Alkalosis

Definition:Alkalosis is a condition in which the body fluids have excess base (alkali).It refers to a condition reducing hydrogen ion concentration of arterial blood plasma (alkalemia). Generally alkalosis is said to occur when pH of the blood exceeds 7.45. The opposite condition is acidosis.

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Types:
More specifically, alkalosis can refer to:

*Respiratory alkalosis
*Metabolic alkalosis

Causes: The lungs and kidneys regulate the acid/base status of the body. Decreased carbon dioxide (an acid) or increased bicarbonate (a base) levels make the body too alkaline, a condition called alkalosis.

The kidneys are located in the posterior abdomen and are responsible for filtering urine from the blood.
The main cause of respiratory alkalosis is hyperventilation, resulting in a loss of carbon dioxide. Compensatory mechanisms for this would include increased dissociation of the carbonic acid buffering intermediate into hydrogen ions, and the related consumption of bicarbonate, both of which would lower blood pH.

Metabolic alkalosis can be caused by prolonged vomiting, resulting in a loss of hydrochloric acid with the stomach content. Severe dehydration, and the consumption of alkali are other causes. Compensatory mechanism for metabolic alkalosis involve slowed breathing by the lungs to increase serum carbon dioxide, a condition leaning toward respiratory acidosis. As respiratory acidosis often accompanies the compensation for metabolic alkalosis, and visa versa, a delicate balance is created between these two conditions.

*Respiratory alkalosis is caused by low carbon dioxide levels. Being at a high altitude or having a disease that reduces oxygen in the blood can cause you to breathe faster (hyperventilate), which lowers carbon dioxide levels.

*Metabolic alkalosis is caused by too much bicarbonate in the blood.

*Hypochloremic alkalosis is caused by an extreme lack or loss of chloride, which can occur with prolonged vomiting.

*Hypokalemic alkalosis is caused by the kidneys’ response to an extreme lack or loss of potassium, which can occur when people take certain diuretic medications.

*Compensated alkalosis occurs when the body returns the acid/base balance to normal in cases of alkalosis, but bicarbonate and carbon dioxide levels remain abnormal.

Symptoms :

*Confusion (can progress to stupor or coma)

*Hand tremor

*Light-headedness

*Muscle twitching

*Nausea, vomiting

*Numbness or tingling in the face or extremities

*Prolonged muscle spasms (tetany)

Other Symptoms are :over-excitability of the nervous system manifested by nervous “tics,” hyperventilation, sore muscles, creaking and popping joints, bursitis, drowsiness, “bugged-out” eyes, high blood pressure, edema, allergies, night cramps, asthma, chronic indigestion, night coughs, thick blood, menstrual problems etc.

Diagnosis:(Exams and Tests):Tests of pH can show whether you have alkalosis or acidosis. Carbon dioxide and bicarbonate tests indicate whether the cause of alkalosis or acidosis is respiratory (breathing-related) or metabolic (kidney-related).

Tests for alkalosis include:

*Arterial blood gas (or venous blood gas)

*Chem-20

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*Litmus paper (urine dipstick tests)

*Urinalysis

*Urine pH

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ACID-BASE PATHOPHYSIOLOGY

Contraction Alkalosis and Hypokalemia

Treatment : Treatment of alkalosis depends on finding the specific cause.

For alkalosis caused by hyperventilation, breathing into a paper bag causes you to retain more carbon dioxide. You may receive oxygen.

Some people need medications to correct chemical loss (such as chloride and potassium). Your health care provider will monitor your vital signs (temperature, pulse, rate of breathing, blood pressure).

Herbs that are more beneficial to Fight symptoms that include creaking and popping joints, allergies, night cramps, asthma and more with nature’s remedies are Alfalfa and Rose Hips.

Vitamin C. intake also helps a lot.

Prognosis:

Most cases of alkalosis respond well to treatment.

Possible Complications :

*Arrhythmias

*Coma

*Electrolyte imbalance (such as hypokalemia)

When to Contact a Medical Professional : Call your health care provider if you become confused, unable to concentrate, or unable to “catch your breath.”

A visit to the emergency room or call to the local emergency number (such as 911) is warranted for:

*Loss of consciousness

*Rapidly worsening symptoms of alkalosis

*Seizures

*Severe breathing difficulties

Prevention :Prevention depends on the cause of the alkalosis. Normally, people with healthy kidneys and lungs do not significantly experience alkalosis.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/MEDLINEPLUS/ency/article/001183.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkalosis
http://herbnews.org/alkalosisdone.htm

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