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Lactic acidosis

  • Definition
    • Lactic acidosis is when lactic acid builds up in the bloodstream faster than it can be removed. Lactic acid is produced when oxygen levels in the body drop.

  • Causes
    • The most common cause of lactic acidosis is intense exercise. However, it can also be caused by certain diseases, such as:

      A common medicine used to treat diabetes called metformin can also cause lactic acidosis. If you take this medicine, have your electrolyte levels checked 1 to 2 weeks after starting it.

  • Symptoms
    • Symptoms may include:

      • Nausea
      • Weakness
  • Exams and Tests
    • Tests may include a blood test to check electrolyte levels

  • Treatment
    • The main treatment for lactic acidosis is to correct the medical problem that causes the condition.

  • References
    • Seifter JL. Acid-base disorders. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap120.

      Strayer RJ. Acid-base disorders. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 99.