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What causes acid-base metabolism disorders?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Metabolic acidosis can be caused by various conditions that produce too much acid in the blood, cause the kidneys to excrete too little acid, or cause the digestive tract to lose too much base (the opposite of acid). Metabolic acidosis can result from lactic acid buildup due to shock, ketone buildup due to poorly managed diabetes, ingesting poisons that break down to acids in the body, overdoses of aspirin or other drugs, kidney dysfunction or failure, severe diarrhea, and intestinal surgery.  Metabolic alkalosis is caused by loss of too much acid, or loss of potassium or sodium which normally help the kidneys regulate acid-base balance. Metabolic acidosis can result from excessive vomiting, hospital procedures which suction out the stomach, overuse of diuretics, and Cushing's syndrome.

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