(1)Respiratory Acidosis: The incapability of lungs to eliminate all the carbon dioxide produced by the body results in respiratory acidosis. Body fluids, mainly blood becomes acidic in respiratory acidosis.
(2)Respiratory acidosis may be caused due the following reasons:
- Chronic obstructive lung disease or Asthma (diseases of airways).
- Chest diseases.
- Diseases that affect the nerve and muscles, which signal the lungs to inflate or deflate.
- Pain medicines, like narcotics, suppress breathing, especially when they are combined with alcohol.
- Acute obesity that restricts the expansion of lungs.
Chronic respiratory acidosis leads to a stable condition as it takes place over a very long period of time, as the body chemicals like bicarbonates are increased by the kidneys, helping in the restoration of the acid-base balance of the body.
In acute respiratory acidosis, the kidneys fail to return the body a state of balance, as carbon dioxide is built up very fast.
SYMPTOMS: Respiratory acidosis may include the following symptoms:
- Easy Fatigue.
- Harsh breathing.
CONSEQUENCES IF NOT TREATED: If respiratory acidosis is left untreated, it may lead to the following consequences:
- Poor functioning of organs.
- Respiratory failure.
Shock may include the following:
- Cardiogenic Shock (related to cardiac problems).
- Septic Shock (related to infections).
- Anaphylactic Shock (related to allergy).
- Hypovolemic Shock (related to inadequacy of blood volume).
One should immediately seek medical help if the symptoms of severe respiratory acidosis are seen.
Stop smoking as smoking lead to severe lung diseases that may develop respiratory acidosis. One should always be careful about not taking any sedative with alcohol as it may lead to respiratory acidosis and may result in respiratory failure.
Some treatments for respiratory acidosis, may include the following:
- Bronchodialating drugs for un-obstructing the airway obstruction.
- Treatments to quit smoking.
- Breathing machine or Non-invasive positive pressure ventilation.
- Oxygen, if the level of oxygen is low.
Respiratory Alkalosis: Low level of Carbon dioxide in the blood due to very harsh breathing causes respiratory alkalosis.
Respiratory alkalosis can be caused due to the following reasons:
- Lack of Oxygen.
- Salicylate poisoning.
- Lung disease, which causes fast breathing.
- Being at high altitude.
Respiratory alkalosis can be caused by any lung disease that leads to harsh breathing.
SYMPTOMS: Respiratory alkalosis may include the following symptoms:
- Numbness of feet and hands.
- Light feeling in the head.
CONSEQUENCES IF NOT TREATED: If respiratory alkalosis is left untreated, it may lead to the following:
- Hypoxia (insufficiency of oxygen in the tissues).
- Seizures may also take place if respiratory alkalosis is severe.
Consult a doctor if any sign like chronic cough, breathlessness is observed. This may be due to respiratory alkalosis and may the symptoms of lung disease. Doctors may perform the following:
- Pulmonary function test: this test tells about how well the lungs take in gases like oxygen into the body circulation from the atmosphere.
- X-ray of chest.
- Arterial blood gas: This tells the level of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood.
Some treatments which help in respiratory alkalosis may include:
- Re-breathing carbon dioxide, by breathing into a paper bag or using a mask, sometimes help in reducing respiratory alkalosis.