Just as our body temperature must be maintained at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, your blood is ideally maintained at 7.365 pH—very mildly basic. (A mainstream doctor would accept up to 7.4, but that’s problematic) Different areas of the body have different specific pH requirements, but the blood needs to stay within a very tight range. It is a reliable indicator of internal conditions in general. Maintaining the alkaline pH of the body’s fluids, including blood, urine and saliva (and even, though you don’t generally measure these, tears and sweat) is critical for good health. Prime among these is the blood.
Physiological so-called disease and dis-ease are almost always the result of too much acid stressing the body’s pH balance, to the point where it provokes the body into the symptoms that we increasingly call “disease.” Disease can also be simply the toxic effects of an external source, but that is much more rare such as exposure to air pollution from smoke, cars or planes. Heaven help us if we happen to live on top of an old toxic dump site or too near to a nuclear plant. Symptoms can be the expression of that stress, but they can also be a sign of the body’s effort to balance it. Depending on the level and extent of the stress, symptoms may or may not be obvious or even noticeable. The kicker is that excess acid is something we do to ourselves, thanks to the choices we make. The good news, then, is that once we recognize that fact, we can make different choices. But we must be ready to take responsibility for our acidic lifestyle and dietary choices before we’ll be able to make the healthy changes.
All of the body’s regulatory mechanisms (including breathing, circulation, digestion, and glandular function) work to balance the delicate internal acid/base balance. Our bodies cannot tolerate extended acid imbalances. Acidity reveals itself in our bodies in seven stages:
1) loss of energy;
2) sensitivity and irritation (as in IBS);
3) mucus and congestion;
5) hardening of soft tissue (“induration,” like lupus, lyme, fibromyalgia, hardening of the arteries, plaque);
6) ulceration; and, finally,
7) degeneration (cancer, heart disease, stroke, AIDS, ALS, MS, diabetes).
In the early stages of the imbalance, the symptoms may not be very intense and include such things as skin eruptions, headaches, allergies, colds and flu, and sinus problems. As things get further out of whack, more serious situations arise. Weakened organs and systems start to give way, resulting in dysfunctional thyroid glands, adrenals, liver, and so on. If tissue pH deviates too far to the acid side, oxygen levels decrease and cellular metabolism will stop. In other words, cells die. You die.
So a declining pH just cannot be allowed. To prevent it, when faced with a lot of incoming acid from diet and poor lifestyle choice, the blood begins to pull alkaline minerals out of our tissues to compensate. (In other words, we begin to cannibalize ourselves.) There is a family of base minerals particularly suited to neutralizing, or detoxifying, strong acids, including sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. When these minerals react with acids, they create much less detrimental substances, which then are eliminated by the body.
Now, a healthy body maintains a reserve supply of these alkaline minerals to meet emergency demands. But if there are insufficient amounts in the diet or in the reserves, they are recruited elsewhere, and may be leached from the blood (as with sodium or potassium) or bone and cartilage as with calcium or muscle as with magnesium — where they are, of course, needed. This can easily lead to deficiencies — and the many and varied symptoms that come with them.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. If the acid overload gets too great for the blood to balance, excess acid is dumped into the tissues for storage. Then the lymphatic (immune) system must neutralize what it can — and try to get rid of everything else. Unfortunately, “getting rid of” acid from the tissues turns out to mean dumping it right back into the blood, creating a vicious cycle of drawing out still more basic minerals away from their ordinary functions and stressing the liver and kidneys besides. Furthermore, if the lymphatic system is overloaded, or its vessels not functioning properly (a condition often caused by lack of exercise), acid builds up in the connective tissues.
This imbalance in the blood and tissue pH leads to irritation and inflammation and sets the stage for sickness and dis-ease. Acute or recurrent illnesses result from either the body trying to mobilize mineral reserves to prevent cellular breakdown or emergency attempts to detoxify the body. For example, the body may throw off acids through the skin, producing symptoms such as eczema, acne, boils, headaches, muscle cramps, soreness, swelling, irritation, inflammation, and general aches and pains. Chronic symptoms show up when all possibilities of neutralizing or eliminating acids have been exhausted.
When acid wastes build up in the body and enter the bloodstream, the circulatory system will try to get rid of them in gas or liquid form, through the lungs or the kidneys. If there is too much waste to handle, they are deposited in various organ systems, including the heart, pancreas, liver, and colon, or stored in fatty tissue, including the breasts, hips, thighs, belly—and brain. We know these “deposits” by names such as polyps, fluids, cysts, acid crystals, tumors, warts, bumps, growths, masses, blemishes, moles, blisters, sacs and so on.
This process of acid waste breakdown and disposal could also be called “the aging process.” Ultimately, it will lead (in the seventh of the seven stages of acidity) to degenerative disease, including cancers.
And all this caused by dietary and metabolic acid!
On the other hand, healthy alkaline blood and tissues create a healthy body.