What do people mean when they talk about the importance of an alkaline vs acidic body? First of all, it's important to understand that your pH affects every organ and cell in your body. When your pH is perfectly balanced, your body's systems function correctly. When your pH is out of balance, many health problems can result.
One of the clues to the importance of pH is the fact that your body has many systems for removing excess acid from your organs and tissues. Inside your body, carbonic acid is turned into carbon dioxide, which your lungs expel every time you exhale. Your kidneys expel various acids in your urine. Finally, your skin expels acid through your sweat. If pH didn't matter, would your body go to all this trouble to maintain a very specific acid-alkaline balance? No, of course it wouldn't.
Although doctors are sometimes skeptical that the foods you eat can affect your body's pH, no one disputes that a proper acid-alkaline balance is absolutely essential for health. In fact, if your body became extremely acidic, you would quickly die. The symptoms of severe acidosis can range from shortness of breath to diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, and lapse into unconsciousness.
Fortunately, such extreme acidosis is rare. But many people in the United States and other Western countries do suffer from a milder, but still problematic, degree of overacidity, known as chronic low-grade metabolic acidosis. This condition is caused by a diet that contains too many acidifying foods and beverages, and not enough alkalizing ones.
The harmful effects of low-grade acidosis take two forms. First, some of the damage occurs as a byproduct of your body's efforts to neutralize excess acid. This process of neutralizing acid is life-promoting. If your body did not neutralize acid, you would quickly become so acidic that you would die. Unfortunately, the process of neutralizing acid uses up alkaline minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and potassium. As these minerals are depleted, several harmful effects can occur, including bone loss and osteoporosis, elevated levels of parathyroid hormone, high blood pressure, muscle wasting, pain and inflammation.
The second reason that an acidifying diet harms your health is that it can overwhelm your body's efforts to neutralize the acid, causing your body to become chronically acidic. This can lead to a number of problems, including accelerated aging, dental and periodontal disease, fatigue, frequent and painful urination, inflammation, weakened immune function, and yeast overgrowth.
Now that you understand the differences between an alkaline vs acidic body, you can see the importance of transitioning from an acidic body to an alkaline body. Because the cause of acid-alkaline imbalance is a diet that contains too many acidifying foods and not enough alkalizing ones, then the best way to alkalize your body is to follow the alkaline diet.