The “acidity” of your body refers to the amount of acid in your body fluids, while the “alkalinity” of your body refers to the ability of those body fluids to neutralize the acid.
Body fluids like saliva, urine and blood are crucial to fundamental processes, such as transporting oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, digestion, and overall lubrication and protection of the body.
The acid levels in the body must fall under a certain range to avoid harm to the body.
pH is a term you have probably heard in relation to your body and health. It stands for “potential hydrogen”. The pH of your body measures the hydrogen-ion concentration of your body fluids.
The pH scale of your body runs from 0 to 14. The higher the pH level of your body fluids, the more oxygen-rich and alkaline they will be.
The lower the pH level of your body fluids, the less oxygenated and acidic they will be. A pH of 7.0 is considered neutral.
The pH levels of your body fluids should fall in the following ranges to be considered healthy:
- Blood pH: 7.35-7.45
- Urine pH: 4.6-8.0
- Saliva pH: 7.0-7.5
A pH level that falls below the prescribed range for each type of fluid means that your body is not doing a satisfactory job of ridding your system of acid, thereby indicating your body might just be too acidic.
However, most people do not even have their pH levels tested because they do not recognize the basic symptoms of acidity to begin with.
Here are some symptoms that indicate your body is too acidic.
- Excess Weight
When your body’s alkaline balance is not maintained, there is excess waste product in the form of acid in your body.
This excess acid is not being eliminated because the colon, kidneys, lymph system and skin — organs responsible for flushing toxins out of the body— are overwhelmed with a torrent of toxins from the excess acid.
The body deals with the excess acid by pushing it back into the fat tissues, where the acid clings to the fat cells. This is the reason you are unable to lose weight when your body is too acidic. Your body requires the fat cells to store the excess acid.
- Weak Bones
When your fluids are too acidic, your body will do everything in its power to maintain an alkaline balance to keep functioning properly.
The body will compensate by pulling minerals from your tissues and other organs to alkalize and minimize acidity. One of these minerals is calcium found in your bones, necessary for maintaining their strength.
Your bones become weak when your body depletes their calcium reserve in order to neutralize the acidity of your body.
If you have osteoporosis or osteopenia, or you fracture your bones easily, your body might just be too acidic. This is the reason patients of osteoporosis and osteopenia are asked to refrain from acidic foods, such as beef, caffeine and soda.
- Dental Problems
Just as your bones hold calcium reserves, so do your teeth. Excess acid in the body also results in your system pulling calcium from your teeth to alkalize your body and prevent it from getting sick.
A 2015 study published in the International Journal of Chemical Engineering and Applications notes that low pH levels in the mouth can cause demineralization of the tooth enamel.
Further exposure of the mouth bacteria to sugary sweet foods and beverages can exacerbate the amount of lactic acid production in the mouth, resulting in cavities, the study further notes.
As acidity in your body starts affecting your teeth, you may experience increased sensitivity to foods and drinks that are too cold or too hot. You may also develop cavities, which may be particularly painful when you consume something sweet.
Another associated symptom includes bleeding gums, which may occur right after you brush your teeth.
Too much acidic content in the body also makes it more susceptible to bacteria, fungi and viruses. An acidic environment is perfect for these microorganisms to thrive.
Thus, hordes of microorganisms acquire a foothold in the digestive tract, gums, and other organs and tissues, triggering the immune system into overdrive to fight these infectious entities.
Overtime, the immune system wears out and your body becomes deprived of energy. Furthermore, these organisms interfere with your body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients, such as minerals and vitamins.
Poor absorption of nutrients affects the manufacturing of hormones and enzymes needed to produce energy. This further induces a state of fatigue.
- Skin Problems
Skin problems are dermatological manifestations of a low pH level. The skin is also one of the detoxifying organs of the body.
When there is too much acid floating around your bloodstream, it becomes prone to bacteria and toxin overload.
In such a scenario, the liver often falls short of eliminating all acidic toxicity from the body, and the skin tries to compensate by trying to flush them out.
This process of detoxification manifests itself in the form of acne, allergies, rashes and eczema.
- Mucus Buildup
Mucus production is the body’s natural defense mechanism against an acid buildup in an effort to flush it out of the body through the nasal passage.
It might also indicate an acid buildup in the nasal passage itself. If you suffer mucus buildup regularly, it is a sign that your body is overloaded with acid.
Urgent medical attention becomes necessary in such a case because the constant exposure of the lungs to mucus expands and compresses it too often, eventually irritating it, and resulting in excessive coughing, wheezing, sinus problems, breathing problems and chest pain.
- Muscle Pain
Too much acid in the body can cause the muscles to constrict, which further obstructs the oxygen-carrying blood capillaries running through the muscles, causing strain and oxygen deprivation.
It also obstructs the absorption of nutrients and vitamins from the blood necessary for proper functioning.
In such an event, the deprived muscles overexert themselves to keep functioning, resulting in soreness and pain.
Muscle pain accompanied by fatigue is an even clearer indication of an acid overload in the body.
If you find yourself tired and fatigued but struggle to go to sleep, even though your body is yearning for it, you might just have a low pH.
This is another classic symptom of your body leaching out the calcium from your bones and using it to neutralize your body’s acidity.
Inadequate calcium in the body can cause sleeplessness.
Fixing the Problem
Here’s how you can bring your body’s acid levels down and alkalize it naturally.
Keep yourself hydrated: A well-hydrated body will keep the excess acid moving through your system and aid its elimination through the digestive tract. Any efforts to cure illness, no matter how effective, will fail if your body is not getting the adequate water it needs.
Begin your day with warm lemon water: Yes, lemon is an acidic fruit, but here is the key difference: lemon juice is only acidic outside the body. When it goes inside the body and undergoes metabolism, it has an alkalizing effect and helps raise your pH levels.
Consume plenty of green leafy vegetables: Kale, broccoli, cucumber, spinach, arugula, collards, green peppers, chard, lettuce, zucchini, artichokes, celery and green asparagus (white asparagus is acid-producing) are some of the most alkalizing green vegetables. Better yet, juice the alkalizing veggies of your choice into a healthy, green juice and drink it with breakfast.
Stop consuming caffeine, alcohol, soft drinks, processed meats, processed junk foods, and processed and artificial sugars: All these products are highly acidic.
Get your calcium and magnesium fix: Calcium and magnesium are essential minerals that keep your bones, teeth, muscles, nervous system and heart healthy. Low pH forces your body to extract calcium from bones and magnesium from muscles to keep the body alkaline. This starves your body of these minerals.
The above-mentioned dark, leafy green vegetables are rich sources of both calcium and magnesium.
Dry fruits, and seafood (mackerel and salmon) are also rich sources of calcium and magnesium. Whole-grain cereals are also a good source of both. Alternatively, you can take calcium and magnesium supplements after consulting your doctor.
Eat organic foods: Avoid genetically modified foods that typically contain chemicals and other contaminants.