Metabolic Mechanism

The other mechanism is metabolic.

The metabolic mechanism is actually just the other side of the bicarbonate buffer system.

In the kidneys, carbonic acid (H2CO3) is changed to bicarbonate, which is a base. The simplified formula is:

H2CO3 --> (HCO3-) + (H+)

Points to remember:

  1. Metabolic mechanism controls bicarb; amount of HCO3- is controlled by kidneys.
  2. Bicarbonate (HCO3-) is a base.
  3. High HCO3- causes alkalosis (raises pH), or neutralizes acidosis.
  4. Low HCO3- causes acidosis (lowers pH), or neutralizes alkalosis.

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The metabolic mechanism involves controlling the amount of bicarbonate in the blood.