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Acidosis: causes, symptoms and treatment

Have you ever had a disruption in your bowels after taking a food you knew you shouldn’t have? 

That same way your face stays all day trying to live with the pain and discomfort is the same way your system feels when there is acidosis.

Metabolic acidosis happens when the chemical balance of acids and bases in your blood goes haywire. Most times, it might happen that your body:

  • Is making too much acid
  • Isn’t getting rid of enough acid
  • Doesn’t have enough base to offset a normal amount of acid

When any of these happen, chemical reactions and processes in your body don’t work right.

Although severe episodes can be life-threatening, sometimes metabolic acidosis is a mild condition. You can treat it, but how depends on what’s causing it.

Causes of Metabolic Acidosis

Different things can set up an acid-base imbalance in your blood

Ketoacidosis: When you have diabetes and don’t get enough insulin and get dehydrated, your body burns fat instead of carbs as fuel, and that makes ketones. Lots of ketones in your blood turn it acidic. People who drink a lot of alcohol for a long time and don’t eat enough also build up ketones. It can happen when you aren’t eating at all, too. Also, a prolonged keto diet could lead to build up of ketones if not supervised well; especially if it’s for the wrong purposes. 

Lactic acidosis: Lactic acid build up occurs when there is enough oxygen in the muscles to breakdown glycogen and glucose . This acid can build up, too. It might happen when you’reexercising intensely. Big drops in blood pressure, heart failure, cardiac arrest, and an overwhelming infection can also cause it.

Renal tubular acidosis:  This medical condition happens when there is accumulation of acid in the body due to the kidney’s failure to appropriately acidify urine. Healthy kidneys take acids out of your blood and get rid of them

Have you ever had a disruption in your bowels after taking a food you knew you shouldn’t have? 

That same way your face stays all day trying to live with the pain and discomfort is the same way your system feels when there is acidosis.

Metabolic acidosis happens when the chemical balance of acids and bases in your blood goes haywire. Most times, it might happen that your body:

  • Is making too much acid
  • Isn’t getting rid of enough acid
  • Doesn’t have enough base to offset a normal amount of acid

When any of these happen, chemical reactions and processes in your body don’t work right.

Although severe episodes can be life-threatening, sometimes metabolic acidosis is a mild condition. You can treat it, but how depends on what’s causing it.

Causes of Metabolic Acidosis

Different things can set up an acid-base imbalance in your blood

Ketoacidosis: When you have diabetes and don’t get enough insulin and get dehydrated, your body burns fat instead of carbs as fuel, and that makes ketones. Lots of ketones in your blood turn it acidic. People who drink a lot of alcohol for a long time and don’t eat enough also build up ketones. It can happen when you aren’t eating at all, too. Also, a prolonged keto diet could lead to build up of ketones if not supervised well; especially if it’s for the wrong purposes. 

Lactic acidosis: Lactic acid build up occurs when there is enough oxygen in the muscles to breakdown glycogen and glucose . This acid can build up, too. It might happen when you’re exercising intensely. Big drops in blood prrssure,  heart failure, cardiac arrest, and an overwhelming infection can also cause it.

 

Renal tubular acidosis:  This medical condition happens when there is accumulation of acid in the body due to the kidney’s failure to appropriately acidify urine. Healthy kidneys take acids out of your blood and get rid of them in your pee. Kidney diseases as well as some immune system and genetic disorders can damage kidneys so they leave too much acid in your blood.

Hyperchloremic acidosis. Severe diarrhea, laxative abuse, and kidney problems can cause lower levels of bicarbonate, the base that helps neutralize acids in blood.

Respiratory acidosis also results in blood that’s too acidic. But it starts in a different way, when your body has too much carbon dioxide because of a problem with your lungs.

Symptoms

Although symptoms can differ, someone with metabolic acidosis will often:

  • Breathe fast
  • Have a fast heartbeat
  • Have a headache
  • Be confused
  • Feel weak
  • Feel tired
  • Have little desire to eat
  • Feel sick to their stomach
  • Throw up

Fruity-smelling breath (kasmaul breathing)is a classic symptom of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

If you have these symptoms, call your doctor or visit the hospital immediately.  

Testing

Tests like anion gap, arterial blood gases and urine tests could help figure out if any of these acidosis occurs.

 

Prevention

You can’t always prevent metabolic acidosis, but there are things you can do to lessen the chance of it happening.

Drink plenty of water and non-alcoholic fluids. Your pee should be clear or pale yellow.

Limit alcohol. It can increase acid buildup. It can also dehydrate you.

Manage your diabetes, make sure you adhere to drug use by physician and also diet regimen by dietitian.

Follow directions strictly when you take your medications and do not self medicate no matter how small and familiar the symptoms might be.

 

Treatment

You treat metabolic acidosis by treating what’s causing it. If you don’t restore the balance, it can affect your bones, muscles, and kidneys. In severe cases, it can cause shock or death. DKA can put you in a coma.

The earlier you’re treated, the better. Common treatments include:

  • Detoxification, if you have drug or alcohol poisoning
  • Insulin, if you have DKA
  • IV fluids, given by needle through a vein in your arm
  • Sodium bicarbonate, by IV

You might have to go to a hospital.
your pee. Kidney diseases as well as some immune system and genetic disorders can damage
kidneys so they leave too much acid in your blood.

Hyperchloremic acidosis. Severe diarrhea, laxative abuse, and kidney problems can cause lower levels of bicarbonate, the base that helps neutralize acids in blood.

Respiratory acidosis also results in blood that’s too acidic. But it starts in a different way, when your body has too much carbondioxide  because of a problem with your lungs.

Symptoms

Although symptoms can differ, someone with metabolic acidosis will often:

  • Breathe fast
  • Have a fast heartbeat
  • Have a headache
  • Be confused
  • Feel weak
  • Feel tired
  • Have little desire to eat
  • Feel sick to their stomach
  • Throw up

Fruity-smelling breath (kasmaul breathing)is a classic symptom of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

If you have these symptoms, call your doctor or visit the hospital immediately.  

Testing

Tests like anion gap, arterial blood gases and urine tests could help figure out if any of these acidosis occurs.

Prevention

You can’t always prevent metabolic acidosis, but there are things you can do to lessen the chance of it happening.

Drink plenty of water and non-alcoholic drinks, avoid fizzy drinks. Your pee should be clear or pale yellow.

Limit alcohol. It can increase acid buildup. It can also dehydrate you.

Manage your diabetes, make sure you adhere to drug use by physician and also diet regimen by dietitian.

Follow directions strictly when you take your medications and do not self medicate no matter how small and familiar the symptoms might be.

 

Treatment

You treat metabolic acidosis by treating what’s causing it. If you don’t restore the balance, it can affect your bones, muscles, and kidneys. In severe cases, it can cause shock or death. DKA can put you in a coma.

The earlier you’re treated, the better. Common treatments include:

  • Detoxification, if you have drug or alcohol poisoning
  • Insulin, if you have DKA
  • IV fluids, given by needle through a vein in your arm
  • Sodium bicarbonate, by IV

You might have to go to a hospital.

 

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General Research

INTERMITTENT FASTING: MY THOUGHTS🤔

So much dust has been raised recently on intermittent fasting and if its a healthy lifestyle to adopt. So lets take this journey together and see what INTERMITTENT FASTING is really about shall we?😊.

Intermittent fasting is actually not a diet but timed approach to eating. It really doesn’t restrict you from consuming a particular class of food or restricts the source of calories like every other diet regime would. Presumably, it might have some health benefits especially weight loss but it is not for everybody and it is not really ideal for a weight loss regime because concrete research has not confirmed its effectiveness.

According to  medical news today,INTERMITTENT FASTING involves cycling periods between eating and fasting.

There are different methods which you can adopt if you want to go on intermittent fasting and they include:

1. The 16:8 method which involves eating for 8 hours and fasting for the remaining 16 hours in a day. This method is actually termed the easiest type of fasting; well, sounds that way though. This method is also known as the Leangains protocol, and was popularized by fitness expert Martin Berkhan.

Doing this method of fasting can actually be as simple as not eating anything after dinner, and skipping breakfast ( not me😢).

For example, if you finish your last meal at 8 pm and then don’t eat until 12 noon the next day, then you are technically fasting for 16 hours between meals, phew😲😥😥.

2. The 5:2 fasting which involves fasting for 2 days per week and restricting caloric intake to 500-600kcals on those two days while eating as you like for the other 5 days.😊.

3. Eat-stop- eat requires you fast for 24 hours a day eitger once or twice a week.

4. Alternate day fast requires that you fast every other day either by total fasting or restrictive calorie eating.

5. The warrior diet: fast during the day, eat a huge meal at night. You seriously would be discomforted at night if you go through with this.

6. Spontaneous meal skipping; where you tend to skip meals when convenient for you.

It actually requires great discipline to go through with any of these methods. This being said, i should also state that intermittent fasting is not for everyone; pregnant women , people with diabetes, people with eating disorders, people on medications and underweight people shouldn’t involve themselves in this eating method.

What are the benefits of INTERMITTENT FASTING?

well, here are a few:

* reduces insulin levels

* improves growth hormones

* aids rapid weight loss

* may prevent cancer; i said may o🤧😞.

Now, we’ve seen the benefits, lets zoom in on them and pick out the risks involved.

Firstly, if insulin levels are reduced, then its a risk factor for development of diabetes because diabetes happens either when there is inability  of insulin to move nutrients to cell sites or absence of it to do its work.

Secondly, any weight loss that is rapid just involves loss of water and glycogen and could easily be regained back if you stop fasting. Sustainability is all that really matters in any diet regime or eating pattern. The distribution of fat might change thereby leading to an increased level of fat tissue in the  wrong place (abdomen) which might lead to insulin resistance because distended abdomen is related to insulin resistance and diabetes.

Higher levels of free radicals might be incurred during this prolonged period of fasts.

It might also lead to ghrelin insufficiency which would likely leave you in starvation mode for a long time and malnutrition sets in because you are always on a calorie deficit; 500kcals per day?😢😲😲

In all this, make sure you consult a DIETITAN before delving into any type of diet or eating patterns you wish to start. (more…)

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