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Alternative Names Return to topAlkalosis - respiratory
Definition Return to top
Respiratory alkalosis is a condition marked by low levels of carbon dioxide in the blood due to breathing excessively.
See also: Alkalosis
Causes Return to top
Common causes include:
Any lung disease that leads to shortness of breath can also result in respiratory alkalosis.
Symptoms Return to top
The symptoms may include:
Exams and Tests Return to top
Treatment Return to top
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.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
The prognosis is based on the condition that causes the respiratory alkalosis.
Possible Complications Return to top
Seizures may occur if the alkalosis is extremely severe. This is very rare.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call your health care provider if you have any symptoms of lung disease, such as chronic cough or shortness of breath.
References Return to top
Murray J, Nadel J. Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders; 2000:192-193.
Marx J, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, Adams JF, et al. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 6th ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby; 2006.Update Date: 11/12/2007 Updated by: Andrew Schriber, M.D., F.C.C.P., Specialist in Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Virtua Memorial Hospital, Mount Holly, New Jersey. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.