Symptoms and Causes of Metabolic Acidosis

Symptoms and Causes of Metabolic Acidosis

Metabolic acidosis is a significant health situation wherein your body’s acid-base equilibrium is disrupted, or there are excessive amounts of acid in your body fluids. Your body requires to maintain a balance of acidity or basicity for optimal functioning. However, if your body gets overly acidic (acidosis) or too alkaline (hyperkalemia), it can cause major health problems and a general sensation of bad health. Severe acidosis, on the other hand, can be lethal if not treated. People with renal illness frequently develop metabolic acidosis as a result of their kidneys’ inability to filter their blood adequately. It could also occur in patients who have diabetes or are suffering from renal failure.

What is Metabolic Acidosis?

To work optimally, the body must maintain a certain level of homeostasis. There’s some room for flexibility, but that’s not enough, and when problems occur, the body suffers. Our blood is our life supply; it transports oxygen throughout the body and aids in the removal of waste so that we can operate correctly. Our blood pH is normally around 7.4, but this equilibrium can be thrown off, causing the blood to become much more acidic. Metabolic acidosis is the medical term for this illness.

Symptoms of Metabolic Acidosis

Many individuals do not experience symptoms, however, some do:

  • Confusion
  • a racing heartbeat
  • You feel sick to your stomach
  • Headache
  • Complex and long breathes
  • Not in the mood to eat
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling exhausted.
  • Having a bad day


  • It’s possible that your renal illness will worsen.
  • Osteoporosis is the decrease of bone density, which increases the risk of fractures in key bones such as the hips and backbone.
  • Muscle loss is caused by a lack of protein in the body.
  • Endocrine diseases occur when the glands that make hormones in your body do not function properly.
  • Children’s growth will slow.
  • Inflammation is a term used to describe the state of (swelling, redness, and pain).
  • Amyloid build-up is a type of protein build-up in the body that can harm your joints, organs, and brain.
  • There’s a higher possibility of dying.

Causes of Metabolic Acidosis

  • Metabolic acidosis develops when the processes in charge of controlling the ph of the blood, which is mostly dependent on the kidneys’ filtration of the blood and its disposal through the urination, fail. The most glaring case is in patients with renal failure, in which one or even both kidneys fail to perform a significant portion of their tasks, including regulating blood acidity, resulting in metabolic acidosis.
  • When the body burns fatty acids rather than carbs for energy, ketones are produced, and ketone bodies end up making the blood acidic. Ketones in the blood can start building up when you diet, leading your body to convert to fats for fuel, or when you drink excessively. When the body does not produce sufficient insulin, people who have diabetes are at risk of developing this condition.
  • When the body’s cells are starved of oxygen, they produce lactic acid. Lactic acidosis can occur during strenuous exercise or as a result of cardiac disease.
  • Your kidneys are in charge of filtering byproducts, particularly excess acids, from your blood. Acids are left behind when your kidneys are damaged to do their job due to a concussion or sickness, and they can build up in your bloodstream.
  • The base bicarbonate aids in the neutralization of acids in the blood. Acids are not neutralized and can start building up when the body’s supply of bicarbonate is low owing to kidney difficulties or dehydration.

More Causes

  • Cancer
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • consuming an excessive amount of alcohol
  • Exercising strenuously over an extended period
  • Failure of the liver
  • Blood sugar levels are low (hypoglycemia)
  • Salicylates, metformin, and antiretrovirals are examples of medicines.
  • MELAS (a very rare genetic mitochondrial disorder that affects energy production)
  • Heart failure
  • Seizures

Treatment for Metabolic Acidosis

Since metabolic acidosis is a symptom of other disorders rather than a disease in and of itself, the treatment emphasizes resolving the underlying cause. For example, if the person is diabetic, treatment focuses on restoring normal insulin and glucose levels, whereas, in the case of renal failure, acidosis is managed with frequent hemodialysis until a more permanent solution is found.

The infusion of sodium bicarbonate, a substance that lowers the action of acids, can be suggested only in very particular instances to regulate metabolic acidosis; nonetheless, it is a risky technique, thus it is only used when essential and under the supervision of healthcare staff.

Acidic foods, including such cheese, and meat, induce the body to make alkali, whilst alkali foods, including veggies and fruits, induce the body to create acid. A diet rich in vegetables and fruits might aid in lowering the body’s acid load. Animal-based proteins should be kept to a minimum. Request a referral from your doctor for a nutritionist who can create a customized nutritional program for you.