Metabolic acidosis

Metabolic acidosis is one of the most common metabolic disorders associated with Disturbance of acid-base balance regulation. Metabolic acidosis can be caused by obesity, kidney failure, diabetes, starvation or drug overdose.

In metabolic acidosis, blood density is significantly reduced and its acidity is increased. A normal range of blood pH makes 7.35-7.4. However, acid base status (ABS) of the blood can be less than pH 7.35 in metabolic acidosis.

There are two forms of metabolic acidosis:

  1. Chronic

It can last for several weeks or longer

  1. Acute

It lasts from a few minutes up to several days

The most common symptoms of metabolic acidosis are fatigue, increased heart rate, confusion, drowsiness, headaches, change in appetite, superficial rapid breathing.

Metabolic acidosis may cause a variety of adverse events, including:

  • reduce blood pressure;
  • slow down growth in children;
  • promote loss of muscle mass;
  • decrease immune response;
  • reduce insulin tolerance;
  • increase risk of infections or inflammations.

Patients with suspected metabolic acidosis should immediately undergo a series of diagnostic tests, including urine and blood tests. When diagnosing metabolic acidosis, accuracy of these tests is approximately 90%.

Blood and urine tests help to identify an exact cause of metabolic acidosis and to determine an adequate method of therapy for this metabolic disorder.

Depending on etiology of metabolic acidosis, it can be prescribed for its treatment:

Sodium citrate (Tricitrasol) – in kidney diseases, kidney failure. Insulin (Humulin) – in abnormal blood pH balance caused by diabetes. Hemodialysis, Sodium Bicarbonate with Sodium Carbonate (Carbicarb) – in lactic acidosis.

To control metabolic acidosis and restore intracellular acid-base balance, intravenous infusions or oral solutions Sodium bicarbonate (Neut) or Trisaminol (Trizma) are often prescribed.

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