Thursday, September 23, 2010

2.13d Alkaline & Acid Tides of Body/Respiratory Control of pH

Physician's Notebooks 2  - -See Homepage 
      2.13d: A section on acid/alkaline tides.  Update 28 July 2020.   
The Body’s Alkaline and Acid Tides; Disease States Associated with Acidity & Alkalinity; Manipulating Your Body’s pH:
The Alkaline Tide is the rise in pH of the blood and urine in the few hours after eating a big meal. It occurs when most of our foods are more alkali than acid. Often this goes against what seems obvious to the average person. For example, lemon and other citrus seem highly acid by their sour tastes – and in un-eaten form they are – but once eaten and absorbed into the body their alkaline parts which are the cations, sodium Na+, potassium K+, magnesium Mg2+ and other positive-charged metal ions, do not get metabolized and converted into energy by oxidation as do their acid parts – the anions citrate, bicarbonate, the proteinates and other negative-charged organic ions. The result is that when the body’s metabolic processes are completed the un-metabolized residua are the still very alkaline metal cations while the acid anions have all become neutralized into water and carbon dioxide and urinated or breathed away. And this expresses itself by rise in blood pH in the hours after a hearty eating, from a pre-eating normal pH 7.3 to an after-eating pH 7.5 or higher, and also a change from pre eating urine pH 6 to an after eating pH 8. Hence, the alkaline tide of eating a heavy meal, especially a very solid one. This can cause the cramps in legs that wake you at night or prevent getting to sleep due to your muscles increasingly irritable in alkaline setting to calcium Ca2+. Other bad effects can be kidney stones from the alkaline tide. (The most common stone, calcium phosphate, is most soluble in acid and becomes suddenly insoluble due to the alkaline tide)
   The Acid Tide is seen after fasting more than 24 hours or with a very acid diet (heavy meat eater) and urine pH falls from its usual 7 to 6 or even 5. The explanation of the fasting acid tide is; first, you lose the above-mentioned alkalinizing effect of food and then after a 24+ hour fast your body starts breaking down fat and protein for energy in place of the lost food calories and acids are released. Bad effects of the acid tide are attacks of big toe gout from the uric acid generated by tissue breakdown and the insolubility of uric acid in the low pH blood and urine, resulting in kidney, ureteral and bladder uric acid stones. (The commonly mentioned finding that sufferers of acute gout get their attacks after overindulging in a heavy meal does not conflict with the above facts because the heavy meal that causes acute gout is almost always a meat eating meal that liberates acid)
   How to prevent alkaline or acid bad effects? Say you are getting the cramps in the calves of your legs at night? The alkaline tide may be prevented by taking at least 3 grams vitamin C (ascorbic acid) a day in 3 divided doses. (It is also a favorite method for treatment of urinary tract infections with or without antibiotic because most infections in urine thrive in alkalinity and are cured or rendered harmless by acid)
   Oppositely, if you need to reverse acidity, or to alkalinize your body, the usual method is bicarbonate of soda (NaHCO3) but persons with hypertension or heart disease should avoid the sodium. A simpler, safer method is to just eat a lot of fruit and avoid red meat and egg yolk.
Diseases associated with damaging acidosis are diabetes mellitus in its uncontrolled state, which may kill from diabetic acidosis. Kidneys failure produces severe acidosis because of the loss of the kidney’s normal alkalinizing ability; and many poisonings like ethyl alcohol, methyl (wood) alcohol are associated with acidosis. Also respiratory failure causing the build up of CO2 from inability to exhale enough of it. On the other hand severe aspirin poisoning also causes acidosis but the body responds by excessive hyperventilation to blow off the excess carbonic acid as CO2, so much so that the patients end up respiratory alkalosis produced by the over-breathing.  
If you voluntarily hyperventilate by breathing moderately deeply, 30 breaths a minute for 3 minutes you will produce your own respiratory alkalosis. I do not advise it because of three bad effects: a possible epileptic seizure because of the brain's increased irritability at higher pH, leg cramps from increased muscle irritability, and fainting from constriction of your cerebral arteries due to combination of higher pH, lower CO2 and higher O2 in blood because of your hyperventilation. It teaches you to be alert against hyperventilation by consciously slowing down breathing rate and reducing volume of each breath if you note you are deep breathing too rapidly. The opposite effect, respiratory acidosis can, briefly, be achieved by normal breathing depth but slowing the rate to 6 to 8 breaths a minute for 3 minutes. The combination of low pH, high CO2 and normal O2 in blood dilates cerebral arteries (helping prevent a faint) and lowers brain irritability to seizure stimuli. With lung disease do not try these but they are useful to know as part of body control. If you are going to experiment with breathing, you should use finger pulse oximeter to monitor your percent of oxygenation in capillary blood (SaO2), which should not be allowed to fall below 90%. Anesthetists use the controlled respiratory acidosis maneuver to improve brain blood flow in stroke, brain trauma and coma.
   END OF  CHAPTER. To read on now, click 2.14 (a & b) What To Do & To Eat for Good Health ...

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