Quantcast

pH Testing - Detecting Acidity

Monday, October 19, 2009  |  0 Comment

by Christopher Vasey

Christopher Vasey, N.D

How can you tell if you are suffering from acidification? There are several tests that are easy to perform and interpret. The most important is also the most common, the test that measures urinary and saliva pH.

TEST 1: ANALYSIS OF URINARY pH

As noted, the test for determining the pH of the urine is simple to perform and gives fairly significant information on the degree of acidification from which you may be suffering.

It consists of measuring the pH of the urine with pH test strips, which are special strips specially manufactured to make this kind of measurement. While you can also use standard pH paper or litmus paper, it is much more difficult to get an accurate measurement using these paper types of indicators - the colored reagent tends to bleed causing too many color variations.

To maintain good health the body is constantly seeking to get rid of the excess acids that irritate the tissues and deplete them of minerals. One of the principal exits it uses for this purpose is the renal system (kidneys). The normal rate of acid excretion through the kidneys gives urine a pH that falls between 6.5 and 7.25. By testing the degree of acidity of the urine, you can determine whether your body is rejecting a normal quantity of acids. If the excretion rate is higher than normal, the urinary pH will also be more acid, the sign of an overflow of acids that the body is attempting to get rid of. But this overflow is also an indication that the body is saturated and therefore in an acid state, with all the detriments that this can have on your health.

There is thus a close correspondence between the acid pH of the body's internal environment and that of the urine: urine becomes acidic when the body's internal environment becomes acidic. But the value of this test does not stop there. Charting how and when urinary pH is either neutral or alkaline yields other valuable information on the state of the internal environment and the way the body is metabolizing acids.

To measure urinary pH, all you need are pH test strips strips, which can be purchased in drugstores, pharmacies, and some health food stores. These strips have properties that cause them to change color when they come in contact with acidic or alkaline substances. The color they change to when in contact with a substance tells you whether the substance is acid or alkaline. they even indicate the strength of the acidity or alkalinity of a substance because the color change becomes more intense if a substance exhibits an extreme pH.

The different shades of color that the coloring agent adopts allow the degree of a substance's acidity or alkalinity to be measured. Each shade of color corresponds to a precise pH value. The value is not indicated on the pH strip itself, however, but on a color chart that comes with the strips. This chart includes every shade of color the strips can adopt, with its corresponding pH value next to it.

The most pH strips available allow pH measurements between 5.5 and 8 to be taken; others have a wider range of between 4.5 and 9.0. The clearly visible changes of one shade to the next are provided either in half units, which results in a scale that runs 4.5-5.0-5.5-6.0, and so on; or in measurements from 0.25 , for example 5.5-5.75-6.0-6.25, and so on. I recommend using ones with this tighter .25 increment indicator.

How to Proceed

The pH test strip needs to be put in contact with the substance to be tested. The most simple method consists of holding the strip in the flow of urine for one or two seconds, just long enough to moisten it. The acid of the urine reacts with the strip, causing it to change color. The strip is then matched to the indicator scale on the color chart. The figure of the corresponding urinary pH is located right next to the color. Remember that it is neutral at 7; at 6.5 and under it is too acid; and at 7.5 and above it is too alkaline.

A single measurement is not enough to draw any valid conclusions about the state of the internal environment; pH can vary at different times of the day because of activity, meals, physical effort, stress, and so forth. To be truly representative, the measurements must be taken several times a day for four to five days in succession. You should note the data collected from these readings on a chart to obtain an overall picture of pH over time.

As a rule, the first urination in the morning is not representative of your normal pH because it contains all the acids filtered by the kidneys that have accumulated overnight. The first test should therefore be made with the second urination of the morning. The second test should be made on the urine before lunch, and the third before the evening meal. It is very important to take the test before the meal, because the pH can temporarily vary significantly depending on what beverages and foods you have consumed. Besides these three tests, you may measure and note urine pH at other times of the day just as complementary data.

How to Interpret the Results

Readings of urinary pH can have only three possible results: under 6.5, between 6.5 and 7.25, and above 7.25. While the interpretation of a pH below 7 is a simple matter, because it always indicates that the individual's internal environment has become acidified, this is not the case with the other two possible readings, which require a small additional analysis.

pH Below 6.5 (Indicative of an Acid pH):

A pH in this range testifies to acidic urine. Regular readings indicating acidic urine are an unmistakable revelation that the body's internal environment is also acidic. This acidification is more significant if the reading is low. A reading of 6.25 or 6.5 indicates that there is only a slight degree of acidification, but the internal environment is extremely acidic if the urinary acid gives a reading of 4.5 to 5.5. Anyone obtaining consistent readings in this latter range is strongly advised to adopt without delay the methods for removing acid from the body.

pH Between 6.5 and 7.25 (Indicative of a Neutral pH)

This is the normal pH of a person in good health and is what you are aiming for. A reading in this range indicates a good acid-alkaline balance as long as the first urination of the day is acidic, reflecting all the accumulated acids eliminated by the body during the night. If the first urine is not acidic it is a sign that acids are remaining in the body because the kidneys are not flushing them out properly. This means the internal environment is acidified even if urinary pH readings taken at other times of the day are neutral.

If your first urination of the day is neutral rather than acidic, you are suffering from acidification and should apply the necessary measures to address this problem, with a particular emphasis on the elimination of acids by the skin and kidneys. In fact, in this case an important piece of the problem resides in the eliminatory weakness of these organs.

pH Above 7.5 (Indicative of an Alkaline pH)

As with a neutral pH, there are subtle issues to be considered in interpreting urine pH readings that are consistently above 7.5. There are three possibilities to consider.

First, the internal environment has a good acid-alkaline balance or is slightly alkaline. Generally speaking, this is the case when the food eaten is particularly alkalizing, as is the case with some vegetarians who eat only small quantities of grains and dairy products. Such a reading may also be found for a person who takes alkaline mineral supplements on a daily basis when the body either does not need them or does not need so much of them. These specific situations do not signify an imbalance or disease, but some precautions should be taken. Vegetarians must be careful to avoid deficiencies in their diets, especially of proteins. Those taking alkaline supplements should reduce their intake to a level that makes the pH of the urine neutral.

Second, people who have a urinary pH clearly above 7.5 may be suffering from a glandular problem (adrenal or parathyroid glands) or other specific illnesses. These cases are extremely rare, and the people involved are generally already following a medical treatment plan for the problems caused by this imbalance.

The third possibility is the most likely: the urine is alkaline but the internal environment, paradoxically, is acidic. In this case the alkaline pH of the urine is not due to excessive intake of alkaline elements through diet (which the body attempts to get rid of, just as it does with excess acids), but to disproportionate withdrawal of alkaline substances from the organic tissues to neutralize heavy acidification of the internal environment. It may also indicate that the kidneys are producing ammonia in order to buffer the acids, whish is not a good thing.

This is common among people whose metabolism has difficulty digesting acids. Because the acids are poorly oxidized, they cannot leave the body through the respiratory system. The kidneys must pick up the slack and do double duty of elimination. Although these are the acids classified as weak, their accumulation is dangerous for the body, which will take extreme efforts to buffer itself against the avalanche of acids confronting it. This levy results in bringing a large quantity of alkaline elements into the urine and thus alkalizing it.

The urine is therefore alkaline not because of a net physiological gain in the quantity of alkaline substances, but because of a massive loss of alkaline elements due to the body's plunder of its reserves. This can easily be confirmed by analyzing the types of conditions a person in this situation suffers from to see whether they are among those caused by acidification. In this case it is extremely important to make the internal environment less acidic despite the alkalinity of the urine.

If the pH readings are not uniform during the course of the day, as in the cases mentioned above, but their variations occur regularly at specific times-for example, the urinary pH is acidic in the evening but neutral the rest of the day (except for the first urination of the morning), or vice versa, this indicates an excess of acidity in the internal environment and signals the necessity for restoring it to a neutral state.

TEST 1: ANALYSIS OF SALIVA pH

Another indicator of the overall pH balance in your body is the pH of your saliva. When your body has the mineral reserves that it should, the abundance of minerals will show up in a saliva ph test as a pH reading of 7.0 to 7.50. A low saliva pH reading indicates that the mineral reserves in your body are low, and are being used to buffer acids elsewhere in the body.

How to Proceed

The most simple method consists of holding the strip in your mouth with the reagent side against your tongue for one or two seconds, just long enough to moisten it. The saliva reacts with the strip, causing it to change color. Simply match the color of the strip to the corresponding color chart.

As with a urine test, a single measurement is not enough to draw any valid conclusions. To be truly representative, the test should be conducted several times a day for four to five days in succession.

Testing first thing in the morning is not representative of your normal pH because your mouth contains a high level of bacteria that will ultimately reveal acidity. The first test should therefore be made an hour or so after brushing your teeth. The second test should be made before lunch, and the third before the evening meal. It is best to test at least 30 minutes after eating anything.

How to Interpret the Results

pH Below 7.0 (Indicative of an Acid pH):

A pH in this range testifies to depleted mineral reserves. Regular readings indicating acidic saliva are an unmistakable revelation that the body's internal environment is also acidic. This acidification is more significant if the reading is low. A reading of 6.5 to 6.75 indicates that there is only a slight degree of acidification, but the internal environment is extremely acidic if the saliva gives a reading of 4.5 to 6.0.

pH Between 7.0 and 7.5 (Indicative of a Neutral pH)

This is the normal pH of a person in good health and is what you are aiming for. A reading in this range indicates a good pH balance.


Source:

The Acid-Alkaline Diet for Optimum Health
Christopher Vasey

Article Forum

Would you like to comments?

Join pHionbalance for a free account, or log in if you are already a member.

Tags Associated with This Article

Click on a tag to find related articles

Products Associated with This Article

pHion Diagnostic pH Test Strips

Price: $14.95 $11.95