System alkalinizers are a class of medication that is used to treat metabolic acidosis. Metabolic acidosis is a state in which your body is more acidic than basic. This is caused by the inability of the kidneys to excrete acidic products and by the loss of bicarbonate (the base) through the urine. Systemic alkalinizers such as calcium bicarbonate are used to increase the bicarbonate in our blood, buffer excess hydrogen ions that help to neutralize our blood and lower the acidity.
Individuals on systemic alkalinizers should monitor their electrolyte balance to assess if their blood is too acidic or basic. It is also important to monitor your sodium intake. Dietary sodium and the sodium found in sodium bicarbonate should not exceed the daily recommended amount of 2000 mg.
It is important to monitor your electrolyte balance and speak to your physician if you experience shortness of breath.
Here is a helpful handout from BC Renal Agency to help you learn about this medication!