THE IMPORTANCE OF PROPER pH
Presented by Dr. Dennis K. Crawford
Health relies on maintaining one’s body chemistry in a certain state.
The regulation of the acid/alkaline balance of the body is crucial for
good health. The serum needs to have a pH in the range of 7.35 to
7.45 and the body will do what is necessary to stay in that range. In
addition, each individual organ system has its own regulated pH in
which it needs to function properly. For example, the stomach has to
be acidic for digestion of proteins to occur. The small intestine
operates in a more alkaline environment, the large intestine likes a
more acidic pH, etc. If the pH is off enzymes are not active in order for
the functioning of the system to take place. Enzymes are the work horse in the body. Vitamins and minerals are necessary co-factors but nothing will operate properly without enzymes. Overall, the body functions best at a slightly alkaline state, around 7.2.
Diet is a major factor affecting the body’s pH. Since most people are eating at least three times per day, the opportunity to influence body chemistry with food is present often. There are many contradictory suggestions being made about what everybody ought to be doing, but step one would be to get the processed, high sugar items out of the diet. Some sodas are so acidic it would be illegal to pour them down a storm drain, yet many people are drinking several in one day. An overly acidic body does promote disease but an overly alkaline body can as well. It’s important to know which you are so the diet can be
tailored specifically to balance the pH of your body. General suggestions bring general results. Not everybody would benefit from alkaline water, for example.
One approach to balancing pH involves checking the pH of the saliva and urine every morning upon arising for a week. While not a test for all systems, it is a good general assessment to show if some effort toward balancing is needed. Ideally, the pH of the saliva should be 6.9 and the urine 6.4. The wider the difference the more fatigued the person is (the main complaint of people today). The closer the numbers are indicates changes are necessary as well. There are two times the numbers are equal, at birth and at death.
While diet is extremely important, it is not the only factor that affects pH. I realized this years ago when I would see fibromyalgia patients on very high alkaline diets, yet their bodies were always acidic. I knew there had to be more involved than just diet, and in fact there are. Some other factors besides diet that can affect pH are:
- The state of the autonomic nervous system. People whose sympathetic nervous systems (fight or flight) are dominant tend to be acidic. People who are parasympathetic dominant tend to be more alkaline.
- Organ dysfunction. Most of the acid should be eliminated by the liver and kidneys. If they aren’t optimally functioning pH can be affected. The gut is also a major player in health and needs to be analyzed.
- Thoughts. Negative, pessimistic thinking can affect biochemistry. Hostility, anger, and lack of forgiveness are poison to the holder of these emotions and are acidic to the body.
- Toxicity. The level of heavy metals, pesticides, and other toxins affect our pH.
- Living anaerobically. Always being stressed, rushed, worried, and in a state of crises will affect one’s biochemistry even if aerobic exercise is done regularly. This is not the most efficient way to function. It relies on sugar for fuel not fat. People living this way will consume unhealthy, quick energy items (sugar, stimulants, etc.) which will make the pH imbalance worse in the long run.
As an action first step, I highly recommend getting some sensitive pH strips (available at my office) and check it for a week upon arising. Depending on the findings, specific food recommendations can be made to alter the pH of the saliva and urine, either individually or combined. It is an easy, inexpensive way to make big changes to one’s health.
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