Acidosis is a potentially serious condition that occurs when the body’s pH balance is upset, resulting in a weakened internal environment that renders one susceptible to disease. On a daily basis, we are exposed to a variety of situations that cause excess acid. Stress, poor diet, pollution, etc., all have the potential to wreak havoc on our biological systems.
Under normal circumstances, our bodies maintain alkaline reserves that serve as an emergency backup system. However, when faced with chronic acidity, our bodies must find a way to neutralize the large quantities of acids that are constantly produced.
How Our Bodies Handle Acid
On any given day, acid that is produced must be either neutralized or stored. Our bodies are equipped with amazing systems that constantly neutralize harmful acids. When too much acid is produced, it is put into what is meant to be short-term storage. The biological goal is to eventually metabolize the excess acids and eliminate them.
The first place that excess acids go for storage is the interstitial fluid system. Interstitial fluids permeate the tissues of the body. When this storage system reaches capacity, the body begins to divert excess acids to the organs, glands, and extraneous body tissue, like fat cells. Your body may actually produce more fat cells in an attempt to protect your vital organs from critical levels of acid.
The last place that acid is stored is the most troublesome — inside the working cell itself. Since cells cannot operate in an overly-acidic environment, the excess acid causes the cellular environment to become toxic. Soon, metabolism ceases and the cell dies.
Symptoms Of Acidosis
Marked by extremely high levels of acid at the cellular level, acidosis produces a wide range of symptoms that can disrupt daily life and may even eventually land you in the hospital. Muscle fatigue, aches and pains, acne, and frequent headaches are common symptoms of acidosis, but there are many more serious conditions affecting the respiratory system and metabolism that could result from pH levels that are out of balance. Osteoporosis, severe chronic allergies, bronchitis, viral infections, kidney stones, chronic kidney problems, kidney failure, delayed growth and heart attacks have all been linked to high acid levels.
Testing pH Levels At Home
All you need to check your acid levels at home is a roll of litmus paper used to test pH, a plastic spoon, and your own fresh saliva. Here’s how:
- Do not brush your teeth, eat, or drink for 30 minutes prior to testing. Expel fresh saliva into the spoon.
- Tear off a small piece of litmus paper and put it into the saliva and wait for about a minute.
- The paper will change color. Compare the color of the paper to the chart included with the paper to determine your pH levels. The lower the reading goes under 7.0, the higher the degree of acid stress in your body.
Take this test for a few weeks and record your results at different times of the day to track your acid levels. Most healthy people are within the 6.8 to 7.2 range at all times.
Treatments And Prevention
To treat acidosis, your practitioner will need to consult your individual case study. There are, however, some treatments that can be used to treat any type of acidosis. For instance, sodium bicarbonate, generally known as baking soda, can raise the pH of your body. Treating specific types of acidosis, however, involves researching the cause.
Acidosis cannot be completely prevented. However, there are many things to do in order to help lower your risk.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can make it harder to breathe.
- Stop smoking. Smoking can damage your lungs and make you more susceptible to respiratory acidosis.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of alkaline water known for its ultra hydrating abilities and its ability to help balance your body's pH and overcome acidosis. For information, alkaline water is available bottled or home-made by specialized alkaline water machines on which you can learn more in this video.
- Keep control of your diabetes to avoid ketoacidosis.
- Chronic alcohol drinking can increase the build-up of lactic acid. Moderate your alcohol intake.
Although the production of some acid is natural and our bodies are equipped to handle excess acid to some degree, acidosis is a condition that can lead to serious consequences. Recovering from acidosis is possible once the cause is known and can be addressed.
Alexandra Ross is a freelance writer, food lover and healthy lifestyle writer.
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