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How do you check for lactic acidosis?

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Quick Answer

Lactic acidosis test is carried out through a blood test. According to WebMD, the blood samples can be either venous or arterial (arterial blood gas) drawn from the arm. A standard reference range is used to interpret the result of the blood test.

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Full Answer

A lactic acid test indicates the level of lactic acid in the blood. Generation of lactic acid occurs in body tissues and red blood cells during chemical processes of the body in which oxygen is not essential (anaerobic respiration). It, therefore, indicates a low level of oxygen in the body. Lactic acidosis caused by hypoxia (low oxygen levels) is Type A, for example, during exercise. Type B is caused by underlying diseases, such as congenital problems, diabetes, shock (sepsis), that can lead to increased lactate in the body, as indicated by Lab Tests Online.

The standard range differs from lab to lab and on the health of the patient. WebMD notes that 0.5 to 2.2 millimoles per litre (mmol/L) for venous blood or 0.5 to 1.6 mmol/L for arterial blood are standard. Prior to the test, the patient is advised to avoid eating or drinking anything other than water for eight to ten hours. Exercise is also discouraged to make the test results accurate.

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