Acidosis and skin issues
After a weekend of hot pizza and red wine followed by cold pizza and coffee the next morning, I felt pretty bad (for those of you wondering, yes I really did eat that. I have no excuse except to say that my partner is away so I am eating rubbish). So I decided to do another skin detox and so got out my copy of The Healthy Skin Diet by Karen Fischer. One concept from the book I really like is the idea that acidic systems create health problems, including of course skin issues. This is neatly explained by this excerpt from Karen’s book in which she explains why acidosis is so detrimental.
Chapter 3 from “The Healthy Skin Diet” by Karen Fischer (printed with permission from Karen and Exsile Publishing)
Think green and friendly
‘Think green and friendly’ is not a mantra for a hippy commune; it is an essential step for beautiful skin, involving ‘friendly’ gut flora and ‘green’ foods and drinks that have an alkalising effect on the body. Technically speaking, some parts of your body should be acidic, such as your stomach when it produces digestive acids and your outer layer of skin with its protective acid mantle. However in general, your body’s tissues and blood should be slightly alkaline.
For years I ignored the concept of balancing the body’s pH with alkalising foods. Now when I look back I feel so silly. This guideline is really simple and you quickly see and feel your health improving so you know it’s working!
What happens if your body is too acidic?
According to Dr Guerrero, acidosis can damage cells in your body. An acid-producing lifestyle can also reduce the amount and quality of collagen and elastin being produced so you can end up with premature ageing and wrinkles. Good quality collagen and elastin is essential for youthful-looking skin. Too many acids in the body can also cause demineralisation, which can lead to dry and cracked skin, fingernails that split easily and thin, brittle hair. According to Dr Guerrero, having an overly acidic system can also do damage to your red blood cells so they alter in shape, clump together and they can die prematurely. Your red blood cells should look like round, flat discs — a bit like red frisbees or a throat lozenge — floating freely through your blood plasma. They should also have a negative charge on the outside and a positive charge on the inside. When your red blood cells are negatively charged on the outside as they should be, they cannot clump together. They repel. Unfortunately, when acid strips some of your red blood cells of their negative charge they start attracting each other and they form clumps. Your red blood cells should not clump together unless you’ve cut yourself and the blood flow needs to be stopped from escaping. Otherwise your blood needs to flow without clotting.
Your skin is usually the first thing to suffer when red blood cell health is poor. Your red blood cells carry oxygen to your skin but when they are sticky and bulky they cannot give your outer layer a quick and efficient supply of oxygen. Your skin may also look dull and possibly even pasty or greyish from low oxygen supply. You can also feel very lethargic if your blood is sluggish with damaged red blood cells that aren’t supplying enough oxygen. No wonder people often wake up tired after eight hours’ sleep and need a coffee pick-me-up! Fill out the following questionnaire to see if your body is showing any signs of acidosis. Circle any symptoms you experience on a regular basis (three or more times a week):
Common symptoms of acidosis
- fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome
- fatigue or weakness after eating meals
- frequent colds and flu, low immunity
- poor circulation, cold hands/feet
- low blood pressure
- burning sensation during urination
- kidney stones
- excessive urination
- pallor, dull complexion
- gastrointestinal problems: abdominal pains, cramps, acid reflux, diarrhoea, gas, ulcers
- agitation, nervousness, anxiety,
- depression, lack of ambition, lack of joy
- dental problems: bleeding or inflamed gums, cavities, cracked lips, loose teeth, tooth sensitivity
- muscle cramps or spasms, tension in neck and shoulders
- joint pain, arthritis-like pain
- nail and hair problems: brittle hair, hair loss, split nails
- allergies, runny nose, chronic bronchitis
- vaginal discharge, candida albicans
- skin problems: dry skin, eczema, acne, hives, itchy skin, red and patchy skin
- osteoporosis, brittle bones
- insomnia, restless sleep.
If you have circled four or more symptoms then you may have too much acid in your body. In the next blog (a few days from now) Karen discusses how to test for acidosis and what you can actually do to change this state for yourself. Hint: chlorophyll and green leafies help. And I should know, after the weekend, I am focusing on a largely plant based diet to give my body a break!