The Acid / Alkaline Myth

 

You may have heard that your ph (pronounced “P. H.” not “fff”), is a balance between acid (1 on a scale of 14) and alkaline (14 on the same scale).  Your blood is almost perfectly neutral at 7.2.  For years, the thought on ph in natural-health circles was that you want your body to be as alkaline as possible.  “Cancer only exists in an alkaline body,” which I embarrassingly admit I once said.  

What most people (myself included) don’t realize is that your ph

  1. is different in different parts of your body; your saliva is closest to blood ph, but your digestive system ph is extremely acid (between 1 – 3) to be able to digest your food and kill bacteria and other immune system invaders.    
  2. your body’s ph doesn’t change much from food or drinks.  Changes in ph mostly occur in your digestive and endocrine (hormone) systems’ health. 

You can check your saliva ph with test strips that are available at most drug stores.  If you do this, don’t eat or drink anything, including water, for at least 1 hour before testing.    

What we find is that some people need to alkalize and some people need to acidify.  

Sign of acidity, or acidosis (lower than 6 on the saliva ph scale) 

  • insomnia and unable to relax
  • lump in the throat (feeling, not an actual bump)
  • cold sweats
  • dry skin
  • dry stool
  • irritability

Signs of alkalinity, or alkalosis (over 7.2 on the ph scale) 

  • calcium deposits, but with paradoxically low blood calcium levels (calcium deficiency)
  • allergies
  • arthritic pains
  • stiffness especially in the morning
  • fullness
  • nausea, vomiting, belching
  • heartburn, acid reflux
  • palpitations
  • shortness of breath
  • itchiness

Treating ph imbalances of either type involve similar actions.

LIVER FUNCTION

Liver sluggishness or poor choices of fats and oils (hydrogenated vegetable oils, margarine, Crisco, fried food, etc.) can lead to higher acid levels.  A diet that includes healthy fats and oils will increase alkalinity, as long as they’re high-quality oils and your Liver is working good.

Eating more leafy greens is essential for reducing acidosis as well.  Livers love the bitter taste of greens!  It really gets them pumping.  

OPTIMIZING PHOSPHORUS IN YOUR DIET

Phosphorus stabilizes both conditions as it balances overactive parasympathetics (too much gastric acid released) and it also combats calcium carbonate formation found in alkalosis.  An easy-to-find and use phosphorus solution is Raw Apple Cider Vinegar.  Just take 1 tablespoon once or twice per day.  You can dilute it in water if you want to, or add a touch of honey to lessen the vinegar taste impact!

DON’T SHY AWAY FROM GOOD QUALITY SALT

I never recommend anyone avoids using salt:  sodium restrictive diets or even loss of sodium from excessive sweating (hello, summer in Texas!) can be an underlying cause of acidosis.  I do recommend you avoid table (iodized) salt and prepackaged foods that contain iodized salt, but instead use sea salt (kosher salt or pink salt or grey salt are also great).

THE IMPACT OF STRESS

The number one reason for under-acidity (alkalosis) is stress.  Your stomach produces hydrochloric acid when you eat, and stress puts a damper on this action.  The resulting heartburn, burping, and reflux are then – unfortunately – treated with acid-reducing pills.  Of course, if you reduce acid in an already under-acid environment, your body won’t heal.  The best solutions:  temporarily taking a hydrochloric acid supplement and reducing stress, especially around meal times.  Shut off the laptop and the TV and just focus on enjoying your food.  

So, maybe you need more acid and maybe you need more alkalinity:  it varies throughout your life and from person to person.  And if you’ve just spent hundreds of dollars on a Kangen water system, I hear they make great doorstops!  

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