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 >>
Treatment Of Lactic Acidosis.
Severe lactic acidosis is often associated with poor prognosis. Recognition and correction of the underlying process is the major step in the treatment of this serious condition. Intravenous administration of sodium bicarbonate has been the mainstay in the treatment of lactic acidosis. Aggressive use of this therapeutic modality, however, can lead to serious complications and should therefore be considered with caution. Peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis provide large amounts of alkali without causing the hypernatremia or hypervolemia commonly associated with bicarbonate infusion. Peritoneal dialysis with bicarbonate-based dialysate, in particular, appears to be an ideal means of delivering physiologic buffer. Administration of methylene blue was initially thought to increase lactate metabolism by altering the cellular oxidative state. Its subsequent clinical use, however, showed little efficacy. Sodium nitroprusside has been advocated for the treatment of some forms of lactic acidosis as a method of alleviating regional hypoperfusion. Insulin therapy has been found to be quite useful in the treatment of phenformin-associated lactic acidosis and is recommended in this setting. Since dichloroacetate activates pyruvate dehydrogenase and enhances lactate metabolism, it may be a useful adjunct in the treatment of lactic acidosis. Continue reading >>
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Lactic Acid | Michigan Medicine
A lactic acid test is a blood test that measures the level of lactic acid made in the body. Most of it is made by muscle tissue and red blood cells . When the oxygen level in the body is normal, carbohydrate breaks down into water and carbon dioxide. When the oxygen level is low, carbohydrate breaks down for energy and makes lactic acid. Lactic acid levels get higher when strenuous exercise or other conditionssuch as heart failure , a severe infection ( sepsis ), or shock lower the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body. Lactic acid levels can also get higher when the liver is severely damaged or diseased, because the liver normally breaks down lactic acid. Very high levels of lactic acid cause a serious, sometimes life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis can also occur in a person who takes metformin (Glucophage) to control diabetes when heart or kidney failure or a severe infection is also present. A lactic acid test is generally done on a blood sample taken from a vein in the arm but it may also be done on a sample of blood taken from an artery ( arterial blood gas ). Check for lactic acidosis. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include rapid breathing, excessive sweating, cool and clammy skin, sweet-smelling breath, belly pain, nausea or vomiting, confusion, and coma. See whether the right amount of oxygen is reaching the body's tissues. Find the cause for a high amount of acid (low pH ) in the blood. Do not eat or drink anything other than water for 8 to 10 hours before the test. Do not exercise for several hours before the test. Do not clench your fist while having your blood drawn for a lactic acid test. These activities may change the results. The health professional drawing blood will: Wrap an elastic band around your upper arm to stop Continue reading >>
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 And Exercise: What You Need To Know
Muscle ache, burning, rapid breathing, nausea, stomach pain: If you've experienced the unpleasant feeling of lactic acidosis, you likely remember it. It's temporary. It happens when too much acid builds up in your bloodstream. The most common reason it happens is intense exercise. Symptoms The symptoms may include a burning feeling in your muscles, cramps, nausea, weakness, and feeling exhausted. It's your body's way to tell you to stop what you're doing The symptoms happen in the moment. The soreness you sometimes feel in your muscles a day or two after an intense workout isn't from lactic acidosis. It's your muscles recovering from the workout you gave them. Intense Exercise. When you exercise, your body uses oxygen to break down glucose for energy. During intense exercise, there may not be enough oxygen available to complete the process, so a substance called lactate is made. Your body can convert this lactate to energy without using oxygen. But this lactate or lactic acid can build up in your bloodstream faster than you can burn it off. The point when lactic acid starts to build up is called the "lactate threshold." Some medical conditions can also bring on lactic acidosis, including: Vitamin B deficiency Shock Some drugs, including metformin, a drug used to treat diabetes, and all nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS can cause lactic acidosis. If you are on any of these medications and have any symptoms of lactic acidosis, get medical help immediately. Preventing Lactic Acidosis Begin any exercise routine gradually. Pace yourself. Don't go from being a couch potato to trying to run a marathon in a week. Start with an aerobic exercise like running or fast walking. You can build up your pace and distance slowly. Increase the Continue reading >>
Glyburide And Metformin (oral Route)
Precautions Drug information provided by: Micromedex It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects. Under certain conditions, too much metformin can cause lactic acidosis. The symptoms of lactic acidosis are severe and quick to appear. They usually occur when other health problems not related to the medicine are present and very severe, such as a heart attack or kidney failure. The symptoms of lactic acidosis include abdominal or stomach discomfort; decreased appetite; diarrhea; fast, shallow breathing; a general feeling of discomfort; muscle pain or cramping; and unusual sleepiness, tiredness, or weakness. If you have any symptoms of lactic acidosis, get emergency medical help right away. It is very important to carefully follow any instructions from your health care team about: Alcohol—Drinking alcohol may cause severe low blood sugar. Discuss this with your health care team. Other medicines—Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This especially includes nonprescription medicines such as aspirin, and medicines for appetite control, asthma, colds, cough, hay fever, or sinus problems. Counseling—Other family members need to learn how to prevent side effects or help with side effects if they occur. Also, patients with diabetes may need special counseling about diabetes medicine dosing changes that might occur because of lifestyle changes, such as changes in exercise and diet. Furthermore, counseling on contraception and pregnancy may be needed because of the problems that can occur in patients with diabetes during pregnancy. Travel—Keep your recent prescription and your medical history with yo Continue reading >>
Acute Lactic Acidosis
Author: Bret A Nicks, MD, MHA; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP more... Metabolic acidosis is defined as a state of decreased systemic pH resulting from either a primary increase in hydrogen ion (H+) or a reduction in bicarbonate (HCO3-) concentrations. In the acute state, respiratory compensation of acidosis occurs by hyperventilation resulting in a relative reduction in PaCO2. Chronically, renal compensation occurs by means of reabsorption of HCO3. [ 1 , 2 ] Acidosis arises from an increased production of acids, a loss of alkali, or a decreased renal excretion of acids. The underlying etiology of metabolic acidosis is classically categorized into those that cause an elevated anion gap (AG) (see the Anion Gap calculator) and those that do not. Lactic acidosis, identified by a state of acidosis and an elevated plasma lactate concentration is one type of anion gap metabolic acidosis and may result from numerous conditions. [ 2 , 3 , 4 ] It remains the most common cause of metabolic acidosis in hospitalized patients. The normal blood lactate concentration in unstressed patients is0.5-1 mmol/L. Patients with critical illness can be considered to have normal lactate concentrations of less than 2 mmol/L. Hyperlactatemia is defined as a mild to moderate persistent increase in blood lactate concentration (2-4 mmol/L) without metabolic acidosis, whereas lactic acidosis is characterized by persistently increased blood lactate levels (usually >4-5 mmol/L) in association with metabolic acidosis. [ 1 , 5 ] Elevated lactate levels, while typically thought of as a marker of inadequate tissue perfusion with concurrent shift toward increased anaerobic metabolism, can be present in patients in whom systemic hypoperfusion is not present and therefore should be considered wit Continue reading >>
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: 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. 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. Causes of lactic acid Continue reading >>
Why Does Lactic Acid Build Up In Muscles? And Why Does It Cause Soreness?
As our bodies perform strenuous exercise, we begin to breathe faster as we attempt to shuttle more oxygen to our working muscles. The body prefers to generate most of its energy using aerobic methods, meaning with oxygen. Some circumstances, however—such as evading the historical saber tooth tiger or lifting heavy weights—require energy production faster than our bodies can adequately deliver oxygen. In those cases, the working muscles generate energy anaerobically. This energy comes from glucose through a process called glycolysis, in which glucose is broken down or metabolized into a substance called pyruvate through a series of steps. When the body has plenty of oxygen, pyruvate is shuttled to an aerobic pathway to be further broken down for more energy. But when oxygen is limited, the body temporarily converts pyruvate into a substance called lactate, which allows glucose breakdown—and thus energy production—to continue. The working muscle cells can continue this type of anaerobic energy production at high rates for one to three minutes, during which time lactate can accumulate to high levels. A side effect of high lactate levels is an increase in the acidity of the muscle cells, along with disruptions of other metabolites. The same metabolic pathways that permit the breakdown of glucose to energy perform poorly in this acidic environment. On the surface, it seems counterproductive that a working muscle would produce something that would slow its capacity for more work. In reality, this is a natural defense mechanism for the body; it prevents permanent damage during extreme exertion by slowing the key systems needed to maintain muscle contraction. Once the body slows down, oxygen becomes available and lactate reverts back to pyruvate, allowing continued aero Continue reading >>
Lactate And Lactic Acidosis
The integrity and function of all cells depend on an adequate supply of oxygen. Severe acute illness is frequently associated with inadequate tissue perfusion and/or reduced amount of oxygen in blood (hypoxemia) leading to tissue hypoxia. If not reversed, tissue hypoxia can rapidly progress to multiorgan failure and death. For this reason a major imperative of critical care is to monitor tissue oxygenation so that timely intervention directed at restoring an adequate supply of oxygen can be implemented. Measurement of blood lactate concentration has traditionally been used to monitor tissue oxygenation, a utility based on the wisdom gleaned over 50 years ago that cells deprived of adequate oxygen produce excessive quantities of lactate. The real-time monitoring of blood lactate concentration necessary in a critical care setting was only made possible by the development of electrode-based lactate biosensors around a decade ago. These biosensors are now incorporated into modern blood gas analyzers and other point-of-care analytical instruments, allowing lactate measurement by non-laboratory staff on a drop (100 L) of blood within a minute or two. Whilst blood lactate concentration is invariably raised in those with significant tissue hypoxia, it can also be raised in a number of conditions not associated with tissue hypoxia. Very often patients with raised blood lactate concentration (hyperlactatemia) also have a reduced blood pH (acidosis). The combination of hyperlactatemia and acidosis is called lactic acidosis. This is the most common cause of metabolic acidosis. The focus of this article is the causes and clinical significance of hyperlactatemia and lactic acidosis. The article begins with a brief overview of normal lactate metabolism. Normal lactate production and Continue reading >>
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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 And Exercise
Lactic acid builds up naturally in the muscles during vigorous activity. Sometimes if we've overdone it during a workout or run, the body can't clear lactic acid or lactate quickly enough, and lactic acid levels build up. Lactic acid can irritate muscles, causing discomfort and soreness. Sore muscles after exercising is called delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS. Lactic acid is just one cause of DOMS. Because lactic acid is removed from muscles between a few hours to under a day after a workout, it can't be blamed for lasting soreness some days after working out. Cooling down or warming down after exercise can help remove the lactic acid as well as letting the heart rate slow down more gradually. Some severe medical conditions can also cause lactic acidosis, which can be dangerous. During exercise, muscles metabolise glucose (sugar) into energy. Muscles receive glucose continually through the blood, and also have their own stores of sugar (called glycogen). Every person has an upper limit of exercise ability, called the anaerobic threshold or lactate threshold. The lactate threshold is basically a measurement of how fit the heart and blood vessels are. With regular exercise training, a persons lactate threshold goes up. Exercising at an intensity level below the lactate threshold produces very little lactic acid and the body quickly clears what is produced. A person can exercise below the lactate threshold for a long time, even for hours. Once the intensity of exercise exceeds the lactate threshold, muscles begin to use glucose inefficiently, through alternative chemical reactions. Lactic acid is produced and can rapidly build up in the blood and muscles. When a person's exercise intensity crosses the lactate threshold the activity rapidly becomes much more difficult Continue reading >>
Metformin-induced Lactic Acidosis: No One Left Behind
Abstract Metformin is a safe drug when correctly used in properly selected patients. In real life, however, associated lactic acidosis has been repeatedly, although rarely, reported. The term metformin-induced lactic acidosis refers to cases that cannot be explained by any major risk factor other than drug accumulation, usually due to renal failure. Treatment consists of vital function support and drug removal, mainly achieved by renal replacement therapy. Despite dramatic clinical presentation, the prognosis of metformin-induced lactic acidosis is usually surprisingly good. In the previous issue of Critical Care, Friesecke and colleagues demonstrate that the survival rate of patients with severe lactic acidosis due to metformin accumulation can be strikingly higher than expected based on the initial clinical evaluation . Metformin is nowadays the first-line drug of choice for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes . This drug is the sixth most frequently prescribed in the USA (> 50 million prescriptions in 2009) and is taken by almost 1.5% of the Italian population [3, 4]. Metformin is a safe drug when correctly used in properly selected patients. In particular, no cases of lactic acidosis (a relatively common side effect of other biguanide compounds) were reported in 347 trials with 70,490 patient-years of metformin use . Real life can differ from research settings, however, and lactic acidosis has been repeatedly, although rarely, observed in patients treated with metformin. The number of inquiries to the Swedish Poison Information Centre for metformin intoxication has increased 10 times during the past decade, with 25 cases of severe lactic acidosis reported in 2007 and 2008 . According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, metform Continue reading >>
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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 >>
Causes Of Lactic Acidosis
INTRODUCTION AND DEFINITION Lactate levels greater than 2 mmol/L represent hyperlactatemia, whereas lactic acidosis is generally defined as a serum lactate concentration above 4 mmol/L. Lactic acidosis is the most common cause of metabolic acidosis in hospitalized patients. Although the acidosis is usually associated with an elevated anion gap, moderately increased lactate levels can be observed with a normal anion gap (especially if hypoalbuminemia exists and the anion gap is not appropriately corrected). When lactic acidosis exists as an isolated acid-base disturbance, the arterial pH is reduced. However, other coexisting disorders can raise the pH into the normal range or even generate an elevated pH. (See "Approach to the adult with metabolic acidosis", section on 'Assessment of the serum anion gap' and "Simple and mixed acid-base disorders".) Lactic acidosis occurs when lactic acid production exceeds lactic acid clearance. The increase in lactate production is usually caused by impaired tissue oxygenation, either from decreased oxygen delivery or a defect in mitochondrial oxygen utilization. (See "Approach to the adult with metabolic acidosis".) The pathophysiology and causes of lactic acidosis will be reviewed here. The possible role of bicarbonate therapy in such patients is discussed separately. (See "Bicarbonate therapy in lactic acidosis".) PATHOPHYSIOLOGY A review of the biochemistry of lactate generation and metabolism is important in understanding the pathogenesis of lactic acidosis . Both overproduction and reduced metabolism of lactate appear to be operative in most patients. Cellular lactate generation is influenced by the "redox state" of the cell. The redox state in the cellular cytoplasm is reflected by the ratio of oxidized and reduced nicotine ad Continue reading >>