The goal is to restore the normal pH (acid-base level) and electrolyte balance. This will indirectly correct bone disorders and reduce the risk of calcium build-up in the kidneys (nephrocalcinosis) and kidney stones. The underlying cause should be corrected if it can be identified.
Alkaline medications such as potassium citrate and sodium bicarbonate correct the acidic condition of the body. Sodium bicarbonate may correct the loss of potassium and calcium.
Vitamin D and calcium supplements are usually not given because there may be calcium deposits in the kidneys, even after bicarbonate therapy.
The disorder must be treated to reduce its effects and complications, which can be permanent or life-threatening. Most cases get better with treatment.
- Kidney stones
- Electrolyte imbalances, such as low blood potassium level
Calling Your Health Care Provider
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of distal renal tubular acidosis.
Get help immediately if you develop emergency symptoms, such as:
- Decreased consciousness
- Severe decrease in alertness or orientation
Review Date : 11/30/2009
Reviewed By : David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Herbert Y. Lin, MD, PHD, Nephrologist, Massachusetts General Hospital; Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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