Have you been unwell recently and your doctor says there’s nothing wrong with you? Do you feel heavy, tired, sluggish, and uncomfortable from those unhealthy eating habits? If your answer to any of these questions is YES, and you still have cravings for food and drinks that sabotage your efforts to stay healthy, there’s need for a check-up on your body acidity level.
Acidosis is a health condition you experience when your body fluids contain too much acid; this happens when your kidneys and lungs can’t keep your body’s pH in balance.
According to health experts, many of the body’s processes produce acid, particularly your lungs and kidneys, which often compensate for slight pH imbalances. However, your body system can accumulate excess acid if there are problems with these organs. Blood acidity is measured by determining its pH; a lower pH shows that your blood is more acidic, while a higher pH means that is is more basic.
The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) said your blood pH level should be around 7.4 since acidosis is characterized by a pH of 7.35 or lower. On the other hand, alkalosis is characterized by a pH level of 7.45 or higher. Although the numerical difference looks quite thin, it can be a serious health issue if taken for granted. This can even be life-threatening.
Health experts identified two types of acidosis (respiratory acidosis or metabolic acidosis), each with various causes.
Respiratory acidosis is experienced when excess CO2 builds up in the body. Normally, the lungs remove CO2 while you breathe but when your body is unable to get rid of enough CO2, this may be a sign of:
- chronic airway conditions, like asthma
- injury to the chest
- obesity, which can make breathing difficult
- sedative misuse
- overuse of alcohol
- muscle weakness in the chest
- problems with the nervous system
- deformed chest structure
Metabolic acidosis starts in the kidneys instead of the lungs and happens when they can’t eliminate enough acid or when they get rid of too much base. The three major forms of metabolic acidosis are:
Diabetic acidosis which occurs in people with diabetes that’s poorly controlled. Inadequate insulin in the body leads to ketones build up, which eventually acidifies the blood.
Hyperchloremic acidosis results from a loss of sodium bicarbonate, which helps to keep the blood neutral. Doctors say you might have this type of acidosis if you experience diarrhea and vomiting.
Lactic acidosis occurs when there’s too much lactic acid in your body and the causes are identifies as chronic alcohol use, heart failure, cancer, seizures, liver failure, prolonged lack of oxygen, and low blood sugar, including prolonged exercise which also leads to lactic acid build-up.
Renal tubular acidosis occurs when the kidneys are unable to excrete acids into the urine thereby causing the blood to become acidic.
Factors that may increase your chances of suffering acidosis are: obesity, kidney, high-fat and low-carbohydrate diet, dehydration, aspirin or methanol poisoning, and diabetes.
If you suspect metabolic acidosis, visit a doctor with your urine sample for a Ph test and other additional analysis that may be required. Determining the cause of acidosis is one sure way of offering lasting treatment.
You can, however, help prevent acidosis by:
- Staying hydrated – drinking plenty of water and other fluids
- Controlling your diabetes i.e. managing your blood sugar levels
- Quitting smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
- Talking sedatives as prescribed by doctors and not mixing them with alcohol
- Maintaining a healthy weight
Acid is so bad, considering that it can burn a hole through metal. Compare this to what it does to your body, digestive system, muscles and joints, and your cardiovascular system.
Regrettably, the Standard American Diet (SAD diet) and other such organizations are promoting damaging acids packaged in the form of sugar, coffee, diary, meat, carbonated water, artificial sweeteners, gluten processed foods, soda etc. It gets worse with media adverts from profit-oriented manufacturing companies.
The truth is: when acids and toxins build up in the blood, combined with stress, a great amount of inflammations on the body and joints come up as symptoms, requiring the body system to work harder and offer a balance so we can wake up each morning with enough energy to stay afloat all day. Sadly, most of us tend to aggravate our unhealthy lifestyles and a resultant tiredness by taking acidic stimulants such as energy drinks, coffee, sugar or caffeine, which provide temporary relief but increase our chances of acidosis.