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How Can You Tell If You Have Lactic Acidosis?

Lactic Acidosis: What You Need To Know

Lactic Acidosis: What You Need To Know

Lactic acidosis is a form of metabolic acidosis that begins in the kidneys. People with lactic acidosis have kidneys that are unable to remove excess acid from their body. If lactic acid builds up in the body more quickly than it can be removed, acidity levels in bodily fluids — such as blood — spike. This buildup of acid causes an imbalance in the body’s pH level, which should always be slightly alkaline instead of acidic. There are a few different types of acidosis. Lactic acid buildup occurs when there’s not enough oxygen in the muscles to break down glucose and glycogen. This is called anaerobic metabolism. There are two types of lactic acid: L-lactate and D-lactate. Most forms of lactic acidosis are caused by too much L-lactate. Lactic acidosis has many causes and can often be treated. But if left untreated, it may be life-threatening. The symptoms of lactic acidosis are typical of many health issues. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately. Your doctor can help determine the root cause. Several symptoms of lactic acidosis represent a medical emergency: fruity-smelling breath (a possible indication of a serious complication of diabetes, called ketoacidosis) confusion jaundice (yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes) trouble breathing or shallow, rapid breathing If you know or suspect that you have lactic acidosis and have any of these symptoms, call 911 or go to an emergency room right away. Other lactic acidosis symptoms include: exhaustion or extreme fatigue muscle cramps or pain body weakness overall feelings of physical discomfort abdominal pain or discomfort diarrhea decrease in appetite headache rapid heart rate Lactic acidosis has a wide range of underlying causes, including carbon monoxide poisoni Continue reading >>

Lactic Acidosis

Lactic Acidosis

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: What is lactic acidosis and what causes it? Lactic acidosis is the buildup of lactic acid in your blood. Lactic acid is a substance that can build up in your body if you are not getting enough oxygen. It can also occur if you have a condition that causes an increased need for oxygen. The following may cause lactic acidosis: Shock from trauma or severe blood loss Sepsis (a serious condition that occurs when the body overreacts to an infection) Seizures Heart attack or heart failure Severe lung disease Liver or kidney disease Cancer or AIDS Diabetic ketoacidosis Certain medicines such as metformin (diabetes medicine) or some HIV medicines Intense exercise What are the signs and symptoms of lactic acidosis? Muscular weakness Breathing faster than normal Nausea and vomiting Coma How is lactic acidosis diagnosed and treated? Lactic acidosis is diagnosed with a blood test. The blood test measures the amount of lactate in your blood. Treatment depends on the cause of your lactic acidosis. The condition that caused lactic acidosis will need to be treated. When should I contact my healthcare provider? Your symptoms return. You have questions or concerns about your condition or care. Care Agreement You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you. © 2017 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Metformin Faqs

Diabetes And Metformin Faqs

Tweet Although one of the most common drugs for type 2 diabetics, Metformin can still confuse diabetic patients. This set of FAQs are intended for information purposes, and should not replace or supersede the advice of a doctor or qualified medical professional. If you have a question about diabetes and Metformin that is not covered here, please ask the community in the Diabetes forum. Should all type 2 diabetics take Meformin? One side effect of taking Metformin is lactic acidosis, and for this reason some diabetics should not take Metformin unless specifically advised to do so by their GP or diabetes healthcare team. For this reason, diabetics with kidney problems, liver problems, and heart problems are often advised to avoid Metformin. Similarly, diabetics that are dehydrated, drink alcohol a lot, or are going to have an x-ray or surgery. For some pregnant diabetics, Metformin may not be the best choice, but in all instances this should be discussed with your doctor. Can young diabetics take Metformin? Metformin has been proven in clinical trials to lower glucose levels amongst children between 10-16 years of age suffering from type 2 diabetes. Research is less conclusive about children under 10 and children taking Metformin alongside other treatments, but your diabetes health care team should be able to elaborate on this. How much Metformin should I take? This will depend entirely on your condition, and your doctor will be able to tell you how much Metformin to take, when you should take it, and how you should take it. Usually, diabetics start out on a low dose of Metformin, and this is slowly increased until blood sugar responds. Doctors often put diabetics on combination courses with other medication, including insulin. If I take Metformin, can I stop my diet and Continue reading >>

What Is A Lactic Acid Blood Test?

What Is A Lactic Acid Blood Test?

It’s a test that measures the amount of lactic acid (also called “lactate”) in your blood. This acid is made in muscle cells and red blood cells. It forms when your body turns food into energy. Your body relies on this energy when its oxygen levels are low. Oxygen levels might drop during an intense workout or when you have an infection or disease. Once you finish your workout or recover from the illness, your lactic acid level tends to go back to normal. But sometimes, it doesn't. Higher-than-normal lactic acid levels can lead to a condition called lactic acidosis. If it’s severe enough, it can upset your body’s pH balance, which indicates the level of acid in your blood. Lactic acidosis can lead to these symptoms: It’s a simple blood test. Your doctor will draw blood from a vein or artery using a needle. In rare cases, he may take a sample of cerebrospinal fluid from your spinal column during a procedure called a spinal tap. Normally, you don’t have to adjust your routine to prepare for the test. If your lactic acid level is normal, you don’t have lactic acidosis. Your cells are making enough oxygen. It also tells your doctor that something other than lactic acidosis is causing your symptoms. He’ll likely order other tests to find out what it is. If your lactic acid level is high, it could be caused by a number of things. Most often, it’s because you have a condition that makes it hard for you to breathe in enough oxygen. Some of these conditions could include: Severe lung disease or respiratory failure Fluid build-up in your lungs Very low red blood cell count (severe anemia) A higher-than-normal lactic acid level in your blood can also be a sign of problems with your metabolism. And, your body might need more oxygen than normal because you have o Continue reading >>

A Side Effect You Should Know About

A Side Effect You Should Know About

The glucose-lowering medication metformin (Glucophage) could cause lactic acidosis if your kidneys and liver are not working efficiently. Lactic acidosis is when high levels build up in the blood of a substance called lactic acid — a chemical that is normally produced by your body in small amounts and removed by your liver and kidneys. The risk of lactic acidosis goes up if you: have heart failure or a lung ailment have kidney or liver problems drink alcohol heavily In these cases, you might not be able to take metformin. If you don't have one of these problems, you are at a very low risk for developing lactic acidosis from metformin. You should, however, contact your doctor immediately if you suddenly develop any of these symptoms of lactic acidosis: diarrhea fast and shallow breathing muscle pain or cramping weakness tiredness or unusual sleepiness You should also let your doctor know if you get the flu or any illness that results in severe vomiting, diarrhea, and/or fever, or if your intake of fluids becomes significantly reduced. Severe dehydration can affect your kidney or liver function and increase your risk of lactic acidosis from metformin. Continue reading >>

Lactic Acidosis

Lactic Acidosis

Patient professional reference Professional Reference articles are written by UK doctors and are based on research evidence, UK and European Guidelines. They are designed for health professionals to use. You may find one of our health articles more useful. Description Lactic acidosis is a form of metabolic acidosis due to the inadequate clearance of lactic acid from the blood. Lactate is a byproduct of anaerobic respiration and is normally cleared from the blood by the liver, kidney and skeletal muscle. Lactic acidosis occurs when the body's buffering systems are overloaded and tends to cause a pH of ≤7.25 with plasma lactate ≥5 mmol/L. It is usually caused by a state of tissue hypoperfusion and/or hypoxia. This causes pyruvic acid to be preferentially converted to lactate during anaerobic respiration. Hyperlactataemia is defined as plasma lactate >2 mmol/L. Classification Cohen and Woods devised the following system in 1976 and it is still widely used:[1] Type A: lactic acidosis occurs with clinical evidence of tissue hypoperfusion or hypoxia. Type B: lactic acidosis occurs without clinical evidence of tissue hypoperfusion or hypoxia. It is further subdivided into: Type B1: due to underlying disease. Type B2: due to effects of drugs or toxins. Type B3: due to inborn or acquired errors of metabolism. Epidemiology The prevalence is very difficult to estimate, as it occurs in critically ill patients, who are not often suitable subjects for research. It is certainly a common occurrence in patients in high-dependency areas of hospitals.[2] The incidence of symptomatic hyperlactataemia appears to be rising as a consequence of the use of antiretroviral therapy to treat HIV infection. It appears to increase in those taking stavudine (d4T) regimens.[3] Causes of lactic acid Continue reading >>

Lactic Acidosis Clinical Presentation

Lactic Acidosis Clinical Presentation

History The onset of acidosis may be rapid (ie, within minutes to hours) or progressive (ie, over a period of several days). Lactic acidosis frequently occurs during strenuous exercise in healthy people, bearing no consequence. However, development of lactic acidosis in disease states is ominous, often indicating a critical illness of recent onset. Therefore, a careful history should be obtained to evaluate the underlying pathophysiologic cause of shock that contributed to lactic acidosis. Furthermore, a detailed history of ingestion of various prescription drugs or toxins from the patient or a collateral history from the patient's family should be obtained. The clinical signs and symptoms associated with lactic acidosis are highly dependent on the underlying etiology. No distinctive features are specific for hyperlactatemia. Lactate acidosis is present in patients who are critically ill from hypovolemic, septic, or cardiogenic shock. Lactate acidosis always should be suspected in the presence of elevated anion gap metabolic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is a serious complication of antiretroviral therapy. A history of antiretroviral treatment should be obtained. Children who have a relatively mild form of congenital lactic acidosis may develop firmament metabolic acidosis during an acute illness such as respiratory infection. These patients have a deficiency in the activity of pyruvate dehydrogenase, and the stress-induced increases in the glycolytic rate may result in severe metabolic acidosis. D-lactic acidosis, a unique form of lactic acidosis, can occur in patients with jejunoileal bypass or small bowel resection causing short bowel syndrome. In these settings, the glucose and carbohydrates are metabolized in the colon into D-lactic acid, which is absorbed into systemi Continue reading >>

Lactic Acidosis

Lactic Acidosis

The buildup of lactic acid in the bloodstream. This medical emergency most commonly results from oxygen deprivation in the body’s tissues, impaired liver function, respiratory failure, or cardiovascular disease. It can also be caused by a class of oral diabetes drugs called biguanides, which includes metformin (brand name Glucophage). Another biguanide called phenformin was pulled from the market in the United States in 1977 because of an unacceptably high rate of lactic acidosis associated with its use. Concerns about lactic acidosis also delayed the introduction of metformin to the U.S. market until 1995, despite the fact that it had been widely used for years in other countries. There have been reports of lactic acidosis occurring in people taking metformin, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration estimates that lactic acidosis occurs in 5 out of every 100,000 people who use metformin for any length of time. However, this risk is much lower than it was in people taking phenformin, and it is not clear whether the episodes of lactic acidosis associated with metformin have actually been due to metformin use. In fact, the lactic acidosis could have been explained by the person’s diabetes and related medical conditions. Nonetheless, diabetes experts recommend that metformin not be used in people with congestive heart failure, kidney disease, or liver disease. They also recommend that it be discontinued (at least temporarily) in people undergoing certain medical imaging tests called contrast studies. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include feeling very weak or tired or having unusual muscle pain or unusual stomach discomfort. Continue reading >>

Lactic Acidosis

Lactic Acidosis

Fast facts Lactic acidosis is a build-up of lactic acid in your blood. It can be the result of intense exercise, severe dehydration, an underlying medical condition, or as a reaction to some substances and medications. Symptoms of lactic acidosis can initially include weakness and nausea. More severe symptoms, such as chest pain, a fast heartbeat or breathing difficulties, require immediate medical attention. You can reduce your risk of lactic acidosis by not abusing alcohol and by properly managing diabetes if you have it. What is lactic acidosis? Lactic acidosis is a build-up of lactic acid in your blood. It makes the blood too acidic. Inside the cells of your body, there are structures called mitochondria. Their role is to supply energy to the cells. Mitochondria break down glucose for energy using oxygen, a process known as aerobic respiration. In situations when your body is starved for oxygen, or needs a lot of energy very quickly (such as during intense exercise), your mitochondria can switch to an alternative process known as anaerobic respiration. It is much less efficient, but it does not require oxygen and can, for a brief period, produce energy more quickly. Anaerobic respiration produces lactic acid (also known as lactate), making the blood more acidic. In most cases this is not a problem, because your liver and kidneys handle the excess lactic acid once your body starts to recover from oxygen starvation and returns to normal. However, when your body produces lactic acid faster than it can be removed, lactic acid builds up in your blood. Causes and risk factors Causes and risk factors of lactic acidosis include: Intense exercise; Low blood sugar, and; Some substances and medications - such as alcohol, cocaine, epinephrine, isoniazid, salicylates, and the di Continue reading >>

Metformin And Fatal Lactic Acidosis

Metformin And Fatal Lactic Acidosis

Publications Published: July 1998 Information on this subject has been updated. Read the most recent information. Dr P Pillans,former Medical Assessor, Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM), Dunedin Metformin is a useful anti-hyperglycaemic agent but significant mortality is associated with drug-induced lactic acidosis. Significant renal and hepatic disease, alcoholism and conditions associated with hypoxia (eg. cardiac and pulmonary disease, surgery) are contraindications to the use of metformin. Other risk factors for metformin-induced lactic acidosis are sepsis, dehydration, high dosages and increasing age. Metformin remains a major reported cause of drug-associated mortality in New Zealand. Of the 12 cases of lactic acidosis associated with metformin reported to CARM since 1977, 2 occurred in the last year and 8 cases had a fatal outcome. Metformin useful but small risk of potentially fatal lactic acidosis Metformin is a useful therapeutic agent for obese non-insulin dependent diabetics and those whose glycaemia cannot be controlled by sulphonylurea monotherapy. Lactic acidosis is an uncommon but potentially fatal adverse effect. The reported frequency of lactic acidosis is 0.06 per 1000 patient-years, mostly in patients with predisposing factors.1 Examples of metformin-induced lactic acidosis cases reported to CARM include: A 69-year-old man, with renal and cardiac disease, was prescribed metformin due to failing glycaemic control on glibenclamide monotherapy. He was well for six weeks, then developed lactic acidosis and died within 3 days. Post-surgical lactic acidosis caused the death of a 70-year-old man whose metformin was not withdrawn at the time of surgery. A 56-year-old woman, with no predisposing disease, died from lactic acidosis following major Continue reading >>

What Is Lactic Acidosis?: Signs, Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

What Is Lactic Acidosis?: Signs, Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

What is lactic acidosis? It is a condition where lactate builds up in the body which leads to extremely low pH levels in the blood. Normally, your blood is alkaline or slightly basic. Lactic acidosis occurs when your blood is much more acidic than usual. Changes in blood pH levels can adversely affect your body’s organs. Lactic acidosis is a form of metabolic acidosis characterized by excessive accumulation of acid as a result of the body failing to metabolize lactic acidosis. Metabolic acidosis is a medical state that occurs when there is reduced systemic pH because of a decrease in bicarbonate or an increase in hydrogen ion concentration. Accumulation of lactic acids happens when there is inadequate oxygen in the muscles that is required to break down the glycogen and glucose for energy. In a normal body, lactate will exit muscle cells and travel to the liver, where it will be oxidized to pyruvate, and later converted to glucose. Glucose refers to a form of sugar which is one of the main sources of energy for the body. When there is reduced oxygen in the tissue, there will be a build up of lactic acid. This medical condition usually starts in the kidneys. Lactic acidosis normally occurs when the kidneys fail to excrete excess acids from the body. As a result, lactic acid accumulates in the body faster than it is removed. This build up of lactic acid leads to a pH imbalance in the body. There are two forms of lactic acid, that is D-lactate and L-lactate. D-lactate is a form produced in bacterial metabolism and may build up in patients who have had a gastric bypass or have short gut syndrome. On the other hand, L-lactic is produced from human metabolism. Both L-lactic and D-lactic are produced from pyruvate and metabolized to pyruvate by an enzyme known as lactate deh Continue reading >>

Lactic Acidosis: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment

Lactic Acidosis: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment

Lactic acidosis occurs when the body produces too much lactic acid and cannot metabolize it quickly enough. The condition can be a medical emergency. The onset of lactic acidosis might be rapid and occur within minutes or hours, or gradual, happening over a period of days. The best way to treat lactic acidosis is to find out what has caused it. Untreated lactic acidosis can result in severe and life-threatening complications. In some instances, these can escalate rapidly. It is not necessarily a medical emergency when caused by over-exercising. The prognosis for lactic acidosis will depend on its underlying cause. A blood test is used to diagnose the condition. Lactic acidosis symptoms that may indicate a medical emergency include a rapid heart rate and disorientaiton. Typically, symptoms of lactic acidosis do not stand out as distinct on their own but can be indicative of a variety of health issues. However, some symptoms known to occur in lactic acidosis indicate a medical emergency. Lactic acidosis can occur in people whose kidneys are unable to get rid of excess acid. Even when not related to just a kidney condition, some people's bodies make too much lactic acid and are unable to balance it out. Diabetes increases the risk of developing lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis may develop in people with type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus , especially if their diabetes is not well controlled. There have been reports of lactic acidosis in people who take metformin, which is a standard non-insulin medication for treating type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, the incidence is low, with equal to or less than 10 cases per 100,000 patient-years of using the drug, according to a 2014 report in the journal Metabolism. The incidence of lactic acidosis is higher in people with diabetes who Continue reading >>

Lactic Acidosis | The Well Project

Lactic Acidosis | The Well Project

Mitochondria are small organs inside your cells. They help convert energy in the food you eat into energy your body uses to function. Like solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity, mitochondria are power plants inside your cells that convert glucose (sugar) into usable energy. At the same time, lactic acid is made as a waste product. Normally, the body breaks down lactic acid and gets rid of it. Certain HIV drugs in the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) class sometimes have negative side effects that may lead to liver problems. One such side effect is damage to the mitochondria inside your cells, or mitochondrial toxicity. When mitochondria are damaged, lactic acid is not broken down. This can cause levels of lactic acid in your blood to rise. If the levels of lactic acid become too high, a rare, but serious condition called lactic acidosis can occur. Lactic acidosis can develop when your cells make too much lactic acid or when your liver is not working properly to get rid of it. Certain HIV drugs in the NRTI class can sometimes cause these problems: Cells make too much lactic acid: NRTIs can damage the mitochondria, causing them to be unable to break down the lactic acid they produce as they make energy. This is also known as mitochondrial toxicity. The liver is not working properly: NRTIs can cause the liver to become fatty. A fatty liver does not work well and cannot break down lactic acid efficiently. Lactic acidosis is a rare side effect of the NRTIs, especially Zerit (stavudine, d4T) and Videx (diadanosine, ddI). Persistent nausea, vomiting, and abdominal (belly) pain Enlarged or tender liver (area just under the right ribcage) It is important to get in touch with your health care provider right away if you experience these symptoms. Bec Continue reading >>

What Are The Tests That Will Detect Lactic Acidosis?

What Are The Tests That Will Detect Lactic Acidosis?

What are the tests that will detect lactic acidosis? With lactic acidosis, lactic acid builds accumulates in the blood stream faster than it can be removed. This can be caused by extended, intense exercise or other certain diseases, and is marked by nausea and weakness. Blood tests that check electrolyte levels are used to detect lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is a rare side effect of metformin. However, the risk of lactic acidosis increases in patients with poor kidney function. Your doctor should regularly monitor your kidney function while you are on metformin. Blood tests to measure your electrolyte levels can determine if you have lactic acidosis. Typically your doctor will evaluate your blood work 1 to 2 weeks after you begin taking metformin to make sure you electrolytes are within normal limits. You can also monitor for symptoms of lactic acidosis which include abdominal or stomach discomfort; decreased appetite; diarrhea; fast, shallow breathing; general feeling of discomfort; muscle pain or cramping; and unusual sleepiness, tiredness, or weakness. If symptoms of lactic acidosis occur, you should get immediate emergency medical help. Continue reading >>

Lactic Acidosis

Lactic Acidosis

Lactic acidosis is a medical condition characterized by the buildup of lactate (especially L-lactate) in the body, which results in an excessively low pH in the bloodstream. It is a form of metabolic acidosis, in which excessive acid accumulates due to a problem with the body's metabolism of lactic acid. Lactic acidosis is typically the result of an underlying acute or chronic medical condition, medication, or poisoning. The symptoms are generally attributable to these underlying causes, but may include nausea, vomiting, rapid deep breathing, and generalised weakness. The diagnosis is made on biochemical analysis of blood (often initially on arterial blood gas samples), and once confirmed, generally prompts an investigation to establish the underlying cause to treat the acidosis. In some situations, hemofiltration (purification of the blood) is temporarily required. In rare chronic forms of lactic acidosis caused by mitochondrial disease, a specific diet or dichloroacetate may be used. The prognosis of lactic acidosis depends largely on the underlying cause; in some situations (such as severe infections), it indicates an increased risk of death. Classification[edit] The Cohen-Woods classification categorizes causes of lactic acidosis as:[1] Type A: Decreased tissue oxygenation (e.g., from decreased blood flow) Type B B1: Underlying diseases (sometimes causing type A) B2: Medication or intoxication B3: Inborn error of metabolism Signs and symptoms[edit] Lactic acidosis is commonly found in people who are unwell, such as those with severe heart and/or lung disease, a severe infection with sepsis, the systemic inflammatory response syndrome due to another cause, severe physical trauma, or severe depletion of body fluids.[2] Symptoms in humans include all those of typical m Continue reading >>

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