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Introduction to acidosis

Acidosis is a condition in which the acidity of the blood is increased. This occurs when the arterial pH falls under 7.35, which the alkalosis is at over 7.45.

In order to distinguish between the main causes, an arterial blood gas analysis test will be needed.

Acidemia is a tern that signifies a state in which the blood has a low pH level, which acidosis is the process that leads to this state.

However, the terms are usually interchangeable.


The root of the problem usually starts with the kidneys and lungs. These two organs work to maintain the proper pH balance of chemicals in the body. Acidosis occurs when the acid build up increases or the base levels are lost.

There are two types of acidosis, respiratory and metabolic.

The respiratory type occurs when there is too much carbon dioxide in the body. This is usually caused by some other condition that is not allowing the carbon dioxide to be removed from the body.

This type of acidosis is also referred to as hypercapnic and carbon dioxide acidosis.

Some of the most common causes of this type of acidosis include chest deformities such as kyphosis, injuries to the chest and a weakness of the chest muscles, chronic lung disease, or the over-use of sedatives.

The other type, metabolic acidosis, occurs when there is too much acid being produced because the kidneys are not able to remove enough amounts of acid from the body.

There are also several types of metabolic acidosis as well – diabetic acidosis, which develops when acidic ketone bodies build up during diabetes, and hyperchloremic acidosis, which occurs when there is an excessive loss of sodium bicarbonate from the body. This tends to happen when a person is experiencing diarrhea for a prolonged period of time.

There is also lactic acidosis, which is, of course, caused by the buildup of lactic acid.

This type of acidosis can be caused by alcohol, cancer, vigorous exercise, liver failure, low blood sugar, medications and a prolonged lack of oxygen, heart failure, serious anemia, or seizures.


Some of the main symptoms of lactic acidosis include frequent sighing, insomnia, water retention, recessed eyes, migraine headaches, low blood pressure, dry and hard stools, nasty smelling stools, alternating constipation and diarrhea, troubles swallowing, burning in the mouth and under the tongue, tooth sensitivity to things such as vinegar and acid fruits and arthritis.

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