What Does Urine pH Tell Us?
Urine, like other body fluids, can be acidic or alkaline. Acidic substances have a pH of less than 7, and alkaline substances have a higher pH. Normally, urine is slightly acidic and its pH typically ranges from 4.5 to 8. Urine pH changes depending on your diet, certain diseases, and the medications you take. Excreting acid or alkaline urine helps maintain the body's acid-base balance between acidity and alkalinity. Factors that affect urine pH include vomiting, diarrhea, lung disease, hormones, kidney function, and urinary tract infection.
A urine pH value above 7 indicates that the urine is primary. Primary urine is basically a process of filtration, reabsorption, and secretion that takes place in the blood. These processes make sure that all the beneficial things stay in the body and only excess water and waste are flushed out.
Urine pH increases in cases such as kidney failure, urinary tract infections, vomiting, and acidosis due to kidney tubules. Low pH in the urine indicates that the urine is mainly acidic. In acidic urine, the pH value is below 7. In cases such as acidosis, dehydration, diarrhea, and fasting sugar coma, the urine pH decreases and becomes acidic.
The pH in the body is rated from 1 (most acidic) to 14 (most alkaline). Suppose people's diets do not contain enough calcium, magnesium, potassium, and other acid-buffering minerals;
In that case, these minerals are withdrawn from the storages of tissues, such as bones, liver, and heart, and can cause significant problems. Low-carbohydrate and high-protein diets increase the acid load and cause changes in the urinary system. This all can cause changes in blood and pH level. This means urinary magnesium, citrate, and pH levels decrease; urinary calcium, undissolved uric acid, and phosphate levels increase, which creates a risk of kidney stones.
It is essential to pay attention to nutrition to keep the dietary acid load under control. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Alkaline food groups are vegetables, fruits, and legumes.
- Those with high alkalinity are avocado, broccoli, cucumber, cabbage, garlic, collard greens, parsley, spinach, tomato, and celery stalks.
- Foods with lower alkaline properties are rocket, beet, basil, zucchini, carrot, chard, ginger, green beans, lettuce, leek, okra, radish, red cabbage, red onion, dried beans, quinoa, chia seeds, and fresh coconut water.
The Optimal pH of a Balanced Diet
It’s been known that the food a person eats changes the pH value of the body. Critical events and diseases in the body depend on the pH value. This value varies according to the mineral density of the food consumed. When food is used to obtain energy, waste occurs due to the metabolization of such foods. It is argued whether acidic or alkaline waste changes the body’s pH. The body's pH is always slightly alkaline and ranges from 7.35 to 7.45. Only in severe cases does this value change. If an imbalance occurs, it is unlikely we can resolve it with food. In this case, homeostasis, one of the body’s defense mechanisms, provides many acid-based mechanisms to rebalance the pH. Based on urine with acidic pH, it can be presumed that there is Diabetes mellitus, fever, urinary infection (E.Coli) in the body, and it can be determined that the person follows a high protein diet. On the other hand, when looking at urine with an alkaline pH value, it can be said that the pH value of the urine has increased to alkaline levels as a result of severe vomiting, renal tubular acidosis, urinary infection (urease +), and it can be assumed that the person follows a vegetarian diet.
If our urine pH is between 7.35-7.45, depending on our diet, it shows that we have reached the optimal pH level with whichever diet we follow.
Urine pH and Weight Management
The means of weight loss and weight gain is a very complex process that can vary due to one or many factors. Factors range from the level of inflammation to the calories consumed, from the metabolic rate to the hormonal level. Every enzyme has a pH range in which it can work within, yet becomes dysfunctional outside of. Additionally, many things from intracellular electrolytes to energy production, which affect weight management, are dependent on pH. Therefore, pH is significant in body weight control. An alkaline diet is recommended to convert urine with an acidic pH to an alkaline level. Even still, though this type of diet has advantages, it also has some disadvantages.
Let's take a look at those!
- Does not limit any food group
- Has a diet rich in vegetables and fruits
- Avoids processed foods
- Lacks in vital acids such as DNA, fatty acids, amino acids
- Decreased quality proteins such as dairy products, meat, eggs in the diet
- Its implementation is risky in terms of health
To control body weight and maintain pH balance, it is crucial to get nutritional advice from an expert and keep the body pH level optimal.