What is Kussmaul Breathing?
For many, Kussmaul Breathing is something new. It is a breathing state which can be characterized with the help of rapid, labored, and deep breathing. This kind of breathing is an indication of the organs getting too much acidic.
The body constantly works for maintaining a particular temperature along with neutral blood acid levels. And for ensuring the balancing the cells and the kidneys are dependent on the buffers or bases, which are basically the chemical compounds that combine with the hydrogen ions. When any kind of disruption is observed in the compounds, it leads to a different breathing pattern which is termed at Kussmaul breathing. This kind of breathing is basically connected with other health conditions that are responsible for the metabolic disturbances like diabetes and failure of the kidney.
Hence, Kussmaul Breathing is a situation that arrives when the body ingests acid in high levels or the lungs and kidney failure, due to which the blood acid level in the body increases. When the blood gets too acidic, it results in acidosis. In this time, the body starts restoring the imbalance caused in the body. In this condition, the patient starts looking for longer and deeper breaths due to which the lung exorcizes additional carbon dioxide.
Some quick facts regarding Kussmaul Breathing
- Kussmaul Breathing is a kind of hyperventilation in which the lungs respond to acidosis in an emergency situation.
- It can lead to deep breathing rate, or say labored breathing.
- The breathing is highly connected with other conditions that can also result in metabolic acidosis or even diabetes.
- This is a serious condition that can be life-threatening and requires quick hospitalization.
- When people suffering from diabetes face a similar pattern of Kussmaul Breathing, it is known as diabetic ketoacidosis.
- Kussmaul Breathing can also lead to a kind of fruity smell in the breath of the patient suffering from the issue.
- Kussmaul Breathing is many times compared with agonal breathing however, they both differ from each other to some extent.
- Kussmaul Breathing comes with a particular breathing pattern which is generally fast and deep.
- The patients suffering from Diabetes are likely to suffer from Kussmaul Breathing if they lack required insulin levels in their bodies.
What are the causes of Kussmaul Breathing?
When the word Kussmaul Breathing is heard, it means that your body is looking for some balancing. The body works in maintaining a stable pH level which ranges from 7.35 – 7.45 in normal conditions. When this level increases or decreases, it means that the body is looking up for changes to get back to the stability level. And this is Kussmaul Breathing.
Here are the causes of Kussmaul Breathing.
1. Diabetic Ketoacidosis
This is among the common causes leading to Kussmaul Breathing. Diabetic Ketoacidosis is a serious situation that is connected with mostly Diabetes Type 1. However, in certain cases, it is also connected with Diabetes Type 2.
Diabetes Ketoacidosis is a condition when the body fails to produce the required amount of insulin. At this point, the body also fails to process glucose accurately. This results in dehydration and then the body starts breaking the fat levels for getting energy rapidly. And this finally results in the increased buildup of ketones in the body which increases the acid levels in the blood.
When the acid level increases, the respiratory system is forced to breath faster due to which the body banishes more amount of carbon dioxide than normal. When the acid levels increase and the individual doesn’t get proper treatment, he would start taking deep breaths which is nothing as Kussmaul Breathing.
2. Loss of Buffers
Some health issues like diarrhea, infection, chronic malnutrition, bowel disorders, etc. can result in a lack of complete loss of particular chemical compounds which are essential for the management of hydrogen ions. This happens possibly during kidney disorders, unconsciousness, and sepsis. When the kidneys are damaged, they fail to excerpt required hydrogen amount from the body, particularly the blood and expel it in urine only. Again, in the case of unconsciousness, Kussmaul Breathing is usually experienced in continuous or in different sets. Lastly, when the chemicals are released from the immune system for fighting against any infection, it can damage other healthy tissues too leading to sepsis and then, Kussmaul Breathing.
3. Other possible causes of Kussmaul Breathing
Apart from Diabetes, other causes of Kussmaul Breathing include failure of any body organ like kidney, liver, heart, etc., Cancer, excess intake of alcohol for a long time, ingestion of particular toxins like methanol, salicylates, ethanol, etc., Seizures, overexertion, and sepsis. Each of these conditions adds to the acid level in the blood due to metabolic factors, apart from overexertion.
Hence, Kussmaul breathing basically means that the organs working to filter the waste products in the body are not working efficiently. Most of the waste products are generally acidic which comes an impact on the blood and finally, your body faces an imbalance.
What are the symptoms of Kussmaul Breathing?
Just as the causes of Kussmaul Breathing are divided into two, the symptoms also come in two different categories. One is common symptoms while the other is the symptoms faced due to diabetic ketoacidosis.
The list of common symptoms includes:
- Deep breathing
- Increased Respiratory Rate
- The respiratory rate which is consistent and even (for both rhythm and rate)
There are people who call Kussmaul Breathing as the hunger for air. This means the individual suffering from it constantly hunts for air or gasps for breathing. This situation is also termed as panicking. When people suffer from Kussmaul Breathing, they don’t have any kind of control over it.
Again, as Kussmaul Breathing is widely caused due to Diabetic Ketoacidosis, the symptoms list includes:
- Getting extremely thirsty
- Vomiting or Nausea
- Increased Blood Sugar levels
- Frequent urination
- Fruity or Sweet Breath smell
- Increase of Ketone levels in the urine
If the symptoms are not observed due to overexertion, the patient should seek some professional help immediately.
What is the treatment of Kussmaul Breathing?
Kussmaul Breathing is basically diagnosed with the help of particular tests that help in learning the presence of metabolic acidosis along with its sternness. For this, the doctors would ask for some common tests like arterial blood gas tests, general metabolism blood panel tests, urine tests, electrolyte tests, and blood sugar tests. Metabolic acidosis is quite often diagnosed when the reports indicate a reduction in the blood acid levels or pH than 7.35 milligrams. Again, at this time, if the diabetic patient is found having blood sugar levels more than 300 milligrams, the patient is found suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis.
For the treatment of Kussmaul Breathing, the treatment of the causal condition needs to be done. The treatment basically involves getting admitted to a hospital. Again, for the treatment of Diabetic Ketoacidosis needs intravenous fluid along with replacement of electrolyte. Also, the insulin and the blood sugar levels are to be monitored along with the treatment. The monitoring is continued till the blood sugar levels go under 240 miligrams/deciliter.
If the individual is suffering from uremia, the professionals might also suggest going for dialysis which helps in reducing the buildup of additional toxins in the body that the kidney fails to filter.
Kussmaul Breathing needs professional help as soon as the symptoms are observed rather than going for any option on your own.
What are the preventive measures that can be taken for Kussmaul Breathing?
Just as there are particular preventive measures for avoiding any health issues, there are certainly some precautions which if carried can help in preventing Kussmaul Breathing. However, one needs to manage chronic medical conditions for preventing Kussmaul Breathing.
So, if you are suffering from Diabetes, you need to keep a watch on the following:
- Take medications for Diabetes as prescribed by the practitioner
- Follow the diet plan provided by the doctor or dietician
- Drink water at regular intervals to avoid dehydration
- Keep a watch on the blood sugar levels on a regular basis
- Go for ketones test in the urine
Similarly, if anyone is suffering from any kidney-related issues, the preventive measures include:
- Follow a diet that is good for your kidney
- Avoid the intake of Alcohol
- Drink water at regular intervals to be hydrated
- Keep the blood sugar levels in control
Hence, these are the measures you need to work on for avoiding the chances of Kussmaul Breathing.
Kussmaul Breathing is henceforth a serious condition in which the body looks for balancing the acid levels. The condition becomes more serious when the patient suffering from Kussmaul Breathing is also having diabetes or any other kidney issues or even failure.
Hence, if the symptoms of Kussmaul Breathing are observed, looking for some professional help from the doctors is the right step to be taken immediately.