But, ACIDITY (acid reflux) is one of the most common health disorder prevailing these days due to unhealthy food habits and life style.
Hence, it is quite clear now that acidic pH level is not good for your body.
What is pH
The scientific term “pH” can be a familiar word for most of us. We all had come across this term in our chemistry classes in school life. Now, if you are suffering from an inflammatory skin condition like psoriasis, it is very vital for you to understand the basics about your body pH and how it can affect psoriasis.
The term “pH” is described in numeric values and it explains if a substance is alkaline or acidic in nature. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. Alkalinity increases with an increase in the pH value. See the table below
0, 1, 2………………………………7……………………………12, 13, 14
Highly acidic Neutral Highly alkaline
Water pH is neutral; a perfect 7.
What is body pH
Body pH refers to the pH of internal body fluids, including blood. The ideal body pH is between 7.35 to 7.45. It means slightly alkaline. Shift in body pH towards the acidic side can invite a lot of health problems over a period of time.
An average built adult weighing 65 kg (143 pounds) would contain about 42 liters of fluid. Your stomach contains stomach acids to digest the food and hence it needs to be highly acidic in nature (2-2.5). The rest of the body fluids should have an body pH around 7.40.
Psoriasis and body pH
Actually, the pH level of our internal fluids generally affects every living cell of your body. Your body is designed to work perfectly in alkaline condition. Various researches have concluded that any type of health problem is related to acidic body pH in one way or the other.
- Acidic body pH means reduced amount of oxygen in body cells. Low amount of oxygen is not good for your body for many reasons.
- Acidic body pH favors the growth of harmful fungi, virus and bacteria.
- It has been found that people with high acidic body pH are more susceptible to serious life threatening diseases like Cancer.
All the body organs responsible for elimination of body wastes (liver and kidney) are actually removing acidic elements from your blood. If the body pH drifts towards acidic zone, these organs would overwork and use alkaline reserves stored in your body to neutralize these excessive acids. But if this condition of hyper acidity persists for a longer time, then your body would try to neutralize the excessive acids by taking minerals such as calcium and magnesium from the bones and other parts of your body. Eventually, a stage would come when your body would not be able to eliminate this acidity from your blood effectively and toxin level would increase drastically in your body. Your body would start breaking down by interrupting all cellular activities and functions. Such an alarming situation is an open invitation to various health issues. In some studies, it has been revealed that chronic conditions of highly acidic body pH can even cause life threatening disease like cancer.
Few most common harmful effects of excessive acidic body pH are:
- Weakening of skin, hair, nails and teeth
- Injuries to digestive tract leading to various digestion related problems
- Leaky gut syndrome
- Increased susceptibility to viral and bacterial infections
- Various allergies and Candida (yeast overgrowth)
- Increase in stress level
- Loss of body immunity
- Energy loss and weakness
- In extreme cases, development of life threatening diseases like cancer
Few or most of the above mentioned health issues are related to psoriasis. Go through the list again to reconfirm it.
Factors affecting body pH
Your body pH is largely affected by:
Food you intake
Unhealthy Diet is the most important culprit for acidic body pH. A small list of highly acidic food products is:
1. White sugar
2. Caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea
3. Highly processed foods like bakery (made from refined white flour) and junk food
4. Carbonated cold drinks and soda drinks
5. Animal protein foods (like dairy products and poultry)
5. Highly fatty foods
It is interesting to note that most of these above mentioned highly acidic foods are considered as BAD for psoriasis. All these foods are psoriasis triggers. Here again, a relation between psoriasis and body pH is established.
Faulty lifestyle full of stress and anxiety also makes your body acidic. Sedentary lifestyle with very less physical movement add on to this problem.
Undoubtedly, stress is a trigger for psoriasis also. Hence, I can’t agree anymore that psoriasis and body pH are deeply related to each other. Remember- highly processed foods which are high in salt, sugar and fats and low in nutritional content are the biggest culprit for acidic body pH. Negative emotions like stress and anxiety add on to this problem.
Acidic foods and stress is a deadly combination for Psoriasis
Consider a typical day when you are depressed and stressed due to daily life struggles and you are taking a typical fast food meal with a large can of sugary cold drink and a cheese burger. Believe me, it is the most deadly combination to worsen your psoriasis because it will drastically shift your internal body pH towards acidic zone making the maximum possible damage to your internal body metabolism.
Do you know that pH of sugary carbonated cold drink is in between 2.8 to 3.2. It is a hundred times more acidic than a pH of 5.0, which in turn is hundred times more acidic than pH 7.0 (neutral pH). Hence, you would need gallons of water to neutralize acidity caused by these highly acidic foods. So, next time before gulping that large can of cold drink through your throat, think twice if you are doing any good to your psoriasis.
Maintaining optimum acid-alkaline pH balance in your body
Below enlist the three ways of maintaining optimum body pH:
Consume alkaline foods
Our stomach secretes acids naturally to digest the food we eat. Apart from that, daily life stress and struggle increase the acidic levels in our body. It means that our body is designed to have acidic pH by default.
To neutralize the effects of these acids and further shift the effective pH towards slightly alkaline (ideal pH is 7.40 which is slightly alkaline), our daily consumption of food products must be: 80% alkaline and 20% acidic.
But unfortunately in today’s modern lifestyle, we are largely depending on food products which are highly acidic in nature- fast food, soda drinks, carbonated cold drinks, pizza, burger, bakery and dairy products. Do the reverse. Consume fresh vegetables and fruits more. Drink lemon water as much as possible because lemon water is one of the best natural drink to make your body alkaline.
Click here to read more: Benefits of lemon water for Psoriasis
Click here to read more: Alkaline Diet for Psoriasis
Regular Exercise and/or Yoga
Regular exercise helps in reducing acidic body pH by maintaining Body Mass Index (BMI). Maintenance of BMI implies reduction in obesity. By reducing the excessive weight, your body would lose accumulated fats and body toxins. As mentioned earlier, body toxins are acidic in nature. Hence, reduction in body toxins means getting rid of acidic body pH.
Regular exercise helps in improving the digestion process and eliminating the condition of acidity and heartburn. Improved digestion means lesser chances of undigested food which is nothing but acidic body toxins.
Regular exercise reduces stress, anxiety and make you feel positive.
Read more: Regular exercise helps in Psoriasis healing
Read more: Yoga for Psoriasis
Reducing the stress levels
Psoriasis is a stressful condition to deal with. No doubt about it. We have to understand that denying or running away from psoriasis is of no use. It has done no good for us. We should rather accept the present day problem and then make sincere efforts to heal it. Accepting the problem helps a lot in reducing the unnecessary stress and anxiety. No one in this world is perfect and everyone has problems. So, be open about your psoriasis and invest your energy in healing your problem rather than hiding it. Healing practices like meditation, yoga, relaxation techniques and expert counselling can help in this regard.
Read more: Psoriasis and Stress
Read more: Acceptance is the first step towards healing
How to check body pH
Well, we have talked a lot about body pH and how it can affect your health (and psoriasis). Now an obvious question arises- How to check your body pH?
It doesn’t need any special expertise. You can check your body pH by yourself at your home. You just need pH paper strips which can you buy from various health stores. You would need to apply any of your body fluid like saliva or urine to these paper strips and the change in color of these paper strips would give an idea of your body pH. Using urine is preferred than saliva because saliva pH may give misleading results due to stomach acids which are highly acidic in nature.
Unfortunately, it is a visual qualitative test which would give you a rough idea only. I have tried using these pH paper strips and it was very difficult for me to determine if my urine pH was just above 7 or below 7. It looked like around 7.
Hence, I would request you not to spend money and time in buying pH paper strips. Rather invest all your money, time and energy on increasing the alkalinity of our body because alkalinity would always benefit you.
Simply, don’t bother much about how much acidic you are. Just start making efforts to make your body alkaline by diet and lifestyle to achieve the optimum body pH level.
Optimum body pH level is a gateway for disease free healthy life. Acidic body pH can result in serious health concerns over a period of time. Unhealthy food choices (junk foods, rich in refined sugar, salt, oils and fats) and irregular lifestyle make your body acidic. Consume alkaline diet, do regular exercise and practice healing techniques like yoga, meditation to re-establish the optimum acid-alkaline balance of the body.
Read more: Detailed list of alkaline foods