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 pH All The WAY!

If you are a patient of mine you have probably heard me lecture on the importance of pH balance.  This is because I firmly believe that pH balance is the KEY to health! Although this topic is slowly re-gaining speed it is still massively over looked by the medical community at large.  In my opinion it should be the basis of most treatment plans.  Therefore, it has been my mission in the last 6 months to start educating my community about the importance of pH testing (much like blood pressure, cholesterol and bone density testing). 

pH 101

Let’s start at the beginning--Take yourself back to high school chemistry calss.  Do you remember learning about acids and bases?  Well, when we measure pH we are essentially determining whether or not something is acidic (less than 7 on the pH scale), neutral (7), or alkaline/basic (greater than 7 on the pH scale).  With respect to the human body I am talking about your internal “pool” that all of your cells and organs bathe in all day long.  Our cells function optimally in an alkaline environment! Would you want to jump in pool of acid? I don’t think so. 

The bottom line is …to be healthy you must be in a state of acid-alkaline balance!  A pH of 7.2 is the magic number although a pH between 7-8.5 is healthy.

The reality is that MOST people are living in Chronic Low Grade Acidosis.  This affects our cells ability to function properly.  An imbalance in your pH can lead to all kinds of  health problems and over long periods of time acidity can result in degenerative disease and cancer. 

What Causes pH Imbalance?

pH Balance in an individual has an important influence on both inflammatory and degenerative processes.  With exposure to a variety of environmental toxins in food, air and water there can be an increase in acid accumulation and a reduced capacity for acid neutralization and excretions.  Additionally, if your diet does not consist of enough acid neutralizing foods or is not rich in minerals, you acid load can increase.

What Can Cause Chronic Low Grade Acidosis?

  • Too many acidifying foods (i.e. meat, cheese, wheat, processed foods)
  • Too much stress
  • Inflammatory processes (arthritis, sprains etc.)
  • Medications and recreational drugs
  • Not enough alkalinizing foods (i.e. fruits, vegetables)
  • Lack of exercise
  • Lack of fresh air

What is the result of Chronic Acidity?

  • Nutritional deficiencies  -- Every vitamin + mineral ingested can only be absorbed in a specific pH range (ie. Iron).
  • Osteroporosis due to the dissolution of bone to help buffer acids
  • Encouragement of the growth and spread of naturally occurring yeast and fungi, which thrive in an acid terrain/environment.
  • Disrupted balance in intestinal bacteria, with related digestive problems and the potential for the invasion of parasites
  • Increased production of free radicals -unstable molecules that cause cellular damage ie. Degenerative disease processes and CANCER.  Studies show cancer cannot survive in alkaline environment!  Free radicals also worsen pain and inflammation, and lower immune capacity.
  • Increased levels of blood parathyroid hormone, a hormone that can cause bones to become brittle and prone to fracture.
  • The loss of potassium and magnesium stores from the body, with a resulting tendency towards high blood pressure and inflammation as well as pain associated with inflammation (Ie.  Arthritis, colitis)
  • Protein breakdown which leads to muscle wasting as well as depressed protein metabolism and an inability of the body to fully repair cells, tissues and organs.
  • A reduction in the size of the brain’s energy reserves, causing weakened mental capacity.
  • Fatigue and a decreased ability to perform exercise at a high level of intensity.
  • …much more from bone deformities and kidney stone formation to hormone dysfunction and impaired organ function.

Testing Method

I tell all my patients to test their pH for 7 days to start with litmus paper in order to determine their average.  Here is how you can test at home.

  1. Test the pH of your urine first thing in the morning (i.e. first urination upon waking) by quickly inserting and immediately removing the strip from the urine stream.  The colour of the strip will change immediately.  Note the colour and compare with the pH colour legend located on the strip case.
  2. Take a second measurement mid-afternoon (between 12pm-1pm).
  3. Record your morning and afternoon pH values for 7 days.  Send the results to your Homeopath or Naturopath.

How Can You Improve Your pH?

There are several ways to help improve your pH balance. However, if you are continually reading acidic it is a very good idea to work with a Homeopath or Naturopath to help you achieve alkalinity, as well as address any of your other health concerns.

  • Eat a diet consisting of 75% alkaline foods. In other words Eat more Greens! I am a big advocate of Green Smoothies.  Drink a greens smoothie every morning and eat plenty of fruits of alkaline fruits and vegetable throughout the day.
  • Drink lots of alkaline water every day.  Sentiva is a great alkaline water purification system.
  • Add liquid chlorophyll to your water, or greens powders such as wheat grass and alfalfa.
  • Exercise outdoor and breath out the excess acids naturally.
  • Drink lemon water.  Ingest apple cider vinegar daily or ¼ tsp of baking soda in 1 cup of warm water 2x/day.
  • Make some “Dr.Rau’s Alkaline broth”.
  • Have a bath of Epsom salts.
  • Reduce your intake of acid forming foods, beverages, and drugs. 
  • And above all DE-STRESS
  • Finally, if you are struggling with your pH balance you can take a pH balancing product with the supervision of your Homeopath or Naturopath.

I also find Live Blood Cell Analysis to be a helpful tool in educating patients on their overall health status, as well as demonstrate how your pH is affecting their health.  To see what your blood says about you book a Live Blood Appointment with me at Sage this June for $50. (Reg. $75)

For more information and resources on pH come visit me at the Sage Clinic. 

Cheers to green eating and green living!

 

Andrea Hauser, Homeopath