What is the treatment for acid

Chronic acidosis - latent acidosis

Acidosis occurs when the pH of the blood drops below normal and the blood becomes too acidic in the (chemical sense).

Short version:

  • With acidosis, the pH in the blood is below the normal value of 7.35 to 7.45.
  • Often times, a diet high in animal foods is a cause. But certain drugs and diseases can also trigger acidification.
  • Many different symptoms that do not appear immediately, such as headaches or susceptibility to inflammation, occur with acidosis.
  • As a result of acidification, diseases such as osteoporosis or diabetes can also occur.
  • Acidosis can be seen in the urine and blood.
  • With a specific diet and avoidance of stress, you can counteract hyperacidity.

The importance of nutrition for the human acid-base balance and the associated occurrence of many diseases of civilization are still controversially discussed. What is certain, however, is that our western diet is associated with an excessive intake of animal protein and an insufficient intake of base-forming minerals such as potassium, magnesium or calcium from fruit and vegetables.

Information on this page:

What is the acid-base balance?

Hardly any other measured value in the body is kept as constant as the pH value of the blood. With a Normal value of 7.35-7.45 it lies in the slightly basic range.

In the case of shifts towards the acidic or even more alkaline range, the doctor speaks of acidosis or alkalosis. Such acute disorders, which in the worst case can be life-threatening, are often triggered by underlying organic diseases. Severe kidney dysfunction or cardiovascular failure, chronic lung diseases or derailed diabetes can be considered.

In contrast, chronic acidification in the context of an unhealthy lifestyle hardly leads to a shift in the pH value in the blood. Chronic acidosis cannot cause acute illness and is not considered a primary disease in the true sense of the word. It is discussed, however, that the development of some chronic degenerative diseases is linked to persistent acidification.

What are the health consequences of chronic acidosis?

If the tissue becomes too acidic, characteristic symptoms do not appear immediately. Rather, it is a series of unspecific complaints that are not perceived as a uniform clinical picture.

Possible symptoms of hyperacidity are:

  • Muscle pain and cramps
  • general malaise
  • persistent fatigue
  • Susceptibility to infection
  • a headache
  • heartburn

Brittle nails, increased dandruff, hair loss, bad breath, impure skin and cellulite can also be caused by acidosis.

What are the possible secondary diseases of acidosis?

After all, it can be assumed that the development of many diseases is favored, although the scientific evidence for this is still largely lacking. A connection with:

Experts suspect that chronic overloading of the buffer systems that regulate the acid-base balance in the body could be associated with these diseases.

++ More on the topic: base excess & buffer systems ++

What are the causes of chronic acidosis?

The following factors influence the acid-base balance:

  • high consumption of acid-forming foods
  • Diets
  • Too little movement
  • Insufficient fluid intake
  • stress
  • Smoke
  • Medication
  • chronic diseases

The main cause of chronic acidification is a high consumption of acid-forming foods and beverages as well as a reduced acid excretion capacity. As part of an average diet, the organism is stressed daily with an acid excess of 50–100 mmol.

Diets and fasting cures can also promote acidification, as fasting conditions increasingly switch to energy production from fatty acids, which is accompanied by an increased formation and excretion of acid equivalents.

However, diet is not the only chronic stressor in the regulation of the acid-base balance. A lack of physical activity, insufficient fluid intake, stress, smoking and some medications (e.g. acetylsalicylic acid) also promote acidification. Finally, chronic diseases of the lungs, kidneys and digestive organs can also hinder the natural excretion of excess acids.

How can chronic acidosis be diagnosed?

Because chronic acidification usually develops slowly and unnoticed and initially only causes atypical complaints, it can only be recognized by measuring the pH value. In the case of serious derailments in the context of organic diseases, the pH value of the arterial blood is measured.

To do this, the doctor has to puncture the artery on the wrist or in the groin with a fine needle. A blood gas analysis, called "Astrup" in technical jargon, is carried out in the laboratory.

Latent acidification caused by an unhealthy lifestyle can best be detected by measuring the pH of the urine. You can carry out this examination yourself using test strips from the pharmacy. It should be noted that a one-off measurement is not meaningful due to the high fluctuation range.

Measurements from pH 5 to pH 8 are possible, with mostly low levels in the morning (5–6.5) and sometimes considerable increases after meals and during the day. Therefore, a measurement should be carried out five times a day over five days, ideally at the same times of the day.

Experts can also quantify hyperacidity using the renal net acid excretion (NAE = Net Acid Excretion) and thus make statements about the mineral composition and the amount of acid caused by nutrients.

Which foods are cheap or unfavorable?

Physiologically, it is essential for a balanced acid-base balance daily intake of about 70% base formers and 30% acid formers recommended. In today's diet, however, there is often an excess of acids.

All protein-containing foods of animal origin such as:

Protein-rich foods of plant origin (e.g. legumes and soy products) as well as bread and pasta, all types of grain and energy-dense, nutrient-poor products with a high proportion of refined sugar are strong acidifiers. Coffee, black tea and alcohol are unfavorable, as are emulsifiers, stabilizers and preservatives.

Base-donating foods include:

  • Leaf and root vegetables
  • Potatoes
  • fruit
  • Wild herbs
  • Aromatic herbs
  • Herbal teas
  • Non-carbonated water

What effects do dairy products have on the bones?

There are particularly contradicting arguments and study data on the subject of acidosis and osteoporosis. If traditional medicine recommends regular consumption of dairy products due to their high calcium content to prevent osteoporosis from childhood, dairy products in particular would have a negative effect on bone metabolism due to their acid-forming potential.

In fact, there is evidence from studies that dairy products remove calcium from the body and promote demineralization of the bones. Conversely, studies have shown that correcting the diet-related acid load optimizes the acid-base balance and improves bone health.

A practical recommendation for improving bone health through diet can therefore be derived to increase the intake of fruit and vegetables and reduce the intake of animal proteins to a healthy level.

How can excess acids be flushed out?

First and foremost is the change in diet. Eat less acid-forming foods and instead eat more neutral and base-forming foods. However, you should not completely do without acid-forming food, as it also contains essential components such as vitamins, minerals and proteins. A balance is important. Here is an example: 200 g of beef provide an amount of acid that needs 400 g of cauliflower or 1.6 kg of fresh peas to compensate.

Since it is often difficult to continuously maintain a balanced diet in accordance with the acid-base balance, it sometimes makes sense to use base preparations, preferably high-quality products from the pharmacy. When buying, look for a high acid-binding capacity and a balanced base mixture.

Preparations that have an ideal calcium-magnesium ratio (3: 1) provide an additional positive benefit. Flavors or colors and preservatives should not be included. Pay attention to the sugar, lactose and gluten content; there are also products that are free from these substances. You can also check the "deacidifying" effect in your body with pH test strips from the pharmacy.

How can you counteract acidification?

  • Change your diet: Consume enough alkaline foods every day to balance out the acid content.
  • Lots of exercise: During exercise and sport, we breathe more deeply and thus encourage the exhalation of carbon dioxide.
  • sweating a lot, e.g. when exercising, but also when going to the sauna, promotes acid excretion through the skin.
  • Avoid stress and anger: High concentrations of stress hormones promote acidification.
  • Drink a lot: Fluid facilitates acid excretion through the kidneys. Only non-carbonated water, herbal teas or highly diluted fruit juices are recommended.

Which foods can lead to acidification?

The provides information about the acidifying potential of individual foods PRAL value (Potential Renal Acid Load), which is given in mEq / 100 g and is a measure of the acid load on the kidneys. A positive value means a high acid load, a negative value a low acid load.

PRAL values ​​of some mid-life (mEq / 100 g)


  • Cauliflower: -4.0
  • Broccoli: -1.2
  • Iceberg lettuce: -1.6
  • Fennel: -7.9
  • Cucumber: 0.5
  • Carrots: -4.9
  • Potatoes: -4.0
  • Kohlrabi: -5.5

Fats, oils

  • Butter: 0.6
  • Margarine: -0.5
  • Olive oil: 0.0
  • Sunflower oil: 0.0


  • Beer, light: 0.9
  • Cola: 0.4
  • Espresso: -2.3
  • Coffee: -1.4
  • Mineral water: -1.8
  • Orange juice, unsweetened: -2.9
  • Red wine: -2.4


  • Pineapple: -2.7
  • Apples: -2.2
  • Apricots: -4.8
  • Bananas: -5.5
  • Pears: -2.9
  • Strawberries: -2.2
  • Figs, dried: -18.1
  • Kiwi: -4.1
  • Oranges: -2.7


  • Graham bread: 7.2
  • Rye bread: 4.1
  • Rye crispbread: 3.3
  • Whole grain bread: 5.3
  • White bread: 3.7

Milk, dairy products, eggs

  • Buttermilk: 0.5
  • Camembert: 14.6
  • Egg yolk: 23.4
  • Protein: 1.1
  • Whole milk fruit yogurt: 1.2

Meat, sausage products

  • Frankfurter sausages: 7.7
  • Chicken: 8.7
  • Veal: 9.0
  • Rabbit meat: 19.0
  • Lamb (lean): 7.6
  • Liver (calf): 14.2
  • Beef (lean): 7.8

Fish, seafood

  • Trout, steamed: 10.8
  • Herring: 7.0
  • Salmon: 9.4

Cereals, flour

  • Cornflakes: 6.0
  • Spelled (green spelled, whole grain): 8.8
  • Barley (whole grain): 5.0
  • Oatmeal: 10.7
  • Corn (whole grain): 3.8
  • Rice, peeled: 4.6
  • Rice, unpeeled: 12.5
  • Rye flour: 4.4

Source: König D and Berg A (2011)

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Dr. med. Anita Kreilhuber
Editorial editing:
Mag. (FH) Silvia Hecher, MSc

Updated on:

König D and Berg A: Swiss Journal of Nutritional Medicine, 2011, Issue 2, 33-38

Information platform www.saeure-basen-forum.de (Access: July 2012)

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