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Renal Tubular Acidosis


Overview :

Chemical balance is critical to the body's functioning. Therefore, the body controls its chemicals very strictly. The acid-base balance must be between a pH of 7.35 and 7.45 or trouble will start. Every other chemical in the body is affected by the acid-base balance. The most important chemicals in this system are sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium, ammonium, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and phosphates.

The lungs rapidly adjust acid-base balance by the speed of breathing, because carbon dioxide dissolved in water is an acidߞcarbonic acid. Faster breathing eliminates more carbon dioxide, decreases the carbonic acid in the blood and increases the pH. Holding your breath does the opposite. Blood acidity from carbon dioxide controls the rate of breathing, not oxygen.

The kidneys also regulate acid-base balance somewhat more slowly than the lungs. They handle all the chemicals, often trading one for another that is more or less acidic. The trading takes place between the blood and the urine, so that extra chemicals end up passing out of the body. If the kidneys do not effectively eliminate acid, it builds up in the blood, leading to a condition called metabolic acidosis. These conditions are called renal tubular acidosis.




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