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Blood pH

Blood pH

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This lesson will examine the kidneys role in maintaining blood pH.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

Welcome to this lesson on maintaining blood pH. Today you will be discussing the kidney's role in maintaining the blood pH. Specifically, you will be learning about:

  1. pH Balance Overview
  2. pH Management

1. pH Balance Overview

Kidneys are organs of the body that help maintain the body's acid-base balance. Acid-base balance is the amount of acids and bases found in extra cellular fluids of the body. Normal body pH is between 7.37 to 7.43. If you're familiar with the pH scale you know that a pH of seven is neutral, a pH of less than seven is acidic, and a pH of more than seven is basic. If our pH is 7.37 to 7.43, that's slightly more than seven, which means the normal pH of the body is slightly basic.

In order for our body to function properly, for our cells and enzymes to function optimally, pH needs to stay within this range. If it's not maintained or if it gets really far out of range, severe problems can occur.

Term to Know

    • Acid-Base Balance
    • The amounts of acids and bases in the extracellular fluids of the body; amounts of acids vs. bases affects the overall pH of extracellular fluids.



2. pH Management

pH is managed by eliminating excess hydrogen ions and restoring bicarbonate buffers. Bicarbonate is a basic substance while hydrogen ions are acidic substances. Our body has mechanisms in order to help maintain our blood's pH.

  • Too Acidic

If blood is too acidic, meaning that the pH is low, what the body is going to do is buffer excess hydrogen ions with bicarbonate. Acids and bases interact and combine with one another to neutralize one another. If blood is too acidic, or there's too many hydrogen ions in the blood, then bicarbonate will help to buffer the extra hydrogen ions. More bicarbonate will be released into the blood in order to buffer those extra hydrogen ions and then bring the pH back to a normal range.

  • Too Basic

If blood is too basic, meaning that the pH is high or higher than normal, then less bicarbonate is released into the bloodstream. This will reduce the amount of hydrogen ions buffered and help to bring pH down.

Things that can cause blood to become too basic are dehydration, overuse of antacids, and sometimes hormone disorders can cause the blood to become too basic. Antacids, or sometimes hormone disorders can cause the blood to become too basic. In this case, less bicarbonate would be released into the bloodstream, so that less hydrogen will buffered and pH will return to normal.

Summary

So this lesson has been an overview on how the kidneys help to maintain the body's acid-base balance. Specifically, you learned about pH management.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR AMANDA SODERLIND

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Acid-Base Balance

    The amounts of acids and bases in the extracellular fluids of the body; amounts of acids vs. bases affects the overall pH of extracellular fluids.