The pH & Health Equation: The Acid-Alkaline Balance and Its Role in Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Having Rheumatoid Arthritis has devoid me of not only those recreational pursuits, but my vibrancy and energy. Fatigues and pains set in at all time, and a life with frustration, depression and disappointment is a constant. I believe this is not just a ‘me’  thing, these symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis often happen to all sufferers of RA out there.

What is going wrong with us? There are many answers to this questions. Indeed, there should be a lot going wrong inside of us but we shall address these issues one at a time. Today, let’s me talk about our body’s pH balance and how this affect our wellness. Our body’s pH balance is the secret of vitality in life as life energy is under pH control.

Maintaining a balanced body chemistry and a proper pH ratio between acidity and alkalinity of the bloodstream is vital for our health because pH controls the speed of our body’s biochemical reactions. Therefore, we must make it our goal to ensure that our body is in an alkaline state that supports cellular life.

At a fundamental level, the regulatory mechanisms such as digestion, hormonal production and even breathing balance our body pH by removing acid residues from the body tissues. A balanced pH should neither deviate too far from acidity or alkalinity, or else cells would be intoxicated by their own toxins.

The pH Scale

The pH (Potential for Hydrogen) scale is a measure of how acidic and alkaline a substance is.

Acidity
A pH that is more acidic (values below 7) encourages biochemical reactions that are hot and fast. People with acidic pH are more likely to be burned out, tired, quick to anger, and ill.

Alkalinity
A pH that is more alkaline (values above 7) encourages biochemical reactions that are slow and cool. This leads to long term levels of consistent energy, more even emotions, and better health.

Physiological of acid-alkaline balance

From a physiological perspective, different tissues of the body need to maintain different levels of pH to sustain life:

  • Pancreatic juice: 7.8- 8.0
  •  Blood: 7.35 – 7.45 Liver: 6.9
  • Saliva: 6.35 – 6.85
  • Urine: 4.5 – 8.0
  • Gastric juice: 1.2 – 3.0

An Imbalanced pH & its Relationship with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Acidosis – an overly acidic pH – is the forerunner of most chronic degenerative diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis. As a body is skewed towards overly acidic, our cells begin to weaken and our defensive systems and bodily functions will also start to compromise. Ah ha! So, this is what is going wrong inside of us! We must be having an overly acidic pH.

But why? Nothing can go more wrong than our modern standard American diet that occurred out of revolutionary shift towards industralisation. Unfortunately, we are no longer eating ‘live’ foods but processed grains and shelf-stable food products that we grow to like – the so called ‘dead’ foods – because these foods are devoid of essential nutritional components. Furthermore, we are also increasing our consumption of high protein foods accompanied by a compensatory decrease in fresh fruits and vegetables. High protein diets have a high acid load and they acidify our body pH. Conversely, fruits and vegetables are associated with high amount of alkalinity.

Our body’s alkaline reserve must be in excess so that the storage can be utilized to neutralise excess acid in the body, where needed.

When our body pH is out of balance, the excess acid decreases oxygen affinity of oxygen hemoglobin in the blood, it increases the likelihood of cellular mutations leading to diseases such as cancer, free radical damage of cell walls is also accelerated. The blood now becomes overloaded with toxins that cannot be dispose of and begins looking for ways to dispose them. Some become stored in our fats, some in the linings of our veins and arteries, and for deposits of these waste materials in our bone joints, they manifest into chronic arthritic pain and eventually, Rheumatoid Arthritis is formed.

Have You ever Tested your Body pH?

So, how are we going to know if our body is indeed acidic or alkaline? The easiest way to test your body pH is by using the pH test strips from your nearest health food store or online health stores:

(1) Saliva pH Test – Saliva is typically more acidic than the blood, and optimal pH level is between 6.35 to 6.85. Usually saliva pH tend to rise to 7.8 or higher after consuming some food, or else, it is often an indication of alkaline mineral deficiencies (most of the time, calcium and magnesium deficiencies).

(2) Urine pH Test – Urine pH indicates the effects of the body via kidneys, adrenals and lungs in regulating pH through buffer salts and hormones. Urine pH can vary from around 4.5 to 9.0 for its extremes, but the ideal range is 5.8 to 6.8.

My Urine Test and Indicator of Health

When I was first taught about the concept of acidity and alkalinity, I did not take it too seriously as I was fairly healthy back then. Who would actually pay such close attention to health issues when you or your loved ones are not impacted by any chronic health problems? Many won’t and I am just one of them.

Since my RA diagnosis, I decided to revisit this acidity-alkalinity concept and ultimately, I decided to get hold of some pH strips to test myself. I need to know the state of my body and confirm if an imbalance takes place. And if it is, then I know I needed to do something to correct this.

This is the instruction of my pH test kit on how to perform either a urine or saliva test:

And this was my result back then:

I was way too acidic! No wonder bad thing (ie RA) happens to me (Can I blame it on anyone? *A penny for my thought*)

For you, is it time that you should also test out your own urine or saliva’s pH? This form of test (using pH test strip) is inexpensive relative to blood test which is often also used for revealing the blood pH.

Now, that said, what are we supposed to do to restore an optimal body pH? Do not fret! There are always means of tackling excess acidity and I will cover these methods in my next post. Till then. Take your pH test soon and remember to follow the post Blog here

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