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What conditions can be determined from an anion gap blood test?

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Quick Answer

Conditions that are determined from an anion gap blood test are different types of acidosis and alkalosis, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. Acidosis means the patient has too much acid in his blood, while alkalosis means that the blood is too alkaline. Acidosis is especially dangerous.

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What conditions can be determined from an anion gap blood test?
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Full Answer

Acidosis is results when the body makes too much acid because the patient has exercised too strenuously, or if his kidneys do not adequately filter acid out of the body, says the University of Rochester Medical Center. A diabetic patient can suffer a complication called ketoacidosis, when the body starts producing dangerous substances called ketones. Blood can also be dangerously acidified if the person drinks wood alcohol or antifreeze or takes too much aspirin.

The anion gap blood test determines the levels of electrolytes such as sodium, bicarbonate and chloride, according the University of Rochester Medical Center. One way it can tell if a person has too much acid in his blood is because he has low levels of bicarbonate. Bicarbonate levels can be too low because of kidney disease or because the patient loses bicarbonate through diarrhea.

Besides the anion gap blood test, a person who presents with symptoms of metabolic acidosis may also have other tests, says the University of Rochester Medical Center. These include tests to check his pH levels, lactate, glucose and creatinine levels and blood urea nitrogen.

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