What are the Symptoms of Lactic Acidosis and the Treatment for Lactic Acidosis?
Lactic acidosis is a medical condition that occurs when the body accumulates too much lactic acid. Lactic acid is a normal byproduct of metabolism, but when the body produces excessive amounts of it, it can lead to lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis can be serious and even life-threatening, so it’s important to know its symptoms and how to treat it.
Symptoms of Lactic Acidosis
The symptoms of lactic acidosis can vary depending on the severity of the condition, but some common symptoms include:
Muscle weakness or fatigue
Shortness of breath
Nausea or vomiting
Confusion or disorientation
Rapid or irregular heartbeat
Dizziness or lightheadedness
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.
Causes of Lactic Acidosis
Lactic acidosis can be caused by several factors, including:
Lack of oxygen: When the body doesn’t receive enough oxygen, it may start producing lactic acid instead of using other energy sources.
Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as liver or kidney disease, can lead to lactic acidosis.
Certain medications: Some medications, such as metformin (a type 2 diabetes medication), can increase the risk of lactic acidosis.
Alcohol abuse: Alcohol abuse can lead to lactic acidosis by impairing the body’s ability to metabolize lactic acid.
Severe infections: Severe infections can increase the production of lactic acid in the body.
Diagnosis of Lactic Acidosis
If you experience symptoms of lactic acidosis, your doctor will perform a physical examination and ask about your medical history. They may also order laboratory tests, such as a blood test, to measure the levels of lactic acid in your blood.
Treatment of Lactic Acidosis
The treatment of lactic acidosis depends on the underlying cause. If the cause is a lack of oxygen, supplemental oxygen may be given. If the cause is a medical condition, treatment will focus on managing the underlying condition.
If the cause is a medication, your doctor may recommend stopping the medication or switching to a different medication. If the cause is alcohol abuse, treatment will focus on addressing the alcohol abuse.
In severe cases of lactic acidosis, hospitalization may be necessary. In the hospital, treatment may include intravenous fluids, electrolytes, and glucose to help neutralize the lactic acid in the body.
In addition, the treatment may involve correcting any underlying medical conditions that are contributing to the lactic acidosis. For example, if the lactic acidosis is due to liver disease, treatment will focus on managing the liver disease.
Prevention of Lactic Acidosis
There are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing lactic acidosis:
Maintain a healthy lifestyle: This includes eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and avoiding alcohol and drugs.
Manage any medical conditions: If you have a medical condition, such as diabetes or liver disease, it’s important to manage it effectively to reduce the risk of lactic acidosis.
Avoid certain medications: If you’re taking medications that increase the risk of lactic acidosis, talk to your doctor about switching to a different medication.