Other Conditions & Exposures

Expert reports about Other Conditions & Exposures


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE METABOLIC ALKALOSIS DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

                                                                                                                                                

What is metabolic alkalosis during pregnancy?

Metabolic alkalosis is a situation in which the pH of your body fluids and other tissues is more than 7.45. Normally, pH in body fluids ranges from 7.35 to 7.45, but alkalosis can result for a variety of reasons. The kidneys may keep or generate too much of an electrolyte called bicarbonate (HCO3-) in the body, for instance, and/or too much of an electrolyte called chloride (Cl-) may be eliminated through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, or kidneys. Elimination of acid through the GI tract also causes metabolic alkalosis, as does excretion of too much acid through the kidneys, due to a range of electrolyte and fluid disturbances. Certain medications, rare genetic conditions, excess of certain hormones, and consumption of too much calcium (such as in calcium supplements or milk) also can cause metabolic alkalosis. These and other causes can lead to metabolic alkalosis in pregnant women, but such cases are uncommon, and the main reason for metabolic alkalosis in pregnancy is vomiting. Vomiting, which causes you to lose both acid and Cl-, can occur as part of the common nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP), or more intensely as part of a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). HG is a complication of pregnancy featuring severe nausea and vomiting, as well as weight loss and electrolyte disturbances, including metabolic alkalosis, typically also with dehydration.


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