Acid-Base disorders occur when the pH levels in your blood are too high or too low. Metabolic acidosis is an excess of acid in the blood due to a poor kidney function, causing the pH to fall. Similarly, metabolic alkalosis is an excess of base in the blood that causes the pH to rise.

Overview and Symptoms

Symptoms of metabolic acidosis include:

  • rapid and shallow breathing
  • confusion
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • lack of appetite
  • jaundice
  • increased heart rate
  • breath that smells fruity

Symptoms of alkalosis may include:

  • nausea
  • numbness
  • prolonged muscle spasms or twitching
  • hand tremors
  • dizziness
  • difficulty breathing
  • confusion
  • coma

Metabolic acidosis or alkalosis can be diagnosed with certain blood and urine tests.


Treatment varies depending on the underlying causes, but often includes:

  • IV fluids
  • Medications
  • Dietary supplements, including fluids with electrolytes


Our expert team is committed to providing leading-edge diagnoses and treatments that improve the lives of people with kidney disease. We are recognized as one of the foremost clinical, research and training nephrology divisions in the United States.

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