We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Connection between Diarrhea and Acidosis?

By H. Colledge
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Diarrhea is a disorder in which excessive amounts of stools are passed from the body, which are typically loose and watery. As diarrhea usually contains large amounts of bicarbonate, this can cause an imbalance in the body's pH. Bicarbonate is alkaline, so its loss leads to a condition known as acidosis, where the blood is too acidic. For this reason, diarrhea is one of the causes of acidosis and that is how the connection between diarrhea and acidosis arises.

Many of the juices that are released into the gut are alkaline. These come from organs such as the pancreas and gallbladder, and the fact that they are alkaline helps to neutralize the acid from the stomach. Normally, much of the bicarbonate from these alkaline juices is absorbed back into the gut, so that only a small amount passes out of the body in stools. When a person contracts diarrhea, the amount of bicarbonate lost increases hugely as much larger quantities of stools are passed. This makes acidosis more likely to occur.

There are a number of causes of this condition, with perhaps the most common being an infection of the gut. Infections may be caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites. The symptoms of acidosis, which include weakness, headaches and confusion, may be masked by the symptoms of the infection causing the diarrhea. Other causes of diarrhea and acidosis include long-term problems such as irritable bowel disease, celiac disease and Crohn's disease.

When diarrhea and acidosis occur together, acidosis treatment usually consists of treating the underlying condition that is causing the diarrhea. Once that has been corrected, and the diarrhea ceases, the acidosis should also right itself. People with diarrhea and acidosis may be dehydrated as a result of losing large volumes of fluid in their stools. In order to manage this, fluids may be given to patients, and there may also be a need for potassium, which is often lost in diarrhea.

One method of managing acidosis is to give patients bicarbonate. This is given to make up for all of the bicarbonate which has been lost and to balance the pH by making the blood more alkaline. For patients with diarrhea and acidosis, this type of treatment is not usually necessary because, once the diarrhea has been treated, the kidneys are usually able to correct the acidosis. After suffering from diarrhea and acidosis, patients should avoid passing on any infection by staying away from work or school for at least 48 hours and washing their hands carefully.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.