Imbalance PH may relate to Metabolic Acidosis, Metabolic Alkalosis, Respiratory Acidosis, Respiratory Alkalosis which require timely diagnosis and treatment for an optimal outcome. Let’s start by letting you know that human bodies are hubs of elements and compounds. Immaculate chemistry of these elements and compounds is essential to the survival of the body. Acids and bases are among these compounds in which optimum concentration in the blood is extremely crucial. The standard Ph of the arterial blood is 7.35-7.45. Even a slight alteration is noted and has immense effects on normal cell function.
- Observing a pH scale, the survival range lies between the above mentioned figures, any fluctuations that raise the pH from 7.45 may cause a condition called Alkalosis
- A decrease in the pH from the threshold of 7.35 may cause Acidosis.
- A pH lower than 6.8 or higher than 8.0 results in death of the individual.
Having ascertained that pH plays a vital role in dictating normal body function, it is important to know what changes can occur if the pH balance is tampered with.
Acids are molecules that act as H+ donors in a solution, while bases can either accept H+ ions or give up OH_ ions in the solution. A few examples of acids are HCL and lactic acid and select bases are NaOH and CH3COOH. Normally, this balanced state of affairs in the body ensures normal renal function, normal heart rate, a balance in respiratory regulation and more. Generally, there are four types of disorders related to acid base imbalance that a body may fall victim to.
Metabolic Acidosis: This condition occurs when the body starts producing more acid than required or when the kidneys fail to remove excess acid from the blood. This leads to a severe state of low blood pH which can halt all body functions, leading coma and eventually death if left untreated. The symptoms may be pain in the chest region, increased heart palpitations, nausea, muscle weakness and abdominal pain.
Respiratory Acidosis: In this disease, the rate of the gaseous exchange in the lungs causes an increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide and thus a low blood pH. It can be both acute and chronic, depending upon the cause of the disease. If some sort of cerebral damage causes gaseous exchange or ventilation to halt, then the nature of the disorder is acute. Chronic respiratory acidosis is usually generated as a secondary disease to some major disorder, such as Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome.
Metabolic Alkalosis: Metabolic alkalosis occurs when a sudden loss in the concentration of H +ions takes place in the blood. In turn, this causes the bicarbonate concentrations of the blood to rise. This rise creates an environment of high blood pH. Metabolic alkalosis is basically triggered by irregularities occurring in the chloride levels of the urine. Both the loss of hydrogen ions and retention of the bicarbonates may cause this condition.
Respiratory Alkalosis: When a body starts to hyperventilate in response to any external stimulus, the blood pH increases tremendously causing respiratory alkalosis.
The Body’s Influence
The body has the following mechanisms of compensation for the acid-base imbalance, as follows.
- Pulmonary compensation: Pulmonary ventilation is increased or decreased depending upon the current state of the blood pH. This is brought about by changing the partial pressure of the arterial carbon dioxide (PaCO2).
- Physiologic buffers: Certain buffers such as bicarbonates, phosphates or intracellular protein buffers are increased in accordance with the state of the blood pH.
- Renal compensation: Kidneys provide compensation by retaining bicarbonates or by reducing the loss of H+ ions.
Acid-base imbalance is a serious disorder that may lead to select heart issues, enzyme denaturation and select neurological disorders, if left untreated in a timely fashion. Thus, acid and base imbalances must be properly diagnosed by your physician to identify your treatment goals.
It is important to recognize that all medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. All information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition.