Metabolic acidosis occurs when there is an excess of any body acid, except carbonic acid. The causes of metabolic acidosis are two much acid production in the body, or loss of base. An excess of metabolic acids can occur as a result of many conditions including ketoacidosis from total absence of insulin in the body, or starvation, lack of oxygen in the tissues, which causes the production of lactic acid, and some types of kidney disease, which prevent elimination of acid from the body. Excess acid can also appear in the extracellular fluids due to a high potassium ion concentration in the extracellular fluid. As the excess potassium moves into the cells, hydrogen ion comes out. Loss of base can occur as a result of excessive diarrhea which causes the loss of bicarbonate that is plentiful in intestinal fluid. [BREATHING VOICE] Patrick O'Shea has smoked cigarettes for 45 years and has emphysema. In emphysema, alveolar walls disintegrate over time, producing large air spaces that remain filled with gases during expiration. This condition reduces the surface area in the lung available for exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. As a result of this destructive process, carbon dioxide becomes trapped in the alveoli and plasma levels of carbon dioxide rise. Letâs review the causes of respiratory alkalosis. Respiratory alkalosis occurs when too much carbon dioxide is eliminated from the body because of hyperventilation. As a result of respiratory alkalosis, which direction will this reaction go? The equilibrium reaction shifts to the left as CO2 is blown off. Which of the following would be observed in simple, uncompensated respiratory alkalosis? Carbon dioxide falls due to hyperventilation. What system will compensate for respiratory alkalosis? Over time, the renal system will compensate by excreting excess base. The causes of respiratory alkalosis are usually short lived, however, and are corrected before compensation can occur. One exception is living at high altitude.