keep body alkaline, even the habit of drinking lemon water throughout the day is only going to backfire us. There is a right time to drink lemon water or eat alkaline foods. A lot of functions even require acidic medium, for eg: digestion of proteins.
All you need to follow is moderation and balance.
What’s the best way to check if your body is alkaline or acidic?
I usually refer a urine test to determine ph levels. It’s good to look at urine because all the waste products and depleted salts are excreted in the form of urine. Levels anywhere between 6-6.5 in the morning and between 6.5-7 in the evening are great.
If one finds their pH level acidic, that means it’s time to start making lifestyle changes. Respect and love your body for the sake of those 37.2 trillion cells that are working every second while you are awake or asleep. Give your body the right amount of sleep, movement, quality and quantity of food, emotional detoxification and you have great health.
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