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How to Measure Urinary & Salivary PH

By Adam Cloe Ph.D./M.D.

The body naturally tries to maintain the proper balance of acids and bases. Part of the way that the body does this is by filling the blood with compounds which help prevent changes in the acidity of the blood. However, the body can also excrete excess acids or bases into the urine and saliva. This can be detected by measuring the pH of the urine and saliva, which can measure the acid-base balance of these liquids. Changes in the pH of the urine and saliva can signal that the patient is suffering from some underlying disease.

Purchase pH paper. The pH paper is lined with chemicals which will react with acids and bases and change color based on the pH of the liquid. There are many different kinds of pH paper; the best choice is pH paper which has a range between 5 and 8, as this is the range where your saliva and urine will most likely fall.

Collect a saliva and urine sample. Collect them in a small plastic container. You do not need much of either liquid for a pH test, but you should not insert the pH paper into your mouth as any chemicals in your mouth could interfere with the measurements.

Dip the pH paper into the samples.

Immediately compare the color of the paper which has been exposed to the urine and saliva to the chart which is attached to the roll of pH paper. The color chart will have pH numbers matched up with different colors. The color that the pH paper turns immediately after being dipped into the sample liquids will correspond to the pH of the urine or saliva.

Record the pH of your urine and saliva for 5 consecutive days. Because the pH of your urine and saliva can fluctuate somewhat from day to day, the most accurate indicator of the acid-base balance in your urine and saliva is the average pH of your samples from readings on 5 consecutive days, notes the Council on Nutrition.

Compare your averaged pH results to the normal values. Normal values for urine are between 5.5 and 5.8; anything higher than this can indicate a potential acid-base imbalance, particularly if the pH is above 6.6, states the Council on Nutrition. Saliva should have a pH of between 6.2 and 7. Numbers higher or lower than this may indicate problems with acids or bases within your body.

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