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


Respiratory acidosis. Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Accessed May 23, 2011.

Metabolic acidosis. Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Accessed May 23, 2011.


What is acidosis?

Acidosis is a condition in which there is an excess of acidic molecules in the body. This can occur as a result of overproduction, underexcretion, or both. 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 underexcretion, the body is unable to rid itself of excess acid. Thi... Read more about acidosisintroduction


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.... Read more about acidosissymptoms


What causes acidosis?

Acidosis is caused by an accumulation of acid in your body. Normally, your body effectively excretes or eliminates 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.... Read more about acidosiscauses

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 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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