(NaturalNews) The term pH stands for potential hydrogen. It is the degree of concentration of hydrogen ions in a substance such as water, blood and food. pH is measured on a scale from 0 to 14. The lower the pH reading - the more acidic a substance is. The higher the pH reading, the more alkaline the body is. A pH of 7 is neutral. Ph balance is the balance of acid and alkaline in all fluids and cells throughout your body. Our bodies are alkaline by design and acid by function. This means that our bodies function more efficiently when slightly alkaline, but bodily functions, such as digestion, are acid producing. So what can we do to ensure that our bodies remain more alkaline and balanced?
The human body's metabolic process is naturally acid producing. However, this waste needs to be neutralized or "balanced" so it can be safely eliminated from the body without damaging tissues and organs that are responsible for detoxifying the body. Alkalinity is needed to neutralize and balance acidity. The presence of alkalinity in the body's acid producing environment is counteractive to the onset of illness and disease and also prevents decomposition.
"Acidosis" refers to an acid pH. It is an imbalanced acidic condition of all bodily fluids. Almost all cellular functions in the body are sensitive to the pH of their fluids. If the pH falls too far to the acidic side the cells become poisoned in their own toxic wastes and will die. All chemical processes have an ideal pH. Your blood should have a pH of 7.35 - 7.45. Many studies show that people with a correct blood pH enjoy good health; whereas, people with a low, or acidic, pH are more likely to be ill. The slightest imbalance can cause serious illness and disease.
The body will do whatever it must to maintain the blood pH balance, and will continually steal acidneutralizing minerals from wherever necessary, such as calcium from bones and teeth. The blood will dump the acid into other body organs in an effort to detoxify itself. The organs then dump the acid back into the blood, creating a vicious cycle of trying to rid itself of acidity. This cycle can be ended with a properly balance pH.
Symptoms of mild cases of acidosis include headache, lack of energy, sleepiness, fast and shallow breathing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and loss of appetite. Acidosis can result in rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, lupus, tuberculosis, osteoporoses, high blood pressure and most cancers.
Metabolic acidosis occurs when the body has more acidity then alkalinity in it. Eating a diet of excessive meats, grains and breads, dairy products, sugar, overcooked, refined and processed foods and fast foods, can lead to an acidic pH balance. Other factors can include overload from pollutants and chemicals, emotional stress and negative thinking. Even excessive exercising (past the point of exhaustion) causes acidity.
The most important way to stay alkaline is to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Increase the amounts of vegetables and fruit (alkaline foods) that you eat while decreasing the amount of acid-forming foods, such as grains, dairy products, pasta and breads. Juicing vegetables can be an excellent way to increase your alkaline food intake.
Just because a fruit or vegetable may be acid, that doesn't mean it will be acid when it is digested. When foods are digested, they turn into "ash". This ash is what determines if a food is acid or alkaline.
- It is important to remember that the method of cooking will also have either an acidic or alkaline reaction. For example, a potato that is baked or boiled in its jacket is alkaline food, whereas a fried potato is acid-forming.
- Make sure you drink at least 2 liters of good water per day. Normal tap water falls short of being good for you. Most city water has additives such as chlorine and fluoride, which are acid forming. Distilled water, water treated by reverse-osmosis or alkaline waters are best.
- Stress - Joy helps to alkalize the body. Take time to relax, have fun and laugh!
- Exercise will tend to make the body more alkaline, but exercising excessively will become acid-forming.
Alex Howard is author of "WHY ME? My Journey from M.E. to Health and Happiness" and founder of The Optimum Health Clinic, an award winning clinic specialising in M.E./C.F.S./Fibromyalgia based in Harley Street Clinic, London, UK. The clinic has treated over 5,000 patients with M.E./Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia in over twenty-five countries around the world, and is currently running a two year clinical trial in conjunction with two top universities. A free information pack, including a 75 documentary about the clinic and its work, can be ordered from www.FreedomFromME.co.uk