Common health issue

Acidosis: Causes, Risk Factors, Complications and Treatment.

Acidosis treatment

Acidosis refers to high levels of corrosive acids in the face and body. The body needs to sustain a balance of acidity for optimal health. If the body accommodates too acidic or alkaline, this can cause serious health issues.

A high level of corrosive acid in the body causes the body to compensate and try to remove the acid. Usually, the lungs and kidneys are capable to get rid of excess acid in the body. However, if acidosis puts excessive pressure on these organs, it can cause serious problems.

Certain health complications, prescription drugs, and dietary substances can cause acidosis. However, some causes of acidosis are changeful, but without proper treatment, severe acidosis can be fatal.


There are some possible causes of high levels of acid in the body, may include:-

Metabolic acidosis

However, this acidosis happens when too much acid increases in the body due to a disruption to the metabolism. Moreover, different several health conditions can cause this to happen, including:-

  • Diabetes
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Biliary fistula
  • Insulin resistance

Always it is not clear whether these situations cause metabolic acidosis or whether acidosis causes these situations. However, these situations may create a cycle of improving metabolic acidosis, which then worsens the situation. In some cases, some people may not feel any symptoms of metabolic acidosis. In those who do, the possible symptoms of acidosis may include:-

  • An increased heartbeat rate
  • Needing to gain longer, deeper breaths than usual
  • Headaches problem
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • A loss of appetite
  • Confusion

However, if people experience any of the above symptoms, they should see their health consultant straight away.

Renal tubular acidosis

However, kidney failure or kidney disease may be caused by metabolic acidosis. In these cases, health consultants often refer to the situation as renal tubular acidosis. However, the major roles of the kidneys include the discharge of excess acid, which hand out of the body through urine. If there is a problem with the kidney, these organs are incapable to take out acid effectively from the body.

The kidney also helps retain bicarbonate levels constant in the body. However, people use a certain amount of this molecule in the blood to retain the body healthy.

Respiratory acidosis

This problem can happen when the body is unable to remove enough carbon dioxide, which then builds up in the body, rising acid levels in the blood. Causes of respiratory acidosis may include:-

  • Stroke
  • Some drugs that affect the central nervous system, like opioids
  • Some disorders that affect the muscles involved in breathing, like muscular dystrophy or Guillain-Barre disorder
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

However, the respiratory acidosis symptoms can vary depending on the fundamental cause but may include:-

  • Wheezing
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbance
  • A blue tinge to the skin due to a lesser amount of oxygen in the blood

Drug-induced acidosis

However, some prescription medications can raise the acidity in the body. These may include:-

  • Beta-blockers
  • Antibiotic drugs like trimethoprim (Primsol)
  • Antiretroviral
  • Statins

Risk factors

However, most people at risk of spreading respiratory acidosis include those:-

  • Undergoing surgery
  • With asthma
  • With end-stage COPD
  • Who use tobacco, as it can cause respiratory issues
  • Who use opioids


However, metabolic acidosis can lead to serious health complications, may include:-

  • Osteoporosis, which is a loss of bone that can raise the risk of fractures
  • Unacceptable growth in children, as metabolic acidosis restricts the growth hormone
  • Raised kidney damage, which can worsen chronic kidney disease
  • Muscle loss or wasting
  • High blood sugar (HBS)
  • Raised risk of death

Some complications of other types of acidosis also include osteoporosis. However, osteoporosis can develop because if the kidneys and lungs are incapable to get rid of excess acid, the body starts to take calcium from the bones. The body then uses this calcium to overcome the acid.


Moreover, the possible treatment of acidosis depends upon its type and cause.

Metabolic or renal acidosis

Bicarbonate is an alkaline, which is the reverse of a metabolic acid. However, it can support the balance of the acid in the blood. Some research has found that sodium carbonate may support prevent kidney disease from worsening. However, people should only attempt this type of treatment under the supervision of a health consultant.

Respiratory acidosis

To cure respiratory acidosis, people must prevent the underlying cause. However, treatment will differ depending on the cause, but it is likely to focus on making breathing easier. However, bronchodilators are drugs that support widen the airways and relax the muscles that play a role in breathing.