Lactic acidosis is when lactic acid builds ups in the bloodstream faster than it can be removed. Lactic acid is produced when oxygen levels in the body drop.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The most common cause of lactic acidosis is intense exercise. However, it can also be caused by certain diseases, such as:
Metformin, a common medicine used to treat diabetes, can also cause lactic acidosis. People taking this medicine should have their electrolyte levels checked 1 - 2 weeks after starting it.
Signs and tests
- Blood tests to check electrolyte levels
The main treatment for lactic acidosis is to correct the medical problem that causes the condition.
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Collings JL. Acid-base disorders. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa:Mosby Elsevier;2009:chap 122.
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.