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Acid-base homeostasis is the part of human homeostasis concerning the proper balance between acids and bases, in other words the pH. The body is very sensitive to its pH level. Outside the range of pH that is compatible with life, proteins are denatured and digested, enzymes lose their ability to function, and the body is unable to sustain itself.
The kidneys maintain acid-base homeostasis by regulating the pH of the blood plasma. Gains and losses of acid and base must be balanced. The study of the acid-base reactions in the body is acid base physiology.
Any substance that can reversibly bind hydrogen ions is called a buffering agent. They function to impede any change in pH. Hydrogen ions are buffered by extracellular (e.g., bicarbonate, ammonia) and intracellular buffering agents (including proteins and phosphate).
Imbalance has several possible causes. An excess of acid is called acidosis and an excess in bases is called alkalosis. Acidosis is much more common than alkalosis. The imbalance is compensated by negative feedback to restore normal values. There are various renal responses to acidosis and alkalosis.
Sources of acid gain:
Sources of acid loss:
Responses to acidosis:
Responses to alkalosis:
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Acid-base_homeostasis". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|