Dr. Michael Ruscio, DC is a clinician, Naturopathic Practitioner, clinical researcher, author, and adjunct professor at the University of Bridgeport. His work has been published in peer-reviewed medical journals and he speaks at conferences around the globe.
If your body becomes too acidic it can lead to health problems—good pH balance is necessary for cells to function properly. Too much acidity plays a role in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain and inflammation, autoimmune disease, and other chronic conditions. Fortunately, we can make the body more alkaline simply through changes to the diet.
How do you know if you are too acidic?
Many people are overly acidic today because of the modern diet. Below are some symptoms:
Poor brain function
Reduced endurance for exercise
Swelling and bloating
Difficulty holding breath
Rapid, shallow breathing
Testing for acid or alkaline pH
You can also test your body’s pH. Although a salivary test is a popular way to test pH it does not have much support in the scientific literature. Testing through blood is not accurate because blood pH fluctuates only if there is an acute event, such as poisoning or kidney or lung disease. However, if the blood test markers CO2 and anion gap are outside of functional medicine ranges it suggests acidity.
A urinary test has been demonstrated to be an accurate reflection of how acidic or alkaline you are and reflects whether nutritional therapy or changes in your diet are helping you become more alkaline. Ideal urinary pH is suggested to be between 7.2–7.8. It’s important to note, however, that infections, bacterial overgrowth, dehydration, incontinence, and other issues can affect the results of your urinary pH test.
How do you become more alkaline?
It’s easy in today’s world to become too acidic. Diets high in sugars, simple starches, and junk foods can lead to excess acidity. Caffeinated drinks, sodas, and alcohol promote acidity as well. Eating too much meat and not enough produce is another dietary factor. It is not necessary to become a vegan or vegetarian to maintain a good pH, however a diet based on ample leafy green and colorful vegetables as well as some fruits are at the foundation of an alkaline diet. The alkaline diet is rich in magnesium, potassium, calcium, and other minerals that help your body maintain a healthy pH.
Anemia, asthma, and poor blood sugar regulation can prevent you from being alkaline enough
Certain health conditions such as anemia or asthma can prevent you from being alkaline enough. Stable blood sugar levels are also necessary for good alkalinity. A diet high in carbohydrates and sugars will promote acidity, as will having low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or high blood sugar (insulin resistance). It’s important not to skip meals or to overeat and to eat regularly enough to prevent your energy from crashing if you want to maintain a good pH.
If acidity becomes too severe it can be life threatening. Diabetes, kidney disease, and lung disease are health conditions that can raise the risk of acidifying the body to an extreme degree and require medical attention.
Nutritional therapy to be more alkaline
Although sodium bicarbonate can quickly alkalinize the system, it is too high in sodium to be used regularly. Instead, in addition to adopting a more alkalinizing diet, some nutritional compounds may help move you toward a more alkaline state more quickly.
Contact my office for ideas on how nutritional therapy can help you to be more alkaline.
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