Factors Of Acid Base Balance

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Acid base balance is a part of homeostasis for maintaining the pH of the body. It is necessary for the functioning of enzymes and structural integrity of proteins. In case of an unacceptably large variation in the pH of the body, the enzymes lose their normal function, the proteins get denatured, and in extreme cases, death might result. The normal pH of human blood is 7.4, the acceptable range being 7.35-7.45. In the foetus, the normal range differs based on which umbilical vessel is sampled (umbilical vein pH is normally 7.25 to 7.45; while umbilical artery pH is normally 7.18 to 7.38).[1] pH levels below 7.0 and above 7.7 are fatal. …show more content…
The acids produced are of two types: respiratory or volatile acids (which can be excreted by the lungs) like H2CO3, which is produced from carbon dioxide and water by the action of carbonic anhydrase; and metabolic or fixed acids, which cannot be excreted by the lungs like lactate, phosphate, sulphate, acetoacetate, b-hydroxybutyrate, or any other acid in the body except carbonic …show more content…
The phosphate buffer system(pKa=6.8) has very low concentration in blood. Hence its effect can be practically neglected compared to bicarbonate buffer system(pKa=6.1). The normal bicarbonate level in blood is 22-26 meq/L. The effective pH of the buffered solution can be calculated by the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation as: pH = pKa + log10 ( [HCO3] / 0.03 x pCO2)
The general equation for the action of bicarbonate buffer is:
CO2 + H2O <==C.A.==> H2CO3 <====> H+ + HCO3-

Compensation by this system is more important in case of metabolic acidosis or alkalosis. The pH is sensed by the central and peripheral chemoreceptors and integrated by the medulla which causes appropriate action by controlling the respiratory rate and volume. Acidosis causes hyperventilation causing the release of CO2 and hence the volatile acid H2CO3 normalizing the pH. Alkalosis causes hypoventilation and retention of CO2 and hence doesn’t allow the pH to

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