The full form of RTA is Renal Tubular Acidosis. RTA is a medical condition that causes a buildup of acid in the body due to the kidneys’ failure to appropriately acidify the urine. As blood is drained by the kidney, the filtrate passes through the tubules of the nephron, allowing salt, acid equivalents, and other solutes to be exchanged before draining as urine into the bladder.
The metabolic acidosis caused by RTA in the proximal tubule may be caused by a failure to reabsorb enough alkaline bicarbonate ions from the filtrate or by insufficient secretion of acidic hydrogen ions into the later sections of the distal tubule.
Symptoms of RTA
Many people have no symptoms. Most other people do not exhibit symptoms until the illness has been present for some time. What symptoms may eventually arise are determined by the kind of renal tubular acidosis.
Type 1 and 2
Low blood potassium levels, which are common in people with types 1 and 2, can lead to neurological problems such as paralysis, impaired reflexes, and muscular weakness. Type 1 individuals are susceptible to developing kidney stones, which can injure kidney cells and, in some cases, result in chronic kidney disease. In type 2 and infrequently in type 1, adults may feel bone pain and osteomalacia, whereas children may get rickets.
In type 4 diabetes, potassium levels routinely rise, despite the fact that it is uncommon for them to rise high enough to cause symptoms. If the dosage is too high, muscle paralysis and irregular heartbeats could occur.
Treatment of RTA
Type 1 and 2
Types 1 and type 2 are treated by ingesting a solution of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) every day to neutralize the acid that is produced from meals. This treatment not only delays renal failure and bone loss but also lessens their signs and symptoms. Additional customized treatments are available, and potassium supplements might also be required.
Type 4 acidosis is so mild that bicarbonate may not even be necessary. High potassium levels in the blood may usually be controlled by reducing potassium intake, maintaining hydration, using diuretics that hasten potassium loss, and changing medications or adjusting doses.
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