In order to properly address what affects the pH balance in the human body, it is important to first understand what pH balance is. The abbreviation “pH” stands for the “power of Hydrogen” and measures the body’s hydrogen concentration.
Measuring pH reveals acidity and is represented on a scale of 0 to 14 where zero is the most acidic and fourteen is the most basic. A pH of 7 is ideal. Different areas of the body can have independent pH levels including internal levels such as pH of the blood or the stomach, and external ones such as the pH of your skin.
Maintaining a Balanced pH
When pH falls below seven and is too acidic, the condition is referred to as acidosis. Conversely, a pH above 7 that is too basic would be referred to as alkalosis. Regardless of which condition, an imbalance of pH is the breeding ground for bacteria and the development of more serious diseases. But how is the balance maintained?
The lungs and kidneys work to maintain pH balance within the human body. The lungs consistently remove carbon dioxide from your respiratory system and the kidneys remove excess acid through urine. When there is an imbalance, it could mean that those organs are not functioning properly or are overloaded.
When to be Concerned
While the lungs and kidneys are designed to naturally balance pH within the body, acidosis and alkalosis can lead to serious respiratory or metabolic conditions. Early symptoms of these could include fatigue, headaches, and confusion.
To see how your body is doing and potentially prevent more serious issues before they occur, consider taking an at-home pH-strip. Whether you are concerned about your pH or are simply curious, using pH-Strips will give you an idea of what changes you may need to make to ensure a good pH balance.
As with most aspects of life, it is important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet in order to maintain healthy pH levels. If your test shows lower pH numbers, consider reducing both alcohol and caffeine intake. It is also important to minimize foods high in chemicals and refined carbs, such as sugar.
Consider adding more alkaline-rich foods into your diets, such as watermelon, cucumbers, or avocados. Some experts believe that grains and meat may serve to produce more acid when digested, whereas fruits and vegetables are more alkaline. Finding a balance of grains and meats versus fruits and vegetables may help your body in finding its balance as well.
Pursuing a healthy diet is just one piece of an overall healthy lifestyle. For example, stress can lead your body to produce acid-forming hormones which will negatively impact your overall pH. Making simple changes such as getting more sleep, avoiding cigarettes, increasing water intake, and exercising regularly can help your kidneys function more efficiently and strengthen your lungs so that your organs can do their job properly.
While diet and lifestyle have a huge impact on your overall health and therefore pH balance within the body, imbalances of pH in the blood can be caused by other health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, or even heart disease. With blood pH imbalances it is likely that diet and lifestyle changes will not have a significant impact and medical interventions may be required.
Since your kidneys rely on a significant amount of water intake to properly balance the pH in your blood, excessive fluid loss from vomiting, diarrhea, and even sweat can cause an imbalance. If you are worried about your pH balance being affected by these, consider increasing your water intake and supplementing with sports drinks that have electrolytes.
Where to Start
It is always important to talk to a doctor if you are experiencing severe symptoms or have concerns about your health. However, testing your pH and then making positive lifestyle changes can go a long way to promoting long-lasting overall health within your body. The human body was designed to maintain a balanced pH, so taking care of your body is the perfect place to start to ensure your organs are functioning properly and your body’s pH is balanced.