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April 1978

Potato Craving Secondary to Potassium Wasting in Bartter's Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics Mount Sinai School of Medicine City University of New York New York, NY 10029

Am J Dis Child. 1978;132(4):420-421. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1978.02120290092018

It has long been thought that particular dietary cravings can be a physiological response to a pathologic or environmental deficiency.1-3 We describe two boys with Bartter's syndrome who have insatiable appetites for potatoes. We suggest that since potatoes have an especially high potassium content, this craving may be a physiologic attempt to compensate for the potassium wasting associated with this syndrome.

Report of a Case.—Case 1.—This patient was a 4.0-kg male infant who was delivered after an uncomplicated pregnancy. At 2 months of age he began to vomit and have diarrhea. He was admitted twice to anotherer hospital, first at 9 months and again at 3 years of age. Each admission was prompted by dehydration coupled with failure to thrive. The serum electrolytes during each admission were characterized by a metabolic alkalosis and hypokalemia. During the second admission, because of persistence of the alkalosis and hypokalemia despite