Metabolic acidosis is a condition that occurs when there is an excess of acid in the body or when the kidneys are not able to remove enough acid from the body. This can lead to serious health complications, including kidney damage, low blood pressure, and irregular heartbeat.
There are three types of metabolic acidosis, namely diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), hyperchloremic acidosis, and lactic acidosis. DKA occurs when too much insulin is in the body and not enough glucose. This causes the body to break down fat for energy which produces ketones. Ketones are acids that build up in the blood and can lead to DKA. Lactic acidosis occurs when there is not enough oxygen in the cells, and they begin to produce lactic acid instead of energy.
The symptoms of metabolic acidosis vary depending on the underlying cause but may include fatigue, nausea, confusion, and difficulty breathing, to name a few. Individuals who experience these symptoms must seek a doctor as soon as possible for accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment. IV fluids may be necessary to prevent dehydration. Some medications treat the underlying cause of metabolic acidosis, such as insulin for diabetes or antibiotics for an infection.
Diabetic acidosis is a serious complication that can occur in people with diabetes. It happens when there is too much acid in the blood. This can happen if the body cannot produce enough insulin or is not using insulin properly. Diabetic acidosis can be life-threatening if it is not treated immediately.
Insufficient amounts of insulin can result in diabetic acidosis. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body use sugar for energy. When there isn’t enough insulin, sugar builds up in the blood instead of being used for energy. This causes the body to make ketones. Ketones are acids that collect in the blood and make it more acidic. If too many ketones build up, it can lead to diabetic acidosis.
Infections can also cause the body to release chemicals that fight the infection. These chemicals can make the blood more acidic. Finally, some illnesses, such as a heart attack or stroke, can cause diabetic acidosis. If not treated, it can lead to coma or even death.