All chemicals, natural and otherwise, have a pH level, which is a measurement of hydrogen. The pH scale ranges from zero to 14, with zero being purely acidic, 14 being purely alkaline and seven being neutral. According to "The Complete Book of Enzyme Therapy" by Anthony J. Cichoke, the human body's optimal pH range is between 7.35 and 7.45, only slightly alkaline. While the kidneys and other organs work to maintain a healthy pH, some circumstances can lead to too-high alkalinity levels, a condition called alkalosis. Alkalosis has multiple symptoms, but because these symptoms can have many causes, you should consult a doctor in cases where alkalosis is suspected but not clinically confirmed.
The National Institutes of Health reports light-headedness as a common alkalosis symptom, as well as confusion. In extreme cases, such symptoms can worsen to the level of catatonic stupor and even coma. Arthur Greenberg and Alfred K. Cheung's "Primer on Kidney Diseases" states that alkalosis may also cause a predisposition to seizures, and Cichoke's book adds that severe cases can also put victims in a state of shock and could cause death. These symptoms, taken together, are very similar to the range of symptoms caused by hypocalcemia, and in isolated cases the milder symptoms could suggest dozens of different health issues. To be sure that the cause of one or more of these symptoms is an elevated level of alkalinity, blood tests administered by a physician are required.
Video of the Day
Involuntary Muscle Spasms
Other symptoms cited by the National Institutes of Health include hand tremors, involuntary muscle twitching and sensations of numbness or tingling in the face, arms or legs. It may also lead to tetany, a condition involving prolonged and involuntary muscle spasms, particularly in the hands and feet, as well as cramping, spasms of the larynx and hypersensitive reflexes, according to MedicineNet. Once again, hypocalcemia is another common cause of this collection of symptoms, so a diagnosis of alkalosis should only be declared following the appropriate blood tests.
The University of Maryland Medical Center reports nausea and vomiting as another typical alkalosis symptom, but again, these symptoms by themselves cannot lead one to the conclusion that elevated alkalinity is the root cause. Interestingly, prolonged vomiting can also cause alkalosis, according to the National Institutes of Health. Such instances are specified as hypochloremic alkalosis, brought on by extremely low levels of chloride due to the loss of stomach liquids and other contents.
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.