What are the symptoms of lactic acidosis?

Symptoms of lactic acidosis may include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, weakness, rapid breathing, rapid heart rate or irregular heart rhythm, and mental status changes.

Common symptoms of lactic acidosis

If you experience lactic acidosis, it may be accompanied by symptoms that include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heart rate (arrhythmia)
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Rapid breathing (tachypnea)
  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

In some cases, lactic acidosis can be life threatening. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these life-threatening symptoms including:

  • Bluish coloration of the lips or fingernails
  • Change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness
  • Chest pain, chest tightness, chest pressure, palpitations
  • High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Not producing any urine, or an infant who does not produce the usual amount of wet diapers
  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Respiratory or breathing problems, such as shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, labored breathing, rapid breathing, or not breathing
  • Severe abdominal pain

What is lactic acidosis?

Lactic acidosis is a type of acidosis that occurs when the blood becomes too acidic due to the presence of excess lactic acid in the body. Blood pH is tightly controlled because even slight changes in your pH can have severe effects on many organs. Normally, your blood is slightly basic, or alkaline. Acidosis occurs when the blood becomes more acidic than normal.

... Read more about lactic acidosisintroduction


What causes lactic acidosis?

Lactic acid forms when the mitochondria, small structures inside of cells that act somewhat like batteries, need to utilize oxygen-free methods to produce energy. This occurs when energy demands are high and oxygen is not supplied as quickly as would be necessary to meet them. Exercises that involve quick bursts of activity, such as sprinting and power lifting, commonly result in mitochondrial ... Read more about lactic acidosiscauses


How is lactic acidosis treated?

The main treatment for lactic acidosis is to correct the underlying problem that led to it. If lactic acid production can be slowed down, it is more likely that its clearance will be able to keep up with its production. Although substances can be given to decrease the acidity of your blood, the use of these can lead to a paradoxical increase in lactic acid production.

Common t... Read more about lactic acidosistreatments

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 2, 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: Heart, Blood and Circulation