Blood pH and our Health and the Emoticon Scale

Simple emoticons can teach us about the importance of pH [acid base] to our health and to how we are feeling.

Figure 10-14. Blood pH
Our blood is particularly sensitive to pH. Even slight changes can lead to serious illness and death.
© Science Media Group. from Acids and Bases: The Voyage of the Proton , BUFFERS,

You can see from the simple emoticons that having pH that is slightly too acidic or slightly too alkaline will make you feel bad and you will not know why. Feeling bad is both an emotion and a sensation and is part of your physical being.

When you look at figure 10-14. you can see immediately how pH of the blood will affect mood and internal sensations. You will feel bad if the internal conditions of your body are incompletely met. And your respiratory rate per minute is a clue to the level of your partial pressure of carbon dioxide in your blood. The brain stem uses breathing rate to respond to changing PCO2. Respiratory Rate/minute is the first line of defence against rising acid levels UNLESS there is a problem or injury to the parts making up the respiratory pump. Then the brain and body will have more of a problem regulating pH and carbon dioxide pressure in your blood.

Paula and I think that mood disorders such as manic depressive insanity are due to disturbed pH levels in the blood due to defects in breathing due to anatomical problems [from injury or genetic influence]. This is what Dr Kraepelin understood when he found evidence of too slow respiratory rate/minute in bipolar depression and then too fast, chaotic respiratory rates/minute in the same patient when manic.

Everything boils down to biochemistry.

Everything links back to our individual biochemistry. The pH of the blood is carefully regulated by the body. It must remain right around 7.4 or serious damage results. Do you drink too much alcohol? You are trying to balance your blood pH. It is up to scientists to figure out how. Can’t stop smoking? It must have to do with physical effects affecting pH in some way. It is up to scientists to figure out how. You eat only fast food? It will affect your biochemistry. It is up to scientists to figure out how. You need coffee? Yup …biochemistry. It is up to scientists to figure out how. Here is a clue regarding the effects of taking nervous system stimulants [nicotine] or nervous system depressants [eg. alcohol], these substances will affect your breathing rate and more. That alone will have effects on pH and PCO2.

Everything we do, everything we eat and drink….links to our biochemistry and trying to keep it in the Zone.

After Arrhenius offered his theories about acids and bases, scientists began to first measure and then control the pH of their experimental solutions, which allowed for many biochemical pathways in the human body to be understood.

Biochemical reactions are particularly sensitive to the pH of the solution in which they occur. Blood circulating within the human body has a natural pH of 7.4. Changes of half of a pH unit in either direction (below 6.9 or above 7.9) for a long enough time can cause severe illness or death (Figure 10-14 below). Respiratory defects will make normal pH more difficult to maintain, especially in times of physical illness. Respiratory defects are easy to measure if you choose to look. They are an important clue to your long term quality of life and physical and mental health.

It seems to Paula and me [and we feel Dr E. Kraepelin would agree] that it is time that mental illness researchers learn more the remarkable biochemistry of the human body.


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