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Acid-Base Balance

The regulation of acid-base balance is one of the necessary homeostatic mechanisms for maintaining health. In order for cells to function properly, it is essential to regulate the body's pH within strict limits, as is the case with electrolyte regulation. Reactions between acids and bases are usually reversible, which means that the body has the ability to correct possible imbalances, once there is proper nutritional and metabolic support.

Acid-Base Balance Testing involves measuring the pH of Urine and Saliva samples at specific intervals over a 24-hour period.

Role of Acid-Base Balance

When the pH of the body shifts even slightly, the effect on health can be significant and can lead to:

  • Changes in electrolyte regulation
  • Denaturation of proteins
  • Loss of enzyme functions
  • Cell death

Overall, the body is slightly alkaline, but every organ and tissue has an optimal pH range. Blood has the most closely monitored pH because even a small deviation from normal can affect many organs. A decrease in blood pH below normal (7.35) is called Acidosis, while an increase in blood pH above normal (7.45) is called Alkalosis.

In general, acid-base imbalance can occur for the following reasons:

  • Dehydration
  • Ingestion or exposure to substances such as:
    • Acidic foods
    • Diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates
    • Alcohol, caffeine, and acidic soft drinks
    • Smoking and drug use
    • Medicines, especially diuretics
    • Air and water pollutants
    • Various chemicals in personal care products
    • Environmental toxins such as heavy metals
    • Various household chemicals
  • Emotional stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Very intense exercise
  • From a metabolic point of view:
    • Increased production of hydrogen ions
    • Storage of partially metabolized by-products of glucose and fat that are acidic
    • Disorder of acid excretion by the kidneys
    • Loss of regulatory capacity of the body's buffers
    • Diseases such as kidney disease, diabetes, and almost every chronic disease can upset the acid-base balance
Consequences of Acid-Balance Disorders

The functions of most tissues, organs, and systems can be disrupted by disorders of homeostasis of acid-base balance. Results may vary from patient to patient. There may be only one symptom or condition or many at a time.

Gastrointestinal tract: Heartburn, pancreatic disorders due to diabetes, constipation and flatulence, intestinal fungal infection, decreased liver detoxification ability

Musculoskeletal system: Gout, arthralgias, osteoporosis

Skin and hair: Fragile hair, premature greying of hair, dryness of mucous membranes, dry skin, skin inflammation, cellulite, acne

Metabolism: Gout (increased uric acid), kidney stones and kidney damage, diabetes mellitus, obesity

Circulatory system: Arteriosclerosis with consequent vascular heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, decreased blood flow to legs, migraines, nausea, varicose veins

Whole body: Weak immune system resulting in various diseases, chronic pain, depression, loss of energy, allergies, food intolerances

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