May 1978

Primary Care Medicine

Arch Intern Med. 1978;138(5):673-677. doi:10.1001/archinte.1978.03630290001001

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Renal acidosis  Precise dosages of sodium bicarbonate—common baking soda—reversed the growth impairment in six children with renal tubular acidosis (RTA) and apparently prevented the problem in two infants with the same diagnosis, University of California, San Francisco, researchers report. Use of baking soda to treat RTA is not new, but R. Curtis Morris, Jr, MD; Elisabeth McSherry, MD, and colleagues found that continued correction requires increasing amounts of alkali, much larger than previously thought necessary.They say that patients with classic renal tubular acidosis not only are unable to excrete acid in normal amounts but also waste large amounts of sodium bicarbonate in their urine. Chemical balance studies must be done repeatedly on each patient to determine the amount of baking soda that should be administered in tablet or liquid form. "From previous studies," they say, "it might have been thought that the [kidney] disease itself, rather than the acidosis

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