• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Blood pH - There is a complex relationship between the pH levels and fundamental biochemical functions in the human body.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Introduction: There is a complex relationship between the pH levels and fundamental biochemical functions in the human body. pH is the measurement of acidity or alkalinity of a substance, in this instance blood. pH stands for 'potential Hydrogen'. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14 and is the indicator of the level of free protons (H+) in a system. At the lower end of the scale indicates a strong, complete acid that that is saturated with highly reactive free protons. At the higher end of the scale it indicates a strong, complete alkali with virtually no free protons and is saturated with highly reactive hydroxide ions (OH-). In the middle of this pH scale at 7 indicates that it is neutral, neither acid or alkaline. The pH scale is logarithmic so each number step up the scale is a tenfold increase. The human body functions at its best in a slight alkaline environment. The acid/alkaline balancing mechanisms are what is needed to for a healthy body chemistry. The blood pH in a healthy human body is kept within a very narrow range of 7.35 and 7.45. It is the lungs and the kidneys that are the most responsible organs in keeping blood pH at a reasonable level between 7.35 and 7.45.The kidneys through their complex filtration functions are able to cleanse the excess venous acids an remove them from the body via the urinary tract. ...read more.

Middle

Respiratory acidosis develops when there are excessive amounts of carbon dioxide in the body, primarily caused by decreased breathing. Other names for this include hypercapnic acidosis and carbon dioxide acidosis. There are several types of metabolic acidosis. Diabetic acidosis (also called diabetic ketoacidosis and DKA) develops when ketone bodies accumulate during uncontrolled diabetes mellitus. Hyperchloremic acidosis results from excessive loss of sodium bicarbonate from the body, like in severe diarrhea for example. Lactic acidosis is an accumulation of lactic acid. This can be caused by many conditions, including prolonged lack of oxygen, certain diseases, prolonged exercise, hyperventilation, and medications such as oral medications used to treat diabetes. www.nlm.nih.gov Alkalosis is a condition of excess base (alkali) in the body fluids. This is the opposite of excess acid (acidosis), and can be caused by many different conditions. The lungs and kidneys regulate the acid/base status of the body. Decreased carbon dioxide or increased bicarbonate levels create an excessive alkaline state called alkalosis. Respiratory alkalosis is caused by lower carbon dioxide levels. Hyperventilation (increased rate of breathing) causes the body to lose carbon dioxide. Altitude or a disease that causes reduced oxygen in the blood triggers the individual to breathe faster. This reduces carbon dioxide levels which results inrespiratory alkalosis. Metabolic alkalosis is caused by an excess of bicarbonate in blood. ...read more.

Conclusion

Through a carbonic anhydrase reaction similar to the red blood cells, hydrogen ions get produced and secreted into the lumen of the nephron. Also, bicarbonate ions get produced and secreted into the blood. In the lumen of the nephron, filtered bicarbonate combines with secreted hydrogen ions to form carbon dioxide and water (carbonic anhydrase is also present on the luminal surface of the kidney cells). Whether the kidney removes hydrogen ions or bicarbonate ions in the urine depends upon the amount of bicarbonate filtered in the glomerulus from the blood relative to the amount of hydrogen ions secreted by the kidney cells. If the amount of filtered bicarbonate is greater than the amount of secreted hydrogen ions, then bicarbonate will be lost in the urine. Likewise, If the amount of secreted hydrogen ion is greater than the amount of filtered bicarbonate, then hydrogen ions will be lost in the urine (i.e. acidic urine). By excreting a bicarbonate (HCO3) in the urine results in free H+ in the plasma because an HCO3 that would bind H+ has been eliminated. When H+ is lowered in the body, alkalosis, the kidney excretes HCO3 to free up H+ in the plasma. When H+ is raised in the body, acidosis, the kidney tubules produce bicarbonate and add it to the urine. One important buffer system in the body is the carbonic acid-bicarbonate buffer system. Carbonic acid H2CO3 can act as a weak acid and the bicarbonate ion can act as a weak base. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Physical Chemistry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Physical Chemistry essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Electrochemical Cells

    5 star(s)

    For my investigation, I will be using filter paper soaked in saturated potassium nitrate (KNO3). Potassium nitrate is used because it conducts electricity, but it will not react with either of the reagents. Nernst Equation Another way of working out the electrode potential is by using the Nernst equation[4].

  2. Investigating the Rate of the Reaction between Bromide and Bromate Ions in Acid Solution

    This makes transition metal ions particularly good in redox reactions (such as the reaction between bromine and bromate ions in acid solution), as they can readily move from one oxidation state to another.viii 1.8 - The Arrhenius Equation The Arrhenius Equation gives an expression for the value of the rate constant k, as shown in Equation 1.8.1:ix (Equation 1.8.1)

  1. Antacid Lab. Are name brand antacids better than generic brand antacids to neutralize ...

    The first time around the pH probe used by our group didn't come with the little bottle at the end which means the bulb at the bottom of probe which measured the pH of the solution was not wet. The dry probe may have caused the antacid to have a ph of seven rather than a pH over seven.

  2. Investigating the rate of reaction between peroxydisulphate(VI) ions and iodide ions

    From this, it can be said that the average velocity of the particle is proportional to the square root of its absolute temperature: So: Building on from this, I will now work out how much more frequently particles will collide with an increase in temperature from 320K to 330K: So,

  1. Chemistry planning exercise

    Mr(Na2CO3)=2*23+12+3*16 =106 m=Mr*N m=106*0.025 m=2.65g (4) Equipment Required. o Safety Spectacles o Weighing Bottle o Spatula o Sodium Carbonate Na2CO3 o Access to a balance capable of weighing to within 0.001g o 250 cm3 beaker o Stirring rod with rubber end o Volumetric flask, 250 cm3, with label o Filter funnel o Dropping Pipette.

  2. Investigating how concentration affects rate of reaction

    This gradient can be measured and the activation enthalpy can be worked out. Making Molar Solutions (5) Molar (M) solutions are based on the number of moles of chemical in 1 litre of solution.

  1. Structure and Functions of Collagen and Insulin.

    Collagen is composed of three chains, wound together in a tight triple helix.Each chain is over 1400 amino acids long and only about 20 are shown here in the diagram. A repeated sequence of three amino acids forms this sturdy structure.

  2. Producing Aspirin By Vacuum Filtration

    is because the commercial aspirin had other ingredients added in, this will have an effect on the aspirin, it will make it more impure as for my aspirin it didn?t have other substances added in therefore it wasn?t impure as much as the commercial aspirin Method:- First I got a

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work