Metabolic alkalosis is a condition that develops in the blood when it has a pH level that is too high or too alkaline. The human body maintains the appropriate amount of acidity and alkalinity through mechanisms in the lungs and kidneys. Most mild cases of alkalosis and acidosis can be mediated by the lungs or kidneys, but some severe cases require medical treatment. Metabolic alkalosis occurs in one of four different types. There are two subtypes: chloride-resistant alkalosis and chloride-responsive alkalosis. Chloride-responsive alkalosis describes when an individual develops metabolic alkalosis from some loss of hydrogen ions, and chloride-resistant alkalosis develops when an individual's body experiences a shift of hydrogen ions out of the blood or retains an excess amount of bicarbonate ions.
There are several causes of metabolic alkalosis. Get familiar with them now.
One of the most prevalent causes of metabolic alkalosis is diabetes and the complications that develop from it. A diabetes patient is either unable to produce insulin or their body is unable to utilize the insulin that is produced. This leads to frequent instances of high blood glucose, especially if their diabetes is poorly or inadequately managed. Chronic high blood sugar can cause compounded damage to the tissues that make up the kidneys. Acid-base disorders, like metabolic alkalosis, occur when the affected individual experiences enough kidney damage to impair normal functionality. Another mechanism that can produce metabolic alkalosis in a diabetes patient is a condition referred to as diabetic ketoacidosis. The combination of compensatory mechanisms and medical treatment for the overly acidic blood can cause metabolic alkalosis if the blood pH becomes too high.
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