We’ve heard the term “pH” but what do we really know about it? Basically, pH refers to the acidity of a substance. The term stands for “potentiometric hydrogen ion concentration”, because acidity means the number of hydrogen ions floating around in a solution, and can be measured or determined several ways.
Human blood pH needs to remain around 7.4, which makes it slightly alkaline. This helps it carry proper amounts of oxygen. When our pH goes below 6.8 or above 7.8, it can have serious if not lethal consequences, therefore is crucial that we maintain optimal pH throughout our body to run critical health giving processes. pH is one part of the overall health picture.
The reason why blood pH levels generally remain stable is due to our body’s buffering system that generally insures quantities of compatible acid and base are already present. This provides a stabilizing effect so that the addition of acidic or basic material from outside does not overwhelm the preexisting balance.
Why is pH Important?
The stomach pH is one of the most acidic, so that we can digest food and to kill many types of germs. Germs and microorganisms can take advantage of unbalanced pH levels, causing infections. If your stomach is not acidic enough, you can have problems digesting your food, including making your minerals usable for your cells. High amounts of acid in the stomach are evident in Reflux.
pH determines the activity level of all our cells. Our metabolic enzymes contained within our cells run every single process in the body and are extremely sensitive to pH. Improper pH can prevent reactions from occurring therefore make it difficult for our cells to carry out their tasks. This can include growing healthy nerves or repairing our joints and skin.
According to Medline Plus, kidney conditions, diabetes, dehydration and lung problems can all cause forms of acidosis, a condition in which the blood pH drops below normal. This can result in shortness of breath, confusion and fatigue, and in serious cases can lead to potentially fatal shock.
The pH levels — or balance between acid and base chemicals — of the lungs must remain constant to ensure proper detoxification when we breathe. Inhaling toxic chemicals, pollutants, and fumes can damage the delicate avleoli of the lungs—where oxygen exchange occurs– and may contribute to unhealthy carbon-dioxide levels in the blood. This is important because high carbon dioxide levels in the blood can lead to many health problems including serious organ damage.
Other chronic conditions which include metabolic acidosis, such as diabetic acidosis, in which the kidneys cannot remove the excess acid and contributes to the build-up of ketone bodies. Hyperchloremic acidosis, which results from excessive losses of sodium bicarbonate; and lactic acidosis, which results from a build-up of lactic acid caused by alcohol, cancer, excessive exercise, low blood sugar levels and seizures.
If your body’s pH gets too high, a person can experience mental confusion, light headedness and muscle twitching. Many times alkalosis can result as an overcorrection by the body to a long term overly acidic state. Having your pH levels is a fairly easy test that can be done in our offices through blood work.
Correcting pH levels
pH levels can be corrected by diet and nutritional supplementation, after we have determined the cause that created the imbalance.