Mar 26, 2015

Metabolic Acidosis Vs. Respiratory Acidosis

Increase in the acid content in the body is referred to as acidosis. It mainly occurs when the pH level falls below 7.35. There are two kinds of acidosis, respiratory acidosis and metabolic acidosis. These clinical disturbances can have several effects on the body, ranging from minor to severe. Let's find out about both these disorders by going over the following information.

Metabolic Acidosis
  • Metabolic acidosis is another type of medical condition called acidosis, where the production of H^ is increased. This increase in hydrogen ions in the blood is known as academia. The body may also be unable to form bicarbonate in the kidney. These disturbances in the acid base content can lead to this ailment.
  • Chronic renal failure, diabetic ketoacidosis and kidney failure also contribute to this condition to some extent. Swallowing toxic substances, like excessive amount of aspirin, can also cause the disease.
  • It can either be mild or chronic.
  • The symptoms are lethargy and rapid breathing.
  • At the minor level, baking soda can be used for maintaining the acid base level.
  • A complete blood count test is done to diagnose the condition. Another test is metabolic panel test which help to know the severity and cause of the condition. For knowing the severity, the patient can also be asked to take arterial blood gas test. If proper treatment is not taken at proper time, then the condition can prove fatal.
  • In order to be away from metabolic acidosis, the only way is to keep away from Type 1 diabetes.
Respiratory Acidosis
  • Respiratory acidosis is a type of condition, wherein the respiration is decreased leading to increased amounts of carbon dioxide in the blood.
  • Abrupt ventilation failure can cause this condition. Alveolar hypoventilation can be another cause of it.
  • It can either be acute and chronic. Acute respiratory acidosis occurs if there is an abrupt ventilation failure. While, chronic respiratory acidosis takes place, if the level of PaCO2 rises above the range of permissible upper limit.
  • The symptoms are fatigue, confusion, lethargy, sleepiness and shortness of breath.
  • Depending on the severity, different treatments are available. The patient may be prescribed bronchodilator drugs, for reversing airway obstruction. If the amount of oxygen in the blood is low, then the patient can opt for treatments which will help in increasing it. If required, mechanical ventilation or non-invasive positive pressure ventilation is another treatment option.
  • The tests that are done to know the severity and causes are pulmonary function test, chest X-ray and arterial blood gas test.
  • The different preventive measures that you can opt for are maintaining balanced weight and controlling obesity. Avoiding smoking and consumption of alcohol will also help.
Hope this a brief overview has been helpful. Knowing the causes and symptoms of these two disorders, one can take preventive measures. Like its said, forewarned is forearmed!


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