Normal cell function requires oxygen to be able to use glucose, which results in the waste product carbon dioxide. During times of low oxygen delivery to the cells, the cells will use glucose anaerobically (without oxygen), and the waste product will be lactic acid. The low oxygen levels also affect how well the liver is able to clear lactic acid from the blood, which also contributes to increased blood levels, and results in lactic acidosis (very high acidic blood).
There are two types of lactic acidosis (LA): Type I is the result of drug use or liver disease, and is not related to low blood oxygen levels; Type II is the result of low blood oxygen levels due to seizures, shock, or carbon monoxide poisoning; Type III occurs mainly in people with DM, and the underlying cause is unknown.
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