pH Balance... What's the big deal?

If you are a student of natural health, you have most likely studied the concept of pH as it relates optimal health. Put quite simply, pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline something (like your body, for example) is. If this sounds like a bad chemistry class, please bear with me...

Your body will very tighly regulate the pH of the blood as this is a life and death issue. So, blood pH is almost always very close to 7.365. The question is, how hard does the body have to WORK to keep it there. If we have an over-abundance of acid in our bodies for example, the kidneys have to work extra hard to maintain this delicate balance. When the kidneys do this, minerals and electrolytes like potassium and magnesium are lost and then certain chemical reactions that require these nutrients don't happen properly. On the flip side, if you have an

abundance of basic or alkaline substance build up in your body, you can experience symptoms like irregular heartbeats, confusion, tissue hypoxia (blue skin/nails).

As you can see, this is a pretty big deal. It may take years before this will actually show up as a diagnosable disease, but even if this balance is marginally compromised, you can experience premature aging, fatigue and lack of energy. More individuals tend toward an acidic vs. a basic state. This is mostly because of the diet most Americans eat, which is termed the Standard American Diet or SAD for short!. Toxicities can also affect pH balance. Excessive exercise can lead to an acidic state as well.

There are a couple of ways you can see how you are doing with your pH. The first is a simple breath-holding test.

Take a deep breath in and out.

Take a breath in and hold. You can plug your nose if you like.

Time yourself to see how long you can hold this breath.

Ideal time is 40-65 seconds. Less than 40 seconds can indicate a shift toward acidosis

and >65 seconds may suggest a shift toward alkalosis.

Another test you can look at is the Anion Gap test, which is a blood test. It's calculated by

taking (Sodium + Potassium) - (Chloride + Bicarbonate/Carbon Dioxide). Some tests will label the marker Bicarbonate and some will label it Carbon Dioxide. IDEAL ranges are 7-12. Low ranges are very rare, but higher ranges suggest acidosis and possibly a Thiamine, or B1, deficiency. This is not a routine marker on blood work, but it is on my panel and I think it gives great, useable information.

If you fail the breath-hold test or calculate your anion gap levels high, you might want to consider eating a diet focused on veggies and fruit full of fiber and minerals like Magnesium and Potassium. Eliminating fried foods and using dairy in moderation. Convention meat is also very acidifying to the body compared to grass fed and pastured meats. You might also want to consider a good B vitamin that contains Thiamine.

I hope you found this helpful. If you have a question about this or any other health-related issue, please feel free to book a free, no-obligation consultation here

Many blessings!

Dr. Jeni

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