Lactic Acid Testing
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What is a Lactic Acid Test?
A Lactic Acid test measures the amount of lactic acid, which is mostly manufactured by muscle tissue and red blood cells, present in a patient's body. An individual's lactic acid levels rise during or soon after strenuous activities, or as a result of heart failure, severe infection, or shock, and can decrease the flow of blood and oxygen in the body. These levels can also be increased in patients with liver damage or disease, as the liver participates in the breakdown of lactic acid. High levels can result in a serious condition known as lactic acidosis, which at times may be life-threatening.
Who May Need a Lactic Acid Test?
Lactic Acid tests are often performed on individuals who exhibit certain signs and symptoms of lactic acidosis, which include rapid breathing, excessive sweating, cool and/or clammy skin, abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting, disorientation, and coma. It is also useful in determining whether a patient has the proper amount of oxygen in their tissues, as well as a way to discover the cause of high amounts of acid in a patient's blood.
What Should I Expect from My Lactic Acid Test?
Your Lactic Acid test begins by a blood sample being taken which can help a physician determine if there are any reasons for concern regarding your health. Patients should refrain from eating prior to the test for approximately 8-10 hours. In addition, patients should also make certain they have not exercised prior to the test or undergone any other form of strenuous activity, as it may affect the results of the test. Common reference ranges do exist among lactic acid results, though some labs may have different ranges for you and your physician. Speak to your doctor regarding your results to get more information on how they concern you and your health specifically.