The entire human system undergoes a complete makeover during pregnancy. Urine is generally acidic but in pregnancy, it can tend to become alkaline. The pregnant women and the growing fetus are sensitive to pH and are not relevant to the alkaline diet that one consumes. This phenomenon is associated with other body conditions such as blood pressure, body temperature and the balance between electrolytes and water in the body.
The pH of the blood is controlled by blood with the help of its chemical buffers or the bicarbonates and phosphate ion buffers. Also, hemoglobin present in the blood is also a buffering agent that maintains the blood pH levels. If the pH drops, the respiratory system acts quickly, breathing rate increases and cause the person to exhale Co2 faster than normal. Vomiting in pregnancy can also make the system alkaline, causing the breathing to slow down.
Alkalinity in Pregnancy:
Vomiting and heartburns are common in pregnancy, heartburns happen when the stomach acid leaks into the esophagus. The growing uterus is pushing the stomach causing the acid to reflux and thus alters the alkalinity of the blood, if the blood is alkaline, then there are all chances that the urine also turns alkaline. Alkaline urine in pregnancy is common and can be contributed to other factors as well.
ALP or alkaline phosphatase is a liver enzyme that is produced by the kidneys, liver, bones, placenta and small intestine. During pregnancy, the elevation of alkaline phosphatase can be related to HELLP syndrome, intrahepatic cholestasis and can also be of placental origin. ALP is physiologically produced by the placenta at the point of its brush border membranes of the syncytiotrophoblast. ALP appears in the blood of the pregnant women between its 15th and 26th weeks and also enhances many folds during the third semester.
Generally, the production of alkaline phosphatase or the diffusion of the same in the material serum is common and the level of total serum ALP remains normal. When there is an abnormal elevation of ALP in the maternal serum, then such conditions can be associated with a genetic abnormality of the developing fetus. According to some doctors, elevated material serum alkalinity can be associated with preterm delivery as well.
Urine Alkalinity in Pregnancy:
A Number of studies were performed to determine the acidity or alkalinity of the urine of pregnant women. In a normal pregnancy, the vaginal pH was found to be between 3.8 and 4.0 at the mid-vaginal and at the anterior and the posterior fornix. In pregnant women with preterm labor or with prolonged rupture of the membranes, the pH was found to be slightly increased between 4.2 and 4.5. Elevated values of the pH are due to the disturbance in the vaginal flora. It is important to note that urine and vaginal pH measurement for detecting infection in preterm labor and to clarify preterm labor in suspicious cases.
Alkaline urine pregnancy can be associated with minor issues such as over intake of an alkaline diet or due to major trouble such as preterm labor. Prompt diagnosis and medical intervention will help in avoiding pregnancy complications.
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