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Gout is probably the best-known "acid disease" caused by too much uric acid, which forms crystals in the joints and cause inflammation and pain. In reality, hundreds of diseases are associated with over acidity. Many infectious diseases are linked to acidity because many types of harmful bacteria thrive in a mildly acidic environment. As do cancer cells.
Over acidity causes
Acidity also causes osteoporosis or bone loss, kidney stones, kidney failure, age-related muscle wasting and exercise-induced asthma.
How over acidity happens?
The confusion about acid and alkaline is that it does not depend on the taste of the food. Rather, it depends on the final result after your food has been digested. The classic example is lemon, which tastes sour and acidic. But eating lemons will make your body environment more alkaline.
- Acid is formed when elements combine with hydrogen. Elements that combine easily with hydrogen are sulphur, phosphorous, chlorine and iodine. Foods that are rich in these elements are acid-forming foods.
- Alkaline is formed by elements that do not combine with hydrogen. Alkaline forming foods are those rich in minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron.
Looking at the above lists, it is easy to understand how the modern diet creates an acidic body environment. It is not that acid-forming foods are "bad”. We need them too. Indeed, an overly alkaline body environment will also cause health problems. But most people today have an overly acidic body environment.
To test your acid-alkaline balance
A simple way to test your acid-alkaline balance is to place a piece of litmus paper at the tip of your tongue. The paper should turn blue, showing a slightly alkaline condition.
This content is adapted, with permission, from Book 1 of 2 : The Wonders of Nutrition by Dr Ang Poon Liat. MBBS, M.MED (PAED), MRCP (UK PAED), FAMS, MD.