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Acid-Base Disorders

Nephrology & Hypertension serving Middle Tennessee

Acid-Base Disorders services offered throughout Middle tennessee

If the acid-base balance is off within your body, severe complications can develop. At Southern Kidney Specialists, with locations throughout Middle Tennessee, the outstanding nephrology team treats acid-base disorders to eliminate toxin buildup in your body. Call the nearest office to schedule an appointment, or book one online today!

What are acid-base disorders?

Acid-base disorders are conditions in which there is too much acid or too much alkalinity in your body fluids. The specific disorder you have indicates the symptoms you’ll develop and the type of treatment you need to balance the acids and bases in your body and minimize the risk of life-threatening medical problems.

What are the main forms of acid-base disorders?

Common forms of acid-base disorders include:

Metabolic acidosis

Metabolic acidosis causes too much acid to build up in your body fluids. It may appear when your kidneys don’t remove enough acid from the body. It can result from uncontrolled diabetes, severe diarrhea, kidney disease, lactic acid buildup, poisoning, or extreme dehydration. 

Metabolic alkalosis

If you have metabolic alkalosis, your body holds too much bicarbonate (a base). It may appear for a variety of reasons, such as repeated vomiting, dehydration, abnormal fluid buildup, poisoning, medication or dietary supplement overuse, and complications of the heart, kidneys, or liver. 

Electrolyte imbalances, cystic fibrosis, high aldosterone levels, and low chloride levels can also contribute to metabolic alkalosis.

Respiratory alkalosis may appear if you breathe in too quickly or deeply, causing your lungs to eliminate too much carbon dioxide.

What are the symptoms of acid-base disorders?

The common signs and symptoms of acid-base disorders vary based on the type of disorder you have and may include:

  • Confusion
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Shock
  • Irritability
  • Muscle cramping
  • Muscle twitching
  • Muscle spasms
  • Tremors
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Acid-base disorders can even lead to death when left untreated. 

How does my provider diagnose acid-base disorders?

The Southern Kidney Specialists team uses various methods to diagnose acid-base disorders. They discuss your symptoms and medical history, check your vital signs, and complete a physical exam. 

You might need blood tests, urinalysis, or an electrocardiogram (EKG) to check for heart arrhythmias.

How are acid-base disorders treated?

The Southern Kidney Specialists team tailors each treatment for acid-base disorders based on the specific disorder you have. You might need to take oral medications, make medication changes, or receive fluids and electrolytes or medications intravenously through one of your veins. 

You may also have to stop taking certain medications, such as diuretics. 

Prevention measures include properly controlling diabetes, kidney disease, and other chronic diseases.

At the first sign of acid-base disorders, see the Southern Kidney Specialists team for an evaluation. Call the nearest office or schedule an appointment online today.