Metabolic Acidosis is extremely high acidity in the blood, characterized by extremely low blood bicarbonate levels. The blood may become acidic, when an acid increase is overwhelms the person’s body pH buffering system. As the blood pH falls, breathing becomes faster and deeper as the body tries to rid the excess acid blood by decreasing carbon dioxide amount.
Eventually, the kidney also attempts to compensate by excreting more acids in the person’s urine. However, both factors may be overwhelmed if the person’s body is continuing to produce excessive amounts of acid, causing serious acidosis and even coma. Metabolic Acidosis causes may be classified in 3 main categories:
1.The body’s acid amount may be increased by ingesting substances that are metabolized to acid or by ingesting an acid. Most substances that result in metabolic acidosis, when ingested are poisonous. Such substances may include Antifreeze (ethylene glycol) and Methanol (wood alcohol). However, Aspirin overdose may also result in Metabolic Acidosis.
2. The person’s body may produce higher acid amounts through metabolism. The body may produce acid access as a result of few diseases, especially type 1 diabetes mellitus. If diabetes is improperly controlled, the body breaks down fat and produces acid called ketones. The body also producing extremely large amounts of acids in the advanced shock stages, when lactic acids are produced through sugar metabolism.
3.- Metabolic Acidosis can happen when the person’s kidneys are not able to excrete enough acids. Even the normal acid amount production can cause acidosis when the kidney is not functioning properly. Such form of kidneys malfunction is known as Renal Tubular Acidosis and can happen in individuals with abnormality that is affecting kidney’s abilities to excrete acid or with kidney failure.
An individual, who has mild Metabolic Acidosis, can experience no symptoms, but generally has fatigue, vomiting and nausea. Breathing is becoming slightly faster or deeper, but most individuals do not even notice it. As the Metabolic Acidosis progresses, an individual starts to feel sleepy and extremely weak, and can feel increasingly nauseated and feel confused. If the Metabolic Acidosis worsens significantly, blood pressure may drop, causing coma, shock and may be life-threatening.
Metabolic Acidosis diagnosis usually needs the blood pH measurement in an arterial blood sample, usually obtained from the wrist radial artery. Arterial blood is used, because blood taken from veins is not considered to be accurate to measure blood pH levels. To confirm the causes, a doctor also measures blood bicarbonate and carbon dioxide levels. Other blood tests can be done to confirm the cause.
For instance, urine ketones and high blood sugar usually shows poor controlled diabetes. A toxic blood substance suggests that the Metabolic Acidosis is resulted from overdose or poisoning. Metabolic Acidosis treatment is based on cause. The doctor tries to treat the underlying cause, whenever possible. For instance, a doctor can treat poisoning by removing toxic substances from the person’s blood or control diabetes with insulin. Sometimes, dialysis is required to treat poisoning and severe overdoses. Metabolic Acidosis can also be treated directly. In mild Metabolic Acidosis, underlying disorder treatment and intravenous fluid can be all that is required. In severe Metabolic Acidosis, bicarbonate can be administered intravenously; however, bicarbonate are providing only temporary relief and can result in harm.