How Acidity Affects the Body and How to Reverse It
The Definition of acidity according to Merriam-Webster is “1: the quality, state, or degree of being acid. 2: the state of being excessively acid.” The opposite of acidity, according to our high school chemistry teachers, would be alkalinity or alkaline. Items in our everyday lives from our water, food, cleaning agents, and battery acid in our car batteries measure somewhere along the alkalinity scale. At 0 we have hydrochloric acid and at 14 we’d have drain cleaner. Somewhere around 5-7, you’d find milk, water, and blood. What happens then when our internal body becomes acidic? How does this acidity affect our body, how does it happen, and what can we do to reverse it?
How is Acidity Created in the Body?
First, let’s look at how acidity is created in our bodies. Most of the time, acidity in the body is created through our diet. Diets rich in acidic and fried foods, which lead to the release of acid-forming minerals, cause an increase in acidity within. Other culprits consist of emotional stress, toxic overload, and/or immune reactions, or any process that deprives the cells of oxygen and other nutrients. Oxygen in the cells directly affects whether a cell thrives or struggles and possibly dies. When this happens, the body will try to compensate for acidic pH by using alkaline minerals such as calcium. One result of this can be osteoporosis because the body overcompensates by removing calcium from our bones. A body that is in an acidic state for an extended period of time has what is called acidosis. A few results of acidosis include rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, lupus, tuberculosis, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and most cancers. Cancer is particularly interesting because two of the primary factors that lead to cancer are acidic pH and lack of oxygen.
How Does Acidity Affect Our Body and Overall Health?
Now we have the perfect set-up to look at how acidity affects our body and overall health. Obviously, cancer and osteoporosis would have massive ramifications on our health and well-being, but what does long-term acidity do to the intertwined systems of our bodies? Structurally, osteoporosis causes weakened and collapsed vertebrae, poor posture, back pain, and degenerative arthritis. In our circulatory system, acidity causes bacteria, while fungi and/or viruses can attach themselves to the inner wall of arteries, thus attracting white blood cells, clotting proteins, and clotting cells. This may cause plaque to form in arteries, narrowing and restricting blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients. If the coronary artery is involved, heart attacks can happen. Neurologically, acidic brain cells simply don’t function properly, resulting in the inability to produce neurotransmitters properly. When digestive cells are acidic, cells in the stomach, small intestine, and pancreas cannot produce digestive enzymes. Side effects such as indigestion, gas, bloating, and abdominal cramping, as well as nutrients not being absorbed by the body, resulting in malnutrition. Undigested foods may ferment in the intestines, causing further toxicity. Other systems, such as the immune system, respiratory, urinary, and glandular systems, all suffer dysfunction from acidity in the body. Weight loss is often inhibited by acidity as well.
How Can I Reverse Acidity?
The good news is that reversing acidity, or alkalizing the body, is doable!
- Manage stress- Breathwork, yoga, exercise, dry brushing, and massage are all supporting ways to manage stress and fight acidity in the body through many avenues.
- Reduce toxic load and support detoxification- Organic foods, natural cleaners and body/health products, clean alkaline water, and reducing the environmental pollution in our homes.
- Remove dangerous alkaline foods and replace them- Remove sugar, refined flour, additives, processed or rancid fats, processed foods, alcohol, and caffeine. Replace them with organic/free-range/grass-fed/wild-caught meats, fresh fruit, black and kidney beans, as well as chickpeas, lower acid grains like brown rice and amaranth, raw nuts and seeds, cold-pressed and virgin oils, and honey or maple syrup.
- Eat an alkalizing diet that includes vegetables (raw when possible), legumes, yams, sweet potatoes, beet, jicama, taro, onion, avocado, coconut, lemon/lime, grapefruit, tomato, buckwheat and quinoa, almonds, pumpkin/sesame seeds, avocado/coconut/flax/olive/fish oils, peppermint tea, yerba mate tea, and lemon water.
- Alkalizing supplements- Chlorella, digestive enzymes, bromelain, essential fatty acids, quality multivitamins, and B vitamin complex.
You can start minimizing acidity and its effects on your body today with small changes and simple swaps. Small consistent steps today can result in huge results in your health down the road. Be sure to check out our store for the alkalizing supplements to support your health journey.