How is acidosis treated?

Treatment for acidosis depends on the underlying cause. Treatments for respiratory acidosis target the lungs to improve efficiency so you can exhale carbon dioxide more effectively. Treatment for metabolic acidosis targets the underlying cause, though agents that decrease acidity may be given.

Treatment of respiratory acidosis

Treatment for respiratory acidosis may include:

  • Bronchodilators may be used if airway disease is causing decreased breathing efficiency
  • Mechanical ventilation or positive pressure breathing devices may be used
  • Oxygen may be given

Treatment of metabolic acidosis

Sodium bicarbonate may be given to decrease blood acid levels.

What are the potential complications of acidosis?

Acidosis is a serious medical condition that is often life threatening when severe. You can help minimize your risk of serious complications by following the treatment plan you and your health care professional design specifically for you. Complications of acidosis include:

  • Organ failure
  • Respiratory failure
  • Shock

References:

  1. Respiratory acidosis. Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000092.htm.
  2. Metabolic acidosis. Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000335.htm.
  3. Collins RD. Differential Diagnosis in Primary Care, 5th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Williams, 2012.
INTRODUCTION

What is acidosis?

Acidosis is a serious metabolic imbalance in which there is an excess of acidic molecules in the body. This can occur as a result of acid overproduction, impaired acid transport, acid underexcretion, or any combination. With overproduction, the body makes too much acid. This can occur in sepsis, a life-threatening widespread infection in which the body makes too much lactic acid. With unde... Read more about acidosisintroduction

SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of acidosis?

Symptoms of acidosis include your body attempting to decrease its level of acid, such as through rapid breathing. Other symptoms will depend on the underlying cause of acidosis.

Common symptoms of acidosis

Acidosis symptoms vary widely depending on the underlying cause. A variety of illnesses that cause acidosis do share some common symptoms including:

CAUSES

What causes acidosis?

Acidosis is caused by an accumulation of acid in your body. Normally, your body effectively excretes or neutralizes acid through normal breathing and kidney function. If these functions are perturbed, or if the amount of acid your body produces increases significantly, acidosis can result.

A wide variety of conditions can cause or contribute to acidosis. They are generally bro... Read more about acidosiscauses

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 9, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Kidneys and the Urinary System


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