The dangers of alkaline arise when your body reaches a state known as alkalosis. This occurs when fluids in your body have excess base or alkali. Lower carbon dioxide or higher bicarbonate levels make your body too alkaline. Low carbon dioxide levels in your blood can lead to respiratory alkalosis. Metabolic alkalosis occurs with excess bicarbonate in your blood. Hypochloremic and hypokalemic alkalosis occurs with extreme lack of chloride and potassium, respectively.
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Symptoms of alkalosis may cause progress into more dangerous conditions. Symptoms include confusion, which can progress into loss of consciousness and coma. High alkaline levels in your body may produce a hand tremor, muscle twitching or prolonged muscle spasms. You may feel lightheaded or nauseous and start vomiting. Numbness or tingling in your face, legs and arms may also occur during alkalosis. Breathing into a paper bag can help improve alkalosis caused by hyperventilation. Medications may help correct chemical imbalances that cause alkalosis. Call your health care provider if you experience confusion, inability to concentrate or to catch your breath.
Hypokalemia is a complication that may arise from aklaosis. Hypokalemia occurs when your body does not have enough potassium. Your body needs potassium for proper cellular functioning, particularly nerve and muscle cells. Medications, diarrhea, metabolic disorders and eating disorders may cause hypokalemia. Eating a lot of licorice, herbal teas or chewing tobacco that contains glycrrhetinic acid may lead to hypokalemia. Your muscle fibers may start breaking down and you may experience constipation, fatigue and paralysis of vital body organs if you develop hypokalemia.
Excesssive alkaline levels in your body fluids may develop heart arrhythmias. Arrhythmias occur when your heart beats too fast, too slow or otherwise irregularly. Symptoms of arrhythmias may include chest pain, fainting, heart palpitations and shortness of breath. Your skin may become pale and you may sweat more than usual if you develop heart arrhythmias. This condition may progress into more dangerous conditions, such as a heart attack, heart failure, stroke or sudden death.
You may go into a coma if your blood levels are too alkaline. Comas are a profound or deep state of unconsciousness. You may emerge from a coma with a combination of physical, intellectual and psychological problems. Comas rarely last longer than two to four weeks, and you may recover full awareness, but you may never retain full physical, intellectual or psychological capacities. You may also only recover partial awareness and remain in a partial vegetative state for years or decades.