If you aren’t someone who works within the science field, you may have forgotten a bit about what a pH scale is, and there’s no shame in that. We learned it in relation to chemicals and solutions, but did we really ever go through what it means for the human body to have a pH level? Has anyone ever fully explained to us how to know if we have a pH imbalance? And, how are we even supposed to tell what our levels are? How do we maintain them?!
Vessel Health has all the answers.
Luckily, the first thing to know is that your body does a pretty good job at maintaining its pH levels on its own through a variety of mechanisms, but most often through breathing and urination. The human body is meant to maintain a healthy balance of both alkaline and acidity, and it does this by consuming a variety of foods.
Typically, the human body will lie in a very strict range between 7.35-7.45 on the pH scale. This is what is considered normal for the blood pH, but other fluids such as urine pH have different ranges. Any alteration from the range of 7.35-7.45 could have severe implications, and your body will most likely alert you that something is up.
It’s important to understand your body’s pH levels and understand the signs of an unhealthy balance of alkaline and acidity. Through several different testing methods, you can learn more about your pH balance.
If you or your doctor notice a shift in pH levels through different bodily functions such as UTIs, kidney stones, inflammation, diabetes, and more, this can be an indicator that your body may be in acidosis, blood is too acidic, or alkalosis, blood is too alkaline.
pH Scale 101
Let’s get down to the basics (ha!).
The pH scale measures how alkaline or acidic a substance is. In order to be considered in good health, your pH levels need to be balanced. The scale ranges from 0-14, with 0-6 being acidic, 8-14 being alkaline, and seven being neutral. Consuming acidic substances and consuming alkaline substances is a normal part of most people’s dietary intake, and certain foods shouldn’t be completely avoided due to their pH balance. Our bodies use the different pH levels to balance out themselves, so having foods in your diet that have various pH levels is really great for your overall health.
Acidic foods include:
- Beans, if not properly rinsed and cooked
- Dairy products, including cheese
- Grains including wheat
- Salted nuts
- Table salt
- Leafy greens (spinach, kale, collard greens, and mustard greens)
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower)
- Lemon and lime
- Root vegetables like yams and jicama
- Sea salt with minerals like potassium and calcium
The two parts of the body that help your body maintain a healthy relationship between alkalinity and acidity are your lungs and kidney.
Your lungs help to maintain a balanced pH through the process of excreting Carbon Dioxide and the kidneys are used to filter out the acid load of foods and excrete them from the body in order to maintain a constant blood pH.
If your lungs or kidney are malfunctioning, there might be changes to your pH levels that need to be looked at by a medical professional. Your body lets you know when there is something off, so it will do the same if your pH levels are not where they should be. Don’t forget that you know your body best, so listen to it!
What Are Normal pH Levels?
As mentioned above, the normal pH level that most people have is between 7.35-7.45. Blood pH levels mainly determine a person's general pH levels, but other fluids in your body such as urine can impact it.
Other fluids react differently to what you put into your body, and it reflects in their own pH levels. Blood and urine in your body must maintain the proper pH levels so that they function properly. Even if you are unable to test yourself, you will notice the way you feel if there is something off.
With testing, you can learn about the different pH levels of different bodily fluids and see where you might have irregularities. Understanding the normal range for each can help you find ways to improve your health and benefit your pH balance. If you notice irregularities, it means you need to start making changes.
Blood pH Levels
Your blood pH level is kind of the general baseline that your body counts on. When measuring a person’s pH levels, you will most likely refer to the blood pH levels. If blood pH is off, this is an indicator that there may be an underlying concern that needs to be addressed by your primary doctor.
Saliva pH Levels
The normal pH range of saliva is between 6.2-7.6. Saliva maintains its pH balance by eliminating carbohydrates and removing acids produced by bacteria. Saliva also neutralizes the acidity from drinks and foods, as well as bacterial activity. A neutral pH of seven for your saliva indicates you have a healthy mouth. In this environment, it is a very low chance that you will experience dental decay.
Urine pH Levels
Urine is made of salts, water and waste products from the kidneys. The balance of these compounds can affect urine’s acidity, measured in pH.
Urine pH levels can range from 4.5-8 on the pH scale, but the normal pH level falls at 6.0 for most people. Urine pH levels can let you in on a few things about your health. Depending on where it falls on the pH scale, your diet might play a large role in affecting the pH level. Certain foods will cause your urine’s pH levels to drop or rise, so it’s normal for a doctor to ask about your diet before looking more into the results.
Using your urine pH level is a way for doctors to find other things that might be going on in your body. It’s not an indicator of blood or body pH, but it can tell you about your hydration status, balance of acidic and basic food consumption, and other imbalances that could eventually lead to an imbalanced blood pH.
Maintaining balance is important in many parts of your life. To maintain your body’s pH levels, the lungs and kidneys work to filter out different substances. The acid-base balance refers to the balance between acid and alkaline in the body. The blood has to be monitored and controlled because if there is even a minor fluctuation, it can affect the functioning of other organs.
Eating a diet rich in foods that help to alkalize the body and reduce the acidic load can help aid in managing pH levels. These foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, & legumes.
The Lung’s Role
Just by breathing, your body is actively maintaining its pH level. The lungs work to control your pH levels by releasing carbon dioxide. When you release carbon dioxide into the air, it helps balance your levels because carbon dioxide is slightly acidic. Your brain works alongside your lungs to alter your breathing rate to compensate for the amount of carbon dioxide in your blood. It is a quick way for your body to regulate the pH levels, and it requires little to no thinking to get it right.
The Kidney’s Role
Your kidneys help to maintain pH levels, but it takes a lot longer to work compared to just breathing. Your kidneys maintain your body’s pH levels by secreting either acids or bases into the blood depending on the pH level of whatever fluid goes through it.
This means that if the fluid going through your kidney is high in acid, it will secrete H+ ions. This process takes a lot longer than breathing, but it is essential in maintaining pH levels. Together they allow for both short-term and long-term functions that are working towards maintaining the pH.
The Buffer Systems
Your lungs and kidneys are not on their own. Chemical buffer systems help to resist sudden changes in alkalinity or acidity. The buffer systems help adjust the acid or alkaline levels to keep the body’s pH level neutral. Naturally occurring weak acids and bases combine to form these buffer systems, and they help regulate pH levels.
If your pH levels get too high or too low, seeking out medical assistance is advised. You will need to find the underlying cause of your sudden pH change if you notice an imbalance. An imbalance in your blood’s pH levels can lead to two different conditions: acidosis, in which blood is too acidic and alkalosis, in which blood is too alkaline. Both of these conditions need to be treated under the supervision of a medical professional.
Understanding pH Abnormalities
It’s quite easy to recognize when there might be an abnormality within your pH levels. Blood and urine testing can give you an estimate on what your pH levels are, and if they fall out of the norm, your doctor will most likely inquire that you have additional testing done. Your body is usually pretty good at regulating your pH balance, so if the numbers are off, listen to them!
Acidosis is a condition in which there is too much acid in your body’s pH levels. If not taken seriously, this can lead to osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and many other health complications. Two main kinds of acidosis can occur such as respiratory acidosis and metabolic acidosis.
- Respiratory Acidosis occurs when there is too much carbon dioxide in the body because of factors that make dispelling carbon dioxide from the lungs difficult. Those who struggle with muscular dystrophy, chest deformities, muscle weakness, and lung disease may find themselves having developed respiratory acidosis.
- Metabolic Acidosis happens when there is too much acid in the body and often when the kidney cannot remove acid from the body properly. This can occur when ketones build up during uncontrolled diabetes, if you have kidney disease, and also because of severe dehydration. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue.
Alkalosis is the opposite of acidosis and is when there is a buildup of alkaline in the body fluids. If there is not enough carbon dioxide in the system or too much bicarbonate, your body’s pH will become too alkaline. The main kinds of alkalosis that occur are respiratory alkalosis and metabolic alkalosis.
- Respiratory Alkalosis occurs when there are low levels of carbon dioxide in the blood. This can be caused by a fever, lack of oxygen, higher altitudes, liver or lung disease, and potentially aspirin overdoses.
- Metabolic Alkalosis can form if stomach acid is decreased or certain electrolyte levels drop. Kidney disease can cause metabolic alkalosis as well.
Testing Your pH Levels with Vessel Health
If you want to understand pH levels better, it’s never been easier with Vessel Health’s Wellness Test Card. Vessel Health allows you to test yourself within the comfort of your own home and instantly provides you with results.
The great thing about our services is you have access to an abundance of information at the tip of your fingers using our app, and you can avoid going to the doctor’s office!
Getting your results instantly allows you to better access how you have been feeling. We even offer suggestions on what supplements and lifestyle changes you can begin to assimilate into your daily life.
Our mission is to provide comprehensive care to those that use our services. With Vessel, we portray easily understood results regarding what your nutrient and mineral levels suggest about your health. We aim to make healthcare more accessible to those who want to know more about themselves!
Vessel Health Wellness Card
For you to obtain these results, you must use the Vessel Health Wellness Card. Don’t worry; it’s pretty easy!
Here's how it works: We will send you the device, aka the wellness card. In order for the test to gather results, you’ll have to urinate on it. Once you’ve used it, you can scan it with our app and get your results back instantly! It requires minimal effort and is extremely informational.
Using Vessel Health’s app, you can track your pH levels and have a better understanding of your overall wellness. If you are in need of certain supplements or dietary changes, we will make suggestions that we believe to be beneficial to you. It should be easy to monitor your health, and it shouldn’t take a trip to the doctors to have this information be available to you.
Vessel’s mission is to provide accessible, comprehensive information to all that use our services. We understand that there is often a disconnect between the information you receive and how it’s explained to you in a way that makes sense. Everyone should have access to this information as it’s vital in understanding how to improve your health. Without knowing what is going on internally, you cannot make the proper changes to improve your levels.
Improve Your Health Today
Understanding your pH levels allows you to understand quite a bit about your health. If you have normal pH levels, especially blood pH levels and urine and saliva, you should be in a good place. It’s easy to tell when there is a problem because you can track your pH numbers. This allows for you to monitor your pH level if you are at all concerned.
You deserve access to information about your health, and it shouldn't be difficult to obtain it. Sign-up with Vessel Health today to learn more about how you can better improve your health and monitor your pH levels while you’re at it!
Mikaela Frame See all the author’s articles