Blood has an important property when looking at the degree of alkalinity or acidity. When the level of acidic compounds rise within the body, or when the level of alkaline compounds decreases blood acidity increases. The body’s ability to balance acidity and alkalinity is an acid-base balance (MerckManual, n.d.) This balance is carefully controlled because even a very small devia±on from what is considered the normal range can greatly aFect many organs. The human body is capable of using mechanisms to control the blood’s acid-base balance. When the body is unable to do this abnormali±es of the acid-base balance will occur. These abnormali±es are acidosis and alkalosis, which although not recognized as diseases are the cause of a range of disorders and condi±ons that aFect the body. The two abnormali±es of the acid-base balance are categorized as either metabolic or respiratory. An excess of acid is called acidosis, while an excess in bases is alkalosis. Generally, with acidosis the blood has too much acid or to li²le base that causes a decrease in blood pH, while alkalosis involves the blood having too much base or too li²le acid, causing an increase in blood pH. Metabolic acidosis and metabolic alkalosis is caused by an imbalance of acids or bases, and their excre±on by the body’s kidneys. Respiratory acidosis and respiratory alkalosis is usually caused by changes in carbon dioxide exhala±on resul±ng from lung and breathing condi±ons. Metabolic acidosis is a clinical condi±on that results in an increase in plasma acidity, where there is too much acid in the body ³uids. It will occur when the body ends up making an excessive amount of acid or the kidneys are not able to remove enough acid from the body. In
Normal values: pH = 7.35-7.45 PCO2 = 35-45 HCO2 = 22-26 Respiratory acidosis happens when the body can’t remove all of the carbon dioxide produced. This causes the body fluids mainly the blood to become too acidic. When pH levels drop below 7.35 then acidosis condition is present. PaCO 2 Respiratory acidosis : > 45 mmHg (> 6 kPa). Respiratory alkalosis a condition marked by low levels of carbon dioxide in the blood cause by excessive breathing. When pH levels are above 7.45 this is considered alkalosis. PaCO 2 Respiratory alkalosis : <35 mmHg (< 4.6 kPa). Metabolic acidosis is acid accumulation due to increased acid production or acid ingestion; decreased acid excretion; or GI or renal HCO 3-loss. Metabolic acidosis : <22 mEq/L. Metabolic alkalosis is HCO 3-accumulation caused by acid loss, alkali administration, intracellular shift of hydrogen ion (H + —as occurs in hypokalemia), or HCO 3 − retention. Metabolic alkalosis : > 26 mEq/L. ( Gerard J. Tortora) Some common causes for respiratory acidosis are: diseases of the airway such as asthma, and chronic obstructive lung disease, diseases of the chest like scoliosis, and obstructive sleep apnea. Common causes for respiratory alkalosis are: anxiety, fever, and hyperventilation. Some common causes for metabolic acidosis are: alcohol, cancer, kidney disease, exercising intensely, severe dehydration. Common causes for metabolic alkalosis are: fever, lack of oxygen, liver disease, being too high up in altitude, and lung disease.