Anion Gap Metabolic Acidosis Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Anion Gap Metabolic Acidosis?
Anion gap metabolic acidosis is a condition that occurs when the level of acids in the blood exceeds the level of bicarbonate and other non-volatile acid anions. It is usually caused by an imbalance of electrolytes in the body, resulting from a decrease in bicarbonate levels or an increase in organic acids. The most common causes include diabetic ketoacidosis, kidney disease, lactic acidosis, and ingestion of toxic substances such as alcohol or salicylates.Symptoms of anion gap metabolic acidosis typically include nausea, vomiting, confusion, and fatigue. Low blood pressure can also be present. Laboratory tests show a decrease in serum bicarbonate levels and increased levels of lactate and other organic acids. Treatment typically involves correcting the underlying cause while providing supportive care to restore electrolyte balance and maintain adequate hydration status. In severe cases it may be necessary to administer intravenous fluids and medications such as sodium bicarbonate to correct metabolic acidosis quickly.The primary goal for treatment is to correct the underlying cause as soon as possible before any permanent damage occurs to organs such as the kidneys or lungs. Maintaining adequate hydration status is also important for preventing further complications from occurring due to dehydration or electrolyte imbalances associated with anion gap metabolic acidosis. Diet modifications may be necessary to reduce excess fluid intake if needed; however, dietary changes should always be done under medical supervision so that nutritional needs are met appropriately without exacerbating symptoms. In some cases lifestyle changes may also help reduce symptoms but they should also be discussed with healthcare professionals first before making any significant changes on your own.