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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Metabolic Acidosis

Metabolic Acidosis

Alternate Names : Acidosis, Metabolic

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Metabolic acidosis is a condition in which the acid level within the blood is higher than normal. By definition, the condition is not due to breathing problems, which is known as respiratory acidosis.

What is going on in the body?

The lungs and kidneys help control the amount of acid in the blood. These two organs work hard to keep a normal level of acid in the blood. Certain non-lung diseases and conditions, when severe, can overwhelm the kidneys. Alternatively, the kidneys themselves may not work. Either of these situations can cause high acid levels in the blood, or metabolic acidosis.

What are the causes and risks of the disease?

Metabolic acidosis can be caused by many different situations, including:

  • some types of kidney disease or kidney failure
  • an overdose of aspirin
  • ingestion of ethylene glycol, a chemical found in antifreeze
  • shock, a condition that occurs in very sick people due to poor blood flow throughout the body
  • diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition that occurs in certain people with uncontrolled type 1 diabetes mellitus
  • medications, such as a diuretic or "fluid pill" called acetazolamide. A diabetes medication called metformin occasionally causes metabolic acidosis.
  • severe diarrhea
  • Other causes are also possible.


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    Metabolic Acidosis: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Adam Brochert, MD
    Reviewer: Melissa Sanders, PharmD
    Date Reviewed: 07/05/01

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