A disturbance of the body’s acid–base balance in which there is an accumulation of alkali or a loss of acid. There are 2 types: metabolic and respiratory. In metabolic alkalosis, the increase in alkalinity may be caused by taking too much of an antacid drug or by losing a large amount of stomach acid as a result of severe vomiting. In respiratory alkalosis, there is a reduction in the blood level of carbonic acid (derived from carbon dioxide). This reduction is a consequence of hyperventilation, which may occur during a panic attack or at high altitudes due to lack of oxygen. (See also acidosis.)


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