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Benefits of alkaline water

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Discover the benefits of alkaline water.

You may have already heard about alkaline water and its many properties and benefits.

And, although there are few studies on the matter, many companies and individuals maintain that drinking alkaline water frequently is beneficial for health.

Its promoters claim that it can help delay the aging process, regulate the body’s pH level and prevent diseases such as asthma, dermatitis, neuralgia, among others.

And so much, and so contradictory, is the information about alkaline water, that a large number of people, concerned about their well-being, have turned to see it as a very good alternative to improve and maintain health.

But what is true in this?

What is alkaline water?

It is a type of water subjected to an ionization process that separates the alkaline and acidic fractions, increasing the pH and raising it to more than seven units.

The pH of water is determined by the minerals that are in suspension and can be defined as the measure of the acidity of a medium.

Seven (7) is the pH balance point. Below that level, it is considered an acid medium, and above 7 a basic or alkaline medium.

It must be remembered that the planet’s natural water is found in acidity levels between 6.5 and 9 pH units. Levels higher than 9 are usually toxic.

It is important to clarify that if the degree of alkalinization of the water is low, it does not have to cause any problem to the human being. However, excessively alkaline waters can cause damage to the stomach.

According to Healthline, one of the negative side effects of drinking alkaline water includes reducing the natural acidity of the stomach.

How is alkaline water obtained?

Alkaline water can be obtained in different ways. One of them is to buy it packaged in supermarkets or health food stores.

However, in 2019 the Federal Consumer Protection Office conducted a qualitative study of 22 alkaline water brands, in which it concluded that 19 of those 22 products offered unproven benefits on their labels to the consumer.

It can also be obtained through water purifiers, whose filter system retains sediment and bacteria, providing water with a high degree of minerals such as sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

Another way to get it is at home. One option is to alkalize the water by boiling it for 5 minutes. In this way, it will increase its pH to 8.4, which is already considered alkaline water. It can also be obtained by adding half a tablespoon of baking soda to a glass of water. The pH will rise to 7.9.

In both cases, it’s important to use distilled water, because tap water or bottled water may have other additives.

What is the pH of water?

After talking so much about pH, you may be wondering what it is. The pH is a test that is carried out to know the quality of the water and indicates its acidity or alkalinity. Typically, these measurements are run on a scale of 0 to 14, with 7.0 being the neutral measurement.

From here, and above 8 points, they are considered alkaline. Below, they are considered acidic, always keeping in mind that in these measurements each point represents a tenfold change in acidity. That is, a pH of 6 would be 10 times more acidic than pH 7.

To give an example, we will say that lemon juice, which is an acidic liquid, has a pH of 2.5, while coffee has a pH of 5. On the other side of the scale, with a pH of 12, we would have water. limestone, which is when rainwater falls on an area with porous rock and soaks into the ground.

As it filters through the rock, it picks up and dissolves particles and minerals such as calcium and magnesium, gaining hardness and alkalinity.

At this point, you will surely ask yourself, what is the recommended pH of the water? According to experts -as established, for example, in the relevant regulations of the European Union- the pH of drinking water should be between 6.5 units and 9.5 units.

How to measure the pH of the water

There are manual and automatic pH meters. They are very simple and easy-to-use devices. And although automatic ones are more expensive, a manual meter will be just as effective at regulating water.

It is a kit that includes a test tube, two tubes, and reagents (substances or compounds to cause a chemical reaction).

You just have to take a sample of the water and, after following the instructions on the package, check what color the water stained with the reagent acquires.

Once the color is obtained, you should read the manufacturer’s instructions to know the degree of alkalinity.

Benefits of alkaline water

There are many benefits attributed to alkaline water. However, many studies are still lacking in this regard. Among the benefits that drinking alkaline water is said to have are:

It helps detoxify the body. Drinking alkaline water daily can neutralize acidity and remove acidic waste products from cells and tissues.

What is an antioxidant? Alkaline water is said to act as an antioxidant, scavenging and neutralizing harmful free radicals that damage skin and are responsible for aging.

This occurs because it supposedly can give up electrons and can effectively neutralize and block free radical damage in the body.

It helps balance the pH of the body. Alkaline water helps balance the body’s pH, which tends to be acidic due to a high-acid diet, stress, and exposure to environmental toxins like smog.

That improves the immune system. According to alkaline water enthusiasts, it preserves the immune system in a better state, which, as you know, is in charge of preparing the body to fight diseases.

That improves hydration. In the case of exercise-induced dehydration, the idea is supported that electrolyzed alkaline water reduces blood viscosity and vascular resistance.

What is an adjuvant in skincare? In addition to the health benefits attributed to drinking it, bathing in alkaline water is said to improve skin-related problems as well.

Lowers blood glucose levels. In some Asian countries, studies have been carried out that have shown that drinking alkaline water balances the functioning of the pancreas, thus helping to control blood glucose levels.

It helps in disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. Since alkaline water has a higher pH, its natural ability to neutralize acids in the stomach makes it a good choice for treating gastrointestinal tract disorders such as hyperacidity, diarrhea, etc.

It is said that in cases of laryngopharyngeal and gastroesophageal reflux diseases, alkaline water is efficient in neutralizing acid in the stomach.

That prevents osteoporosis. The human body strives to be slightly alkaline. The ideal pH level is 7.3 to 7.45. Alkaline water, which is obtained through purifiers, reaches these values and can even exceed them.

Those levels are very favorable for the human body. Well, consuming alkaline water prevents the body from extracting calcium from the bones to bring them to an alkaline state. That way you would be helping to prevent osteoporosis.

Is it good to drink alkaline water?

Some people claim that a more alkaline diet – including drinking alkaline water – can help reduce the body’s acidity and thus lead to better health and fitness.

And while the term “alkaline” has become a buzzword in health circles, the idea that everyone needs to drink alkaline water is a bit of a stretch.

Alkaline water is a controversial topic. Many health professionals say that there is not enough research to support the many health claims made by users and sellers.

Differences in research results may be related to the types of alkaline water studies.

According to the Mayo Clinic, plain water is best for most people and they maintain that there is no scientific evidence to fully verify the claims made by supporters of alkaline water.

However, some studies suggest alkaline water might be helpful for certain conditions.

For example:

A 2012 study found that drinking naturally carbonated alkaline well water with a pH of 8.8 can help deactivate pepsin, the main enzyme that causes acid reflux.

Another study suggested that drinking alkaline ionized water may have benefits for people with high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

A more recent study, involving 100 people, found a significant difference in blood viscosity after consuming high-pH water, compared to regular water, after intense training. Viscosity is the direct measure of how efficiently blood flows through the vessels.

Those who consumed water with a high pH reduced viscosity by 6.3% compared to 3.36% for standard purified drinking water.

This means that blood flows more efficiently with alkaline water. This can increase the supply of oxygen to the entire body.

However, beyond these isolated studies, more research is needed regarding alkaline water. In particular, research is needed to verify whether alkaline water offers all the benefits claimed by its promoters.

Despite the lack of proven scientific research, proponents of alkaline water still believe in its health benefits.

Therefore, when asked if it is worth buying and consuming this type of water, the answer is that it is better to hydrate with purified water.

There is a wide variety of point-of-use water purifiers on the market, both for offices and for the home, that purify water from the public network to obtain a liquid free of bacteria and viruses, with the pH that our organism needs.

There is a 2012 study that states that while an alkaline diet (including water) can reduce morbidity and mortality from chronic diseases, regular consumption of fruits and vegetables and an overall healthy diet are necessary.

Alkaline water is not a miracle product and is not a substitute for the benefits of a proper diet and healthy lifestyle.

It is also necessary to take into account that each organism has a unique pH, and our bodies naturally do a fantastic job of maintaining the pH of the blood within the necessary levels. Therefore, it is important to be cautious.

Finally, although there is indeed no contraindication regarding the consumption of this type of water, it is important to take into account how much alkaline water should be taken per day since it is not recommended to exceed its consumption since the body will always require natural liquid; that is, neither very alkaline nor very acidic either.

More than alkaline water, we need to improve our lifestyle

As you have seen, there is not enough research to support the benefits attributed to alkaline water.

It should be understood that the benefits could only be confirmed when combined with a healthy diet (rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains), an active lifestyle (30 minutes of daily exercise), healthy sleep and rest habits, as well as avoid the consumption of alcohol and tobacco.

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Managing Chronic Pain: Integrative Techniques for Wellness

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Chronic Pain clinic near me

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding chronic pain and its various treatment options is essential for effective management.
  • Lifestyle factors, including diet, exercise, and sleep, can significantly influence chronic pain.
  • Integrative techniques, including medical treatments and complementary therapies, are vital in tackling pain holistically.

Understanding Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a persistent type of pain that can last for months or years and may be caused by various factors. In contrast to acute pain, it can continue even after the original injury has healed. Healthcare professionals evaluate a patient’s self-reported pain level and the impact it has on their daily activities to address the complexity of chronic pain. When the underlying cause is unknown, multidisciplinary approaches are necessary to relieve pain.

The Role of Lifestyle in Chronic Pain Management

In the quest for relief, many find solace in discovering a reputable pain clinic near me that employs a range of treatment options. Diet and chronic pain have a significant, if not entirely understood, relationship. Pro-inflammatory foods, excessive caffeine, alcohol, and refined sugars tend to exacerbate inflammation, potentially intensifying pain. On the other hand, anti-inflammatory foods such as fatty fish, greens, nuts, and seeds may help reduce inflammation and, as a result, pain. Consistent hydration and balanced meals can support the body’s natural coping mechanisms. Creating a personalized diet plan with a nutritionist or dietician can be a proactive step in managing chronic pain through lifestyle. Being physically active is critical to managing chronic pain.

Medical Treatments for Chronic Pain Relief

Medications often serve as the first line of defense in chronic pain management. NSAIDs, for example, are commonly used to alleviate inflammation and pain. Antidepressants and anticonvulsants can also be prescribed for their pain-relieving properties. Caution must be taken, especially with more robust, potentially habit-forming medications such as opioids; these should only be used when necessary and with a strict plan for monitoring and tapering. Furthermore, patients are encouraged to ask their healthcare providers about potential side effects and interactions with other medications.

Beyond pharmacological measures, interventional treatments like nerve blocks, epidural steroid injections, and radiofrequency ablation offer non-surgical pain relief for various conditions. In some cases, these targeted procedures may provide lengthy periods of relief and help patients engage in physical therapy and rehabilitation more effectively.

With chronic pain being such a dynamic and individualized issue, research into new therapeutic methods is ongoing. Treatments such as platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) and stem cell injections are emerging as potential alternatives. They focus on repairing damaged tissues and reducing pain naturally. However, consulting with experienced pain management specialists before considering these advanced options is essential.

Psychological Approaches to Pain Management

Chronic pain has deep psychological and emotional roots in addition to physical causes. Therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) address the thought patterns that can worsen pain perception and decrease the quality of life. Patients can learn to change these thoughts, engage in positive behaviors, and develop strategies to manage setbacks in their pain journey. Biofeedback is a technique that measures and provides real-time data on bodily functions, such as heart rate, muscle tension, and skin temperature. It helps patients gain voluntary control over these functions, and mastering such autonomic processes can improve pain management and give a greater sense of personal power.

Emotional well-being is integral to pain management, as negative emotions can intensify pain perception. Healthcare providers may recommend therapy sessions to address the psychological impacts of chronic pain, helping individuals cope with associated feelings of frustration, depression, or isolation. These therapeutic approaches highlight the importance of treating chronic pain as a comprehensive, biopsychosocial condition.

Navigating the Healthcare System

The complexity of healthcare systems can add a layer of stress for those managing chronic pain. Advocacy is critical. Patients must feel empowered to ask questions and make informed decisions regarding their care. Understanding how health insurance works, what treatments are covered, and how to access necessary medications is imperative. Healthcare professionals can also be invaluable allies in helping patients navigate these systems and ensure that they receive appropriate and timely care.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Pain Management

As we learn more about pain, there is hope for better pain management through new treatments and technologies. For example, virtual reality therapies can help distract patients from pain and reduce its intensity by immersing them in relaxing environments. Scientists are also exploring innovations in pharmaceuticals, non-invasive brain stimulation techniques, and cognitive behavioral therapy apps to treat chronic pain more effectively. Additionally, personalized medicine, which considers an individual’s genetic makeup, lifestyle, and environmental factors, is set to revolutionize pain management.

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