Alkalosis is a condition in which the body fluids have excess base (alkali). This is the opposite of excess acid (
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The kidneys and lungs maintain the proper balance of chemicals, called acids and bases, in the body. Decreased carbon dioxide (an acid) or increased bicarbonate (a base) levels make the body too alkaline, a condition called alkalosis.
- Being at a high altitude
- Lack of oxygen
- Liver disease
- Lung disease, which causes you to breathe faster (
- Salicylate poisoning
Metabolic alkalosis is caused by too much bicarbonate in the blood.
Hypochloremic alkalosis is caused by an extreme lack or loss of chloride, which can occur with prolonged vomiting.
Hypokalemic alkalosis is caused by the kidneys' response to an extreme lack or loss of potassium, which can occur when people take certain diuretic medications.
Compensated alkalosis occurs when the body returns the acid - base balance to normal in cases of alkalosis, but bicarbonate and carbon dioxide levels remain abnormal.
Review Date: 11/15/2009
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.