How alkalinity and body pH affects SIBO + IBS

Before SIBO, I had heard about wanting your body’s pH to be more alkaline than acidic, but honestly, I had no idea what that really meant.

In learning more about SIBO, I discovered that our body requires an alkaline state to function well, and the western diet many of us follow unfortunately tends to keep most individuals pretty acidic.

What’s a good pH level for SIBO?

When we have low stomach acid (try the HCl Challenge to find out yours), our body lacks the ability to activate protein-digesting enzymes in our stomach, called pepsin. We need a pH level of around 7.0-7.4 to ensure optimal digestion. The goal is never to eliminate acid completely, because our stomachs need it to break down foods. But low, balanced pH inhibits bad bacteria from growing which is important for SIBO sufferers.

Discover Your pH from day to day

You can purchase your own pH testing strips on amazon or any drugstore. You can test your saliva, urine, or both, and chart your results so you can log your personal progress.  I’ve included the chart below to help you determine what your results mean.  

Since being diagnosed with IBS and SIBO myself, I have tested my urine and saliva to keep track of my pH levels.  While they’ve improved over time, my body is still too acidic, typically around 6.0-6.3, so I continue to monitor my personal results and eat lots of alkalizing foods to progress and continue to heal.

What foods should I be eating?

Highly acidic foods include meats, dairy, and alcohol.

Highly alkaline foods include nuts, legumes, veggies and some fruits.

The foods recommended in my SIBO protocol will offer you a good balance of the alkalizing foods you need, while eliminating almost all the acidic foods.

Also, it’s a common misconception that lemon is highly acidic - but it’s actually one of the most alkalizing ingredients you can have because when lemon juice is fully metabolized and its minerals are dissociated in the bloodstream, its effect is alkalizing!  Lemons and limes are delicious and healthy additions to your diet!

A quick recipe to shift your pH in your favor:

Taking advantage of our savior, lemon - you can start the day with warm water and squeeze in a half a lemons worth of juice. It’s a refreshing and healthy way to start the day and one I highly recommend!