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Kidney anatomy
Kidney anatomy


Kidney - blood and urine flow
Kidney - blood and urine flow


Definition:

Distal renal tubular acidosis is a disease that occurs when the kidneys don't remove acid properly into the urine, leaving the blood too acidic (called acidosis).



Alternative Names:

Renal tubular acidosis - distal; Renal tubular acidosis type I; Type I RTA; RTA - distal; Classical RTA



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

Your kidneys normally regulate your body's pH by controlling acids.

Distal renal tubular acidosis (Type I RTA) is caused by a defect in the kidney tubes that causes acid to build up in the bloodstream.

Type I RTA is caused by a variety of conditions, including:



Signs and tests:

Treatment:

The goal is to restore the normal pH (acid-base level) and electrolyte balance. This will indirectly correct bone disorders and reduce the risk of calcium build-up in the kidneys (nephrocalcinosis) and kidney stones. The underlying cause should be corrected if it can be identified.

Alkaline medications such as potassium citrate and sodium bicarbonate correct the acidic condition of the body. Sodium bicarbonate may correct the loss of potassium and calcium.

Vitamin D and calcium supplements are usually not given because there may be too much calcium in the kidneys, even after bicarbonate therapy.



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):

The disorder must be treated to reduce its effects and complications, which can be permanent or life-threatening. Most cases get better with treatment.



Complications:

Calling your health care provider:

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of distal renal tubular acidosis.

Get help immediately if you develop emergency symptoms, such as:



Prevention:

There is no prevention for this disorder.




Review Date: 11/12/2007
Reviewed By: Charles Silberberg, D.O., Private Practice specializing in Nephrology, Affiliated with NY Medical College, Division of Nephrology, Valhalla, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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