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How to acidify urine

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Acidification of urine

I was requested to do a blog post on acidification of urine too.. So here it goes!

How do you acidify urine?
You can acidify urine by administrating NH4Cl, Vitamin C or cranberry juice.
Another drug used is lysine dihydrochloride.
Foods can acidify the urine too. (Foods like plums, prunes, meats, cheeses, eggs, fish, and grains!)

Uses of acidification of urine –

Below pH 5.5, methenamine releases formaldehyde, which is antibacterial.
Acidifying agents are given with methenamine to lower urinary pH.
(That is why, microorganisms such as proteus that make a strongly alkaline urine through release of ammonia from urea are usually resistant to methenamine :O )

• Prevention of calcium phosphate renal stones
An alkaline pH favors the crystallization of calcium- and phosphate-containing stones hence acidification of urine will prevent the formation of these stones.

Remember the formation of which stones are promoted due to acidification of urine?
If you’re thinking uric acid or cystine stones, you’re absolutely right, give yourself a pat on the back! 😀

Acidification of urine effects excretion of a number of weak bases and tertiary amines such as cocaine, amphetamines, quinine, quinidine, strychinine, chloroquine and ephedrine.
Forced acid diuresis is rarely done in clinical practice >_>

Did you know?
Contrary to popular belief, vinegar (acetic acid) is not given orally for acidification of urine.
Vinegar is used for bladder irrigation.

That’s all!
Merry Christmas ^___^
-IkaN

Related post: Alkalinization of urine

Urine pH can reveal important information about your health. Here we look at pH levels in urine and how your diet might impact those levels.

We need hydrochloric acid in our stomachs to digest. If we have high acidic levels in the body, it will prevent proper production of stomach acids. A high pH means the body will likely respond by secreting less acidic fluids, which leads to a shortage of stomach acid. High acidic urine can cause kidney stones.

How to Check Urine pH Levels at Home?

A recent study published by the National Institutes of Health looked at the link between urine pH and abnormal glucose tolerance in both men and women. The team of researchers in Japan conducted a community-based study to look at sex-specific associations and possible signs of pre-diabetes and type-2 diabetes.

They found that low pH levels in urine were “significantly” associated with abnormal glucose tolerance. This suggests that the pH level test might help identify people who are at a high risk for getting diabetes.

If you have any interest in monitoring pH levels in urine, you can do so at home. You will require pH test strips that you should be able to buy at a local pharmacy. Those who want to raise their urine pH can track changes by measuring with the strips once per day.

To test, simply collect a sample in a clean cup and follow the directions you receive with the strips. All it really takes is inserting the strip into the urine for a directed amount of time and then comparing the color on your strip to a color chart.

Urine pH level chart

Most people are unaware of what normal pH levels in urine are. The chart below will allow you to identify low pH levels in urine and high pH levels in urine. Generally, a pH of 7+ is good; however, it is important to keep in mind that since the kidney’s are processing toxins, the first urine that is released can be more acidic.

pH Level
Below 6.0 Very acidic: considered the danger zone. Changes to lifestyle are needed
6.0 – 6.5 Acidic range: dietary and lifestyle changes should be considered to improve pH level
6.5 – 6.75 Moderate range: consider slight adjustments to diet to bring pH back up
7.0 – 7.5 Optimal range: you are maintaining an alkalizing lifestyle
8 – 9 Too alkaline: this is considered unhealthy

What Factors Influence pH levels in Urine?

  • Diet – what we eat can impact pH in our urine. For example, vegetarians usually have more alkaline in their urine than meat eaters, since meat and dairy produce acid. Most vegetables and fruit are more alkaline. A lot of people think of fruits as more acidic, but once they are consumed, most produce alkaline urine. Cranberries are an exception. They produce more acidic urine.
  • Diseases – some people have a disorder that causes acidosis in the blood. The body tries to excrete this excess through the urine and it causes acidic urine. Acidosis-related diseases include respiratory problems that interrupt air exchange, diarrhea, dehydration, severe diabetes, as well as starvation. Urine can have a high pH if you suffer from kidney disease, are vomiting, or have a disease that causes rapid breathing or urinary tract infection (UTI).
  • Medications – there are certain drugs that can lead to alkaline urine. Some medications used to treat glaucoma as well as some drugs for seizures may cause alkaline urine. There are also medications that make the urine more acidic. One example would be an antibiotic used to control a UTI.
  • Timing – the first urine sample in the morning tends to be more acidic than urine excreted later in the day. This is because we breathe less and shallower when sleeping, so we produce a bit of respiratory acidosis in the blood. If you leave urine in an open container, bacteria can accumulate. Bacteria can turn urine more alkaline.

What Foods Decrease the Urine pH?

If you are looking for a way to lower pH levels in urine, food is often a good place to start. Our modern diet is high in acidic forming foods, such as grain, dairy, and meats. While it is hard to avoid all acidic-forming foods, most people are able to limit the amount they consume.

Acid-forming foods can be neutralized by eating acid-neutralizing foods. Many fruits are acid neutralizing because they contain high amounts of alkaline minerals, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. Most vegetables are alkaline so a diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables with each meal is recommended.

Foods That Increase pH Levels in Urine

Drinking water can help decrease the acidity of urine by diluting it, which in turn can help prevent the formation of kidney stones. When it comes to how to increase pH levels in urine, you can consider the following:

  • Meat – people who consume fresh meat tend to have more acid than those who don’t.
  • Cranberry juice – this juice has been known to increase urine pH levels
  • Fruits – apples, apricots, berries, oranges, grapefruit, banana, figs, pears, cherries, pineapple, watermelon, and honeydew melon are all alkaline fruits.
  • Vegetables – most vegetables are not considered acidic, but here is a list of alkaline vegetables: beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, kale, lettuce, onions, peppers, and sweet potatoes.
  • Nuts and seeds – these are really an alternative protein that helps make urine more alkaline and reduces the risk of uric acid kidney stones. Almonds, chestnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are good examples.
  • Dairy – alkaline dairy foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, and cream can be added to the diet, but you should be careful about the amount of saturated fat. Choosing low-fat and non-fat dairy foods is best. The fat content does not impact alkalinity.
  • Meat alternatives – replace a portion of your meat intake with legumes, such as beans and peas. They can increase your urine pH while providing you with a good source of protein.
  • Molasses – this can also be consumed to help make urine more alkaline.

A study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology back in 2008 showed that magnesium and calcium can be effective in regulating urine pH by raising it or lowering it, depending on each person. Some experts suggest taking a combination of magnesium and calcium supplements may help in alkalization of urine.

If you have reason to believe that your urine pH level is off, you can try dietary adjustments to bring it back into proper alignment; however, it is best to consult with a doctor about pH level to rule out any underlying health issues.

How to acidify urine

In biology, homeostasis is the state of steady internal, physical, and chemical conditions maintaine d by living systems. In simple words it’s a control system in your body that keeps multiple variables in check, your body temperature, blood sugar and fluid levels, etc, etc. One such variable is the pH level of the body – when you take a urine test, the pH level check creates an external window for you to take a peek at what’s going on inside your body. So when your urine says “Ya basic” it may or may not be referring to your personality, but it definitely gives you a preview of what’s going on inside your body. Let’s take a quick look at the definite values of urine pH and its role in your well-being.

The normal pH spectrum, and it’s reflection on your health.

Depending on a person’s acid-base status, the pH of urine may range from 4.5 to 8. After a urine test, if you find out that your pH is a little too acutely on the lower side, you might want to reconsider your diet. By making your body more alkaline, you will reduce the chances of digestive problems, having low energy, unhealthy skin, mouth, and teeth. Just a few switches could enhance your overall health and prevent many other diseases.

How to acidify urine

How does your diet impact your pH levels?

First, let’s understand how your body’s metabolism works. It burns the food you eat and leaves a residue as metabolic waste. The waste can be acidic, neutral, or alkaline, depending on what you eat. For example, when you eat processed foods like pasta, bread, cookies, etc the metabolism breaks them down, and the residue (known as acid ash) comes out. Acid ash lowers the body’s pH and causes stomach problems, like acid reflux. The excessive acid is taken out by urine, and the body’s pH is kept balanced. That’s why when you eat too much acidic food, your urine pH is highly acidic. Including alkaline foods in your diet also has multiple health benefits:

  • Stronger Muscles
  • A Reduced Risk of High Blood Pressure and Stroke
  • Elevated Memory and Brain Function
  • A Healthy Heart
  • Strengthens Bones

The first step.

To bring about a significant change, one will have to start with reducing the consumption of processed, high sugar containing foods that lower the pH of the body while increasing the intake of raw, less processed whole foods that are alkaline in nature. A majority of vegetables are known to be basic so you can start with inculcating more greens into your diet.

Here’s a gist of basic alkaline foods, and the ways in which you can consume them:

  1. Bottle Gourd

Apart from its high fibre content, bottle gourd is highly alkaline, hydrating and has antibilious properties that makes your body feel better internally, and keeps stress at bay. To utilise all its nutrients, you can juice it, steam it and add it to your yogurt. Bottle gourd is used widely across various Indian recipes in innumerable forms from sweet to savoury, starters to desserts.

2. Cucumbers

Cucumbers are amazingly alkalizing. They are also a rich source of silica and a wonderful diuretic. You could incorporate them into salads, stir fries and mocktails.

3. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits, such as lemon, oranges, and lime are acidic foods with a pH of nearly 2.0. Surprisingly, after they are metabolized in the body, they have an alkalizing effect. Besides that, citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C and detoxify your body. You can eat them fresh, and you can also add them in your water bottle to color things up and alkalize your system.

4. Other Fruits

Fruits can be tricky, because some of them are acidic, while some of them are alkaline. They are all rich in minerals and vitamins, so it’s good to add them to our daily consumption. Your sweet tooth cravings can be satisfied by these instead of sugary acidic desserts. Kiwi, figs, pears, pineapple, watermelon, apples, and apricots are good alkaline fruits when consumed in their season. They’re also a rich source of fibre, keeping your digestion in check.

5. Root Vegetables

Beetroot, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots are alkali foods that will be helpful to elevate the pH of urine. You can boil, steam and roast them, but keep in mind to not overcook, or you’ll tamper with their nutrient content.

6. Coconut Water

Coconut water is high in potassium, which can flush out excess water from your body. If you are suffering from acidity, coconut water can give you relief as it is alkaline and can bring your pH balance back to normal.

7. Whole Grains and Green Beans

Amaranth, millet, buckwheat, and quinoa are known to alkalize the pH of urine. While beans like green beans, lima beans, and string beans are alkalizing.

8. Seeds and Nuts

Cashews, almonds, walnuts, etc contain healthy fats that neutralise the acidic pH of the body. Pumpkin, chia, sesame and sunflower seeds are also highly alkaline, with multiple additional health benefits. Nuts can be consumed after being soaked overnight or in the form of pastes and butter, either way they’re wholesome foods rich in both macro, and micro nutrients to nourish your body.

“Basic” Nourishment

To put things in perspective, one does not have to have high acid levels in their body in order to increase the consumption of alkaline foods. They should be consumed on a daily basis in acceptable quantities to maintain health and wellness. Apart from the consumption of these foods one can also cut down on their alcohol intake and increase their water intake. You can add mint leaves, cucumber, any colourful citrusy slices into your bottle of water and “Voila!” you have fresh alkaline water that’s a treat for your senses, both visual and olfactory.

How to acidify urine

Urine pH ranges from 4.6 to 8.0, according to Medline Plus. An acidic urine may increase your risk of developing uric acid kidney stones. A diet that increases your intake of foods that make the urine more alkaline, including citrus fruits, vegetables and dairy products, may help limit your risk of developing these stones. Acidity of the urine may also effect the development of oxalic and cystine stones, according to the dietitian website RD411.

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Fruits

How to acidify urine

The alkalinity of your urine is affected by your intake of certain minerals. Calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium are chemical cations that make the urine more alkaline. Fruits contain high amounts of these minerals, contributing to the alkalinity of the urine. Alkaline fruits include apples, apricots, bananas, berries, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, cantaloupe, cherries, figs, grapes, kiwi, mangoes, watermelon, honeydew melon, nectarines, pineapples, pear and tangerines.

Vegetables

How to acidify urine

Vegetables contain high amounts of potassium and magnesium, and also help to make the urine more alkaline. The exceptions include corn and lentils, according to RD411. Alkaline vegetables include asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, chard, cauliflower, collard greens, cucumbers, eggplant, kale, lettuce, mustard greens, onions, parsnips, peppers, pumpkin, turnips, sprouts, sweet potatoes and watercress. In addition to contributing to the alkalinity of your urine, a diet high in fruits and vegetables decreases your risk of developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Nuts and Seeds

How to acidify urine

Most animal protein foods increase the acidity of your urine. Nuts and seeds can act as an alternative protein food. Some nuts can help to make your urine more alkaline and reduce your risk of developing uric acid kidney stones. Alkaline nuts and seeds include almonds, chestnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. In addition to contributing to urine alkalinity, nuts and seeds also contain high amounts of heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. A handful of nuts a day decreases your risk of heart disease.

Dairy and Other Foods

How to acidify urine

The calcium in dairy foods helps to make your urine more alkaline. Alkaline dairy foods include milk, cheese, yogurt, buttermilk and cream. To limit your intake of saturated fat, choose low-fat and nonfat dairy foods. The fat content does not effect alkalinity. Molasses can also be used to help make your urine more alkaline. Stevia, a natural low-calorie sweetener, is another.