By Michael Biamonte CCN.
One of the more recent fads has been the fad of alkalinity. The tenants of this fad propose that being alkaline is good and acidic is bad. These fads are promoted by people with enough knowledge to be convincing but not enough to truly master the subject matter. Therefore misleading conclusions occur.
The truth of the alkalinity fad is that many Americans are too acid. Further, the basic biochemistry of horrible illnesses such as cancer teach us that excess acidity is a factor, and reversal of the disease does involve promoting alkalinity. But this does not mean that all acid is bad and we should strive to be as alkaline as possible.
There have existed two states of Ph as medical conditions, which have been long recognized. They are “alkalosis”, meaning being too alkaline and “Acidosis” meaning being too acid.
Metabolic acidosis happens when the chemical balance of acids and bases in your blood gets thrown off. Your body:
- Is making too much acid
- Isn’t getting rid of enough acid
- Doesn’t have enough base to offset a normal amount of acid
When any of these happen, chemical reactions and processes in your body don’t work right.
Although severe episodes can be life threatening, sometimes metabolic acidosis is a mild condition. You can treat it, but how depends on what’s causing it.
Causes of Metabolic Acidosis
Different things can set up an acid-base imbalance in your blood.
Ketoacidosis. When you have diabetes and don’t get enough insulin and get dehydrated, your body burns fat instead of carbs as fuel, and that makes ketones. Lots of ketones in your blood turn it acidic. People who drink a lot of alcohol for a long time and don’t eat enough also build up ketones. It can happen when you aren’t eating at all, too.
Lactic acidosis. The cells in your body make lactic acid when they don’t have a lot of oxygen to use. This acid can build up, too. It might happen when you exercise intensely. Big drops in blood pressure, heart failure, cardiac arrest, and an overwhelming infection can also cause it. Having excess acidophilus not balanced by other bacteria can also cause this.
Healthy kidneys take acids out of your blood and get rid of them in your pee. Kidney diseases as well as some immune system and genetic disorders can damage kidneys so they leave too much acid in your blood.
Severe diarrhea, laxative abuse, and kidney problems can cause lower levels of bicarbonate, the base that helps neutralize acids in blood.
Respiratory acidosis also results in blood that’s too acidic. But it starts in a different way, when your body has too much carbon dioxide because of a problem with your lungs.
Although symptoms can differ, someone with metabolic acidosis will often:
- Breathe fast
- Have a fast heartbeat
- Have a headache
- Be confused
- Feel weak
- Feel tired
- Have little desire to eat
- Feel sick to their stomach
- Throw up
Fruity-smelling breath is a classic symptom of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).
If you have these symptoms, call your doctor. You’ll probably need to go to the hospital if they’re severe.
Metabolic Alkalosis refers to a process reducing hydrogen ion concentration of the blood and causing excessive alkalinity. (Alkalemia). In contrast to acidosis where the blood ph will be pH 7.35 or lower, in alkalosis it will be higher than normal (7.45 or higher). Alkalosis is usually divided into the categories of respiratory alkalosis and metabolic alkalosis or a combined alkalosis.
Respiratory alkalosis is caused by hyperventilation, resulting in a loss of carbon dioxide. Hyperventilation-induced alkalosis can be seen in several deadly central nervous system diseases such as strokes, certain cancers, or Rett Syndrome.
Another and newer cause is the over consumption of alkaline waters and of nutritional supplements that promote alkalinity. These products taken in excess will cause mild metabolic alkalosis. The body reacts by slowing down breathing, as slowing down breathing by the lungs will increase serum carbon dioxide, a condition leaning toward respiratory acidosis. As respiratory acidosis often accompanies the compensation for metabolic alkalosis, and vice versa, a delicate balance is created between these two conditions.
Signs and symptoms
Metabolic alkalosis is usually accompanied by a low blood potassium level, causing, e.g., muscular weakness, muscle pain, and muscle cramps (from disturbed function of the skeletal muscles), and muscle spasms (from disturbed function of smooth muscles). What is odd is that the very thing the “more alkaline the better” faddist promotes is to raise potassium, not lower it.
It may also cause low blood calcium levels. As the blood Ph increases, blood transport proteins, such as albumin, become more ionized into anions. This causes the free calcium present in the blood to bind more strongly with albumin. If severe, it may cause tetany.
So What’s Candida Got to Do With This?
So we now see that acid and alkaline must be balanced. Too much of either is bad. In the case of Candida Albicans, it excretes wastes which are acid forming. This will cause an overly acid urine Ph. But the Ph of the urine has nothing to do with the Ph of the intestinal tract, where the candida lives. Overgrowth of candida depends on an alkaline environment. In the intestinal tract, per the testing done by Genova Labs, the correct Ph will be between 6 and 7.4. Candida Albicans grows and thrives in an intestinal Ph above 7.4.
The purpose and function of acidophilus bacteria is to keep or lower the intestinal Ph below 7.4 and thereby inhibit the growth of candida. When acidophilus is removed by antibiotics the Ph rises above 7.4 and candida thrives and spreads.
Generally this causes constipation. High Ph equals alkaline intestines, equals slow intestines and constipation. The reverse is also true, an acid intestinal Ph equaling fast-moving intestines and loose stools or diarrhea. Harmful bacteria and certain parasites thrive in that environment, but not candida.
Examples of common treatments also prove this. What are typical treatments for vaginal yeast infections? Boric acid or vinegar douches. What do they do? They lower the vaginal Ph below 3 which kills yeast. A vaginal Ph above 3 allows yeast to thrive.
Can following an excessively alkaline life style and diet worsen candida? The answer is yes. You would have to work at it, but it is possible!