Monitor Alkalinity or Urinary pH
Monitoring nightly urinary pH is a means for testing alkalinity. Many studies have concluded that maintaining consistent alkalinity can lead to an improvement in health. Alkalinity begun early in life holds the best promise for positive life long outcomes. This should be done nightly, as the last thing before going to bed. Use dipstix, nitrazine paper, or pH paper with a range of 5.5 to 8.0 called Vivid paper. Microessentials has a catalog number for pH paper on a roll; it is 067. Urinary dipstix are called pHion Diagnostic pH Test Strips.
Why Test Urinary pH?
This is a means to self-monitor your health between doctor's visits. One can receive immediate feedback by correlating urinary alkalinity with lifestyle and dietary changes. Testing lets us know how we are doing; testing let us know if the changes are working; testing allows us to see if we are going toward alkaline, toward health. Testing pH gives information as to which foods, substances, and situations change your own unique body toward alkaline. One can easily correlate this with how they are feeling.
All the data points to alkalinity as a healthy state for the body. This is especially true for a body with cystic organs, such as PKD or PLD. By testing our nightly urinary pH we can observe if we are able to change a yellow acidic urinary pH of 5 towards the alkaline blue pH of 7. Armed with the knowledge of a blue pH paper, we have direct tangible proof that we have succeeded in keeping the body alkaline.
By constantly maintaining a blue 7 pH we have decreased the workload upon our cystic kidneys. There are substantially fewer acids to be cleared through the kidneys. This is giving oneself positive feedback that indeed our kidneys are helped. It is a bit like a pat on the back that one has been successful by instituting these changes.
Testing pH gives information as to which foods, substances, and situations change your own unique body toward alkaline. One can easily correlate this with how you are feeling. Testing pH allows us to supplement with a minimal amount of potent alkalizer (such as potassium citrate) as needed. Testing urinary pH allows us to assure that we are maintaining a balance between the acids produced by the body and the alkaline state needed for optimal health.
Normally with kidney disease the pH of urine runs about 5 when tested in the laboratory; this is an acidic pH, a yellow color reaction with litmus paper. By trying the alkaline lifestyle many have experienced a bettering of their kidney functioning; their GFR; and their liver functioning. Polycystic kidneys are unable to eliminate many of the acids produced by the body. A PKD body has an increased production of acids: uric acid, oxalic acid, lactic acid, and malic acid. The entire job of buffering these acids falls on the flanks of our cystic kidneys.
How do you test urinary pH?
To test urine: Do this just before going to bed; tear a piece of pH paper and pass the paper through your running urine stream. Read and compare against the provided color chart. If you are using a reagent test strip (like pHion) the method is a bit more detailed. Carefully remove the strip from the container. Recap the bottle. Fully dip test strip into a cup containing urine, making sure all the pads are moist and saturated. Draw the edge of the dipstix against the cup container. Blot the edge of the strip. Wait for the appropriate amount of time and compare the color to the given chart.
To test saliva: Before breakfast and before brushing your teeth, make a ball of spit. Push it out on your lips. Touch the pH paper only to the saliva, not to the tongue, lips or inside of the mouth. Read and compare it against the color chart. If you are unable to do this, get a clean plastic spoon, have the pH paper ready. Collect the spit in the spoon and test by dipping pH paper into the spit.