Dr. Michael Schecter DDS
Find Out The Truth: Are You Too Acidic?
Vibrant health and Energy begins with pH balance. Your body is alkaline by design, but acidic by function. Nearly every process that your body undergoes produces acid.
However, the pH of your body needs to remain alkaline and will seek to retain pH balance. Your body will go to such great lengths to keep the pH of your blood in a range between 7.35-7.45 that it will even create stress on other tissues or body system to do so. Your body will leach the calcium (which is alkaline) right out of your bones and teeth or magnesium from your muscles to correct an acidic condition.
Chronic acidity in your body will interrupt all cellular activities and function. It interferes with life itself. When the pH of your body get out of balance by becoming too acidic, you may experience an increase in cavities, poor bone density, low energy, fatigue, excess weight, poor digestion, arthritis, blood pressure abnormalities, blood sugar challenges, fungal problems (Candida and yeast), headaches, heartburn and acid reflux, hot flashes, inflammation, insomnia, premature aging, skin problems, stress, and tension, and other disorders.
What is pH?
pH is simply a measurement of acidity and alkalinity. The p comes from the word power or potential. The H is the symbol for the element Hydrogen. The term pH means Potential of Hydrogen. The pH scale goes from 0 to 14. pH of 7 is considered neutral, a perfect balance between acidity and alkalinity. Keep in mind that the scale is logarithmic, meaning that the values separating each unit increases in proportion from the neutral 7. For example, 6 is ten times more acidic than 7, where as 4 is one thousand times more acidic than 7.
Am I Acidic?
pH of Urine: Ph of urine falls between 6.75 and 7.25. By testing the urine pH, we can determine whether your body is eliminating a normal amount of acids. If the acid excretion rate is higher than normal, urinary pH will be more acidic. This low urinary pH is also an indication that we are low in alkaline mineral reserves that are used to neutralize the acids that are eliminated from urine.
pH of Saliva: When our bodies have an abundant supply of mineral buffer available, saliva pH will read between 7.0 and 7.5 (as high as 8.0 immediately after a meal). A low saliva pH reading also indicates mineral depletion.
Saliva is naturally more alkaline so that it can buffer the acidity produced from food. Bacteria in our mouths convert the sugars we eat into acid. This acid is the cause of tooth decay. Our saliva acts as a natural buffer to protect our mouths from decay. We can help prevent decay by brushing or rinsing after food to minimize the sugar and acid content in our mouths.
We can also minimize the acid and sugar we ingest. Another critical component is ensuring that our saliva is at the appropriate buffering capacity. If our bodies are acidic, our saliva will be too acidic resulting in increase cavities and gum disease.
There is a naturally occurring tide of acidity and alkalinity in your body. Due to normal build-up, transport, and elimination of acids from our systems, body fluids are most acidic at 2 AM (low tide) and most alkaline at 2 PM (high tide)
What causes acidity?
Both our modern diet and lifestyle promote acidification of our bodies. Acidifying foods (processed sugar, processed carbohydrates, meat, dairy) lower the pH of the body. An overload of these acids can overwhelm your body’s ability to neutralize them. Alkaline foods such as vegetables are eaten in much smaller quantities; their alkaline content is insufficient to neutralize surplus acids. Moreover, stimulants like tobacco, coffee, tea, and alcohol all have an extremely acidifying effect on the body.
Stress, nervous tension, noise, shortage of time, and other pressures contribute to increasing the body’s acidification through the physiological disturbances they create. Physical exercise should be a critical balance for our pH levels. Unfortunately, in our modern paradigm, exercise is either excessive or insufficient, resulting in an acidic internal environment.
Our bodies become overly acidic primarily as a result of three things: ingestion of acids, creating acids, and improper neutralization and elimination of acids. Microbes (bacteria, yeast, fungus), proliferate when your body becomes acidic. These pathogens also create acidifying toxins in the body. These living organisms steal your nutrients by feeding on them and create a host of toxins as a result. These toxins are very acidifying and are potentially very dangerous.
When our body’s buffering systems become depleted or compromised, acids begin to build up. As acids continue to build up, they damage all systems within the body. When this buffering system is used only occasionally, the alkaline elements thus lost are easily replaced by the alkaline minerals found in food, and the tissues suffer no ill effects from ‘loaning’ their alkaline components. Problems occur when tissues are forced to relinquish their alkaline elements on a regular basis, every day or even several times a day. In this case, the body’s alkaline content inevitably diminishes.
Why is acid harmful?
Each part of our bodies operates at an ideal pH. Our bodies strive to maintain that optimal range to keep the organs, bloods, fluids, and tissues functioning properly. Enzymes can only perform their tasks only in an environment with a clearly defined pH.
When our bodies are overly burdened trying to compensate for pH imbalances, it suffers immensely. This excess stress leads to toxicity and illness. This toxicity leads to microform overgrowth (bacteria, pathogens, yeasts, fungi, parasites, etc) which can lead to illness. The body can not detoxify properly when it becomes acidic. This leads to the activation of emergency mechanisms to compensate for toxicity. Inflammation can result, as well as lesions and hardening of tissues. Many cases of eczema, hives, and red patches on the skin are due to irritation caused by excessively acidic sweat.
A great example of this is weight gain. Fat is an excellent binding agent. Our bodies will store more fat when necessary to bind to excessive toxins in the body. Weight is much more complex than simply metabolic issues. The acid/base balance plays an integral role in maintaining a healthy weight.
Excessive acid can lead to loss of minerals. This demineralization can be quite significant and can affect any organ because alkaline minerals are stored in all the body’s tissues. The best known consequences of demineralization are problems affecting the skeleton and teeth. Bones lose their calcium, and along with it their resistance and flexibility, to the point where they break far too easily, lose their density (osteoporosis), become inflamed at the joint (Rheumatism), and wear away the disks (sciatica). Teeth can also become more brittle because of mineral loss. They can chip, become oversensitive to hot and cold food, or become more susceptible to cavities.
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