There are three key points to mention about the pH compensation performed by the kidneys. The first one is the importance of identifying the normal pH range in body fluids and the upper and lower limits compatible with human life. The second one is to understand the vital function of pH compensation in the body. The third one is knowing what kind of diet must be taken in order to experience a good health.
(Read also: Hormones Involved in Renal Compensation.)
What is renal compensation? This renal function is the regulation of the measurement of acidity in a certain solution. Kidneys perform it in the blood for the proper functioning of the whole organism. Changes in pH are corrected through different mechanisms. When are those changes made by the kidneys? For example, when patients consume high-fat foods very often and do not drink the recommended amount of water, the pH level in the internal body fluids becomes very low, and it may become a future problem that affects cells, tissues and organs in the rest of the body systems. The importance of a good diet improves the regulation of pH in our body. It is because, in order to keep the pH in balance, the consumption of alkaline substances is needed. Those substances may be found in fruits, vegetables and low sugar food.
On the other hand, it is well known that poor diets and a stressful lifestyle may contribute to pH imbalance in all body fluids, and, subsequently, it negatively affects the immune system. A weak immune system means a body exposed to bacterial and viral infections. “The general lifestyle of the current society in reflected in the consultations of patients and their visits to emergency rooms with severe kidney problems. The main reason is the imbalance in the pH of blood”, affirms Joe Cosgrove, Chairman, President and CEO of Pentec Health. “Poor diet, stress, poor sleep habits, physical inactivity, alcohol and illegal drugs, self-medication and other harmful activities are direct and indirect causes of renal decompensation of pH in body fluids.”
PH is an abbreviation: hydrogen potential. As a chemical measure, it is used to determine the degree of acidity or alkalinity of substances. PH measurement is extremely useful for biological and chemical studies because the degree of alkalinity or acidity determines the possibility that certain chemical reactions are carried out or not. The pH scale ranges from zero to fourteen. Values under seven indicate acidity, and, over seven, alkalinity. The number seven is neutral: is the point of reference of the scale.
Kidneys perform vital functions in the body. Not only filtering the blood stream of hazardous substances, but the pH balance of the whole body through the blood supply depends on the kidneys. Every day, these wonderful organs filter about one hundred ninety liters of blood, eliminating about two liters of waste and excess water. Those wastes and water excess become urine, which is stored in the bladder and expelled when urinating through the ureters.
The mechanism of pH regulation in the kidneys develops as follows. Tubule cells of the kidney manufacture bicarbonate and hydrogen ions from carbon dioxide and water. The body re-absorbs the bicarbonate, which acts as a buffer, and it secretes hydrogen ions turning it into sodium. Each hydrogen ion lost in the urine becomes a bicarbonate ion, which will subsequently be available in the extracellular fluid, in order to effectively neutralize more hydrogen ions. In addition, kidney also eliminated substances by a process of acid formation of ammonium ions from ammonia, or by other acid neutralizers, such as phosphate. However, it is very important to remember that at the time of saturation, the body has to take more drastic measures to combat an acid pH. On one hand, if the blood does not have enough alkaline minerals to counter an excess of acids, the deposited acid remains in a huge variety of tissues until the organism can neutralize them. Some studies suggest that if this process is repeated often over long periods, the chances of getting cancer are much higher. A high level of acid in body fluids also affects cholesterol, because it adheres more quickly to the arteries, damaging artery walls and it facilitates the creation of plaque that leads to heart issues.
What kind of food should be avoided then? In order to help the kidneys in their compensation function, processed foods, pre-packaged foods, alcoholic beverages, sodas, cold meats and canned foods are examples of what should be avoided in a healthy diet. If you have several of the following symptoms, it may be a sign that the pH level of your body is very high, and you should visit your doctor for guidance in the development of a healthy diet: Acne, low energy, hyperactivity, menstrual and premenstrual cramps, diarrhea, constipation, hot urine, smelly urine, headaches or difficulty for getting up every morning.