When talking about pH (potential hydrogen) the scale goes from 0-14, with 0 being acidic and 7 being neutral moving to 14 which is alkaline. In human health, we need to consider urine pH, saliva pH and blood pH. Blood pH has a normal range of 7.35-7.45. Anything outside that range is considered dangerous and life threatening. Compared to the overall scale, that is a pretty small window. Urine and saliva ranges are much more forgiving. Acidosis of the blood is the topic here, please refer to Acid Reflux and pH monitoring in the Blog section for more on acidity.

People most likely to get acidic blood include those with impaired breathing conditions, or with kidney or liver damage. Essentially the body makes more acid than it can get rid of, resulting in acidosis. In respiratory acidosis, the body is unable to get rid of carbon dioxide in appropriate amounts causing carbon dioxide build-up. Someone with persistent hyperventilation could briefly become acidotic, and various lung diseases or lung impairment may result in the condition. Sometimes being on a respirator in a hospital for long periods of time might result in respiratory or pulmonary versions of this condition, which is why those on respirators have blood gases checked regularly.

Other things that may cause acidic blood levels include starving the body and scuba diving. Certain poisons may result in an acidotic state too, opioids (sedative narcotics) and strong sleeping pills can cause acidosis. Some conditions, especially diabetes, are indicators in causing this condition, and when untreated, it may progress to what is called metabolic acidosis. The symptoms of metabolic forms of this condition can include deep, rapid breathing, chest pain, pain in the bones, muscle weakness and ultimately arrhythmias, coma, seizure or drastic reduction in blood pressure.

One common type of acidosis seen in those with diabetes type I is ketoacidosis. Lack of insulin can cause the body to break down abnormal amounts of fats resulting in the body building up ketones and extra acid. These can change blood pH level and raise blood glucose levels.

Home remedyThere is no home test for blood acidity. Dial 911 if a person is showing any signs of incoherence or blood pressure is very low. Sometimes people with severe acidosis require intravenous (IV) sodium bicarbonate to quickly bring blood back to normal acid levels, but you will need medical assistance for this. If the issue is related to lack of insulin, such as a diabetic, the use of insulin should correct the issue. If the acidosis is from prolonged liver or kidney damage, or from hyperventilation, take sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to reduce acid levels. Drink 1 teaspoon mixed in a few ounces of cold water. Repeat in 45 minutes and again after two hours. Continue ½ teaspoon of aluminum free baking soda three times a day for several weeks if needed.

You may also consider Elderberry (herb): Steep 3 to 5 grams of dried Elder flowers in 1 cup of boiling water for ten minutes. Drink 1 cup 3 times daily.