Your pH balance is the measure of acidity or alkalinity in your system. Measurement of pH is on a scale of 1 to 14, with a pH of 5.5 or lower in the acidic range and a pH of 7.5 or higher in the alkaline range. Neutral pH is 7.0, and the healthy body range is between 6.0 and 7.5. Many factors can make our bodies more acidic or alkaline than is healthy for us.
Many naturally occurring foods lead to high alkaline reactions when digested, and eating these in excess without foods that create acidic reactions will cause your alkaline levels to rise. Fruits and vegetables result in particularly high alkaline levels, especially lemons, watermelons, limes, grapefruit, mangoes, papayas, asparagus, onions, parsley, raw spinach, broccoli and garlic. Almonds, olive oil and flax seed oil also have high alkaline levels, as do herbal teas and sweeteners like stevia and maple syrup. Acidic foods include blueberries, blackberries, white and brown sugar, potatoes, prunes, chocolate, peanuts, walnuts, flour, pasta, beef, pork, shellfish, turkey, chicken, milk, coffee, beer and soft drinks. Eat a well-balanced diet so as to maintain a healthy pH level.
Proper alkaline levels are maintained when the body excretes bile via the liver and its corresponding organs. When the liver, bile ducts or the gallbladder are blocked, however, bile is not properly excreted and alkaline levels can build up. This can be caused by liver disease, as well as by hepatitis, mononucleosis, pancreatitis, congestive heart failure or the use of oral contraceptives.
Treatment for bone diseases such as osteoporosis often involve increased levels of calcium, which can raise alkaline levels. Alkaline is produced by bone-forming cells called osteoblasts, so as calcium levels increase in order to aid in the production of osteoblasts, so too does alkaline increase. Other conditions that can lead to increased osteoblast production and, thus, increased alkalinity, include shingles, Paget's disease, hyperthyroidism, rickets and the healing of bones after a fracture.
When your body is in need of detoxification, alkaline levels can rise due to the build-up in your system. To maintain healthy alkaline levels, try cleansers that include psyllium hulls or flax seed oil to detoxify your system.
Other causes of high alkaline levels include but are not limited to pregnancy, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease, ulcers, infections, certain cancers and damage to heart and lung tissue. If you have high alkaline levels, consult with your doctor to determine the cause.