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In today’s video I want to look at the role of Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis in uncovering imbalances in the body’s acid-base system.
The following are some of the Acid-Base abnormalities that can be assessed using Blood chemistry and CBC analysis.
But before we dive into these I want to revisit CO2 and Chloride, 2 biomarkers I covered a few weeks ago and look at them through the perspective of acid-base or pH balance.
CO2 and Acid-Base Balance
Serum CO2, as bicarbonate, is one of the reserve alkaline elements in the blood and is the form of CO2 measured on a blood test.
Bicarbonate, as that reserve alkali, neutralizes metabolic acids, such as hydrochloric and lactic acids.
While not the most sensitive measurement of pH, serum CO2 is something that can be measured on a simple chemistry screen so we can use it to help evaluate for a trend towards metabolic acidosis or alkalosis.
Elevated levels of serum CO2, or bicarbonate, are associated with a trend towards Metabolic Alkalosis and decreased levels are associated with a trend towards Metabolic Acidosis
Chloride and Acid-Base Balance
Chloride, along with sodium, potassium, and C02, plays a role in maintaining acid-base.
Chloride has an inverse relationship with CO2 levels
Chloride ions are excreted along with other cations, such as sodium, potassium, during diuresis and are lost from the stomach during bouts of vomiting and/or diarrhea, which can have serious implications for acid-base balance.
Now that we have that out the way let’s take a look at our first acid-base abnormality: Metabolic alkalosis
In metabolic alkalosis, there are increasing levels of bicarbonate ion in relation to H+.
Some of the causes of a bicarbonate increase include:
Metabolic Alkalosis Signs and Symptoms
Metabolic Alkalosis – FBCA Pattern
Given all that, what shifts in a blood chemistry screen will alert us to a developing Metabolic Alkalosis?
Further in-office lab testing (breath-hold time, respiration rate, salivary and urine pH studies) may be necessary to further elucidate this pattern. I cover these in my In-Office Lab Testing book along with a more in-depth discussion on pH balance!
Now, let’s switch gears to talk about what is probably more common to see and that’s a Metabolic Acidosis.
In metabolic acidosis, the body is in a state of increasing levels of H+ ion.
Some of the causes of an H+ increase include:
Metabolic Acidosis Signs and Symptoms
Metabolic Acidosis- FBCA Pattern
Given all that, what shifts in a blood chemistry screen will alert us to a developing Metabolic Acidosis?
As with Metabolic Alkalosis, further in-office lab testing (breath-hold time, respiration rate, salivary and urine pH studies) may be necessary to further elucidate this pattern.