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Lactic acidosis
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Lactic acidosis

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Lactic acidosis is when lactic acid builds ups in the bloodstream faster than it can be removed. Lactic acid is produced when oxygen levels in the body drop.

The most common cause of lactic acidosis is intense exercise. However, it can also be caused by certain diseases, such as:

  • AIDS
  • Cancer
  • Kidney failure
  • Respiratory failure
  • Sepsis

A common medicine used to treat diabetes called metformin can also cause lactic acidosis. If you take this medicine, have your electrolyte levels checked 1 - 2 weeks after starting it.

I Would Like to Learn About:

  • Causes

    The most common cause of lactic acidosis is intense exercise. However, it can also be caused by certain diseases, such as:

    • AIDS
    • Cancer
    • Kidney failure
    • Respiratory failure
    • Sepsis

    A common medicine used to treat diabetes called metformin can also cause lactic acidosis. If you take this medicine, have your electrolyte levels checked 1 - 2 weeks after starting it.

  • Symptoms

    • Nausea
    • Weakness
  • Exams and Tests

    • Blood tests to check electrolyte levels
  • Treatment

    The main treatment for lactic acidosis is to correct the medical problem that causes the condition.

Related Information

  Lactic acid test...    

References

Seifter JL. Acid-base disorders. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap120.

Collings JL. Acid-base disorders. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa:Mosby Elsevier;2009:chap 122.

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Review Date: 10/14/2012  

Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

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