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How do you treat lactic acidosis in diabetes?

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Quick Answer

The method of treatment for lactic acidosis depends upon identifying the underlying cause and treating it. Diabetics with lactic acidosis usually have a serious underlying condition, as reported by the National Institutes of Health.

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Full Answer

The treatment for lactic acidosis is directed toward the specific underlying cause through the use of antibiotics, chemotherapy, discontinuation or use of certain medications, fluid replacement or dialysis, according to Medscape.

Lactic acidosis is caused by the accumulation of lactic acid in the bloodstream faster than the body can remove it. Lactic acid is produced by muscle cells and red blood cells when the body's oxygen levels drop. Intense exercise is identified as the most common cause of lactic acidosis; however, other causes include infection and diseases, such as AIDS, kidney or respiratory failure, and cancer, according to the National Institutes of Health. Conditions such as sepsis, heart failure, kidney or liver disease, and very low blood-oxygen levels also contribute to increased levels of lactic acid, states MedlinePlus.

Metformin, a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes, is also mentioned as a possible cause of lactic acidosis; however, it is linked in cases specifically where patients have underlying conditions that cause lactic acidosis, according to the American Diabetes Association.

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