As we age, our body’s alkaline buffer system – the means that the body uses to neutralize and excrete acidity – declines.
How much does this decline affect you? That depends, some people will have stronger alkaline buffers than others. So the first thing you need to know about how to reduce acidity in the body is: How much am I affected by acidity in my body? To find out, take the body acidity quiz below:
Acidity in the Body Quiz
Out-of-control acidity in the body causes certain symptoms all of which are part of a temporary condition called metabolic acidosis. It’s a temporary condition because your body will correct it on it’s own, but that correction can come at a high price: If your body can’t discharge enough acid, that acid can attack your kidneys, it can result in arterial plaque, bone loss, and many other compensations that your body must make to adjust for the acidity. Much of the compensation for acidity that your body makes causes no symptoms, no pain, until it’s too late. Thankfully, there are some acidity in the body warning signs:
- Do you suffer from acid reflux?
- Do small amounts of hot, spicy foods trigger an upset stomach?
- Are you frequently out of breath?
- Do you have gout?
- Do you have arthritis?
- Are you prone to yeast infections?
- Do you have ulcers?
If you answered yes to three or more of the above questions, there’s a good likelihood that your body is too acidic. Here’s why these conditions may indicate an acidic body:
Acid reflux can mean that your body is generating too much stomach acid, and it’s refluxing up your esophagus. Acid reflux can be caused by other conditions too, so this one alone isn’t enough to conclude your body is acidic.
Upset stomach If your stomach is easily upset, it may mean that your body is unable to alkalize the food it digests. After being broken down by stomach acid, your body alkalizes food so it can be absorbed in the intestines. The discomfort you feel is your intestines being subjected to acidity.
Out of breath One of the ways your body gets rid of acidity is to exhale it. But when your body is in a state of metabolic acidosis, your blood pH is too low for it’s hemoglobin to be able to release CO2 and other acidic waste gasses in your lungs. When this happens, your hemoglobin is unable to absorb more oxygen from your lungs. It doesn’t matter how heavily you breathe, you still feel like you are gasping for air.
Gout is a buildup of uric acid on your joints. If you struggle with gout, your body can’t discharge uric acid fast enough to stop it from building up.
Arthritis can result when your body is unable to break down certain enzymes. Arthritis has multiple causes, so this symptom alone isn’t enough to conclude you have an acidic body.
Yeast infections are caused by harmful microbes that enter your urinary tract from your digestive tract. An acidic gut favors the growth of these harmful microbes.
Ulcers are sores in your intestines. They are caused by acids eating away at the walls of your intestines.
Talk to your doctor
The only way to confirm that your body is too acidic is to ask your doctor to check for the following:
- High bone loss
- Low urinary pH
- High blood sugar
- High levels of bad cholesterol
If you have any of the above medical conditions, then you should definitely work to reduce the acidity in your body.
How to reduce the acidity in your body
There are three main ways you can use to reduce the acidity in your body:
Diet: Switch to a low acidity diet such as the Mediterranean diet, which is a diet low in meats and processed foods. You can also choose to go even further, and switch to an alkaline diet, which is a plant based diet that puts the lowest overall acid load on your body of any diet.
Alkaline water: may reduce or even eliminate many of the symptoms of an acidic body within a few weeks of starting to drink it. You need to drink at least 2 liters of alkaline water per day to fight body acidity. The extra hydration provided by alkaline water can help your kidneys flush the acidity from your body.
Alkaline water can quickly shift your pH balance towards alkaline. So quickly in fact, that it’s best to start gradually. If you have an alkaline water machine:
- First week: Drink only level 1 alkaline water
- Second week: Move up to level 2, unless you feel your body detoxing
- Third week and later: Move up to level 3 alkaline water.
If your body is toxic, you may feel it detoxing. Some people experience very mild, flu-like symptoms as their bodies purge toxins. If this happens to you, stay with level 1 alkaline water until the detox symptoms pass.
Reduce stress: Stress stimulates production of a hormone called cortisol, which actually acidifies your body. Meditation and the practice of Mindfulness are two very practical ways to reduce stress in your life even if you don’t change anything else!
How to find out if it’s working
You can test yourself for body acidity by monitoring the pH of your urine. Since your urine ph varies throughout the day, it’s best to check you 24 hour average urine pH. You should expect to see gradual improvement, it typically takes 2 – 4 weeks to see a significant shift in pH. If you have the symptoms of an acidic body (discussed above) you should also watch to see if some or all of those symptoms are reduced or eliminated.
Want some help? Join The Alkaline Lifestyle for tips, recipies and more that can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
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