Updated: Aug 29, 2022
WHY IS URINE pH SO IMPORTANT TO OVERALL HEALTH?
A simple urine dipstick test can tell us a great deal about one of the most important vital signs of your body that is often overlooked when searching for root causes. We all know how useful blood pressure, temperature and heart rate are in telling us what is happening in your body right now, but few of us have learned to check pH. “pH” stands for “power of Hydrogen”, which is a logarithmic scale of how acid or alkaline you are. Why does this matter? This is vital because nearly everything that happens in your body is due to the action of enzymes, including making hormones & neurotransmitters, cleaning out toxins, or fighting infection. When we are too acidic, the enzymes are less efficient. The body makes this balancing act a priority by excreting excessive acids in the urine.
WHAT CAN HAPPEN TO YOUR BODY WHEN YOU HAVE TOO MUCH ACIDITY?
Well, because enzymes control nearly everything, it can range from headaches to toenail fungus. Blood sugar problems, candida overgrowth, autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, reflux, heart/lung disease and cancer all are promoted in an acidic environment. No matter what your specific diagnosis, checking your pH status is a necessity.
WHAT MAKES US TOO ACIDIC?
While some people tend to have a more acid-prone constitution, foods such as animal proteins and grains are the biggest sources of acids. Also lack of nutrients such as potassium and magnesium, or even certain medications can contribute. We can help with alkalinizing condition-specific nutrition recommendations. The goal is to keep the urine pH between 7-8 as being too alkaline, ie. above 8, is also not good for the enzymes. pH can vary throughout the day, so for consistency, measure your first morning urine.
HOW TO TEST YOUR pH AT HOME
Home testing with pH strips from a health food store can really help you gain immediate information to guide your food choices. Some controversy exists about whether salivary or urinary pH is best. I tend to favor urine as the kidney is the main organ involved in balancing acid, and the test is considered stable. By using a notepad, spreadsheet or fitness app, you can keep track of what you at the day before (or what you left out as you experiment with different forms of nutrition.) Then check your first morning void and note the value. When you get in the desired zone of 7-8, that is likely a healthy diet for you, whereas consistently being too high or too low indicates you may need more fruits and vegetables with less grains, sugar and animal products. If dietary changes alone are not producing your desired pH, talk with us about additional treatments, as well as organic acids testing to determine where the acids may be coming from.