Body processes

Acid-Base Balance – Function, Task & Diseases

Acid-base balance

The acid-base balance is an endogenous regulation. This ensures that the pH value in the blood remains constant.

What is the acid-base balance?

Due to the acid-base balance, the pH value in the blood is 7.4. Acids are balanced primarily by the buffering properties of various elements, such as blood, tissue , gas exchange and the work of the kidneys . Overall, the household can be controlled by the fact that carbon dioxide is emitted. Without such self-regulation, over- or under- acidification would occur. In acute cases, serious symptoms cannot be ruled out. Hyperacidity is also referred to as acidosis, hypoacidity as alkalosis.

If in doubt, the acid-base balance can be measured using a blood count . There are various measures that balance out an imbalance.

function & task

The human body depends on energy. He needs them for each of his movements and for the work of all cells . Sufficient food intake is important for organs and muscles to function properly. 

With the help of the cellular metabolism , the energy contained in all foods is utilized. Carbohydrates , proteins and fats are particularly important . However, the body cannot process all elements. As a result, metabolic end products are excreted via various routes, for example via the kidneys, the skin or the lungs . Most of these metabolic end products are acidic and must be neutralized before they can be eliminated. Otherwise, various symptoms can manifest themselves, such as pain and muscle cramps .

Overall, the organism has three control mechanisms for maintaining the acid-base balance. Excess acid can be flushed out of the body through the urine . The pH buffers in human blood help ensure that all processes remain intact in the event of unexpected fluctuations in the acid-base balance. Finally, breathing plays an important role. It regulates the pH value significantly, as the carbon dioxide penetrates through the gas exchange through the lungs out of the organism.

The respiratory center is able to regularly check and change the pH of the blood by adjusting the speed and depth of breathing. The more you breathe, the more the carbon dioxide concentration in the blood drops. The blood becomes alkaline.

There are both acids and bases in the human body. They differ primarily in their chemical component. While acids have more positive, free hydrogen ions, bases have negatively charged hydrogen and oxygen atoms. In order to determine the acid-base balance, the existing hydrogen ions are examined.

Ultimately, acids are formed whenever proteins (proteins) are digested. Energy processes always lead to the release of carbonic acid. A lack of exercise is responsible for the fact that the acids are not broken down, but get into the connective tissue . The acid-base balance is accordingly significantly influenced by diet and physical activity. If enough fruit and vegetables are eaten, hyperacidity is rather unlikely. It is different when there are many animal products such as meat , milk and eggs on the menu.

The acid-base balance prevents over-acidification. The mechanisms focus on the regulation of the pH value in the blood. If this deviates, organ damage can become noticeable.

Diseases & Ailments

Over-acidification of the body can result in various complaints. This includes, for example, gout . Gout is caused by uric acid crystals that have managed to accumulate in the joints . The joints become inflamed and cause pain. Gout is often referred to as a disease of affluence. It occurs due to a high consumption of animal proteins. The disease does not usually occur in vegetarians/vegans. 

Overall, over-acidification can lead to symptoms that cause a general feeling of being unwell. These include, for example, muscle tension and back and neck pain . The symptoms are caused by the storage of acids in the connective tissue. In this way the blood flow is reduced . If the acids are no longer able to infiltrate the connective tissue, joints are attacked.

Heartburn , inflammation of the gastric mucosa , sleep disorders and the feeling of constant exhaustion are also indications that the body is overly acidic.

With advancing age, acidosis can lead to osteoporosis . The acids increase the likelihood that minerals will be released from the bones . Because how actively building up and breaking down cells are depends to a large extent on the pH value. Even a small amount of acidosis leads to an increased loss of bone density. Many other ailments arise from osteoporosis.

Overall, animal products promote hyperacidity, which at the same time increases the risk of various diseases. It therefore makes sense to adjust your diet and switch to plant-based proteins. For example, potatoes , vegetables, fruit, still mineral water and herbs are considered base suppliers. You can avoid acidosis. Meat, fish, quark and meat broth, on the other hand, cause an excess of acids.

In addition, the acid-base balance can be thrown off balance by stress and lack of exercise . Stress puts the body on alert. Adrenaline and noradrenaline are released, heart rate and blood pressure rise, breathing rate increases while the depth of breathing decreases. This way less oxygen gets throughinto the organism. Because of the shallow breathing, the body can break down less carbon dioxide, which means that the carbonic acid remains in the blood. In addition, when the stress hormones are broken down, further acids are produced, which also have a negative effect on the acid-base balance.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.