Are you too acidic? Improve alkalinity for better health
The average American diet, which is high in junk foods and low in vegetables, makes your body overly acidic. Body pH is important, you must maintain an optimal pH for proper cellular function. If you are too acidic, you are more prone to disease and inflammation. Being overly acidic makes you more prone to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain, inflammation, autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto's hypothyroidism, and other chronic diseases and problems. The good news is you can nudge your body toward a more alkaline state through changes to your diet.
How to know you are too acidic
Most people don't know they are too acidic. Below are common symptoms of excess acidity:
Swelling and bloating
Poor brain function
Reduced endurance for exercise
Difficulty holding breath
Rapid, shallow breathing
How to test whether you are too acid
You can test pH levels through several different methods, but don't be fooled into thinking they're all the same. For instance, the salivary pH test is the most popular, it does not scientific support. Blood pH testing is also not accurate. The body tightly regulates blood pH and it only fluctuates with acute events such as as poisoning, kidney disease, or lung disease. However, a blood test can be useful in other ways. If you look at blood ranges from a functional medicine perspective, the markers of CO2 and anion gap can identify patterns of over acidity. Testing your pH through urine, however, can accurately reflect how acidic you are. You can also use it during your dietary changes to help you assess whether eating more leafy green veggies and less sugar are helping you become more alkaline. Urinary pH should be between 7.2–7.8. However, infections, bacterial overgrowth, dehydration, incontinence, and other issues can make your results inaccurate.
How to shift your body to become more alkaline?
The standard American diet (SAD) causes the body to become too acidic. The following dietary habits promote excess acidity:
Too much meat
Lack of ample vegetables and fruits
You don't have to be a vegan or vegetarian to attain good alkalinity. But your diet should revolve around leafy green and colorful vegetables and fruits. An alkaline diet is high in magnesium, potassium, calcium, and other minerals. A diet that is plant-rich also maintains healthy gut bacteria so that you healthier immune function.
Your stomach should be acidic
Your need a strongly acidic stomach to digest proteins and fight pathogens. Insufficient stomach acidity paradoxically causes symptoms of acid reflux. Taking supplemental hydrochloric acid (as long as you don’t have ulcers) can promote a healthy pH. Avoid bicarbonate-based antacid medications.
Some health conditions promote over acidity
Being overly acidic promotes poor health, but certain health conditions can promote acidity. They include anemia, asthma, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), or high blood sugar (insulin resistance or diabetes). If acidity is severe it becomes life threatening. Diseases that cause severe acidity that includes diabetes, kidney disease, and lung disease. Contact my office for ideas on how diet and nutritional therapy can help improve alkalinity and health.
About Dr. Josh Redd — Utah, Arizona, New Mexico functional medicine
One of the main goals at RedRiver Health and Wellness Center is to work with patients to improve their health, wellbeing, and quality of life. The RedRiver Health and Wellness Center team is passionate about helping ailing patients achieve optimal health, and we truly care about the success of each and every patient.
RedRiver chiropractic physicians are great advocates for prescribing physicians and endocrinologists. In fact, many of our patients see their prescribing physician(s) more frequently while under our care than they would otherwise. Our goal is not to replace our patients’ primary care physicians and specialists, but to complement their care by providing patients with nutrition, diet, lifestyle and educational support and strategies. This way, patients can learn to manage their symptoms more efficiently. We have developed rewarding relationships with many prescribing physicians across the country, and we strive to continue to building relationships with MDs, DOs, NPs, and NMDs. When health professionals can work together for the benefit of the patient’s health, it becomes a win/win situation for the one who matters most—the patient.