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Definition Return to top
Alkalosis is a condition in which the body fluids have excess base (alkali). This is the opposite of excess acid (acidosis).
Causes Return to top
The lungs and kidneys regulate the acid/base status of the body. Decreased carbon dioxide (an acid) or increased bicarbonate (a base) levels make the body too alkaline, a condition called alkalosis.
Causes of alkalosis:
Symptoms Return to top
Exams and Tests Return to top
Tests of pH can show whether you have alkalosis or acidosis. Carbon dioxide and bicarbonate tests indicate whether the cause of alkalosis or acidosis is respiratory (breathing-related) or metabolic (kidney-related).Tests for alkalosis include:
Treatment Return to top
Treatment of alkalosis depends on finding the specific cause.
For alkalosis caused by hyperventilation, breathing into a paper bag causes you to retain more carbon dioxide. You may receive oxygen.
Some people need medications to correct chemical loss (such as chloride and potassium). Your health care provider will monitor your vital signs (temperature, pulse, rate of breathing, blood pressure).
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
Most cases of alkalosis respond well to treatment.
Possible Complications Return to top
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call your health care provider if you become confused, unable to concentrate, or unable to "catch your breath."
A visit to the emergency room or call to the local emergency number (such as 911) is warranted for:
Prevention Return to top
Prevention depends on the cause of the alkalosis. Normally, people with healthy kidneys and lungs do not significantly experience alkalosis.Update Date: 11/12/2007 Updated by: Charles Silberberg, D.O., Private Practice specializing in Nephrology, Affiliated with NY Medical College, Division of Nephrology, Valhalla, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.