Renal Tubular Acidosis is a medical condition. When the kidney is unable to acidify urine, it leads to the accumulation of acid in the body. Usually, when blood is filtered by the kidney, it passes through the tubules of the nephrons (the functional unit of the kidney).
Before it flows into the bladder from the kidney, the urine undergoes an exchange of salts, acids and other solutes. Renal tubular acidosis results in the formation of excessive amounts of acid because the kidneys cannot drain them. This may happen because the kidneys cannot reabsorb the alkaline bicarbonate ions from the urine in the early segment of the nephron or because of inadequate production of acidic hydrogen ions in the latter half of the nephron.
• Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis (RTA)
This is the most fundamental form of RTA. It is characterized when the hydrogen ions are not secreted into the lumen of the nephron by the alpha-intercalated cells of the medullary collective duct of the distal nephron. When this happens the pH of urine cannot be brought down below 5.3. Renal excretion is inhibited and hydrogen ions are not eliminated which leads to academia. At the same time, Potassium ions cannot be absorbed by the cell which leads to hypokalemia. The end result is protein retention and potassium excretion. Distal RTA can lead to the urinary stone formation, calcium deposits in the kidney, rickets and osteomalacia and Sjogren’s syndrome.
• Proximal RTA
When proximal tubular cells reabsorb 85% of filtered bicarbonates and 60% of filtered sodium from the urine, then this again leads to academia. The distal intercalated cells, however, function normally and so the academia is not as severe as in case of Distal RTA. The alpha-intercalated cells can acidify urine to a pH of 5.3 or less because they produce hydrogen ions. Proximal RTA is also associated with Fanconi Syndrome which is characterized by aminoaciduria, uricosuria, glucosuria, and tubular proteinuria.
• Combined distal and proximal RTA
Inherited carbonic anhydrase II deficit leads to combined distal and proximal RTA. This is accompanied by osteopetrosis, cerebral calcification, and renal tubular acidosis. Cases of combined distal and proximal RTA are very rare.
How is RTA understood?
The following steps are applied to analyze Renal Tubular Acidosis-
• Determining the anion gap in acidosis. The normal Anion Gap is 8-12 (4-6 mEq/L)
• Separating the renal from the extrarenal causes of normal anion gap acidosis
• Classifying the types of RTA
• If it is distal RTA, further tests will be necessary to support the diagnosis
How is RTA diagnosed?
Three types of tests can reveal if a person is affected by Renal Tubular Acidosis-
• Urine test
• Acid load test
• Physical examination
Treatment of RTA-
Doctors prescribe either or both of the following two types of therapies-
• Alkali therapy- The pH level of urine is restored and electrolytes are balanced
• Vitamin D supplements- If RTA leads to bone deformities or rickets, your doctor will prescribe vitamin supplements to strengthen your bones.
Timely diagnosis can prevent the effects of Renal tubular Acidosis from becoming compounded. With the right medication, a person can lead a healthy normal life.
A lot of diets claim to help ‘boost’ metabolism – but can you really do anything to help your body burn calories faster?
Let us understand a little about how your metabolism works. The metabolic process involves a complex network of hormones and enzymes that not only convert food into fuel, but also affect how efficiently you burn that fuel. How fast you burn calories is influenced by your age ; your gender and proportion of lean body mass . So some people have high metabolic rate as compared to others.
Even though you are not born with “skinny genes” , you can still speed up your metabolism i.e. increase your body’s ability to burn calories faster.
Exercise. Working out builds muscle. Muscle speeds metabolism. As the body works more efficiently, it processes food faster.
Besides exercise there are other things which boost up your metabolim.
2. Caffeinate: Coffee, tea, or other caffeinated (but low or no-calorie) beverages may also help burn calories faster. In fact, caffeine may boost your metabolic rate for up to three hours after consumption. But don’t overdo caffeine if it gives you the jitters or keeps you up at night. For most people, 3-4 cups per day is tolerable.
3. Stay Hydrated: Even mild dehydration has been found to decrease your metabolic rate by 2%, so staying well hydrated is an easy way to help boost overall metabolic rate. People who drink either eight or twelve glasses of water a day have higher metabolic rates than those who have four.
4. Eat More Often: Small, frequent meals help keep your metabolism high , and that means you’ll burn more calories overall. When you put too many hours between meals, your metabolism actually slows down to compensate. If you then eat a huge meal — at the same time your metabolism is functioning as if you’re starving — your body wants to hold on to every calorie. While this won’t make much difference on an occasional basis, it can become more difficult to lose weight or maintain weight a healthy weight if you frequently skip meals.
To slow down your metabolic rate and put on weight quickly, you can make sure that breakfast, lunch and dinner are huge and well spaced out.