Respiratory alkalosis is a condition marked by a low level of carbon dioxide in the blood due to breathing excessively.
Alkalosis - respiratory
Common causes include:
Any lung disease that leads to shortness of breath can also cause respiratory alkalosis (such as pulmonary embolism and asthma).
The symptoms may include:
Treatment is aimed at the condition that causes respiratory alkalosis. Breathing into a paper bag -- or using a mask that causes you to re-breathe carbon dioxide -- sometimes helps reduce symptoms when anxiety is the main cause of the condition.
Outlook depends on the condition that is causing the respiratory alkalosis.
Seizures may occur if the alkalosis is extremely severe. This is very rare and more likely to happen if the alkalosis is due to increased ventilation from a breathing machine.
Contact your provider if you have any symptoms of lung disease, such as long-term (chronic) cough or shortness of breath.
Published Date: July 31, 2022
Published By: Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, MHS, Paul F. Harron Jr. Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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