acidious vs alkalosis (forgive the spelling)

  1. can someone please put this all in basic terminology?? 3 years into the program acidious and alkalosis still confuses me. what is the deal???? instead of a profession definition i would like "dummy verison please"
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    About lindahanna

    Joined: Oct '02; Posts: 2
    waitress/nursing student/single mom


  3. by   911fltrn
    Hmmmmmmmm. I can sometimes be good at dummy versions and other times i end up looking stupid Normal body ph is 7.35 to 7.45 for preffered human acid / base balance. Your respiratory and renal systems have the greatest effect in maintaining this balance. Anything less than 7.35 is acidosis, anything greater than 7.45 is alkalosis. There is a respiratory acidosis and alkalosis. There is also metabolic acidosis and alkalosis. These acidosis and alkalosis can be compensated and uncompensated. I hope this helps! Im sure someone else will come along and post a link that explains it better! If you have a more specific question you can always p.m me. Hope everyone is haing a great day!
  4. by   moonshadeau
    Ok, I will try to give you the least complicated version.

    Think about a scale that is from
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

    Remember that this is your pH scale from Chemistry

    On the left side of the scale is your more acidic range

    On the right side of the scale is your more basic range.

    Example of acidic properties are hydrochloric acid, citrus juices, stomach juices

    Examples of basic properties are detergents, ammonia, etc.

    In the middle of the scale is your neutral properties. Water is considered perfectly neutral (at least depending on where you live)

    The body strives to maintain neutrality. In attempting to achieve the perfect state of 7.35-7.45pH, the body has developed the acid base system.

    So to say that if the body has a lower pH, more basic pH is added to compensate to make it maintain neutrality.

    Acidotic is the body in a state of acidosis or too much acid and the pH is less than 7.35

    Alkalosis is the body in a state that the body has too much basic properties and the pH is greater than 7.45

    HCO3 is your bicarbonate this is your base

    CO2 is your carbon dioxide and this is your acid

    The important thing to really remember is that the body never overcompensates itself. So if the pH were too acidic, in order to correct it, the pH would never give too much base to make the body alkalotic.

    This is a very oversimplified version of the acid-base system, but it is an important thing to know.

    Many nurses have problems with Blood gases which is what really this is.

    I hope that I have explained this well enough and have not confused you further.

    If you really want to know more you can look up, acid/base system, Arterial Blood Gases, or pH in your Chemistry or AP book.
  5. by   Thendar
    I think you mean "acidosis"

    It's really difficult to make a "dummy" version of the definition. But acidosis is when the body's pH level drops below 7.35

    If you want a good book that explains all this I suggest "Fluids & Electrolytes made Incredibly Easy"
  6. by   BadBird
    Respiratory acidosis - elevated PCO2 due to hypoventilation

    Respiratory Alkalosis - low PCO2 due to hyperventilation

    Normals: pH 7.35-7.45
    PO2 80-100
    PCO2 35-45 (respiratory component)
    HCO3 22--26 (metabolic component)
    BE -2 to +2
    O2 Sat >95

    pH pCO2 HCO3 Treatment
    Acidosis <7.35 >45 normal Increase ventilation

    Alkalosis >7.45 <35 normal decrease ventilation

    acidosis <7.35 >45 <22 increase ventilation

    Acidosis <7.35 norm <22 sodium bicarb

    Alkalosis >7.45 birn >26 decrease ventilation

    Hope this helps, good luck.
  7. by   KarafromPhilly
    OK, along these lines I have a dumb question. I understand the whole respiratory/metabolic acidosis/alkalosis phenomenon, but here's my question: pH describes the hydrogen ion concentration, right? Therefore a lower hydrogen ion concentration equals a lower pH, and the patient is said to be acidotic. do we move from hydrogen ion concentration to O2 and CO2? Is something being displaced, or what? I'm sure this has been addressed somewhere in the reading I've done, but I went right past it. Can anybody help me out? Thanks.
  8. by   BadBird
    I am not sure if this is what you are looking for but here goes:

    The pulmonary membrance is thin enough to allow for diffusion and the exchange of gases between lungs and blood.

    I suggest you re-read your book , specifically Pulmonary ventilation, pulmonary circulation, gas transportation and regulation.
  9. by   Vsummer1
    UGHH we are studying that now too. The buffer system is what does the displacing... bicarbonate - carbonic acid is the major one.

    The equal sign I will use for the arrows going each way... a double plus sign is going to be a plus sign and a single plus sign is for the ion charge and a dash is the negative charge (I hope that isn't too confusing!)

    carbonic (H2CO3) (weak acid) dissociates into either hydrogen ion (H+) and bicarbonate ion (HCO3) or water (H20) and carbon dioxide (CO2 which is blown off in the respiratory)
    H2CO3 = H+ ++ HCO3- = H20 ++ CO2

    Basically (I hope I got this right) the kidneys eliminate either hydrogen or bicarbonate ions to increase or decrease pH. The lungs blow off the carbon dioxide.

    I hope I got this right... I copied the formula from the book but tried to put it in a nutshell and remember, I am learning this too!
  10. by   KarafromPhilly
    Oh, duh! How was I never able to put that together before so that I could remember it? :imbar Thank you for your help! :spin:
  11. by   MRed94
    With this, our teacher gave us a tic tac toe board, and had us use it always to determine what kind of problem it was, and then to determine if it is fully, partially, or not compensated.

    Let me see if I can get it to work.

    Acid Neutral Base

    under 7.35 7.45 over 7.45

    Plug the rest of the numbers into the format, and then you can decide what kind of problem it is.

    To determine what the compensation level is, use 7.41 as the absolute middle of the normals, and put the pH level in the column as acid or base. This shows compensation, where ever the pH is, lined up with the blood gas part that is off.

    Normals: pH 7.35-7.45
    PO2 80-100
    PCO2 35-45 (respiratory component)
    HCO3 22--26 (metabolic component)
    BE -2 to +2
    O2 Sat >95

    poo. I can't get the things to stay spaced the way they should. And don't know how to make a table. phooey. Hope this helps anyhow.
    Last edit by MRed94 on Nov 1, '02
  12. by   Morguein
    I hope I can explain this in a way that is understandable. I will assume you know the normal ranges for PH, CO2, Bicarb, and the O2.

    The main thing to look at is the PH:

    -If it is less than 7.35 it is called acidosis (metabolic and/or respiratory)

    -If it is greater than 7.45 it is called alkalosis (metabolic and/or

    -To determine if it is respiratory or metabolic, you have to look
    at the CO2 and the Bicarb (HCO3-). If the CO2 follows the
    PH, then it is repiratory. And if the bicarb follows the PH, then it is metabolic. For example: If the PH is 7.20 and
    the CO2 is 50, then this will be repiratory acidosis, because the PH is in the acidosis range and the CO2 is greater than what it should be which means that the patient is breathing slower and retaining this CO2 and making themselves acidotic.

    -Now if the bicarb followed the PH, then it would be labled metabolic acidosis or alkalosis depending on the numbers. For example: if the PH is 7.50 and the bicarb is say 30, this would show that there is metabolic alkalosis going on in the patient. Since the PH is greater than 7.45 this would show alkalosis. And along with the PH being in the alkalotic range, the bicarb is also in the alkalotic range since anything above 26 (depends on what your hospital/school says) is alkalotic.

    -What was confusing to me at first was learning that a decreased PH means acidosis and and increased PH means alkalosis. I kept thinking that an increased PH meant that the body was in acidosis; but finally learned that the opposite is true.

    PH Acidosis<----- <7.35 - >7.45 --------> Alkalosis

    CO2 Acidosis <----- >45 - <35 --------> Alkalosis

    HCO3 Acidosis <----- <22 - >26 --------> Alkalosis

    Anything in between the numbers in each line is in the normal range.

    *Decreased PH/Increased CO2 = Respiratory acidosis

    *Increased PH/Decreased CO2 = Respiratory alkalosis

    *Decreased PH/Decreased Bicarb = Metabolic acidosis

    *Incrased PH/Increased Bicarb = Metabolic alkalosis

    That's very very basic. This in not even including when the body is compensating.

    If you want to see if the body is compensating, then you have to first determine if the body is in respiratory or metabolic acidosis or alkalosis. Once you determine that, then you can look to see if the body is compensating. So for example, if you have Repiratory acidosis with partial compensation, your numbers may look like this:

    PH 7.32 (acidic)
    CO2 48 (acidic)
    Bicarb 28 (alkalotic)

    You can see that the CO2 follows the PH. There-
    fore, this is labled Resp acidosis. But you can
    also see that the bicarb is increased towards the
    alkalotic range..and the reason this is occuring is
    because its trying to bring the body back to a more
    alkalotic range. But because the bicarb doesn't follow
    the PH, this would not be considered metabolic anything.
    As a matter of fact, it is going in the opposite direction than
    the PH. When I say "following" the PH, I mean that if the PH is
    acidic, then the thing (CO2 or bicarb) that is "following" the PH has to ALSO be acidic. I hope this makes sense. But in this problem, since the PH hasn't been corrected, this is labled "partial" compensation.

    I hope I didn't screw any of this up. If anything, I hoped it helped.

    Last edit by Morguein on Nov 1, '02
  13. by   Morguein
    Last edit by Morguein on Nov 1, '02
  14. by   panda_181
    You know, I was looking on Chapters one day and they have Acidosis and Alkalosis for Dummies there! I was tempted to get it as a student myself, because I still don't remember it don't talk about it much on the job...or at least I haven't heard it in the last six months...