Soy Sauce Overdose Puts Teen in Coma

A teen overdosed on soy sauce and found himself in a coma for three days after as a result.
A teen overdosed on soy sauce and found himself in a coma for three days after as a result.

After chugging a bottle of soy sauce on a dare from his friends, a teen was in a coma for five hours. The nineteen year old college student is the first person to deliberately overdose on salt, and survive without significant brain damage according to Discovery News.

The case was reported in the Journal of Emergency Medicine. The student began to seize and convulse shortly after ingesting the large quantity of sodium, prompting a call to 911. By the time he arrived in the emergency room the sodium had been in his system for approximately two hours. He was given six liters of water through an IV in an attempt to rehydrate his body over the next half hour but could not prevent his slipping into a coma.

It only took five hours for his body’s sodium levels to return to a normal level, however he remained in the coma for three days. He eventually woke up from the coma on his own and has shown no permanent damage to his brain since the incident nearly one month ago.

Hypernatremia, the scientific term for a salt overdose, is typically found in patients with a psychiatric condition towards ingesting salt. The danger that comes with this condition is that the brain often loses a significant amount of water due to the high sodium levels in the blood stream. When water leaves the brain, the organ can actually begin to shrink and bleed, causing permanent damage to the individual.

In this instance, the signs of brain damage were nearly non existent. Following the coma as a result of his soy sauce overdose, the teen’s hippocampus was the only portion of his brain to show any residual effects. This even went away after a few days and has since returned to normal levels.

Doctors believe that the quick response to the incident was what enabled him to recover without brain damage. The emergency response team did an excellent job of flushing the salt out of his system and preventing it from remaining at such a dangerous level.

Although overdosing on soy sauce, or any other form of salt, is uncommon to hear about in the United States, it reportedly was a common means to suicide in ancient China. Soy Sauce has more than enough salt content to cause an overdose as the teen learned, the average quart of the condiment has over a third of a pound of salt in it.

So it turns out you can overdose from soy sauce, one teen ended up in a coma. Many of these trendy food challenges are dangerous, be careful in the dares you accept from your friends.

Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille

The Guardian Express

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