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Severe metabolic alkalosis is rarely seen in end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients on long-term hemodialysis. This can be life threatening and mortality is exponentially increased when the pH exceeds 7.60. Persistent vomiting, ingestion of alkali for dyspepsia and pica behavior are all potential causes of such severe metabolic alkalosis. The prevalence of pica is increased in chronic kidney disease and ESRD patients, with ice being the most commonly ingested substance. It can cause a myriad of complications including death, but the diagnosis may be elusive unless the pica behavior is witnessed firsthand by others since patients do not typically disclose their behavior. We present the case of a hemodialysis patient with severe alkalemia, hypernatremia, and excessive interdialytic weight gains resulting in recurrent hospitalizations for fluid overload due to baking soda pica behavior. © 2021 International Society for Hemodialysis.


Amara Sarwal, Susan Kim, Isaiarasi Gnanasekaran. Life-threatening alkalosis from baking soda pica in an end stage renal disease hemodialysis patient. Hemodialysis international. International Symposium on Home Hemodialysis. 2022 Apr;26(2):E16-E18

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PMID: 34907640

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