Diabetics Should Be Aware of The Effects of Metabolic Alkalosis

Metabolic alkalosis is caused by too much bicarbonate in the body's fluids, causing them to become alkaline. It can occur as the result of kidney disease, which anyone with diabetes should be aware of.

Metabolic Alkalosis

Alkalosis is generally diagnosed when the pH of the blood exceeds 7.45. It occurs when the body loses too much acid or gains too much base. There are a variety of ways this can happen, including poor kidney or lung function, low carbon dioxide levels, an extreme lack of potassium or chloride, or too much bicarbonate in the blood. Dehydration combined with high sugar levels can result in alkalosis. Alcoholism and drug abuse - particularly cocaine - can also trigger alkalosis.

The body is well-equipped to excrete excess bicarbonate in the urine. However, the kidneys have to be working well to facilitate that. For the diabetic who has impaired kidney functioning, or for the patient whose illness has caused a significant loss of potassium or chloride, this is inefficient, and too often inadequate.

Symptoms of Diabetic Metabolic Alkalosis

Symptoms of diabetic metabolic alkalosis include light-headedness and dizziness; nausea and vomiting; mental confusion; numbness or tingling in the face and extremities; muscle weakness; myalgia; muscle cramps; tremors in the hands; and twitching muscles. Extreme or untreated metabolic alkalosis can lead to a coma. This will require specialized medical treatment and oversight.

Treating Metabolic Alkalosis

Treatment of this disorder is centered on treating the symptoms and providing supportive therapy. The underlying cause must also be addressed. In the case of the diabetic, blood sugar levels should be brought into alignment, and hydration should be complete. Potassium or chloride deficits will be treated by medication.

Treatment of the disorder will generally reverse all symptoms exhibited. However, alkalosis developed as the result of a pre-existing kidney disorder might not be treatable.

Metabolic Alkalosis Outcomes

Untreated metabolic alkalosis can lead to electrolyte imbalances, heart arrhythmias, and coma. It is important that anyone who believes they might be suffering from metabolic alkalosis seeks medical help as soon as possible.

Sources: Healthline.com, National Institutes of Health
Photo: Pexels

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to BattleDiabetes.com who, in addition to 3rd party partners, may contact you with updates, products and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

More Articles

More Articles

People who have either type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes can...

Diabetics should avoid white bread and anything else made with white flour because it can raise their...

Two kinds of edema are associated with diabetes: peripheral edema and diabetic macular edema. Peripheral edema is swelling in your lower legs,...

Diabetic test strips are one of the biggest expenses in diabetes care. People who are on a fixed income need to watch every penny that they spend...

Eating a balanced diet can have a significant impact on individuals who have type 2 diabetes. In fact,...

According to the Mayo Clinic, excessive alcohol consumption can increase a person's risk of developing type 2...

Many cultures use rice as a staple in their diet, and it is almost always white rice. If you order a burrito in a restaurant, you will probably...

With diabetes, your blood sugar levels...

Diabetes can cause damage to nerves and blood vessels, which can lead to foot sores and infections. Nerve damage can cause a loss of feeling in...

Diabetics are prone to boils because they have weakened immune systems. Boils are abscesses of infected skin that form near hair follicles. They...

It is common knowledge that people with (or without) diabetes should exercise regularly. But why is exercise so important if diet appears to be...

Diabetes can be deadly if left undiagnosed, so it is very important to pay attention to your body if you are displaying any of the symptoms. Early...

Since one of the most important tools in battling diabetes is the glucose meter, there are many different versions on the market. Pretty much any...

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are becoming quite popular for people who are generally healthy. But what about sick people? What about people who...

Drinking beer or alcohol for that matter, can result in high blood sugar which is a condition when...