Urine pH

health Nov 5, 2022

Urine is a pale yellow coloured liquid and it is a waste product of the human body. It is the by-product of nitrogen metabolism and is expelled from the kidneys.
It is slightly acidic and in the case of a healthy and pH balanced body, the pH of urine occurs within a range of 4.5-8.2.  
In the morning, due to the fasting, urine remains slightly acidic with a pH range of 6.5 - 7.0, and in the evening, it becomes more alkaline with a pH range of 7.5 - 8.0, due to the release of electrolytes after digestion.
To identify whether urine is a dilute acid or alkaline solution, its pH is required. On the pH scale, seven indicates neutral, pH lesser than 7 shows acidic urine and a pH higher than this, specifies an alkaline urine.
Kidneys play a vital role in the maintenance of normal acid- base balance in the body. They maintain this balance by specific mechanisms known as the reabsorption of sodium and the tubular secretion of hydrogen and ammonium ions.
To diagnose certain diseases like renal, respiratory, and certain metabolic disorders, urine pH screening test is essential.  
Urine pH depends on the diet, certain diseases and the medications taken.
Urine may become acidic,

  • due to the intake of protein rich diet like meat, dairy and cranberry juice.
  • canned and packaged snacks also cause urine acidic.
  • starvation also makes the urine acidic.
  • alcohol consumption, and
  • certain drugs like ammonium chloride, chlorothiazide diuretics, and methenamine mandelate also reduce the pH of urine.
    A highly acidic urine pH occurs in uncontrolled diabetes, diarrhoea, starvation, dehydration, respiratory diseases in which carbon dioxide retention occurs.
    The acidity of the urine increases due to the decrease in water content in the body. Water helps to dilute the urine and makes it less acidic.
    Acidic urine is common in hot and humid weather because of the loss of more water through sweating. In such conditions, more water should be consumed so that the urine acidity is maintained at tolerable level.
    The symptom of acidic urine is discomfort which appears in the form of burning while passing urine. The sensation of burning is due to the damage of the lining of the urinary bladder and the urethra.
    Highly acidic urine will result in the formation of excessive uric acid crystals which are deposited into the joints and the surrounding tissue.
    The most common acidic urine symptoms are gout and stones in kidney, ureters, or bladder and these conditions are extremely painful.
    The symptoms of gout are inflammation, redness, swelling and unbearable pain, in the foot area.
    Too much acidity can also increase the risk for cancer, liver problems, and heart disease.
    Acid forming foods are meat, grains, beans, corn, cranberries, coffee, fish, prunes and plums.
    Sour cream, supplements of hydrochloric acid, eggs, butter milk, wine, yoghurt and liver are also highly acidic foods.
    Soft water is also acidic.
    If urine pH is higher than 7.5, it is called alkalosis which is a rare condition. People who are strict vegetarian, vegan, or eating raw food diet may suffer from alkalosis.
    Urine pH may be increased due to the intake of fruits and vegetables rich in potassium and organic acids like soybeans and tofu, and some nuts, seeds, and legumes.  
    Some drugs like acetazolamide, potassium citrate, and sodium bicarbonate also increase urine pH making it alkaline.
    Kidney disease, vomiting, diseases that cause rapid breathing or urinary tract infection are responsible for high pH of urine.
    A highly alkaline urine occurs in, urinary tract obstruction, pyloric obstruction, Salicylate intoxication, renal tubular acidosis, chronic renal failure, respiratory diseases that involve hyperventilation
    Eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, reducing the intake of carbohydrate, sugar, and dairy foods, will help balance the pH levels within the body.
    Taking a plant-heavy diet with reduced refined sugar has many health benefits and may reduce long-term health risks.
    Control of pH is important in the management of several diseases, including bacteriuria, renal calculi, and drug therapy.


A. Sandhya

M.Sc Zoology

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