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Metabolic Alkalosis

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

What is metabolic alkalosis?

Metabolic alkalosis is a condition caused by the loss of potassium or chloride in your blood, tissues, and muscles.

What are the signs and symptoms of metabolic alkalosis?

  • Slow breathing
  • Fast or irregular heartbeats, dizziness, or lightheadedness
  • Blue skin or nails
  • Confusion or feeling irritable
  • Muscle cramps or spasms
  • Trouble breathing

What increases my risk for metabolic alkalosis?

  • Repeated vomiting, severe diarrhea, or stomach suctioning
  • Family history of metabolic alkalosis
  • Worsening kidney function
  • Medicines such as steroids, laxatives, or certain diuretics (water pills)
  • Overuse of bicarbonates, such as baking soda or antacids

How is metabolic alkalosis diagnosed and treated?

Your healthcare provider will check the bicarbonate, potassium, and chloride levels in your blood or urine. He will treat the cause of your metabolic alkalosis. You may be given medicines to replace sodium, potassium, or chloride, stop you from vomiting, or regulate your heartbeat. You may also be given fluid through an IV. Extra fluid helps remove substances such as bicarbonate that caused your metabolic alkalosis.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?

  • You have trouble breathing.
  • You are dizzy, confused, or lose consciousness.
  • You have a seizure.

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 caregivers 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.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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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