Accumulation of acids in the body. Various chemical substances occur in body tissues, and some of them are acidic. Substances that can neutralize these acids are known as bases. For the body to function properly acids and bases need to be balanced. When excessive acidity threatens, the body loses excess acid via the lungs and kidneys. The mechanism for losing excess acid can cease to function in cases of kidney failure. The same occurs if the lungs are not functioning properly, under anaesthetic for example, or when drugs or medicines affecting the brain are used. Cases of brain damage or damage to the lung itself, for example as a result of bronchial asthma, can reduce lung function so greatly as to cause acidosis. It is also possible for the body to produce too much acid. This occurs when the body cannot process materials such as albumen, glucose or fat in the normal way. This situation occurs in cases of starvation, failure to regulate diabetes by medication and in cases of a serious shortage of oxygen in the tissues, for example in cases of shock. If acidosis occurs the function of important organs such as the brain, heart and lungs is reduced. Thus acidosis can endanger life. Acidosis can be diagnosed by a hospital blood test; if found, it should be treated immediately.