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What Is Lactic Acidosis

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 >>

Lactate And Lactic Acidosis

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 >>

Metformin-induced Lactic Acidosis: No One Left Behind

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 [1]. Metformin is nowadays the first-line drug of choice for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes [2]. 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 [5]. 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 [6]. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, metform Continue reading >>

Causes Of Lactic Acidosis

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 [1]. 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 >>

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 >>

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

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

Glyburide And Metformin (oral Route)

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 >>

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 >>

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 And Exercise: What You Need To Know

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 >>

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 >>

Severe Lactic Acidosis Reversed By Thiamine Within 24 Hours

Severe Lactic Acidosis Reversed By Thiamine Within 24 Hours

Severe lactic acidosis reversed by thiamine within 24 hours 1Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 15, A-8036 Graz, Austria Karin Amrein: [email protected] ; Werner Ribitsch: [email protected] ; Ronald Otto: [email protected] ; Harald C Worm: [email protected] ; Rudolf E Stauber: [email protected] This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Thiamine is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a pivotal role in carbohydrate metabolism. In acute deficiency, pyruvate accumulates and is metabolized to lactate, and chronic deficiency may cause polyneuropathy and Wernicke encephalopathy. Classic symptoms include mental status change, ophthalmoplegia, and ataxia but are present in only a few patients [ 1 ]. Critically ill patients are prone to thiamine deficiency because of preexistent malnutrition, increased consumption in high-carbohydrate nutrition, and accelerated clearance in renal replacement. In retrospective [ 2 ] and prospective [ 3 , 4 ] studies, a substantial prevalence of thiamine deficiency has been described in both adult (10% to 20%) and pediatric (28%) patients. Thiamine deficiency may become clinically evident in any type of malnutrition that outlasts thiamine body stores (2 to 3 weeks), including alcoholism, bariatric surgery, or hyperemesis gravidarum, and results in high morbidity and mortality if untreated [ 1 ]. We report the case of a 56-year-old man with profound lactic acidosis that resolved rapidly after thiamine infusion. He was admitted because of a decreased level of consciousness (Glasgow Coma Scale score of 6). Vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen saturation, were normal. Besides reporting regular alcohol consumption, relatives reported recen Continue reading >>

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