With Reference to Acid-Base Balance Explore the Role of the Respiratory System in Maintaining Blood Ph?

2965 words 12 pages
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Interprofessional Studies.

With reference to acid-base balance explore the role of the respiratory system in maintaining blood pH?

‘We live and die at the cellular level’ (Reid, 2011). Homeostasis is crucial for normal cellular function. Acid-base homeostasis is the part of human homeostasis and refers to the balance between the production and elimination of H+ hydrogen ions (pH) within the body fluids (William, Simpkins, 2001, p.236).
Metabolic reactions within the cells often produce a huge excess of H+. Lack of any mechanism for its excretion would lead H+ levels in body fluids rise quickly to the lethal levels (Tortora, Grabowski 2006, p.1001); therefore the homeostasis of the right H+ levels is
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First, the peripheral nerves will be affected leading to spontaneous nervous stimulation of muscles (spasms) and extreme nervousness. Severe alkalosis can lead to death as a result of contraction of respiratory muscles (Disney, 2002, p.283).

Although in this essay I am concentrating on the role of the respiratory system in regulating the pH of blood it is worth mentioning the role of buffer and renal systems in their connection to the role of the respiratory system.
Renal system is the slowest mechanism in regulating of the blood pH, however the only way to eliminate acids other than carbonic acid responsible for raise in the blood pH. It helps to restore long term acid-base imbalance but is not quick enough to react in sudden changes (Powers, 2001, p.312-313).
The pH buffer systems are a combination of body’s own natural weak acids and bases. They exist in balance under normal pH, however when any changes in pH solution occur, they change their proportions to chemically restore the balance (Appel, Downs, 2008). The important buffer systems include proteins, carbonic acid-bicarbonate buffers and phosphates (Thomson, Adams and Crown, 1997, p.53).

Prolonged acid imbalances of any kind

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