Low grade metabolic (systemic) acidosis presents an almost endemic health challenge. It is considered as a disease process – or even a “promone” (which is really a fancy word for pre-syndrome conditions). What prompted me to write this article is the fact that many people are confused as to the actual pathology of acidosis – and the tendency for biomedical professionals to disregard it as a serious endemic condition that produces symptoms that are slow in manifesting disease.

Acidosis is a systemic lowering of the pH (potential Hydrogen) of the naturally alkaline organs, fluids and tissues of the body. Naturally, the stomach is acidic and at times, needs to remain so. The predominant terrain in the body needs to be slightly alkaline, with the blood and lymph being around 7.365 to 7.42 pH.

The primary cause of acidosis is dietary habits, environmental pollutants, preservatives, vegetable and fruit dyes, artificial sweeteners, food additives, water pollutants and contaminated soils and tap water additives. These factors – which are really within our control in the form of life style choices – allow systemic pH to deteriorate over time and cause the onset of age related disease – osteoporosis, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, premature ageing, neurological disorders and even systemic candidiasis.

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death on the planet. Studies show that most of those deaths are premature and could have been prevented. Lifestyle changes and some kitchen cupboard ingredients could save lives, giving those with heart and bone disease a better quality of life and a long life span. It is quite eye opening to realize that medical technology may let us live until we are 120 - but by 80 years of age we are so riddled by disease and have no quality of life. So we spend 30 years sedentary and bedridden.

Acidosis is the main cause of heart disease. Just as acid rain eats into marble, acidosis irritates and cause tissue inflammation. The acids wear away at the cell membranes, the insides of arteries and veins and the very fabric of the heart. This continuing process weakens the heart and the arteries and veins to the point where they could break down and cause myocardial infarction (heart attack) and stroke.

Acidosis is not organ or location specific either - it affects all the tissues in the body as all tissues are sensitive to this corroding acid. Just as we are sensitive to chemicals in our environment, acidosis is a condition that acts like corrosive chemicals inside our bodies. The muscle cells of the heart and the tubular muscles of our arteries and veins come in direct contact with the metabolic acids in the blood stream.

How does this affect our blood plasma and general health? Think of it as negative and positive charges. When the blood is negatively charged – the platelets will be separated – moving freely in the plasma fluid. When they are positively charged – they tend to clump together, causing lumpy blood plasma – and the viscosity of the blood changes. This means that clotting may occur, but more importantly – the outer peripheries of the circulatory system is systematically purged of blood – and hence, or needed oxygen.

When this occurs – cells in the skin and other extremities will start dying – or they will revert to a more primitive way of creating energy in order to sustain themselves – fermentation. In other words – normal mitochondrial function changes – leaving the affected cells in a position where they may get diseased and start abnormal metabolic processes which may cause cancer, arteriosclerosis, neuralgia, fibromyalgia and a host of other serious conditions.

That is not all. In the major arteries – a process of degeneration takes place. The low pH of the blood – and hence the positive charge of platelets, will cause microscopic lesions and small tears to form which worsen over time. At the same time that the structural weakening is progressing, the negative ions that keep the body healthy are diminishing and being replaced by more positive ions that are unstable.

When the blood plasma is maintained between 7.35 and 7.42 pH, the irritation and inflammation levels in the body are greatly reduced or not present. When the blood plasma pH value goes below 7.365pH, homocysteine rises dramatically. Homocysteine is an amino acid, and one of the main measurements of inflammatory levels in the blood stream. When the blood pH drops towards acidic ranges, homocysteine rises dramatically. Studies show that when homocysteine rises too high it is related to a much higher risk of strokes, coronary heart disease and poor circulation in the extremities.

Some studies illustrate that as acidosis rises, the rise in homocysteine may increase the risk of atherosclerosis by damaging the inside walls of the arteries and also increase the risk of blood clots.

The positively charged particles therefore directly interfere with muscle contraction which is paramount in the heart and arteries. This is caused by loss of oxygen – as our blood becomes depleted of negatively charged ions – oxygen disappears and carbon dioxide rules the roost – causing the acidity to become systemic, forcing our cells to change respiration and metabolism processes from aerobic to anaerobic.

Once that mechanism weakens, there are serious problems in the body. All kinds of heart beat irregularities can develop. The arteries can harden or become less flexible, causing aneurysms and varicose veins. Heart attacks and strokes are now at the high risk state and the body is now in a crisis state.

There is more serious stuff to consider though – as the body leaches alkaline minerals to help maintain the pH of the blood when under acid “attack” – calcium re-uptake seizes and we start losing our reserves of calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium – all essential “base” minerals for preventing low pH levels and controlling heart disease. This causes copper, zinc, selenium and iron to be leached out of the system as well, to counter the acid pH condition in our blood. As a result, the small intestines may become to acid – which will prevent absorption of nutrients causing deficiency.

We need to remember that 95% of our nutrients are absorbed by the small intestines. If the pH in the jejunum (where most of the absorbsion takes place) goes much below 7.5 pH – absorption ceases, causing deficiency of essential vitamins. We generally become depleted of vitamins and minerals over time as the acidosis becomes more systemic. Especially in the duodenum (where iron is absorbed) and ileum (where vitamin B12 is absorbed). As you will probably know – iron is essential for blood production, and B12 is essential for brain functioning and central nervous system health.

Now a new evil arrives – studies have found that it is the process of calcium leaching that is one of the major causes for osteoporosis – something which is continually confirmed by biofeedback devices. Generally – the skeletal system starts to experience problems, and because of the acidic state of the body – so does central nervous system degenerative disease. We may then also develop rheumatoid disease, lupus and arteriosclerosis. It also invites the various herpes HHV viruses in.

A simple change to a more alkaline lifestyle can cause dramatic reversals to acidosis and its related conditions. One of the fastest ways to correct pH is by simply consuming bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice, in the correct quantities for your weight and physical condition. Another strategy is to add a green powder like Alfalfa to your daily regimen. The most important thing however is to realize that your health is in your hands.

Unfortunately – acidosis is usually only diagnosed when you reach the emergency room, at which point your condition is critical. Usually – the doctor on duty will try to replenish the bicarbonate ions in your blood in order to correct pH quickly. Very few tests can determine all the complex processes that acidosis cause – it is a total metabolic disorder. So your blood tests will usually not show anything, in which case your health practitioner will give you a clean bill of health. Usually, an arterial blood gas analysis is necessary to confirm and even detect acidosis.

The Henderson-Hasselbalch equation describes the relationship between blood pH and the components of the H2 CO3 buffering system. It is necessary to understand this in order to understand acidosis and acid/base balance. Base referring to neutral.

Let us get a bit technical here, but beare with me. This qualitative description of acid/base physiology allows the metabolic component to be separated from the respiratory components of acid/base balance – I:e pH = 6.1 + log (HCO3/ H2 CO3).

Bicarbonate (HCO3) is in equilibrium with the metabolic components.

Bicarbonate production in the kidney thus counters acid production from endogenous or exogenous sources

Carbonic acid (H2 CO3) is in equilibrium with the respiratory component, as shown by the below equation:

H2 CO3 = PCO2 (mm Hg) X 0.03

As you will notice – acidosis is a difficult condition to treat and diagnose, simply because the onset is slow, and generally goes unnoticed. As a result we have to find other ways to identify and diagnose acidosis as a possible cause for a whole range of illness'. Therefore – the symptoms of prolonged sustained onset of acidosis is to be found more in a general psychological decay of our emotions, moods and general feeling of malaise.


As the condition develop into a systemic acidosis, individuals tend to:

Become pessimistic and negative Cannot sleep restfully (lack of magnesium and calcium)

Wake up as tired in the morning as he/she was when they went to bed (lack of selenium, copper, Niacin and iron)

Constantly finds fault with everyone and everything (lack of tryptophan)

Is tired and experiences generalized aches and pains (depletion of calcium, potassium and magnesium)

Becomes irritable, ill tempered, and difficult to please (pain related depression and ascorbic acid depletion

Becomes red in the face (sure sign of acidosis unless you are sunburnt)

Develop skin ageing related problems (skin spots and wrinkles)

Shows signs of premature ageing as the body removes alkalizing substances from the muscles then calcium from the bones

Although everyone who is suffering from acidosis does not experience all of these symptoms, it is helpful for the practitioner to be able to correlate some personality traits with clinical findings and to recognize indications that the patient's body is over taxed and headed toward chronic degenerative disease.

At the Wellness Centre – we urge everyone to avoid or correct acidosis by alkalising and following a diet devoid of acid forming foods and beverages. The following are common pathologies associated with acidosis:

Corrodes Arteries, Veins and Heart Tissues

Accelerates Free-Radical Damage and Premature Ageing

Causes Weight Gain, Diabetes and Obesity

Causes Cholesterol Plaque to Form (Cholesterol Crystal)

Disrupts Blood Pressure

Disrupts Critical Lipid and Fatty Acid Metabolism

Inhibits Metabolism of Stored Energy Reserves

Inhibits Cellular Regeneration & DNA-RNA Synthesis

Inhibits Oxygen Getting to the Tissue

Inhibits Life Giving Electrolyte Activity

Life-essential functions, like electrolyte Potassium (K+) and Sodium (Na+) channels, are de-activated by acidosis. This has far reaching effects on cardiovascular health, since without sufficient electrolyte management, heart attacks are likely to occur. Without appropriate electrolyte management, our heart literally stops beating. Inhibition of electrolyte activity also affects the way we feel and behave, and is intimately involved in the energy levels we experience, because of the nature of the Na-K Pump and cellular metabolism.

As we can see – Acidosis is one of the major contributors to vertical disease. Not only that – it induces the ageing process and we remain unaware of it. We wonder why our skin and body starts deteriorating at such a rapid rate – but the medical community in general choose to ignore the condition simply because it is difficult to detect and therefore to diagnose – until you are at the Emergency Room, that is. By then it is usually to late, as the condition is then critical.

Controlling and reversing acidosis is easy for some – difficult for others, but generally holistic therapy protocols are effective at targeting both symptoms and cause. At the heart of these protocols are sodium bicarbonate – the most powerful orthomolecular allopathic on the planet. Combine this with a few other beneficial ingredients that is usually in your kitchen cupboard, and you have a medicine so potent that clients are astounded by the speed at which it produces results, as well as it's simplicity.

For more information on the actual protocol – just mail me or give me a call. I will gladly share it.

In good health always

Nu-Life Wellness Centre

Deon van Aswegen © 2012

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