Metabolic alkalosis is a condition where an individual's blood pH level becomes too high or too alkaline. An individual's body functions best when their blood pH level remains between the values of 7.35 and 7.45. This shift in blood pH level is caused by too much bicarbonate in blood serum, which can result from several mechanisms. Excessive vomiting, potassium deficiency, diuretic overuse, liver failure, antacid use, heart failure, laxative use, alcohol abuse, bicarbonate ingestion, and adrenal disease can all cause metabolic alkalosis. Metabolic alkalosis is diagnosed with the use of a physical examination, blood tests, and urine tests. Metabolic alkalosis may be treated with diet adjustments, intravenous saline, potassium supplementation, supportive oxygen, or intravenous potassium chloride.
Several symptoms can be indicative of metabolic alkalosis. Learn about them now.
Shallow And Rapid Breathing
Shallow breathing or hypoventilation may occur in an individual affected by metabolic alkalosis because the respiratory center in their brain becomes inhibited because of the imbalance of acids and bases in their body. Individuals who are chronically ill with failure of the heart, liver, lungs, or kidneys are more likely to present with this symptom because it is also a common manifestation of vital organ failure. Reduced blood flow to the kidneys, loss of gastric fluid in the gut, aldosteronism, Bartter syndrome, Liddle syndrome, and hyperglucocorticoidism can also produce rapid breathing and trigger the onset of metabolic alkalosis from loss of base in the blood. Rapid breathing can also occur in a metabolic alkalosis patient due to reduced blood volume because it is a compensatory mechanism for lack of oxygen saturation in body tissues.
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