A person may take sodium bicarbonate to relieve indigestion. Taking sodium bicarbonate can result in the generation of enough carbon dioxide gas to rupture the stomach.


Risk factors for gastric rupture:

(1) large amount of sodium bicarbonate or baking soda

(2) high levels of gastric acid (achlorhydria would reduce the risk)

(3) pre-existing gastric wall defect such as a peptic ulcer (associated with structural weakness)

(4) gastric outlet obstruction and/or constriction of the gastroesophageal sphincter

(5) other reason for gastric distention (such as a recent meal or aerophagy)


1 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate (12 g) can form 3.4 L of carbon dioxide gas.

1 teaspoon of baking soda contains about 3.2 g of sodium bicarbonate.


Fordtran et al determined that the presence of food, alcohol or carbonic anhydrase did not interfere with the generation of the carbon dioxide.


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