What Are the Treatments for Respiratory Alkalosis?
Respiratory alkalosis is a condition caused by an excessive amount of respiration and low levels of carbon dioxide in the blood. The condition may be a result of anxiety and hyperventilation. Lung disease that causes shortness of breath can also lead to this condition. Dizziness, numbness in the hands and feet and lightheadedness are symptoms of respiratory alkalosis, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Breathing into a paper bag forces the patient to breathe in carbon dioxide, which can increase those levels in the blood. This treatment relieves the symptoms of lightheadedness, dizziness and numbness, but it does not cure the underlying condition that causes the hyperventilation. Masks may also be helpful in relieving the symptoms of respiratory alkalosis. This treatment is an immediate remedy for the symptoms of respiratory alkalosis and is often used in cases of hyperventilation.
Medications and Therapy
Anxiety is one of the conditions that may cause excessive respiration. Treating anxiety may help control breathing and reduce symptoms. The focus of treatment for this condition is on the cause. Panic disorders may also cause patients to hyperventilate and breathe excessively. Treatments for this cause of respiratory alkalosis may include counseling, anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants that reduce anxiety and panic attacks.
Improved Lung Function
Patients with a chronic cough along with respiratory alkalosis may be suffering from lung disease, according to the National Institutes of Health. Lung disease can cause shortness of breath, which leads to excessive respiration. Treatment for lung disease that causes respiratory alkalosis includes medications, breathing treatments and exercise to improve lung capacity. When lung capacity is improved, symptoms of respiratory alkalosis are improved as well.