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Metabolic Acidosis

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 2, 2022.

What do I need to know about metabolic acidosis?

Metabolic acidosis occurs when you have too much acid in your blood. It can increase your risk for infection and heart problems, and can worsen kidney problems. Metabolic acidosis may become severe or life-threatening.

What increases my risk for metabolic acidosis?

  • Diabetes that is not controlled
  • High levels of alcohol or drugs in your blood
  • Health conditions such as seizures, liver disease, kidney failure, or muscle disease
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Poisonings by carbon monoxide or other chemicals

What are the signs and symptoms of metabolic acidosis?

  • Uncontrolled, deep breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weakness or confusion
  • Not able to be woken easily

How is metabolic acidosis diagnosed?

Blood and urine tests are done to check oxygen, carbon dioxide, and acid levels. They may also check kidney function and get information about your overall health.

How is metabolic acidosis treated?

Treatment is based on what is causing your metabolic acidosis. If your symptoms are severe, you may need IV medicine to balance acid levels in your blood.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • You have nausea and vomiting.
  • Your symptoms return or get worse.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?

  • You have uncontrolled, deep breathing.
  • You become weak or confused.
  • You cannot be woken easily.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.