Chronic acidosis – latent acidosis

Acute acidosis

The maintenance of the pH value of blood and tissue is at the centre of the acid-base balance. However, if the buffer systems are overburdened and the normal pH range is exceeded, then blood loses its normal flow characteristics and the transportation of oxygen, nutrients and degradation products is constrained. The medical technical term for this phenomenon in the blood is “acidosis”. Acute acidosis is a life-threatening condition requiring immediate steps of emergency treatment for the instant reconstitution of physiological blood pH. In practice, acute acidosis is uncommon and usually the consequence of diseases of the lung and kidney, which are significantly involved in the regulation of the acid-base balance. Acute acidosis is not subject to dietary influences and therefore we need not go into details in this context.

Chronic acidosis (latent acidosis)

Our attention is concentrated on chronic acidosis, which is also called “latent” acidosis. The term “latent” means “disguised” and refers to a chronic condition that is not recognisable at first. Latent acidosis is much more commonly observed and is characterised by a slight shift of blood pH in the acid direction within the normal range (7.34 –7.45). At the same time, the blood buffering capacity is diminished. Latent acidosis progresses without any specific symptoms, i.e. we do not feel any physical changes at first.

Basica Acid-Base Calculator