Sodium Bicarbonate and Blood Clots

Certain alternative medicine regimens advocate the use of orally administered sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) for the prevention or cure of blood clots. What is the rationale behind this treatment, and is there a scientific basis for recommending it?

  1. Blood Clots

    • Blood clots are the body's primary defense against excessive blood loss in case of injury. But sometimes the blood's ability to clot is triggered inside a blood vessel, forming a dangerous clot or "thrombus" that can become lodged in the heart, lungs, or brain and cut off blood flow. Deadly conditions such as embolism or stroke can result. A combination of aspirin, sodium bicarbonate, and citric acid is often recommended in conventional medicine to prevent blood clots, but in this case the aspirin is the active ingredient--the sodium bicarbonate is added as an antacid since aspirin can damage the stomach.

    Causes of Blood Clots

    • Blood clot formation is usually initiated when damage to the inner lining of a blood vessel activates the "coagulation cascade," causing a blood protein called fibrinogen to crosslink into a fibrin clot. Predisposing factors for blood clot formation include cardiovascular diease, certain kinds of cancer, exposure to radiation, and certain genetic conditions that affect fibrin or other proteins involved in blood clotting.

    Sodium Bicarbonate As an Anticoagulant

    • A small, isolated body of medical literature does exist that suggests sodium bicarbonate works as an anticoagulant, or anti-clotting agent, in blood outside the body. No mechanism has been suggested to explain such a phenomenon, however, other than the pH effect described below, and no study has demonstrated it in the body. Sodium citrate is commonly used as a reversible anticoagulant, but the citrate ion plays a central role in the anticoagulation by capturing calcium ions needed for the clotting process to occur. There is no scientific reason to believe that sodium bicarbonate would perform the same function.

    Blood Clotting and pH

    • Blood clotting is a dynamic, rigidly controlled process that takes place within a narrow pH window. Normal blood pH is between 7.3 and 7.4. At this pH, the transformation of fibrin into fibrinogen is balanced by the reverse reaction. It has been shown outside the body that at pH levels slightly below this level (7.1-7.3), the forward crosslinking reaction is favored, and this is the rationale for sodium bicarbonate as an anticoagulant.

    Sodium Bicarbonate Can Raise Blood pH

    • There is little doubt that large doses of sodium bicarbonate, administered intravenously or orally, are indeed effective in raising the pH of the blood, effectively "alkalizing" the body. This phenomenon has been used in the treatment of metabolic acidosis and also to enhance the performance of athletes in certain sprint events by reducing lactic acid buildup. However, there is no evidence to support the necessary presupposition that people who are predisposed to blood clot formation have abnormally low blood pH, and raising the blood's pH beyond its normal 7.3 to 7.4 range provides no added benefit. In fact, alkalizing the blood can have harmful side effects.

    Dangers of Sodium Bicarbonate Overdose

    • Although sodium bicarbonate is quite safe in moderation, taking too much sodium bicarbonate can neutralize stomach acid and thereby interfere with digestion, resulting in abdominal pain. A more serious condition, a sodium imbalance called hypernatremia, can also occur. Hypernatremia can cause extreme thirst, cardiac problems, seizures, or death.

    Conclusions

    • There is no basis in the medical or scientific literature for using sodium bicarbonate to prevent blood clots. Although large doses of it can raise the pH of the blood, no evidence exists to show that low blood pH is a factor in the predisposition to blood clots in humans. Overuse of sodium bicarbonate can also cause serious side effects. Talk to your doctor before beginning, changing, or discontinuing any medical therapy, including the use of sodium bicarbonate.

Related Searches

References

Resources

  • Photo Credit blood glass image by robert mobley from Fotolia.com

You May Also Like

  • Abnormalities in Plasma Levels of Bicarbonate & Potassium

    Sodium Bicarbonate & Blood PH; You May Also Like. ... What Are the Causes of Low Blood Oxygen Level? Hypoxemia, or hypoxia,...

  • Sodium Bicarbonate for Metabolic Acidosis

    In the blood, the bicarbonate ion ... Metabolic acidosis occurs when the body begins retaining too much acid, or fails to eliminate...

  • Sodium Bicarbonate & Blood PH

    Sodium Bicarbonate and Blood Clots. Certain alternative medicine regimens advocate the use of orally administered sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) ...

  • Oral Use of Sodium Bicarbonate

    Sodium Bicarbonate and Blood Clots; Print this article; Function. Sodium bicarbonate works by neutralizing acid in your stomach that can irritate your...

  • Sodium Carbonate Toxicity

    Treatment for Poisoning. ... If sodium carbonate gets in your eyes, ... How to Use Sodium Bicarbonate to Adjust PH in Your...

  • How to Drink Bicarbonate of Soda for Health

    Sodium Bicarbonate Effects. Sodium Bicarbonate Effects. Bicarbonate is present in the body. It is secreted by the stomach for the purpose of...

  • Sodium Bicarbonate Hazards

    Sodium Bicarbonate and Blood Clots. Certain alternative medicine regimens advocate the use of orally administered sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) ...

  • About Blood Clots

    Though they are considered to be a natural part of healing, blood clots can be extremely dangerous. A blood clot can result...

  • Sodium Bicarbonate Treatment for Ketoacidosis

    Sodium Bicarbonate Treatment for Ketoacidosis. ... The arterial blood pH drops as a result, creating potentially toxic conditions to vital body organs.

  • Bicarbonate of Soda As a Salt Substitute

    Bicarbonate of Soda As a Salt Substitute. ... heart disease and stroke. Related Searches. References. Joy of Baking: Baking Powder and Baking...

  • Normal PTT Levels

    Normal PH Levels in Humans. ... The prothrombin time (protime) test measures clotting of liquid/plasma in blood. If clotting factors are lacking...

  • Dangerous Protime Levels

    The prothrombin time (protime) test measures clotting of liquid/plasma in blood. ... Low or high pH solutions can be hazardous to different...

  • Purpose of Bicarbonate

    In the blood and other body fluids, bicarbonate acts as a neutralizer to support the normal levels of pH.

  • Invalid Blood Results Due to Glycolysis

    Blood samples for pH measurements must be placed on ice immediately after collection. ... (the liquid portion of blood after a clot...

  • How to Make Sodium Citrate Anticoagulant

    Sodium Bicarbonate and Blood Clots. Certain alternative medicine regimens advocate the use of orally administered sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) ...

  • How to Treat Blood Clots Naturally

    Blood clots are the clusters that form when blood solidifies from a liquid to a solid (coagulation). A blood clot that solidifies...

  • Naproxen Sodium Side Effects

    Blood Clots. The drug may cause blood clots that could result in a heart attack or stroke. ... How Does Naproxen Sodium...

Related Ads

Read Article

How to Deadlift With Free Weights