In 2015, an article in Urology Times showed that managing pH levels in urine is an important step in controlling UTIs. It specifically said this: “changing pH by itself promoted or inhibited bacterial growth in urine”.
The good news is that pH levels can be managed by what we eat and drink, so we now have another natural way to control UTIs.
What Is pH and How Does It Predict UTIs?
The pH is the measurement of how acidic or alkaline a person’s urine is. We know that when UTI-causing bacteria are present in the urine they start to change the balance of the pH. This is an early warning sign that we need to pay attention to.
pH levels can be checked by using test strips which include the pH test. A normal urine pH is between 6 and 7. When test strips show that the number is below 6 (acidic) or above 7 (alkaline), bacteria may be present and can quickly multiply if not controlled properly.
So, If the pH Is Either Too Acidic or Too Alkaline I Am In Trouble?
Yes. Scientists and microbiologists originally thought that only pH levels above 7 (very alkaline) predicted the presence of bacteria.
But a more recent study found that the answer depends on what type of bacteria is in the urine as to whether your pH becomes acidic or alkaline.
To Find Out What Type of Bacteria Are Present You Need A Urine Culture
While test strips may show that your pH level is out of whack, they do not identify the type of bacteria that may be present in your urine. You will need to have your urine sent out to a lab to obtain this level of detail.
The chart below lists all of the possible types of UTI-causing bacteria. When you receive the urine culture results in your portal, match them to the information below and follow the instructions to re-balance your pH by changing your diet. This will prevent the bacteria from multiplying and causing trouble.
E. Coli and Klebsiella Bacteria Multiply In An Acidic Environment
As you can see, two bacteria which are responsible for almost 75% of all UTIs, so your urine culture is likely to show one of these. They are: E. Coli and Klebsiella (highlighted in aqua).
Both of these bacteria grow quickly in an acidic environment. So, if the test strips are showing a pH level below 6, and the culture shows you have one of these two bacteria, you will need to make your urine more alkaline to control these germs to prevent them from becoming a full-blown UTI.
How To Make Increase Your pH and Make It More Alkaline With Diet
The quickest way to increase your urine pH is to avoid eating or drinking things which are known to acidify the urine such as: cranberry juice, orange juice, alcohol, and Vitamin C.
Then start adding these items to your regular diet:
- pH water or coconut water
- Citrus fruits, such as lemon, oranges, and lime. These are acidic foods with a pH of nearly 2.0.; surprisingly, after they are metabolized in the body, they have an alkalizing effect.
- Other fruits such as: Kiwi, figs, pears, pineapple, watermelon, apples, apricots
- Root vegetables such as: beetroot, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots
- Green beans, string beans and lima beans
All Other Types of Bacteria Multiply In An Alkaline Environment
If the test strips show a pH level above 7, and your urine culture shows any one of the other bacteria besides E. Coli and Klebsiella, you will want to bring your pH level down by acidifying your urine.
How To Decrease Your pH and Make It More Acidic With Diet
Stop consuming citrus fruits and juices, milk and other dairy products, root vegetables and green beans, all of which make the urine more alkaline.
Start eating more protein (beef, poultry or fish; eggs; nuts) and carbs (white or brown rice, cereal and bread).
Add cranberries, plums or prunes to your diet.
Salads are also helpful for lowering pH levels.
Think Of Test Strips As Your New Best Friend
As this article shows, staying on top of the pH status of your urine could help you avoid a serious UTI. People who have experienced long-term chronic infections, and seniors who do not get the typical UTI symptoms, can benefit from this type of “early warning system”.
But not all test strips are alike. Look for strips which have 3 tests: leukocytes, nitrites and pH. Click here to buy.
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