Home/Natural Medicine        

Mahes Visvalingam
Post-retirement postings

Please note that this site is under construction.

 

Some Experiences with Natural Medicine
and related observations

 


Acidosis/Alkalosis and Urine pH

 

We have found that correcting the urine (and blood) pH, has rapidly resolved long-standing problems which have stumped the medical profession.  I wanted to understand why such simple corrective measures were effective.  These notes were prepared for my use and posted online to identify my sources to friends, who had tried such corrections.  My notes may be incorrect and you need to check the facts yourself. 

 

Why is urine pH important?

How do we measure urine pH?

What is the pH tide?

How does the body maintain pH levels within the normal range?

Some symptoms of acidosis/alkalosis

Some factors which affect urine pH

How does food affect the pH?
Some cases

 

Why is urine pH important?

Like the body temperature, the body's pH is one indicator of health.  pH stands for potential hydrogen (see http://physiciansnotebook.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/acidity-and-alkalinity-of-body.html).  pH is an indicator of the acid-alkaline state of the body.  Blood pH should be within a narrow range of 7.36 and 7.44.  If the pH is outside this narrow range, it suggests metabolic disturbance (due to impaired kidneys), respiratory problems (such as asthma) or other diseases.  A pH < 7.20 indicates acidosis and a pH >7.60 indicates severe alkalosis.  So, the lower the pH value, the more acid the body fluids are.  

 

The body strives hard to keep the blood pH within its narrow range.  Certain diseases and diet can shift the body’s pH out of this range.  In diabetes, acidosis results from the digestion of fats releasing keto-acids into the blood stream.  Alkalosis can result from rapid shallow breathing through the mouth.

Excess acid can be removed by respiration when we exhale carbonic acid (a weak volatile acid formed by a combination of carbon dioxide and water) as carbon dioxide through the lungs.  The kidneys excrete the waste products of metabolism, which include non-volatile acids such as uric acid.  This lowers the pH of urine.  Diseased kidneys are less able to excrete the excess hydrogen atoms.

 

Urine is the main route through which the body rids itself of acid. We excrete about 2 to 3 litres of urine per day.  Urine not only removes many of the cellular waste products, it also controls both the amount and the composition of the extracellular fluid in the body.  A variety of health conditions can be assessed from urine tests, these include the pH of the urine.

 

How do we measure urine pH?

Strips of litmus paper are used to read the urine pH of a midstream urine sample taken in the morning in a clean container before breakfast.  It should be tested immediately after collection, before bacterial action changes its pH.  For more details see: http://physiciansnotebook.blogspot.jp/2011/01/secrets-of-urine-testing.html

or http://www.betterbones.com/alkalinebalance/pHtesting.aspx 

 

One reason why the urine pH is tested is to assess the risk of kidney stones http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003583.htm

 

What is the pH tide?

Urine pH varies during a 24 hour period from about 6.0 to 6.5 on waking to to 6.5 to 7.0 in the evening.  There is a suggestion that urine pH should be held at 6.8 in the morning and at 7.0 to 7.2 during the rest of the day and evening. The morning pH is more acidic because our oxygen intake through respiration is reduced during sleep. 

 

Eating a meal causes what is known as an alkaline tide. This lasts for about 2 hours.  So, the best time to test your pH is about one hour before a meal and two hours after a meal.  The alkaline tide may cause cramps and even kidney stones, since calcium phosphate, which is soluble in acid, can beco0me insoluble during the alkaline tide.

 

The body has enough resources to protect or buffer temporary changes in pH, as we shall see below.  However, when its resources are in constant demand, due to faulty feeding or some organic malfunction, it cannot perform the buffering function.    So if your urine pH is well outside the range expected, you should always consult your doctor - and should not attempt to correct the problem yourself.  

 

Some symptoms/diseases of acidosis/alkalosis

Although acidosis and alkalosis can be brought on by serious diseases, and treatments, they can also be triggered by environmental factors, stress and by what we consume - food and medicine.

The symptoms we have noted are highlighted.  See also the links below.

Some symptoms/diseases of acidosis :

premature aging; immune deficiency; hormone-related problems; joint pain and osteoporosis (and fractures)

Obesity and diabetes; bladder/kidney problems (including stones); yeast/fungal problems; acid reflux, biting the cheeks and tongue, chronic fatigue, disorientation, sleepiness, gasping for breath, bronchitis, abdominal pain

Some alkalosis symptoms:

light headedness, agitation, dizziness, tingling, twitchy movements, asthma

 

Some factors which affect urine pH

The following links give you some of the causes of acidosis and alkalosis. 

 

Alkalosis http://www.healthline.com/health/alkalosis

Alkalosis may be caused by a loss of acid, a build-up of bicarbonates, or due to a deficit of carbon dioxide in the blood.  Rapid shallow breathing (hyperventilation) by asthmatics causes alkalosis and it is claimed that the Buteyko method of breathing can help (see asthma).  Apparently, aspirin can also induce hyperventilation.  Conversely, shallow breathing can also cause reverse alkalosis, since the kidneys produce bicarbonates to counter the build up of acid.   When bacterial urinary tract infections make the urine alkaline, it can be treated with vitamin C or cranberry (acidic supplements). 

 

Acidosis http://www.healthline.com/health/acidosis

Acidosis can result from a deficit of bicarbonates or from an excess of hydrogen in acids.  It

has various causes, including respiratory and kidney deficiencies and diabetes.  Respiratory acidosis can be caused by suffocation or spontaneous arrest during asthma; suppressed respiration by pneumonia, emphysema or morphine, or the inhalation of gases with a lot of carbon dioxide,

 

Diabetics can suffer from acidosis due to a release of keto-acids from the digestion of fats (given their inability to use glucose).  Fasting also causes the digestion of stored fats, causing an acid tide and the pH may drop to 5 after a couple of days.  Like the alkaline tide, this too can cause kidney, ureter and bladder stones formed from excess uric acid as fats and muscles are broken down.  Perhaps this is why naturopaths suggest fruit intake during fasting.  Diarrhoea and vomiting cause acidosis through the loss of sodium bicarbonate and other minerals.  Over-eating and improper mastication of food is also said to cause acidosis - see http://www.herballegacy.com/Acidosis.html

 

Acidosis can be due to a build-up of lactic acid due to various diseases, the incomplete digestion of carbohydrates, or even prolonged exercise.  This is one reason why sportsmen take alkalising revitalising drinks.  Most often acidosis results from a faulty diet - the consumption of too much acid-forming foods, like meat, fat and sugar.  For other sources of acid see http://faculty.stcc.edu/AandP/AP/AP2pages/Units21to23/ph/howphmay.htm

 

How does the body maintain pH levels within the normal range?

There are a lot of articles on this subject - such as the following : http://www.humuhbuddhistjournal.org/Editions/June08/restore-health1.htm

http://faculty.stcc.edu/AandP/AP/AP2pages/Units21to23/ph/ph.htm

http://physiciansnotebook.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/acidity-and-alkalinity-of-body.html

  1. Bicarbonate buffer - the body has quite a large store of bicarbonates which can neutralise acid. Bicarbonate can be produced from the carbon dioxide that we breathe in and it can also rapidly revert to carbon dioxide which can be breathed out.  This reversibility of bicarbonates, makes it an excellent buffer, keeping the blood pH within the normal range.  When the bicarbonate store is used up, the body raids the bone (for base minerals) and muscles (for nitrogen).
     

  2. Second line buffers - When the body is acidic, and the bicarbonate store is depleted, the body uses:

    • Mineral buffers from bone - Just as fat stores excess energy during a fast, the body stores vital minerals in the bone.  Acidic conditions lead to a de-mineralisation of the bone and the use of potassium, magnesium and calcium ions to neutralise the excess hydrogen.  The excess unused mineral ions are then excreted through the urine.  Such demineralisation of the bones for acid pH buffering causes osteoporosis. 

    • Protein buffer from muscles - this is because amino acids in protein make good buffers.  Unfortunately, if the body is acidic, muscle tissue is broken down and converted by the kidneys into ammonia by the addition of excess hydrogen and which is excreted with urine.

The body cannot assimilate minerals and nutrients when its pH is out of balance.   When the pH is acidic due to dietary causes or illness, it can be corrected by alkalising drinks to help the system return to normality. 

However, one should not rely on antacids, like sodium bicarbonate, to buffer an unhealthy diet, since there are side-effects of doing so.  http://drsircus.com/medicine/sodium-bicarbonate-baking-soda/side-effects-contraindications.  It goes without saying that you should not take sodium bicarbonate if you are on a sodium-restricted diet, e.g. for high blood pressure.  Antacids also interact with some prescription drugs.  It is better to correct the diet before it leads to more serious, often difficult to treat, chronic inflammatory diseases. 

 

How does food affect the pH?
The pH of the food is not the same as its effect on the pH of body fluids after digestion.  For example, lemons and cider vinegar, which are used as natural remedies, are very acidic in their raw state.  But, the body mops up the acids and excretes the excess, leaving minerals (ions of calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphates) which make the blood alkaline.

 

So, a low urine pH often indicates that the body is trying to deal with acidity. If this condition persists, it gives rise to dis-eases, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and fungal infections amongst others.  Such acidity can be countered by eating more fruit and vegetables.  When digestion and metabolism is impaired by over-acidity, sodium or potassium bicarbonates are helpful - but they should not be over-used. 

There are many different charts posted online, which give some conflicting classifications of the acid-base residue of food.   So you need to monitor how your own urine pH - i.e. how your body - responds to what you eat.  The advice is that one should consume 70-80% alkaline and only at most 20-30% acidic food.  In my experience the body can deal with a moderate amount of most food.  There appears to be general agreement over the following:

Acidic food

People who consume a lot of meat, fish and shellfish, dairy, cereals, white flour products and sugar (especially artificial sweeteners and canned drinks) tend towards acidity.  Even tinned tomatoes and other tinned fruit seem to be over-loaded with Citric Acid (mostly chemically extracted from sources other than citrus fruit - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citric_acid ).  Cranberries, prunes, plums, chocolate, coffee, most nuts (especially peanuts, which tend to go rancid).  Also, cranberries and rhubarb.  In my experience, food additives, excess citric acid in canned fruit and vegetables, convenience food, and low quality biscuits (with animal fat?) are particularly bad.  While I do not react to lemon/lime, I do get some of the side effects mentioned for citric acid when I have tinned tomatoes for example http://www.drugs.com/cdi/citric-acid-sodium-citrate.html; http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/citric-acid-intolerance-13807.html.  This makes me think that it is some aspect of the production process that my body is objecting to.  Equally, the tinned tomatoes have changed in consistency and seem to have an artificially red colour, which might be the problem.
 

Alkaline food

Normally, the urine of vegetarians tends to be alkaline.  Lemons, limes, grapefruit (but not tinned since these have been denatured), mangoes, papayas. vegetables (also freshly juiced), and herbs.  Green tea

 

Try searching for items of interest in the charts, such as these online.  I do not know if they are reliable.

http://www.bodybalancehealth.eu/pdf/Acid%20alkaline%20balance.pdf

http://www.energiseforlife.com/acid-alkaline-food-chart-1.1.pdf

http://www.naturalhealthschool.com/pH-balance.html

 

As Otto Mausert is cited to have stated:  Eating fast, improper chewing, overloading, and eating the wrong kinds of food, are generally responsible for the troubles. The bad habits must be abandoned in order to affect a cure, as there is no medicine that can chew the food properly, or stop anybody from overloading, or prevent one from eating things that are hard to digest. .... It is only too true, that most people dig their own graves with their teeth.  http://www.herballegacy.com/Acidosis.html   This source also cites Jethro Kloss as blaming irregular eating and eating late at night

 

As we have already noted, the weather, stress, medication and over-exercising can also cause acidosis.  Any transient imbalance can be corrected by food cures and by altering feeding habits.  Vegetable broths with onions, carrots, ginger, garlic and parsley and other vegetables and herbs are alkalising and mineralising.  You could include bones and some cider vinegar or citrus if you wish to increase the mineral content.  So-called potassium broths, include seaweed, like kombu.  Only the sick need daily doses of these potassium rich broths - too much potassium can upset the electrolyte balance of the body. 

 

Peppermint tea is anti-spasmodic but it should not be taken if you are using homeopathic medicines.  Parsley is also reputed to be good for acidosis.  I have found that cold-pressed coconut, coconut cream and/or milk are also soothing - but not desiccated coconut with sodium metasulphide.  Spinach, cucumber and leeks are also very good when the digestive tract is irritated by excess acid. 

 

Many of these items are expensive - but it is very easy to grow parsley in pots and many items are cheaper than prescription and over-the-counter medicines.  Our ancestors did not indulge in super-foods and such expensive items need not be a part of routine diet.  Equally, our ancestors did not live in centrally heated houses nor have all the mod-cons we have.  They laboured hard and walked miles to school, work etc.  They needed more protein and fat, and in general more food, than we do.  Unfortunately, indulging in eating has become an unhealthy social habit.  Enjoy it if your body can cope - but if starts to struggle, you can probably recover if you moderate your habits.

 

Finally, people like myself, whose immune system has been compromised by DDT and other medications, are intolerant of some food.  The Coca Test (or Pulse test) can be used to identify potential allergens which can also upset the body's biochemistry.

 

Some cases

  1. Gastritis - This was brought on by very cold windy weather.  Homeopathic remedies do give relief - but they did not completely cure my gastritis.  The home treatment for chest and head congestion led to steady improvement in acid-base balance.  I suspect that it was mainly due to the Alkalising Drink, although I no longer have it.  I find that the daily half cup of Ginger tea is doing me a world of good.
     

  2. Pleurisy and bronchitis - Initially brought on by stress and exposure to chemical sprays in the confined space of air cabins.  This was probably compounded by an infection.  Resolved by similar home remedies.
     

  3. Unknown cause of abdominal pain - A very thin lady had severe abdominal pain from Feb 2013 to November 2013.  She had various blood and urine tests and various types of scans - all negative.  By this time she had lost a stone in weight.  The colonoscopy in November 2013 also showed a healthy colon.  I suggested that the problem might be due to acidosis outside her tolerance range, which could cause inflammations and spasms, besides encouraging candida albicans.  There is a detailed article on Systemic Candida at : http://www.janus.net.pl/grzybice%20candida.htm  You can control parasitic Candida, which can destroy mucosa and cause inflammations - but be aware that Candida die-off can be nasty since it releases toxins into the blood stream.  So, you may have to pace your treatment.  There are many online sources.

    I suggested that she try the Ginger Tea and Alkalising Drink on my page on Chest and Head Congestion.  Her urine pH was out of range and after just 4 days of home treatment, she was pain free and started to put on weight.  Six weeks later, she was still pain free, had put on 10 pounds and said her energy levels were rising.  She felt that there was nothing wrong with her although she had occasional pain, which was manageable.  Her urine pH has normalised and she has cut back on the home cures to twice a week.  Since she was very thin to begin with, the loss of weight could have been due to a loss of bone and muscle mass.

    The alkalising drink had another unexpected beneficial effect.  She had been seeing hospital consultants about her dry and inflamed eyes for several years and had been wearing wrap round glasses to create a more humid environment and keep dust off her eyes.  This had  developed into blepharitis, which was being managed with castor oil.  When I visited her on the 22 December 2013, she showed me her eyes - there was no swelling or redness and they were not bothering her as much.  Since blepharitis could be due to fungal infection, this again suggested that correcting the blood pH had created a hostile environment for the fungus which was naturally dying off.  So, this shows that when the body's pH is outside the normal range  (in her case mainly due to stress), it can cause very unpleasant, even if not life threatening, symptoms.  She now cleans her eyes with the alkalising formula.  Please note that the consultant we saw when my husband had blepharitis did suggest bicarbonate of soda for an eye wash - but this did not help.  So, it does look like there is a need to correct the blood pH.
     

  4. Fatigue and symptoms of fungal infections - someone I knew had ME for more than 27 years and had never felt well since.  She had reflux and fungal infections from time to time.  She had a need to have a nap in the afternoons and generally felt tired.  Over the years she had tried homeopathy, acupuncture and other therapies when prescription medicines had not helped her recover her energy levels.  She did not test the urine pH but had the alkalising drink and felt that her energy levels were up.  Although she still felt tired, she could go out everyday and enjoy herself without a need for naps.   Having noticed the change in her, her friend was going to try the remedy.  After 6 months, my freind reports that she is going through a good spell and has increased the number of hours she works for a charity.
     

  5. Diabetic with no energy -  A diabetic friend had Candida explosion in Nov 2013 after he had antibiotics in Malta for a viral infection he picked up there. He started taking the Alkalising Drink in January when he felt that his energy level had become really low.  He was then mis-diagnosed with and treated for cancer - but felt that the alkalising drink had helped him regain his normal energy level.  The so-called cancer (which was actually Candida Albicans) disappears when he applies Castor Oil but keeps coming back.  He has systemic Candida due to his diabetes, which is difficult to control.

Jan 2016

I came across this very good site:

http://www.americannursetoday.com/perfecting-your-acid-base-balancing-act-2/

 

Disclaimer

© Mahes Visvalingam, 4 Dec 2013
Last updated on 29/01/16