Acidosis simply means your body’s fluids have an unhealthy excess of acid. This either occurs from a buildup of acid or a loss of bicarbonate (base).
Your lungs and kidneys are the maintenance organs for a healthy “acid to base” ph balance. Primary categories causing symptoms of acidosis:
Metabolic acidosis is excessive acidity of your blood. It can be caused by many conditions or situations, notably:
- kidney failure
- kidney disease
- too much aspirin
- severe dehydration
- swallowing toxic substances ~ antifreeze
Primary symptom for metabolic acidosis is rapid breathing. Confusion or lethargy may also occur. Severe metabolic acidosis can cause death.
Lactic acidosis is a build up of lactic acid in your bloodstream, generally produced when oxygen levels drop. It’s most common cause is intensive or prolonged exercise. Yet, it can also be caused by:
- liver failure
- lung disease
- kidney failure
- respiratory failure
- medications ~ salicylates, metformin
- prolonged lack of oxygen ~ shock, heart failure, severe anemia
Symptoms of lactic acidosis are:
Diabetic acidosis, also termed diabetic ketoacidosis, is usually a diabetes complication occurring when glucose (sugar) is unavailable due to insufficient insulin. So instead, fat is used as your energy source, producing a ketone build up. This is rarely a complication of type 2 diabetes.
Diabetic ketoacidosis might as well be caused by:
Symptoms of diabetic acidosis:
- mental stupor
- rapid breathing
- abdominal pain
- fruity breath odor
- frequent urination
- nausea & vomiting
- decreased appetite
- muscle stiffness, aching
Left untreated, it can be fatal.
Respiratory acidosis happens when your lungs can’t remove all of your body’s carbon dioxide (an acid) production. It is also referred to as hypercapnic acidosis or carbon dioxide acidosis.
Causes of respiratory acidosis include:
- severe obesity
- airway issues ~ asthma, COPD
- drugs ~ narcotics, benzodiazepines
- scoliosis ~ makes lungs less efficient
- nerve & muscle diseases affecting inflation, deflation of lungs
Chronic respiratory acidosis leads to a stabilized ph, because your kidneys adjusts to help restore a healthy balance.
But, in the case of a CO2 quick build up causing respiratory acidosis, then you are dealing with a severe condition. Symptoms of this dilemma may include:
Renal acidosis occurs when your kidneys don’t remove acid properly, leaving your blood too acidic. Your kidneys normally regulate your body’s pH by controlling acids.
There are a couple of types of renal acidosis. Distal renal tubular acidosis, or Type 1, is caused by defective kidney tubes. These conditions can be your cause for this issue:
- sickle cell anemia
- hereditary disorders
- chronic active hepatitis
- primary biliary cirrhosis
- chronic urinary tract infections
- drugs ~ amphotericin B, lithium, analgesics
- autoimmune diseases ~ Sjögren’s syndrome, lupus
Some of these disorders cause abnormal calcium deposits to build up in your kidney, impairing distal tubules function.
Type 1 renal acidosis symptoms involve:
- back pain
- bone pain
- kidney stones
- bone disorders
- abdominal pain
- muscle cramps
- impaired growth
- muscle weakness
- decreased alertness
- breathing rate increase
- decreased urine output
A major consequence of distal renal acidosis is a low blood potassium level.
Proximal renal tubular acidosis, type 2, occurs when bicarbonate isn’t properly reabsorbed by your kidney’s proximal tubules. Leaving you in an acidic state.
It most often occurs during infancy, and sometimes goes away on its own. Causes of proximal renal tubular acidosis consist of:
Symptoms for proximal renal tubular acidosis share those for distal renal tubular acidosis, with the add on of dehydration.
Type 4, also called hyperkalemic renal tubular acidosis, is caused by a generalized transport abnormality of the distal tubules. This form is distinguished from the others because it results in high levels of blood potassium instead of low levels.
Hypokalemia or hyperkalemia can be a problem because potassium is important in regulating heart rate. Type 4 occurs when blood levels of the hormone aldosterone are low or when the kidneys do not respond to it.
Drugs and diseases may also be a cause for hyperkalemic renal tubular acidosis, such as:
- Addison’s disease
- sickle cell disease
- diabetic nephropathy
- urinary tract obstruction
- blood pressure medication
- some immunosuppressive drugs
- heparin ~ keeps blood from clotting
- diuretics ~ treat congestive heart failure
- removal, destruction of both adrenal glands
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- antibiotic ~ trimethoprim, pentamidine (treats pneumonia)
If treated early, most suffering from any type of renal tubular acidosis will not experience permanent kidney failure.
Finally, severe diarrhea can cause hyperchloremic acidosis. This form of acidosis is marked by an excessive loss of sodium bicarbonate.
Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. A dash in a glass of water might help during a health wrenching bout.