IS YOUR BODY ACIDIC?
What is acidosis?
When your body fluids contain too much acid, itís known as acidosis. Acidosis occurs when your kidneys and lungs canít keep your bodyís pH in balance. Many of the bodyís processes produce acid. Your lungs and kidneys can usually compensate for slight pH imbalances, but problems with these organs can lead to excess acid accumulating in your body.
The acidity of your blood is measured by determining its pH. A lower pH means that your blood is more acidic, while a higher pH means that your blood is more basic. The pH of your blood should be around 7.4. According to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), acidosis is characterized by a pH of 7.35 or lower. Alkalosis is characterized by a pH level of 7.45 or higher. While seemingly slight, these numerical differences can be serious. Acidosis can lead to numerous health issues, and it can even be life-threatening.
Metabolic acidosis starts in the kidneys instead of the lungs. It occurs when they canít eliminate enough acid or when they get rid of too much base. There are four major forms of metabolic acidosis:
- Diabetic acidosis occurs in people with diabetes thatís poorly controlled. If your body lacks enough insulin, ketones build up in your body and acidify your blood.
- Hyperchloremic acidosis results from a loss of sodium bicarbonate. This base helps to keep the blood neutral. Both diarrhea and vomiting can cause this type of acidosis.
- Lactic acidosis occurs when thereís too much lactic acid in your body. Causes can include chronic alcohol use, heart failure, cancer, seizures, liver failure, prolonged lack of oxygen, and low blood sugar. Even prolonged exercise can lead to lactic acid buildup.
- Renal tubular acidosis occurs when the kidneys are unable to excrete acids into the urine. This causes the blood to become acidic.
Also there are two types of acidosis, each with various causes. The type of acidosis is categorized as either respiratory acidosis or metabolic acidosis, depending on the primary cause of your acidosis.
Factors that can contribute to your risk of acidosis include:
* A high-fat diet thatís low in carbohydrates
* Kidney failure
* Aspirin or methanol poisoning
* Metabolic acidosis
Some of the common symptoms of metabolic acidosis include the following:
* Rapid and shallow breathing
* Lack of appetite
* Increased heart rate
* Breath that smells fruity, which is a sign of diabetic acidosis (ketoacidosis)
Without prompt treatment, acidosis may lead to the following health complications:
* Kidney stones
* Chronic kidney problems
* Kidney failure
* Bone disease
* Delayed growth
* Immune Weakness