pH Level in Metabolic Acidosis
You’ve probably come across urine pH test strips in your local drug store or while shopping online.
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably wondered what these strips tell us and whether the information offers any value.
It all relates to the state of the body. More specifically, whether your organism is in an alkaline or acidic state. Both of these states can give you information about your health and how things are going.
We’ll explore exactly why that is and what it means for you.
What You Need to Know About pH and Metabolic Acidosis
If you don’t remember your high school chemistry lessons all that well, don’t worry. The pH scale is a measure of the acidity or basicity (not to be confused with alkalinity) of an aqueous solution (where water is the solvent).
The scale goes from 1 to 14, with a score of 7 being a neutral ground between the two states. Solutions with a higher score (above seven) are considered alkaline or basic, where solutions with a lower score (below seven) are considered acidic.
The scale also applies to the human body and all of its fluids. For instance, your stomach acid has a score of less than 3. Your blood? It should be at around 7.35 to 7.45, which makes it slightly alkaline. In general, the body strives to maintain a slightly alkaline state, which appears optimal for our health.
When bodily fluids contain too much acid and their score drops, metabolic acidosis takes place.
Many bodily processes produce acid as a by-product, and our lungs and kidneys are mostly responsible for maintaining the slightly alkaline state (4, 5). If these organs fail to do their job (due to an inherent problem in their function or an external issue), pH goes down, and acidity increases.
While researchers are yet to fully understand pH balance and everything related to it, science backs it up and finds that a highly acidic state can be devastating to our health.
Symptoms of Metabolic Acidosis
Metabolic acidosis occurs when the kidneys cannot eliminate enough acid from the body, or they get rid of too much base. The result is a lower pH and higher acidity. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Accelerated muscle loss
- Lower levels of thyroid hormones
- Increased cortisol levels
- Insulin resistance
- Bone mass loss and an increased risk of fractures
- Cravings for carbohydrates
- Confusion and fatigue
Dietary and Lifestyle Recommendations
If you ever suspect that you might be suffering from metabolic acidosis, you must seek medical attention immediately. Your doctor will be able to determine if you have acidosis by running different tests, including a thorough look at your blood, kidneys, and metabolic function.
If your doctor suspects metabolic acidosis, you will have to give a urine sample to have its pH tested.
It’s fundamental for the patient to begin treatment immediately because this will help them get better quicker. For therapy to start, the doctor will need to have a good idea of what causes it.
In any case, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is an excellent place to start because it helps increase blood pH levels. It’s also vital for the patient to cut out animal protein products such as meat, as they generate large amounts of hydrogen ions that contribute to acidity. Instead, patients should start consuming more fruits and vegetables that have a high alkalizing ability.