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Baking soda taken orally – can cause Alkalosis (the opposite of acidosis)

June 30, 2011

The baking soda treatment of ingesting it orally is one of the alternative treatments that I am quite reluctant to support. Taking antacids or baking soda, if you are clearly getting too much stomach acids is good. But taking too much of it can back fire.

I know most cancer patients who lean towards alternative treatments, get too excited about baking soda as it gives immediate relief and it is cheap.

But beware—this can backfire..

Make sure you only take a small amount of baking soda solution at any given time, since alkaline substances can neutralize most if not all acids in the stomach, causing the stomach to create more acid. This can, in turn, lead to more heartburn, which will cause you to ingest more baking soda solution and start a dangerous cycle.
Metabolic alkalosis is the most common acid-base disturbance observed in hospitalized patients, accounting for approximately 50% of all acid-base disorders.
• Severe alkalosis causes diffuse arteriolar constriction with reduction in tissue perfusion. By decreasing cerebral blood flow, alkalosis may lead to tetany, seizures, and decreased mental status. Metabolic alkalosis also decreases coronary blood flow and predisposes persons to refractory arrhythmias.
• Metabolic alkalosis causes hypoventilation, which may cause hypoxemia, especially in patients with poor respiratory reserve, and it may impair weaning from mechanical ventilation.
• Alkalosis decreases the serum concentration of ionized calcium by increasing calcium ion binding to albumin. In addition, metabolic alkalosis is almost always associated with hypokalemia (low potassium levels), which can cause neuromuscular weakness and arrhythmias, and, by increasing ammonia production, it can precipitate hepatic encephalopathy in susceptible individuals
The physical signs of metabolic alkalosis are not specific and depend on the severity of the alkalosis. Because metabolic alkalosis decreases ionized calcium concentration, signs of hypocalcemia (eg, tetany, Chvostek sign, Trousseau sign), change in mental status, or seizures may be present.
Symptoms of Alkalosis
• Confusion(can progress to stupor or coma)
• Hand tremor
• Light-headedness
• Muscle twitching
• Nausea, vomiting
• Numbness or tingling in the face or extremities
• Prolonged muscle spasms (tetany)

If you want to alkalize without the risk of Alkalosis– take turmeric and lots of green juices instead. The vegetable juices will metabolise as bicarbonate in the stomach.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Bianca permalink
    September 14, 2012 10:02 am

    Hi, I love your blog, especially since I am getting more and more information on where items can be found in Singapore. Anyway, I had to post on this topic, since I do not entirely agree with your assessment here. Most of the time, people with chronic diseases suffer from a form of acidosis and it can easily turn into metabolic acidosis if you don’t have or run out of buffering capabilities in your body, ie bicarbonate, sodium, etc. I also think that most people with acidosis suffer from hypochloridia, which means they don’t produce enough stomach acid, which in itself leads to various other health ailments and can impact the pancreas, which then is not producing enough bicarbonate, so vicious circle. I have tried various jucings, etc. but non of which have managed to raise my bicarbonate levels and my buffring capacity remained dangerously low. I also tried citrate to deacidify, but I think this only works well after you have brought up your bicarbonate levels. I agree that orally taken sodium bicarbonate is not a great idea if you are hypochloridic, however, there are enteric coated sodium biacrbonate or sodium/potassium bicarbonate tablets that do not disturb the stomach acid and only get disolved in the small intestine. These tablets will help bring up the buffering capacity of the blood and hopefully restore to some extent stomach acid production, at which stage other de-acidifying attempts might yield far better results. Obviously, blood levels have to be monitored closely and idealy, one would get a ABG analysis to determine the buffering capacity of the blood. Once can also take things like Liver Life to speed this along. In any event, sodium/potassium bicarbonate tablets are not recommended for a period of longer then 6 weeks, to avoid alkalosis, which is indicated in all the leaflets of those products (the ones that Singapore doctors remove……..)
    So, in my opinion, a controlled use of sodium bicarbonate in an enteric coated form for a limited period of time and monitored by blood test can yield great results and improve outcome significantly. Just my 5 cents…

  2. September 14, 2012 6:18 pm

    hi bianca,

    thanks for dropping by, I agree on all of your points, that taking bicarb in tablet form or the powder form, can probably be life saving and in your account probably beneficial for even non life threatining diseases… what I am really quite concerned about is that some cancer patients take baking soda everyday for long period of time.. which either leads to either acidocis or alkalosis…

    there was a readed named Gary who used to frequent my thread and almost blindly follow the Baking soda treatment.. and even suggest it to his friend dying of cancer, to take baking soda.. now his friend is dead… I dont know what he have to say about baking soda for cancer patients.. taken every day for long periods of time…

    see our discourse here:

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