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Acidosis

Overview

Acidosis is a condition in which excessive amount of acid forms in the body fluids. It is opposite of alkalosis (a condition in which excessive base forms in the body fluids). The condition is further divided into two categories: respiratory and metabolic acidosis. When too much acid (carbon dioxide) forms in the body, then resulting condition can be said as respiratory acidosis. A person suffers from this condition when body becomes incapable of removing carbon dioxide through effective breathing. Carbon dioxide acidosis and hypercapnic acidosis are two other names of respiratory acidosis. And metabolic acidosis happens when kidneys become incapable of removing excess amount of acid from the body. Diabetic acidosis, hyperchloremic and lactic are considered as other forms of metabolic acidosis.


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Causes

In the human body, lungs and kidneys are held responsible for maintaining chemicals called bases and acids in the body. Hence, the condition occurs basically when acids forms or when bicarbonate is lost. In acidosis, the pH level goes below the normal level. Respiratory acidosis occurs due to chest injuries, chronic lung diseases, excessive use of sedative dugs, etc. Whereas, metabolic acidosis occurs due to severe dehydration, poisoning by ethylene glycol, methanol or aspirin, kidney disease, etc.


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Signs & Symptoms

It is often experienced that people suffering from metabolic acidosis usually experience symptoms like vomiting, fatigue and nausea. If the condition keeps on getting worse with the passage of time, then symptoms experienced by person include low blood pressure which may lead to comma, shock or even death, feeling of extreme weakness and drowsy, fast breathing, etc.

Respiratory acidosis causes symptoms like drowsiness, headache, etc. As the condition gets worse, then drowsiness leads to coma and stupor. It is advised to seek medical assistance immediately in order to reduce the growing symptoms of the condition.

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Prevention

Depending upon the acidosis’ causes, prevention measures are taken. If people are having healthy kidney and lungs, then people don’t experience acidosis.


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Treatments
Conservative Modern Medicine

Depending upon the type of acidosis, treatments vary. For instance, if a person is suffering from metabolic acidosis treatment is basically given to control diabetes or to remove the poisonous substances from the blood. On the other hand, treatment of respiratory acidosis is basically given with the sole aim of improving functionality of lungs. If any person is suffering from emphysema or asthma, then health professionals recommend drugs that aid in opening the airways. Mechanical ventilation is suggested to those patients who are severely affected from impaired breathing. However, if a person is suffering from mild acidosis, then condition can be treated effectively with administration of intravenous fluids. Sometimes, in order to treat severe acidosis, health professionals suggest administering of bicarbonate intravenously. But in the long term this treatment is not suggested as it causes temporary relief and may harm the body in the long run.

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