First, what is conductivity?
It is the measure of how well something conducts electricity. A conductivity meter which does such a thing consists of the meter component and an electrode component. We’ll get back to discussing more on this a little bit later.
Why is this measure important?
It goes back to the concept of zeta potential discussed elsewhere. If you have read those posts (and you should before your read this) you will know that the blood is a colloidal suspension under the control of zeta potential. It is essentially the anions and cations in the system that determine the bloods rheological characteristics, i.e. the ability to maintain flow, and…
If flow is disturbed, the body is disturbed.
The sum total of anions and cations in a system will be a better or poorer conductor of electricity depending upon the makeup of such in the system.
The blood has 19 major and minor core minerals of anionic and cationic charge that when in their right ratios and proportions to each other, will have a specific conductance measure of 12 milliSeimens. Siemens is the measure of conductance. It is also referred to as mhos. (This is also ohms spelled backwards –
In the zeta potential discourse we talked of 12,000 micromhos of conductivity. This is the same as saying 12,000 microsiemens. Or move the decimal over to the left 3 places and we go from micro to milli. So we could also just say 12 millisiemens. Meters used to measure such will usually output millisiemens.
So, when blood is in its right range of anionic and cationic charge, it has a specific conductance measure of 12mS. (This is the abbreviation for milliSiemens).
You could say it is the kidney’s job to keep the blood at 12mS of conductivity. Anything that the body does not need from a moment to moment basis gets filtered by those kidneys.
Urine is basically blood filtrate. Blood passes through the kidneys and gets filtered.
If you measure urine conductivity and it measures 36mS, you know the kidneys are working about 3 times harder than they ought to be working to filter excess load out of the system.
Some people might say that that is simply the job of the kidneys. While it is, the increased pressure that is exerted on the kidneys to deal with this excess electrical conductivity over time exerts a toll on these two little guys.
Going further, high conductivity reflects excess electrical load, which reflects potential increasing oxidation processes along with a concurrent loss of zeta potential. Bottom line, it’s a big marker for cardiovascular and renal stress.
As half the population today is dying from cardiovascular renal stress, being able to address it effectively seems to be a great thing to do. The conductivity meter is one simple tool that is most powerful to point you in that direction.
A Simple Tool Builds a Clinic
You will recall from the zeta potential discourse how Dr. T.C. McDaniel ran an entire and very successful cardiovascular renal practice based on this one single tool.
When people came to the clinic, first thing he’d have them do is pee in a cup. Then go over to the meter to check the conductivity. Based on that he would teach them what it means, and how to keep their number in an appropriate range so they could well beat the odds of ever having to experience cardiovascular and renal ill health.
This is big stuff. It is true preventive and proactive health advocacy.
Here is a graph from one of our measurement data sheets. The left side is where urine mS conductivity measures would be marked, and the right side is for the saliva measure.
What follows is an excerpt from some of our training material that discusses the conductivity measure. It will give you more of an idea of the conductivity measure and how it applies to physiology.
We have a generally healthy zone of conductivity from 7mS to 16mS for urine and 4.5mS to 5.5mS for saliva.
12mS on urine is the 1:1 point for the kidneys. Blood conductivity will measure 12mS if the blood contains all of the correct minerals in their correct proportions with proper hydration. 12mS of conductivity in urine means that the kidneys are not working any harder than required and are simply doing their job. Start cruising above 12mS and you can see how the kidneys are starting to work a little harder to concentrate out the excess “stuff” in the blood to maintain homeostasis. See a reading of 48mS for example and you know the kidneys are working 4 times harder then necessary. Keep that up and cardiovascular / renal failure is in the works. Will you see people with these high numbers? Every day.
Urine conductivity readings are a key indicator for cardiovascular and renal risk. You will note on the chart that as conductivity increases, so does the ionization level, electrical current flow, and osmotic pressure. These things are directly related to cardiovascular and renal stress. When we look at pH, you will discover that pH is a measure of the resistance to the flow of electricity. Conductivity is measuring how much electricity is flowing. Take a lot of electricity, an alkaline blood pH which offers more resistance to the flow of electricity, and what do you get? Someone that is pushing a lot of current through a hot liquid wire. Next thing you know they could be burning a hole right through a vascular wall which leads to a stroke.
Numbers high on the chart for urine past 12mS often shows an increasing electrolyte load in the blood. The scenario illustrated above is just one of many possibilities.
The #1 thing to do is to drink more pure, clean water. Clinically there are other items to pursue, but this will be covered in other sections.
Is it possible to have electrolyte deficiency? Clinically yes, it is seen all the time. Oftentimes it can happen when someone completely avoids all salt because they think that is a healthy thing to do and concurrently over-
The body needs electricity to run. If people fall low on conductivity/electricity, you may see these individuals prone to dropping things, are a little spacey, uncoordinated, not able to hold thoughts well, etc.
When an individual has low urine conductivity, it may be that they are just drinking a lot of water, and you can look at the saliva reading for correlation. This might be the case if saliva were in normal range. But if saliva were low also, it is showing that the individual is likely electrolyte deficient. We have seen cases where an individual fits in this category and is drinking a lot of water each day. When told to stop drinking so much they say it is the only thing that gives them energy to complete the day, they cannot stop drinking. Here the individual is so electrolyte deficient and in an effort to get some electricity, they are drinking water like crazy to get even the miniscule amount of minerals they can from the water to keep their body going.
Another scenario might present urine low and saliva high. This could be a big pointer to renal mis-
Sometimes you will see cases where the urine is high and the saliva is low. It appears on the surface from the urine that the individual has electrolyte stress. But the saliva tells you something else is going on.
These people are usually not drinking water, and if you pushed them to drink they would not feel well as they don’t have enough electricity to run properly. Their body is telling them they are not thirsty in an effort to hang on to anything it can to create some electrical activity. But yet not drinking enough water to preserve whatever electricity they can is also backing up metabolic waste on a cellular level. These individuals need to drink water but it has to happen concurrently while they reestablish their electrolytes.
The saliva measurement in a fashion is a reflection of what is going on with the lymphatic system. The lymphatics is the body’s second flow system. It primarily clears plasma proteins (along with toxins & cell waste) away from the interstitial spaces around the cells, and into the lymphatic vessels that parallel the blood stream.
Excess conductivity in saliva may reflect lymphatic system stress. Reflected against high urine conductivity and you have a system with a lot of electrolyte stress overall and you can probably assume involvement with blood and lymph both. With high conductivity of the urine at least you can assume the kidneys are working (though quite hard) and that hard work is an on-
To really key in on what is going on with overall electrolyte status for health, we would want to turn to obtaining specific clinostatic and orthostatic blood pressure and pulse readings. This works in conjunction with the conductivity measures to refine the perspective.
This was a quick and brief review of the conductivity measure. It is a great thing to have in your health toolkit, sitting right along side your pH meter.
Here’s a picture of a simple conductivity meter. Not all meters are the same. Two important things you have to have in your meter are the ability to do small sample size (for saliva) and an auto-
Here is the pocket conductivity meter paired with the pocket pH meter. These are the perfect companions for your very own simple biological toolkit to learn about health and physiology at a whole new level to keep yourself and family healthy.
This is the conductivity meter we use. It reads 2 to 19.9mS at 0.1mS accuracy, and 20 to 199mS at 1 mS/cm accuracy with dual point calibration and temperature correction. $160.
The pH meter is also the one we use. It also has dual point calibration. $140.
Purchased from our store, both meters are packaged with access to the login section of our site to get the Biomedx training guides for these.