Lactic acidosis is a condition caused by the buildup of lactic acid in the blood.
Lactic acidosis is the most common type of metabolic acidosis and it is due to the effect of lactate accumulation in the blood causing it to become excessively acidic.
Lactic acid is a product of the breakdown of glucose to generate energy. Lactic acid is mainly produced in muscle cells and RBCs (Red Blood Cells).
Lactic acid level in the blood depends on the metabolism and the level of lactic acid is increased during exercise. Lactic acid is mainly metabolized in the liver (but also in the kidneys) into pyruvate and ultimately converted to glucose.
Lactic acid buildup occurs when there is not enough oxygen for a correct metabolism of the cells.
Lactic acidosis is produced by an excessive production of lactate or by a decrease in the metabolism of lactate.
Thus, lactic acidosis may occur in a variety of conditions, including:
When the level of lactic acid in the blood increases the person starts feeling ill with symptoms such as:
Breathing in patients with lactic acidosis is deep and labored and patient may lose consciousness.
The criteria for diagnosis of lactic acidosis are high levels of lactates in the blood exceeding 45 mg/dl (5 mmol/l) and pH of 7.25 or below.
The primary therapy for lactic acidosis is to treat the underlying disorder.
In addition, the following treatments may be used: