Health Symptoms & Causes

Causes and Treatment of Kussmaul Breathing

Kussmaul Breathing

A condition where patients breathe deeply in a difficult pattern of breathing is known medically as Kussmaul breathing or hyperventilation. The people who are suffering from diseases such as diabetes, kidney dysfunction normally exhibit such form of breathing. In this article we will learn about the causes and treatment of Kussmaul breathing.

Deep breathing or hyperventilation is referred as Kussmaul breathing which leads a person to breath in deeply to the point where the level of carbon dioxide falls in the blood. This happens due to the intake of too much oxygen in the body. The similar condition is seen in metabolic acidosis during which a person breathes so quickly which results in shallow breathing ultimately. What does Kussmaul breathing look like? The person suffering from Kussmaul breathing acidosis as a result of such deep breathing gasps for breathing, the condition is known as Kussmaul breathing.

  • Kussmaul Breathing Vs Cheyne Stoke:

Kussmaul breathing is a deep breath of a person with somewhat similar pattern, on the other hand, Cheyne stoke is abnormal breathing pattern where a person breathes deeper and faster. kussmaul breathing sign include increased urged to take a breath along with deep breathing.

  • Kussmaul Breathing Pathophysiology:

Some conditions are there which can influence the balance of acids and basis in the body. It means that under different circumstances, body can either turn out to be basic or even acidic. An acidiotic person is the one who is experiencing the process of acidosis prompting to acidemia or unbalanced pH of the body or blood, the condition is known as Kussmaul’s respiration. kussmaul breathing physiology is similar in almost all the patients.

  • Kussmaul Breathing Characteristics:

The exact mechanism of Kussmaul breathing comprises of the inhalation of oxygen and exhalation of carbon dioxide. It is important to note that carbondioxide is acidic in nature and when the carbon dioxide accumulates higher in the body, it reduces the body’s pH. As a result, by deep and quick breathing the body tends to release this abundant carbon dioxide out and this is done in order to bring the pH back to the normal range. The patients suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis or renal acidosis are at increased risk of this breathing.

Kussmaul Breathing Characteristics

  • Causes of Kussmaul Breathing:

Here are some causes of Kussmaul breathing:

  1. Kussmaul Breathing during Ketoacidosis :

It is a condition where the glucose is present in the body but body fails to utilize this glucose to generate energy due to the lack of insulin. As a result of this, the glucose is not disposed properly in the body and energy supply is disrupted as well. It can be said that Kussmaul breathing and diabetes are directly linked.

  1. Kussmaul Breathing in Metabolic Acidosis:

It is a condition which is characterized by increased level of lactic acid in the blood. When the concentration of lactic acid increases in the body, the kidneys fail to function since they fail to get a balance in acid and bases inside the body. The disturbance of acid and base balance in the body is therefore extremely harmful for the kidneys. In a long haul the situation can result in Kussmaul breathing. Kussmaul breathing at the end of life is experienced in patients with acute metabolic acidosis.

  1. Pneumonia:

A lung infection can result in Kussmaul breathing, due to the production of too much mucus and phlegm the tiny air sacs in the lungs known as alveoli get overloaded as a result the breathing pattern of the patient is disturbed leading to Kussmaul breathing.

  1. Kussmaul breathing Renal Failure:

Under acute conditions where kidneys fail to function well, a person suffers from Kussmaul breathing. A person showing Kussmaul breathing due to kidney failure will exhibit some prominent symptoms of kidney failure such as reduced input of urine, swelling at the lower extremities of the body, nausea, vomiting etc.

  1. Peritonitis:

Another medical condition leading to Kussmaul breathing is peritonitis. The inflammation or swelling of peritoneum is known as peritonitis. The condition results normally from liver failure or any acute hepatic disorder. The condition worsens the time and as a result patient suffers from Kussmaul breathing.

  • Kussmaul Breathing Treatment:

The treatment options are there for the Kussmaul breathing pattern of a patient to provide relief. First of all during the treatment of Kussmaul breathing, physician is supposed to control diabetes or renal failure which under most of the cases is the root cause of such kind of shallow breaths.

Kussmaul Breathing Treatment

  • For the treatment of metabolic acidosis, the options of treatment depend mainly on how the pH scale is balanced in the body to make a patient stable. The hidden causes are determined and treated accordingly.
  • For treatment of Kussmaul breathing, oxygen therapy is used in most of the cases.
  • Physicians have to make it sure that the air passages of their patient are clear and no impediments are there.
  • Under extreme cases, in order to take a record of pH fluctuations in the body along with blood chemistry, patient is hospitalized and then given suitable treatment.
  • Bottom Line:

Kussmaul breathing is a deep breathing which a patient exhibits mainly due certain underlying diseases. Diabetes, hepatic or renal failure, metabolic acidosis are some of the key factors which are likely to bring out Kussmaul breathing in a patient. Several treatment options are there depending on the root cause. Under acute conditions, patients are kept under observation to check out the pH fluctuations and carbon dioxide levels before prompt medical treatment is given.

Read this article : Causes and Treatment of Steatorrhea

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About the author

Jennifer K. Garcia

Jennifer K. Garcia is a is a health consultant form last 6 year. She is finally decided to run a blog to help people online.You can contact her via Email or follow her on Facebook. Also add him on