In order to function properly, our body needs to have a proper balance of acids and bases, regulated by our kidneys and lungs. When there is a decrease in the amount of acids and an increase in the amount of bases, the condition is known as alkalosis. This HealthHearty article discusses the symptoms of this condition, and more.
Among the various functions that our kidneys and lungs perform, one important function is to maintain a steady balance between the acids and bases in the body. These acids and bases are nothing but chemicals. The condition wherein the body fluids end up having more bases (alkali) as compared to acids, is known as Alkalosis. On the other hand, acidosis is the condition wherein the body fluids have more acid (carbon dioxide) in the body and less base (bicarbonate). Both, alkalosis and acidosis, are two opposite conditions. Always remember that the former occurs when levels of alkali base become abnormally high in the body. This leads to decrease in the carbon dioxide level, which in turn, leads to various complications.
Types and Causes
There are different types of alkalosis that can occur in a person’s body and the causes for each type vary. Given below is a brief explanation of the same.
Respiratory Alkalosis: When a person has very low levels of carbon dioxide in the blood due to reasons including insufficient oxygen, fever, diseases of the liver, lung diseases, etc., it is known as respiratory alkalosis. Hyperventilation is one obvious symptom of this condition.
Metabolic Alkalosis: The levels of bicarbonate abnormally increase in the bloodstream. The main symptom is the decrease of salt levels in the body―sodium, chloride, potassium. A blood test would confirm the condition if the body pH level is above 7.45.
Hypochloremic Alkalosis: When the level of chloride in the blood is extremely low and the body is losing on chloride due to vomiting, the person is said to have hypochloremic alkalosis.
Hypokalemic Alkalosis: This occurs when the body loses out on a lot of potassium, as a result of which, the kidneys respond in a manner which results in alkalosis.
Compensated Alkalosis: As mentioned earlier, it is important for the body to maintain a balance between the acids and bases in the body. Compensated alkalosis is a condition when the body tries to re-balance both these components, however, the balance between the carbon dioxide and bicarbonate levels continue to remain abnormal.
- Muscle spasms
- Muscular weakness
- Tremors in hands
- Muscle twitching
- Facial numbness along with tingling sensation
- Breathing problems
The aforementioned symptoms need to be identified as soon as possible, and immediate medical assistance needs to be given to the patient to avoid further complications. It is best to get started with the possible tests, as the treatment would depend upon the type of alkalosis that the person has. The doctor will suggests certain blood tests, and depending upon the severity of the condition, he/she will advise a non-alkaline diet to get the levels of acids and bases balanced.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be considered as a replacement for expert medical advice.