Beautician Class Notes 09 (PH)

Types of acidosis
Respiratory acidosis
Respiratory acidosis is caused by your lungs
not being able to remove enough carbon
dioxide when you exhale. This can occur
when your lungs are affected by a disease or
other disorder.
Some conditions that could lead to

respiratory acidosis include:
● asthma
● emphysema
● pneumonia (severe)
Respiratory acidosis can also be caused by
taking narcotics or sleep medications. Brain
and nervous system disorders that cause breathing problems may also lead to respiratory acidosis.
The primary symptoms of respiratory acidosis are:
● extreme sleepiness
● fatigue
● confusion
● headache
If left untreated, respiratory acidosis can become severe and lead to coma or death.
Metabolic acidosis

Metabolic acidosis is a buildup of acid in the body that originates in the kidneys. It occurs when your body can’t
get rid of excess acid or loses too much base. Specific causes include:
● having too little sodium bicarbonate in your blood, a potential complication of severe vomiting or
● a buildup of ketones due to a lack of insulin, a condition known as ketoacidosis that people with diabetes
● a buildup of lactic acid, a possible complication of alcohol misuse, cancer, and seizures
● failure of the kidneys to release acid into the bloodstream, known as renal tubular acidosis
Metabolic acidosis could also be caused by ingesting certain substances, such as:
● methanol
● antifreeze
● aspirin (in large doses)
Symptoms of metabolic acidosis can include nausea, vomiting, and extreme tiredness.
As with respiratory acidosis, metabolic acidosis can result in coma or death if left untreated.
Types of alkalosis
Respiratory alkalosis
Respiratory alkalosis is when there’s too little carbon dioxide in your blood. Causes of respiratory alkalosis
include hyperventilation due to anxiety, aspirin overdose, high fever, and possibly even pain.
Symptoms of respiratory alkalosis are muscle cramping and twitching. You may also notice tingling in your
fingers, toes, and lips, as well as irritability.

Metabolic alkalosis
Metabolic alkalosis occurs when bicarbonate levels in your blood get too high or your body loses too much acid.
It can be brought on by a long period of vomiting, overuse of diuretics, or an overactive adrenal gland.
Other conditions that can lead to metabolic alkalosis are kidney damage caused by a severe loss of fluids or
ingestion of a large amount of baking soda.
Symptoms of metabolic alkalosis are the same as those discussed above for respiratory alkalosis.
How are they diagnosed?
If you think you have a pH imbalance, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. In addition to taking
your medical history, a doctor will use a variety of blood and urine tests to determine the underlying cause of your
pH imbalance.
Possible tests include:
● arterial blood gas to look at oxygen and carbon dioxide levels and blood pH
● basic metabolic panel to check kidney function and nutrient levels
● urinalysis to check for proper elimination of acids and bases
● urine pH level test to measure alkalinity and acidity of urine
However, depending on your symptoms and the other information your doctor collects, additional tests may be
performed. If you have diabetes, your glucose and ketone levels may be tested. If you ingested ethylene glycol or
methylene, you may undergo an osmolality test.
Treating pH imbalance
Treatments for pH imbalances will vary greatly based on whether you’re experiencing acidosis or alkalosis, and
what the underlying cause is. The ultimate goal is to return your acid-base level to a healthy balance.

Acidosis treatment might include:
● oral or intravenous sodium bicarbonate to raise blood pH
● medications to dilate your airways
● continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device to facilitate breathing
● sodium citrate to treat kidney failure
● insulin and intravenous fluids to treat ketoacidosis
Alkalosis treatment might include:
● slowed breathing if the underlying cause is hyperventilation
● oxygen therapy
● medications to restore levels of nutrients, such as chloride or potassium
● fluids or electrolyte drinks to restore electrolyte balance