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Respiratory system
Respiratory system


Definition:

Respiratory alkalosis is a condition marked by low levels of carbon dioxide in the blood due to breathing excessively.

See also: Alkalosis



Alternative Names:

Alkalosis - respiratory



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

Common causes include:

Any lung disease that leads to shortness of breath can also cause respiratory alkalosis.



Symptoms:

The symptoms may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Light-headedness
  • Numbness of the hands and feet


Signs and tests:

Treatment:

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.



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):

What will happen depends on the condition that is causing the respiratory alkalosis.



Complications:

Seizures may occur if the alkalosis is extremely severe. This is very rare.



Calling your health care provider:

Call your health care provider if you have any symptoms of lung disease, such as chronic cough or shortness of breath.



Prevention:



References:

Seifter JL. Acid base disorders. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier. 2007: chap 119.




Review Date: 8/8/2009
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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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