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Alkalosis, Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention, Complications

Alkalosis is a condition in which blood in the body contains too much alkaline or alkaline. This condition can occur because the level of acid or carbon dioxide in the body decreases, and there is a decrease in the levels of electrolyte chloride and potassium in the body. Blood in the body contains levels of acids and bases whose size is determined by blood tests on a pH scale. The balance of the two substances is well regulated by the kidneys and lungs with a normal pH value of around 7.4. PH levels smaller than normal indicate more acidic content in the body, while a larger than normal pH shows more alkaline content in the body.

Alkalosis, Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention, Complications

Handling of alkalosis cases depends on how quickly the disease is diagnosed and treated. The faster it is treated, the better the handling results will be. In general, most sufferers can recover after treatment.

Alkalosis Symptoms

The symptoms shown by alkalosis vary. In the initial stages, symptoms are indicated by:

  • Nausea
  • The body feels stiff
  • Tense muscles and twitching
  • Tremor on hand
  • Easy to get angry
  • Anxiety disorders that cause rapid breathing and tingling in the face, hands, or feet.

In some cases, alkalosis does not cause symptoms at all. On the other hand, severe symptoms can occur if alkalosis is not immediately treated, namely shortness of breath and decreased consciousness.

Causes of Alkalosis

The balance of acid-base levels in the body is closely guarded by the mechanisms of the lungs, kidneys, and chemical support systems in the body. When a balance disorder occurs where the pH value is different from normal, the condition of many organs can be disrupted. Based on the cause, there are four types of alkalosis, namely:

  1. Metabolic alkalosis. This typically occurs if the body's acid content is too low, so the body contains more alkaline. This condition can be caused by excessive and prolonged vomiting to loss of electrolytes (especially chloride and potassium), excessive consumption of certain drugs (diuretics, antacids, or laxatives), adrenal gland disease, bicarbonate consumption, and alcoholism.
  2. Respiratory alkalosis. This condition occurs because there is not enough carbon dioxide in the bloodstream due to breathing too fast (for example in conditions of anxiety), lack of oxygen, salicylate poisoning, medical conditions (high fever, lung disease, liver disease), or in a high place. Hyperventilation due to anxiety is the most common cause in respiratory alkalosis.

Diagnosis of Alkalosis

After knowing the symptoms experienced by the patient, the doctor can do a physical examination as a first step in establishing a diagnosis. The examination needs to be supported by a series of tests to determine the cause of the symptoms experienced by the patient. The test is in the form of:

  • Blood tests, which include electrolyte testing and analysis of gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide) in arterial blood. Both tests are carried out to determine the alkalosis that occurs is respiratory or metabolic alkalosis.
  • A urine test or urinalysis. This test by taking a urine sample is done to check the electrolyte level and urine pH.

Alkalosis treatment

Treatment can be carried out after the doctor knows the cause of alkalosis in the patient. In respiratory alkalosis, the main treatment that needs to be done is to make sure the patient has adequate oxygen levels and returns carbon dioxide levels back to normal. When the patient breathes quickly because of pain, then the pain needs to be addressed first, so that breathing becomes normal and the patient's condition can be better. If the problem of catching is caused by anxiety, the doctor can advise the patient to breathe more slowly and deeply, to help alleviate the symptoms of the patient. In addition, efforts to calm patients and help patients breathe in paper bags can also increase carbon dioxide levels in the blood, so symptoms can subside. But when the test results show oxygen levels in the body are low, the patient needs to get additional oxygen intake to do a mask.

In alkalosis due to a lack of some chemicals, such as chloride and potassium, doctors can give drugs and supplements to replace fewer chemicals. If this metabolic alkalosis is very severe, it can be given by fluid and electrolyte infusion during hospital treatment. In addition, the patient's vital signs will always be observed, namely body temperature, pulse, respiratory rate, and blood pressure. Post-treatment, most alkalosis sufferers can recover.

Complications of Alkalosis

Alkalosis complications can occur when this condition is not treated properly. Some alkalosis complications are:

  • Arrhythmias, such as heart rate too fast, too slow, or irregular
  • Coma.

Prevention of alkalosis

Preventive measures that can be taken is to reduce the risk of developing alkalosis. The reduction in risk can be achieved by:

  • Applying a healthy diet, especially foods that are high in potassium to prevent electrolyte deficiencies. Many sources of nutritional potassium are found in fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, spinach, bananas, and nuts.
  • Maintain adequate fluid intake to prevent dehydration which is characterized by thirst. Dehydration can make the body lose a lot of electrolytes in a short time. Some efforts that can be done to prevent dehydration are to drink 8 to 10 glasses every day, and make it a habit to drink before, after, or during exercise. Even though you need to drink enough, you need to pay attention to limiting caffeine in soda, tea or coffee, which can worsen dehydration.
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