What Are the Dangers of Acidosis?

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What Are the Dangers of Acidosis?
Junk foods may contribute to acidosis (burger on a plate image by Pontus Edenberg from Fotolia.com)

Acidosis, or lactic acidosis, occurs when the body's fluid balance becomes over-acidic. While a serious problem, its symptoms are non-specific and may be misdiagnosed. It may also accompany diseases like diabetes, renal or liver disease. In a worst-case scenario, it can be fatal. The danger of acidosis is not recognising promptly enough. Consult your doctor if you suspect acidosis is behind gastrointestinal ailments, skin rashes or lethargy.


A major danger of acidosis is sepsis, where the entire body goes into an inflammatory state. Sepsis, also associated with shock, is colloquially referred to as blood poisoning. Unless treated immediately, it leads to organ failure and death. Symptoms include a high fever, production of little or no urine, low blood pressure and altered mental states.


Lactic acidosis may cause victims to go into shock, also known as hypoperfusion. According to Medscape, "The amount of lactate produced is believed to correlate with the total oxygen debt, the magnitude of hypoperfusion, and the severity of shock." Signs of shock include deteriorated mental state, deep sighing while breathing and or low blood pressure. Those going into shock need immediate medical treatment.


Patients suffering from lactic acidosis may go into a coma. According to Web MD, this is a symptom of lactic acidosis, usually preceded by rapid breathing, clammy skin, extreme sweating, and nausea and vomiting. Someone with these symptoms should be taken to the emergency room immediately to avoid going into a coma.

Organ Failure

Severe acidosis causing sepsis can results in major organ failure, including heart, liver or kidney failure. A patient in this condition must be treated in the intensive-care unit of a hospital.

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