Acidosis Definition, Reason, Symptom, Treatment, Prevention

Acidosis Definition, Reason, Symptom, Treatment, Prevention


Acidosis is a health problem that occurs when the blood in the body contains too much acid. High levels of this acid can occur due to the loss of bicarbonate compounds from the blood (metabolic acidosis) or the accumulation of carbon dioxide that cannot be optimally removed from the lungs (respiratory acidosis).

Some risk factors for acidosis include:

  • High fat but low carb diet
  • Kidney failure
  • Obesity
  • Dehydration
  • Aspirin or methanol poisoning
  • Diabetes


The diagnosis of acidosis is determined from the measurement of blood pH levels which show a number < 7.35. The lower the pH, the more acidic the blood is.


Normally, the body has a tightly guarded acid-base regulation so that the pH of the blood remains normal at all times. However, under certain conditions, when the acid in the body is very accumulated or the base is wasted a lot, acidosis is the result.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of acidosis that are distinguished based on the cause. The two types are:

  • Respiratory acidosis

Respiratory acidosis occurs when the lungs are no longer able to remove carbon dioxide from the blood. This decrease in lung capacity is caused by various diseases.

Some of the diseases that cause a decrease in lung capacity include asthma, chest compressions, obesity, drug abuse, excessive alcohol consumption, respiratory muscle weakness, nervous disorders, and changes in chest shape.

  • Metabolic acidosis

In contrast to respiratory, metabolic acidosis occurs due to disturbances in the metabolic system. In metabolic acidosis, what happens is:

  • the body is unable to remove excess acid
  • excessive production of base from the body

These two things can arise if a person experiences various conditions that underlie the problem, namely:

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis

Uncontrolled blood sugar levels in a person with diabetes can make the body react to produce ketones. Ketones are acidic. If the production is quite a lot, then acidosis can occur.

  • Hyperchloremic acidosis

Vomiting and diarrhea can cause the body to lose a lot of sodium bicarbonate. This bicarbonate is alkaline. Losing large amounts of base from the body has the potential to make the blood pH drop to become more acidic.

  • Lactic acidosis

Alcohol abuse, heart failure, seizures, liver failure, lack of oxygen, low blood sugar levels, and too much exercise can cause the body to release excess lactic acid. If it continues, this acid buildup will affect the pH of the blood and lead to acidosis.

  • Renal tubular acidosis

Due to impaired kidney function, the body is no longer able to get rid of excess acid through urine. As a result, acid builds up in the blood causing acidosis.

At the beginning of acidosis, the body performs various compensations in an effort to neutralize the pH of the blood. Through the respiratory system, the body tries to get rid of carbon dioxide as much as possible.

In addition, the body tries to get rid of acid through urine. However, if the acid that accumulates is too much and continues to occur, the body will be tired to compensate. As a result, heart problems can occur, and even coma may occur.


Acidosis Symptoms

Symptoms experienced by a person with metabolic acidosis can vary, from mild to severe such as:

  • Nauseous vomit
  • Tired easily
  • Quick breath
  • Weak
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Come
  • Death

In respiratory acidosis, symptoms that can occur include:

  • Headache
  • Sleepy
  • Come


The main treatment that needs to be done is to overcome the cause. In some cases, the patient will be given bicarbonate treatment to neutralize the blood pH.

The rest, treatment is carried out based on the underlying disease, for example:

  • Administration of insulin in metabolic acidosis due to diabetes
  • Administration of drugs to clear the airways in respiratory acidosis due to asthma


Various complications can occur due to acidosis, such as:

  • Kidney stone formation
  • Kidney disorders
  • Kidney failure
  • Bone health problems
  • stunted growth


Acidosis can be avoided in various ways, such as:

  • Drink enough so you don’t get dehydrated
  • Keeping blood sugar levels under control in those with diabetes
  • Avoid alcohol consumption
  • Stop smoking
  • Maintain an ideal weight

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