Chronic metabolic acidosis, often the result of poor diet and environmental toxins, fosters development of many common and deadly disorders. Fortunately, it is easy to assess, and can be reversed with diet and lifestyle change.
The body routinely uses overnight rest time to excrete excess acids. This capacity varies based on toxin load, an individual’s ability to make energy, and his or her capacity to inactivate toxins and to excrete them.
Measurement of first morning urine pH gives a good indication of the body’s mineral reserve and its acid/alkaline state. It’s inexpensive, easy to teach to patients, and gives important clinical information.
The test can be done daily or at longer intervals. It involves these simple steps:
- Obtain a packet of pH (Hydrion™) test paper with a test range of 5.5 to 8. This is readily available at most pharmacies.
- Prior to the first urination of the morning, open the test tape packet and cut off two or three inches of the paper tape. Then, wet the test tape with urine. For best results, test only after a 6–8 hour period of rest.
- As the tape is moistened, it will change color. The color ranges from yellow to dark blue. Match the color of the test strip with the chart on test strip packet.
- Jot down the number that corresponds to that color.
The lower the number, the more acidic the sample. Any number below 7.0 means the urine is on the acidic side. The pH scale is logarithmic; a reading of 5.0 indicates that the urine is 10 times more acidic than urine giving a reading of 6.0.
Ideally, the first morning urine pH should be between 6.5 to 7.5—a more or less neutral pH indicating that overall cellular pH is appropriately alkaline and that the small amount of acids built up from normal metabolism have been easily concentrated for excretion. Cellular function is best when the body is in an overall alkaline state.
If readings fall consistently below 6.5, the patient should begin changes aimed at alkalinizing his or her diet. The acid-forming tendency of the standard American diet means that many patients will show low pH readings.
At the other end of the spectrum, morning urine readings that are consistently greater than 7.5 represent a “false alkalinity,” and indicates a catabolic state involving tissue breakdown. This warrants further clinical attention.
Russell Jaffe received his MD and PhD from Boston University School of Medicine in 1972, and completed his residency in Clinical Pathology at the National Institutes of Health, where he was on the permanent staff as a practicing molecular biologist and molecular pathologist. He has educated himself in nutrition, and was the founding chairman of the Scientific Committee of the American Holistic Medical Association. Dr. Jaffe developed the lymphocyte response assays (LRA) that enable physicians to rule in/out 436 common allergenic substances based on delayed hypersensitivity by functional LRA by ELISA/ACT or MELISA tests. He is also founder of Perque, a practitioner-only nutraceuticals company.