Alkalosis is a condition in which the body fluids have excess base (alkali). This is the opposite of excess acid (acidosis).
The kidneys and lungs maintain the proper balance (proper pH level) of chemicals, called acids and bases, in the body. Decreased carbon dioxide (an acid) or increased bicarbonate (a base) level makes the body too alkaline, a condition called alkalosis. There are different types of alkalosis. These are described below.
To treat alkalosis, your health care provider needs to find the cause.
For alkalosis caused by hyperventilation, breathing into a paper bag allows you to keep more carbon dioxide in your body, which improves the alkalosis. If your oxygen level is low, you may receive oxygen.
Medicines may be needed to correct chemical loss (such as chloride and potassium). Your health care provider will monitor your vital signs (temperature, pulse, rate of breathing, blood pressure).
Most cases of alkalosis respond well to treatment.
Untreated or not treated properly, complications may include any of the following:
Brent Wisse, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Nutrition, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.