Alkalosis: Symptoms, Types, Causes & Prevention


Alkalosis  is a condition developed from a reduction in the hydrogen ion concentration of the arterial blood plasma. Basically, it arises when the body fluids have an excess of alkali or too many bases. The excess of alkali occurs due to decreased levels of carbon dioxide (acid) or increased blood levels of  bicarbonate (base).

The condition can also arise due to health issues such as  hypokalemia, which is the lack of adequate amount of potassium in your body. The overabundance of bicarbonate in your bloodstream causes an imbalance between bases and acids. The imbalance, even in the slightest form causes various health problems.

The signs of the condition vary during the early and later stages. The early symptoms include

The serious symptoms of the condition include

The condition of excess of bases is classified into four types.

This condition occurs when there is a lack of adequate amount of  carbon dioxide in the bloodstream. Respiratory alkalosis is caused due to hyperventilation, which is rapid and deep breathing that causes an excessive amount of carbon dioxide to be discharged from your bloodstream.

This condition develops when your body gains too much base or due to an excess of bicarbonate in your bloodstream. Metabolic alkalosis also develops when your body loses too much acid.

This condition develops when your body does not possess the necessary amount of potassium. Potassium is usually gained by consuming potassium-rich foods. Failing to consume the proper amount of potassium-rich foods can cause potassium deficiency. Your body can also lose potassium due to excessive sweating, kidney disease and  diarrhoea. Hypokalemic alkalosis can cause hindrance to the proper functioning of your muscles, heart, kidneys, digestive system and nervous system.

This condition arises when there is a critical reduction in the amount of  chloride in your body. Chloride is necessary for the proper functioning of your body, as it maintains the proper amount of bodily fluids and is also an essential digestive fluid.

The symptoms shown by the condition is similar to that of many other conditions. Therefore, it is necessary to note that self-diagnosis is not the right way to go about alkalosis. Consult a doctor if you are having the above mentioned  symptoms.

In case of severe breathing difficulties, seizures, or loss of consciousness, it is critical that you get immediate medical help.

The doctor will carry out a number of tests to analyse and understand the condition.

By carrying out this test, the doctor will be able to detect the problems by analysing your urine sample. Urinalysis can be carried out through methods such as a microscopic exam, dipstick test, and a visual examination.

In this test, the doctor will analyse the alkalinity of your urine sample. The pH level of your urine, an indicator of your health, will help the doctor understand what is going on in your body.

A combination of a number of tests that help assess the functioning of your body, this test is carried out by taking your  blood sample. The tests are for checking the levels of albumin, chloride, potassium, bicarbonate, sodium, calcium, glucose, creatinine and blood urea nitrogen.

This test will measure the amount of carbon dioxide and  oxygen in your blood. The blood gas test is also used to analyse the pH and acidic level of your blood.

The cause of the condition is the single factor that determines the type of medical care to be received.

By maintaining a healthy diet and staying hydrated, you can reduce the risk of developing alkalosis.

If left untreated for a longer period of time, alkalosis can develop certain  complications such as

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