The key difference between acidosis and acidemia is that acidosis is the increased acidity in the blood and other body tissues, while academia is the state of low blood pH.
Blood is normally basic. The pH of the blood is about 7.35 to 7.45. The process of balancing acidity and alkalinity in the body is referred to as acid-base balance. Lungs, kidneys, and the buffer system in the body facilitate this type of balancing acidity and alkalinity. Abnormalities in acid-base balance may cause disorders such as acidosis (too much acid in the blood), acidemia (low blood pH), alkalosis (too much base in the blood), and alkalemia (high blood pH). Acidosis and acidemia are two medical conditions due to improper acid-base balancing.
What is Acidosis?
Acidosis is the process that causes increased acidity in the blood and other body tissues. There are two types of acidosis: metabolic acidosis and respiratory acidosis. Respiratory acidosis occurs when too much CO2 builds up in the body. Usually, the lungs remove CO2 while breathing. However, sometimes, the body can’t get rid of CO2, leading to respiratory acidosis. This condition may be due to asthma, injury to the chest, obesity, sedative misuse, overuse of alcohol, muscle weakness in the chest, and problems with the nervous system. Metabolic acidosis, on the other hand, takes place when the kidney does not eliminate enough acids. There are different forms of metabolic acidosis such as diabetic acidosis, hyperchloremic acidosis, lactic acidosis, and renal tubular acidosis.
The risk factors for acidosis include a high-fat diet, kidney failure, obesity, dehydration, aspirin or methanol poisoning, and diabetes. The symptoms of acidosis may include fatigue, confusion, shortness of breath, sleepiness, headache, jaundice, increased heart rate, breath that smells fruity, lack of appetite, etc. This condition may be diagnosed through blood tests, X-rays, and pulmonary function tests. The treatment options include giving bicarbonate supplements, continuous positive airways pressure that helps in breathing, and treating underlying conditions like diabetes, kidney failures, etc.
What is Acidemia?
Academia is the state of low blood pH. Acidemia occurs when arterial pH falls below 7.35. Its counterpart, alkalemia, occurs when pH increases over 7.45. In mammals, the normal pH of arterial blood lies between 7.35 and 7.50, depending on the particular species. The changes in the arterial blood pH outside this particular range result in irreversible cell damage. Organic acidemia is a common type of acidemia. This condition is due to amino acid metabolism defects that lead to a build-up of amino acids and certain odd chained fatty acids in the body. There are four main types of organic acidemia: methylmalonic acidemia, propionic acidemia, isovaleric acidemia, and maple syrup urine disease.
The cause of this condition is defective autosomal genes for various enzymes that are important for amino acid metabolism. The symptoms of organic acidemia include apnea or respiratory distress, recurrent vomiting, dehydration, hypotonia, seizure, poor appetite, development delay, and lethargy. Moreover, organic acidemia can be diagnosed through urine analysis through gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, newborn screening through tandem mass spectrometry, and blood pH testing. The treatment for organic acidemia includes limited protein intake, intravenous fluid, amino acid substitution, vitamin supplementation, carnitine, induced anabolism, and tube feeding.
Furthermore, there are certain acidemia conditions specifically affecting fetuses, such as fetal metabolic acidemia and fetal respiratory acidemia. Fetal metabolic acidemia is defined as an umbilical vessel pH of less than 7.20. On the other hand, fetal repertory acidemia is defined as umbilical artery PCO2 of 66 or higher or umbilical vein PCO2 of 50 or higher.
What are the Similarities Between Acidosis and Acidemia?
- Acidosis and acidemia are two medical conditions due to improper acid-base balancing.
- These medical conditions have similar symptoms.
- Both medical conditions can occur due to metabolic and respiratory causes.
- They can be commonly diagnosed through blood and urine analysis.
- If not managed properly, both medical conditions may cause severe symptoms.
What is the Difference Between Acidosis and Acidemia?
Acidosis is the process that causes increased acidity in the blood and other body tissues, while academia is the state of low blood pH. Thus, this is the key difference between acidosis and acidemia. Moreover, different types of acidosis include respiratory acidosis and metabolic acidosis, while different types of acidemia include organic acidemia, fetal metabolic acidemia, and fetal respiratory acidemia.
The below infographic presents the differences between acidosis and acidemia in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – Acidosis vs Acidemia
Acidosis and acidemia are two medical conditions due to improper acid-base balancing in the human body. Acidosis refers to the increased acidity in the blood and other body tissues, while academia is the state of low blood pH. So, this summarizes the difference between acidosis and acidemia
1. Allen, Suzanne. “Acidosis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment for Blood PH Levels.” Healthline, Healthline Media.
2. “Acidemia.” An Overview | ScienceDirect Topics.
1. “Methylmalonic acidemia” By Item detail – flipper e nuvola – (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Bicarbonate Levels in Metabolic Acidosis” By MetabolicAcidosisExpert – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia