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.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The most common cause of lactic acidosis is intense exercise. However, it can also be caused by certain diseases, such as:
- Kidney failure
- Respiratory failure
Metformin, a common medicine used to treat diabetes, can also cause lactic acidosis. People taking this medicine should have their electrolyte levels checked 1 – 2 weeks after starting it.
Signs and tests
- Blood tests to check electrolyte levels
The main treatment for lactic acidosis is to correct the medical problem that causes the condition.
Calling your health care provider
Oh MS. Evaluation of renal function, water, electrolytes and acid-base balance. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry’s Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Laboratory Methods. 21st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2006: chap 14.
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.