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Diagnosed with metabolic acidosis. Is there any long term effect of metabolic acidosis?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 364 Questions
I had what I thought was a stomach virus for 3 day (nausea, high fevers, severe diarrhea). I finally had my mother bring me to the ER because I wasn't getting any better. I was SOB, my eyes were sunken, and my lips were blue around the edges. They put me in ICU for metabolic acidosis. My ph was 7.1.

Of course I'm much better now but I was wondering if there are any long term affect related to metobolic acidosis?? I have notice my feet and hands keeping going numb lately. Also all the nurses and respiratory therapist kept asking was I diabetic. Do I have a higher chance of becoming diabetic now?

Thank you.
Posted Tue, 30 Apr 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Enrique Molina 37 minutes later
I am glad you are feeling better and out of the ICU. There are no longterm effects related to metabolic acidosis, since it was a reversible cause, and you should now be with a normal pH. Severe metabolic acidosis (with a very low pH, lower than 7.1) is life threatening, however once it is corrected there should be no sequelae from this specifically.
The fact that nurses kept asking if you were diabetic is because "diabetic ketoacidosis" is a type of metabolic acidosis fairly common in young patients. It is usually how young diabetics are first diagnosed. You glucose (blood sugar) was probably checked multiple times during your hospital stay, particularly while in the ICU and they would have noticed any abnormal blood sugar.
The fact that you had this episode does not increase your chances of becoming diabetic. The fact that you have a family history of diabetes, and also that you have Sjorgens (autoimmune disease) both place you at lifetime risk for developing diabetes yourself.
Your feet and hand numbness is probably related to your recent viral illness plus the episode of metabolic acidosis, plus other electrolyte and metabolic derangements in your body, which can affect the nerves, however those symptoms should resolve slowly on their own.
Next time you have such a bad diarrhea, don't wait such a prolonged time for seeking medical care.
Hope that helped. Take care.
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