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 respiratory acidosis  

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can anyone explain the mechanism of respiratory acidosis?


My simplified way of looking at it:

  • In the body, metabolism produces CO2 which combines with H2O to form carbonic Acid (H2CO3).
  • Normally, the body expels the CO2 through breathing, so you don't get a lot of acid produced from CO2.
  • But if your rate of breathing is too less (or obstructed), you don't breathe out enough CO2.
  • This retained CO2 combines with H2O and forms carbonic ACID.
  • Increased levels of carbonic acid causes an Acidosis.
  • Since the cause of the acidosis is Respiratory, it is called: Respiratory Acidosis.
  • Remember that Respiratory Acidosis/Alkalosis deals with CO2 retention/expulsion. But Metabolic Acidosis/Alkalosis deals with Bicarb loss/excess.

Hope this helps


thanks a ton! @indiaink

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