Prevention through pH

Milord’ Fist

Michael Milord Grade 8 5-08-08

Table of Contents

Introduction…………………………………………………….….1

What is acid?………………………………………...………….1-2

What is base?……………………………………………………2-3

What is pH?………………………………………………………..3

Effects of acidosis………………………………………………4-5

Effects of alkalosis………………………………………………5-6

Conclusion………………………………………………………6

Bibliography……………………………………….……………7

Introduction The acid base balance is the balance between the acids and the bases in the body. It is maintained narrowly at a pH of 7.40, give or take .05. pH represents the amount of hydrogen in the body. There is an inverse relationship between the amount of hydrogen in the body and the body’s pH level; the higher the concentration of hydrogen in the body, the lower the pH. A high pH above 7.40 is considered alkaline, a low pH below 7.40 is considered acidic. The lungs and the kidneys are the major organs involved in

maintaining the proper pH balance in the body. The GI tract and the sweat glands also affect this balance, but not as much as the lungs and kidneys.

The acid base balance is probably the most critical aspect of human metabolism. It guides all other metabolic reactions. It is essential in maintaining good health, and when it becomes severely abnormal the human organism, or any other organism will die. In the following chapters we will talk about how this balance has an effect on your body, and how to use it to maintain good health.

What is an acid? An acid is any substance that when put in pure water, has a higher potential hydrogen count. Some examples of acids that we find in our house or consume are vinegar, orange juice, lemon juice, battery acid, and Aspirin. An acid can be very corrosive and can dissolve most stuff. The only thing an acid cannot dissolve is glass. The strongest acid that we have today is hydrochloric acid. This acid is found within your stomach and dissolves everything except the stomach wall. Acid is good for dissolving things outside of the body, but an acidic environment inside our body supports pathogens. A person that has this environment supports fungal growth, cancer, bacteria, and viruses. These are harmful for the body and can be counteracted by its opposite, the base.

What is a base? A base is the very reverse of an acid. It is any substance that when put in pure water, it has a lower potential hydrogen count. Some examples of a base substance are baking soda and ammonia. A base dissolves more organic material than other materials. A base cannot dissolve glass or metal. The strongest base that we have today is sodium hydroxide, or drain cleaner. Base is also called alkaline.

Base helps counteract major acid buildup in the stomach, blood, and lymphatic system of the body. Although base is good, too much can cause alkalosis. It is known that healthier foods are more alkaline than acid. Alkaline does not support fungal growth, cancer, bacterial growth, and viruses, thus, being good for the body.

What is pH? The definition of pH is the potential hydrogen count in an object. In the body the pH in a human being should be about 7.40. If the pH is higher than 7.40, then the person is alkaline. If the pH is lower than 7.40, than this person is acidic. pH is very vital because the bodies organs cannot function well when it is off balance. If the blood pH goes higher than 8.00 or goes lower than 6.00 the person only has a few hours to live. This shows you how vital the pH balance is.

pH is affected by what you consume, and do to your body. If you eat acidic foods such as rice, noodles, meats, fats and oils, artificial sweetener, or beans, it affects the body’s pH, and makes it more acidic. The same is true with acids as with the bases, but in

reverse. If you eat basic foods such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, tea, natural spices, and stevia, it affects the body’s pH, and makes it more basic. For a very healthy acid base balance the pH must be slightly alkaline or above 7.40. In order to attain that, one must eat more alkaline foods. For example, at least 70% of the food ingested should be in the alkaline groups.

Effects of acidosis Acidosis is when the person’s pH is lower than 7.40, therefore becoming acidic. There are many causes for acidosis. Such cases may be because the person is eating too much acidic food; damaged lungs that can not release carbon dioxide thru exhalation; kidneys that can not filter acids; in diabetes; lactic acid buildup in muscles during exercise; losses of body fluid from the gastrointestinal tract, in cases of diarrhea, bulimia, or even Anorexia Nervosa. This buildup of acid can cause the person to become drowsy and in extreme cases, enter a coma state and then die. One of the main things that the hospital does when a patient has acidosis is hydrate the person intravenously, give bicarbonate if necessary, and in extreme cases, put the patient on a ventilator, all to help return the pH to normal. Bicarbonate is a base that the body produces to equal the acid within. One of the typical bicarbonate that is used in the hospital is a mixture of carbonic acid and sodium bicarbonate. It is more common to get acidosis then alkalosis.

There are different types of acidosis that a person can have in the body. There is Lactic acid, Ketoacidosis, and Renal Tubular Acidosis. Lactic acid is the acid that forms when you exert your muscles and don’t get proper oxygen regulation. When your muscle

goes into tetany, lactic acid is produced as an attempt to make up for the oxygen that the muscle is not receiving. Ketoacidosis is mainly found in alcoholics who loose fluid through vomiting and diarrhea. These can be extreme cases of acidosis. Renal Tubular Acidosis is a symptom when your kidneys fail to secrete acid into your urine and it builds up in the bloodstream. One of the main reasons why our body urinates is because our body is trying to relieve itself of the toxins and the excess water, salt, and acid. Renal Tubular Acidosis is an extreme case and may result in death if treatment is delayed.

Effects of alkalosis. Alkalosis is when the person’s pH is greater than 7.40 therefore making the blood alkaline. There are many causes for alkalosis, some of them start as mild symptoms, and some of them start or end in extreme cases, eventually resulting in death. This may be because the person is losing hydrochloric acid through vomiting, diarrhea, hyperventilation, producing too much bicarbonate, and over secretion in the urinary tract. People who have alkalosis can be fidgety, have seizures, and in extreme cases die of tetany. Alkalosis is rare because our body produces more acid than alkaline. Also, outside our body, there are more acidic things than basic things.

One of disorders that can produce alkalosis is Pyloric stenosis. This is when there is a narrow opening connecting the stomach to the small intestines. Pyloric stenosis, because of this small opening, restricts the amount of food going down to the small intestines. Because of this restriction the person feels nauseous and starts to vomit. Often times the person vomits to the point where he or she cannot vomit anymore and gets rid

of all acid in the stomach, thus throwing off the balance and becoming more alkaline. This disorder is common in younger children and the vomiting tends to be projectile vomiting. Alkalosis is a hard thing to treat. We so far do not know how to treat alkalosis quickly. Drug companies try to equal this out by making prescription drugs that are acidic. One of the simplest treatments is just to rest and eat acidic foods to lower the pH of the body back to normal.

Conclusion Acids and bases are a very vital part in our bodies. Our bodies metabolic states depend on this fine pH balance. If the person is eating lots of acidic food, not getting rid of the carbon dioxide, has urinary problems, or has lactic acid building up in the muscles from exercise, then this person will develop acidosis. Acidosis is when the pH of the body is lower than 7.40, and alkalosis is when the pH of the body is higher than 7.40. If we eat 75% alkaline foods and 25% acidic foods, we will have an alkaline pH. This balance is the best way to prevent most diseases, bacterial, and viral infections and can be done with just a little effort. It is better to prevent than to react.

Bibliography Books: Guyton, Arthur C. Textbook of Medical Physiology. 6th ed. W.B. Saunders Company, 1981. 448.

Berkow, Robert. The Merck Manual. 15th ed. Rahway, New Jursey: Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories, 1987. 986-990.

Online: "Causes of Acidosis." Wrong Diagnosis. 4 May 2008 <http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/a/acidosis/causes.htm>.

"Causes of Alkalosis." Wrong Diagnosis. 4 May 2008 <http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/a/alkalosis/causes.htm>.

Interview: Georges Milord, M.D. Personal interview. 3 May 2008. Michelle S Milord, M.D. Personal interview. 3 May 2008.

Charts: "Acid & Alkaline Food Chart." Chart. The Wolfe Clinic. 2007.