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Correct and vital function of your body depends on having the proper pH level and a balance of the various ions in your body (your electrolytes). Two components that play a vital role are the hydrogen cation, H+ (which exists in aqueous solution as the hydronium cation, H3O+) and the bicarbonate anion, HCO3-. If one of these is either enhanced or depleted by physical activity, dehydration, disease or chemical exposure, symptoms can begin to appear.
Acidosis has many causes and therefore, several variants. For example, those suffering from ketosis (a common condition in diabetes) can get a buildup of excess acids in the body, a condition called ketoacidosis. Those whose lungs aren't working properly can have problems expelling carbon dioxide, which causes respiratory acidosis. Chronic alcohol abuse coupled with malnutrition or starvation leads to alcoholic ketoacidsosis.
Exposure to certain chemicals, particularly by ingestion, may result in acidosis. Acidosis can cause a variety of symptoms, including headache, nausea, fatigue, and vomiting. The condition can be life-threatening if left untreated.
Section 4 of a GHS-compliant SDS lists the most important symptoms and effects of exposure and indicates when immediate medical attention and/or special treatment should be should be sought. Always read an SDS before working with a hazardous substance so you understand the symptoms of exposure and can react accordingly.
See also: coma, electrolyte.
Additional definitions from Google and Onelook.
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