Blood pH

health Nov 8, 2022

The measure of hydrogen ion concentration in any fluid is called pH.
pH is neutral, if it is 7.
The normal blood pH is between 7.35 and 7.45.
If the pH of blood is lower than the normal level, it will become acidic and it is referred to as acidosis and if it is higher than this level, it is called alkalosis.
Blood becomes acidic, when acidic compounds in the blood increase and alkaline compounds decrease.
Blood becomes alkaline due to the increase in alkaline compounds and decrease in acidic compounds.
The acid-base balance in the blood should always be maintained. Maintaining a balanced pH level of blood in the body is essential for long-term good health. Even minor changes in the normal pH range of blood can severely affect the brain, arteries, the heart, muscles, and many organs and may also lead to serious diseases such as cancer.
A bad diet and stress leading to inflammation can cause imbalance in blood pH. Blood pH balance is affected by factors such as dietary habits, sleep deprivation, inflammation, stress that results in the release of cortisol and aldosterone in higher levels from hyperactive adrenal gland, the accumulation of glucose, lactic acid, and ketones.
Acidosis is caused due to a high-fat diet which is low in carbohydrates, kidney failure, obesity, dehydration, aspirin or methanol poisoning, diabetes, etc.
Acidosis is categorised into two types, respiratory acidosis and metabolic acidosis.
Respiratory acidosis is due to the accumulation of CO2 in the body, and it occurs due to the asthma, injury to the chest, weak muscles in the chest region, deformed chest structure, problems with the nervous system and excess intake of alcohol.
Some of the common symptoms of respiratory acidosis are fatigue, drowsiness, sleepiness, headache and shortness of breath.
Metabolic acidosis is due to failure of kidneys to eliminate enough acid from the blood. Metabolic acidosis is of 3 types.
Diabetic acidosis (ketoacidosis) is seen in people suffering from diabetes, where the body cannot produce enough insulin, and ketones develop in the body causing the blood acidic.
Hyperchloremic acidosis results from a loss of sodium bicarbonate. Both diarrhoea and vomiting can cause this type of acidosis.
Lactic acidosis occurs due to the accumulation of lactic acid in body. Heart failure, cancer, seizures, liver failure, low blood sugar, prolonged intake of alcohol, exercise, lack of oxygen, cause lactic acidosis.
Some of the common symptoms of metabolic acidosis are rapid and shallow breathing, fatigue, headache, sleepiness, lack of appetite, jaundice, increased heart rate and breath that smells fruity as in diabetic acidosis (ketoacidosis).
If acidosis is not treated properly, it may lead to severe health complications such as formation of kidney stones, chronic kidney problems, kidney failure, bone disease and delayed growth.
Severe acidosis can cause shock or even death.
Fresh raw foods such as all vegetables and fruits, especially citrus fruits, help reduce acidosis and maintain acid/alkaline balance.
Alkalosis is caused due to the presence of excess bicarbonate in the blood or a loss of acid from the blood or due to a low level of carbon dioxide in the blood.
Respiratory alkalosis develops due to hyperventilation (rapid and deep breathing) which results in excessive carbon dioxide to be expelled from the bloodstream.
Respiratory alkalosis is caused due to anxiety, aspirin overdose (early stages), fever, low levels of oxygen in the blood and pain.
Metabolic alkalosis can develop when kidneys eliminate excess of sodium or potassium.
Metabolic alkalosis is caused due to loss of acid from vomiting or drainage of the stomach, overactive adrenal gland (Cushing's syndrome), and use of diuretics such as thiazides, furosemide, and ethacrynic acid.
Acid-base balance or blood pH levels help to maintain healthy cardiovascular system, cholesterol levels, healthy blood sugar balance, proper fat metabolism, weight loss, normal energy balance, proper cleansing and repair of tissues and disease resistance.


A. Sandhya

M.Sc Zoology

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