What Is Metabolic Acidosis?
Metabolic acidosis occurs when the chemical balance of acids and bases gets thrown off in the blood.
The body is either producing too much acid or is not getting rid of enough or does not have enough base to offset a normal amount of acid. When any of these things happen, chemical reactions and processes do not work correctly in the body.
Severe episodes can be life threatening, however, metabolic acidosis is normally a mild condition. It can be treated, depending on what is causing the illness.
There are different things that can cause an acid-base imbalance in they blood.
- Ketoacidosis – diabetics who do not produce or inject enough insulin and become dehydrated causes the body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates for fuel. This makes ketones. A lot of ketones in the blood can make it acidic. People who drink alcohol over a long period of time and do not eat enough build up ketones. It can also happen if a person is not eating at all.
- Lactic acidosis – the cells in the body create lactic acid when there is not a lot of oxygen. This acid can also build up. It can happen when a person is exercising intensely. Significant drops in blood pressure, heart failure, cardiac arrest, and an overwhelming infection can also cause lactic acid build up.
- Renal tubular acidosis – healthy kidneys remove acids from the blood and dispose of them through urine. Kidney diseases and some immune system and genetic disorders can damage kidneys, so they allow too much acid to remain in the blood.
- Hyperchloremic acidosis – severe diarrhea, the abuse of laxatives, and kidney problems can lower levels of bicarbonate, which is the base that helps to neutralize acids in the blood.
Someone with metabolic acidosis will often experience:
- Rapid breathing
- Rapid heartrate
- Frequent headaches
- Little desire to eat
Fruity, sweet-smelling breath is a classic symptom of diabetic ketoacidosis. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should call a doctor or go to a local emergency room.
Metabolic acidosis can occur from the accumulation of endogenous acids or loss of bicarbonate from the gastrointestinal tract or the kidney. These are the most common causes of metabolic acidosis.
The appropriate treatment of acute metabolic acidosis is controversial. Ionized alkaline water was not evaluated in this group of patients in spite of its safety and reported benefits. So, a group of researchers assessed its efficacy in the management of metabolic acidosis in animals. Two models of the illness were created in rats and dogs.
The first model of renal failure was induced by ligation of both ureters. The second model was induced by urinary diversion to gut. This was the gastrointestinal bicarbonate loss model. Both groups were given ionized alkaline water orally and by hemodialysis.
Dogs that had renal failure were assigned to two groups according to the type of dialysate used during the hemodialysis sessions. The first group received ionized alkaline water and the second conventional water.
Another two groups of animals with urinary diversion were arranged to receive alkaline water orally and tap water.
In the animals that had renal failure, acid-base parameters were significantly improved after hemodialysis with ionized alkaline water compared to conventional water with reverse osmosis.
Similar results were observed in the urinary diversion models. There was significant improvement of the partial pressure of carbon dioxide and serum bicarbonate after drinking the alkaline water.
Ionized alkaline water can be considered a safe treatment in the management of metabolic acidosis secondary to renal failure or dialysis or urinary diversion. Human studies indicated for the near future will confirm the same issue in humans.
By Jeanette Smith
Therapeutic Apheresis and Dialysis: Ionized Alkaline Water: New Strategy for Management of Metabolic Acidosis in Experimental Animals
WebMD: What Is Metabolic Acidosis?
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