I don’t know about you, but until now, I had never heard about an association between menopause and acidosis, and I’ve already entered the golden years of postmenopause! However, although it appears I passed through perimenopause and menopause without encountering this symptom, some women do not.
What is acidosis?
Acidosis, or more specifically metabolic acidosis, is a process that causes an elevated level of acidity in the bloodstream and other tissues. For those who like a more scientific explanation, it involves an elevated hydrogen ion concentration, which occurs when the body overproduces acid.
When acidosis develops, it also can make the body more susceptible to disease because the pH balance has been disrupted. The presence of acidosis makes the body less able to fight off disease because of this pH imbalance. Acidosis also can inhibit bone formation. This can be especially critical for women in perimenopause and beyond because of the threat of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis may develop because the lungs and kidneys cannot eliminate the high levels of acid. That’s when the body begins to take calcium from the bones, which it uses to neutralize the acid.
Why you may experience acidosis
The relationship between acidosis, perimenopause, and the years that follow largely involves the impact the excess acid has on the risk for osteoporosis. A 2014 study found that postmenopausal women who consumed a diet high in acid (e.g., high in meat and dairy) had lower bone density in their leg and spine than those who had a more balanced diet.
How to manage acidosis naturally
You have a number of ways to manage metabolic acidosis naturally. In one study of postmenopausal women, researchers found that taking the natural supplement potassium bicarbonate for 18 days was able to neutralize acid enough to improve the balance between calcium and phosphorus, increase the rate of bone formation, and reduce bone loss.
You also can adopt a few lifestyle changes to ward off acidosis. For example:
- Alter your diet: Steer clear of foods high in acid and toward those high in magnesium, which helps balance acidity. Here are a few suggestions: Avoid sugars, soft drinks, beer, canned foods, wheat, dairy, chocolate (sorry!), peanuts, beans, coffee, pork, beef, and eggs. All of these foods are acidic.
- Focus on eating alkaline foods such as fruits and vegetables (including dry fruits, citrus, garlic, greens), green tea, fermented soy products, nuts, beans and legumes, and soy products. You will find an extensive list of possibilities in this category!
- Cleanse your body frequently. Several natural supplements (herbs and nutrients) can be very helpful in both nourishing your body and eliminating toxins from your body on a regular basis. Some of them include spirulina, chlorella, blue-green algae, probiotics, garlic, cruciferous vegetables, hyssop tea, parsley, peppermint tea, and pure water.
- Drink alkaline water. You can purchase alkaline water at many supermarkets. Alkaline water is an easy and effective way to neutralize the acid in your body. You also can buy a water filtration system with an ionizer.
when to see a health provider
On some occasions, acidosis can cause symptoms that signal it’s time to see your doctor. These include rapid and shallow breathing, confusion, headache, increased heart rate, sleepiness, lack of appetite, fatigue, and jaundice. Don’t hesitate to make that appointment!
Acidosis associated with the years around menopause is not real common. However, you should be aware of the possibility, especially because it can have a damaging effect on your bone health and your overall health as well.