Do you have an excess of acid or alkali, causing the pH of your blood to be out of balance?
When it comes to staying healthy, having your blood tested is an excellent way to ensure everything is going smoothly. Your blood is an important indicator of your overall health. Doctors can examine your red and white blood cell count, nutrient, vitamin, mineral levels, and your blood's overall pH to gauge your body's health.
Your blood is made up of a delicate balance of acids and bases, and retaining the right pH is important to staying healthy. Having an excess amount of either acids or bases can cause many different kinds of health problems, and the earlier you notice signs that something is off, the faster you can treat it and get better. To help with this, scientists have developed a series of acidosis and alkalosis tests, which analyze your blood levels to detect whether things are off or not.
Your blood is made up of a delicate balance of acids and bases, and retaining the right pH is important to staying healthy. Having an excess amount of either acids or bases can cause many different kinds of health problems, and the earlier you notice signs that something is off, the faster you can treat it and get better. To help with this, scientists have developed a series of acidosis and alkalosis tests, which analyze your blood levels to detect whether things are off or not. Once your blood is drawn by a phlebotomist, it's sent to a lab for analysis. These days, it's easier than ever to get tested -- but what exactly are you preventing with these tests?
What is Acidosis?
As its name would suggest, acidosis refers to an excessive amount of acid in your body. There are several types of acidosis and many different causes. People with diabetes, HIV, cancer, and those who have a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle may be at a higher risk of acidosis. Diagnosis for acidosis usually involves several blood tests, which examine the level of ketones, gases, potassium, and sodium in the blood while also examining organ functionality. Urine tests are also sometimes conducted to analyze ketone levels and pH.
Types of Acidosis and Their Causes
Lactic acid is produced primarily in the muscles and red blood cells of the body. A buildup of lactic acid can be caused by drinking too much alcohol, excessive exercise, liver failure, and more. The main symptoms are breathing issues, jaundice, and confusion. However, other symptoms may occur. Depending on the cause, treatment for lactic acidosis varies. We'll get more into this specific type of acidosis later.
Metabolic acidosis refers to when the body produces too much acid. This is often caused by kidney problems, though other causes exist, such as uncontrolled diabetes, extreme dehydration, and poisoning by methanol, ethylene glycol, or aspirin. Symptoms can include hyperventilating, confusion, and tiredness or fatigue. Again, treatment for metabolic acidosis depends on what's causing it.
When too much carbon dioxide is in the body, it's referred to as respiratory acidosis. While it might sound odd, carbon dioxide is acidic, and while your body usually removes it through breathing, sometimes it can build up. This condition can occur due to injuries, deformities, chest weakness, sedatives abuse, and chronic lung disease. Symptoms are also mainly made up of breathing problems, confusion, and fatigue. Treatment usually tackles the root cause and varies accordingly.
What is Alkalosis?
Alkalosis is when your body contains too many bases. There are four main types of this, each with varying causes and symptoms. We'll examine each type and its various causes briefly.
Types of Alkalosis and Their Causes
When the body produces too many bases or loses an excess of acids, it's known as metabolic alkalosis. This may be due to excessive sweating or vomiting, which can cause a loss of electrolytes, ingesting a large amount of bases, taking laxatives, alcohol abuse, and more.
Typically caused by over-sweating or a long period of vomiting, this type of alkalosis causes the body to lose too much chloride, which is a key chemical in your body's digestive processes.
When your body loses too much potassium, it triggers this type of alkalosis. Not eating enough potassium can cause, but the leading causes are usually kidney issues, diarrhea, and sweating too much. Potassium is a vital chemical that plays a role in your body's muscles, heart, digestion, and nervous system.
Finally, respiratory alkalosis is caused by a lack of carbon dioxide in the body. This may be triggered by a high fever, a lack of oxygen, a prolonged period in high altitudes, and hyperventilation, though there are other causes.
Signs and Symptoms of Acidosis or Alkalosis
If you've been experiencing any of the following symptoms with no obvious explanation, then you might be suffering from one of the previously mentioned conditions:
- lack of energy
- hand tremors
- spasming muscles or muscle twitches
- trouble breathing
If you've been experiencing any or some of these symptoms at the same time, then it's recommended you get a blood test to ascertain the cause, as these can signify a variety of medical conditions -- not just acidosis or alkalosis!
Acidosis and Alkalosis Testing
As we mentioned previously, there are many ways to test for both of these conditions. However, blood tests are the most commonly utilized tests, as blood contains all of the acids and bases that your body requires to function properly, as well as essential gases and ketones.
Lactic Acidosis Testing
Suppose you suspect you might have lactic acidosis. In that case, it's important to get tested as soon as possible, especially if you've been diagnoses with diabetes, HIV, cancer, heart disease, cholera, malaria, or sepsis. If you suffer from any of these conditions, it's important to be wary of consuming too much of certain substances, particularly alcohol and acetaminophen. It's also imperative to avoid over-exercise, as exercise naturally causes your muscles to release lactic acid.
Testing for lactic acidosis is common for athletes and those at a higher risk for the condition and typically involves examining your lactate levels through blood tests. Usually, your doctor will instruct you not to clench your fist or tense up during the test, which can artificially spike lactate levels, skewing the test results.
Order Your Acidosis and Alkalosis Tests with Ulta Lab Tests
What are you waiting for? If you're showing signs of unbalance acids and bases, you need to act fast. If left untreated to keep the right pH to stay healthy.
Ulta Lab Tests offers highly accurate and reliable tests so you can make informed decisions about your health. Here are a few great things to love about Ulta Lab Tests:
- You'll get secure and confidential results
- You don't need health insurance
- You don't need a physician's referral
- You'll get affordable pricing
- We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee
Order your Acidosis and Alkalosis lab tests and your results will be provided to you securely and confidentially online in 24 to 48 hours for most tests.
Take control with Ulta Lab Tests today!