Minnesota doctors warn of a dangerous trend of drinking concentrated hydrogen peroxide.
Since the beginning of the year 6 patients have been treated at Hennepin County Medical Center when they consumed hydrogen peroxide to self treat a variety of ailments.
Some websites promote a diluted mixture of H2O2 (Hydrogen Peroxide) as a treatment for sinus infection, parasite removal, and cancer.
Minnesota Poison Control System toxicologist, Dr. Ann Arens, states, “The way people describe it is that they take 3 drops of concentrated peroxide and dissolve it in about eight ounces of water and take it three times a day.” She continues, “There are a bunch of websites and YouTube videos. There’s no science behind any of it helping. There’s no benefit of doing it and it really opens you up to a lot of potential harm.”
Hydrogen Peroxide will bubble when it becomes exposed to proteins, such as those in skin and blood. The bubbles are caused by H2O2 reducing down into water and oxygen. During this catalase, enzyme-mediated reaction, it can kill bacteria and viruses that settle in wounds, hence H2O2 is commonly used in wound care. However it is slightly acidic and in high concentrations can burn and destroy tissue.
The bubbles if they enter the blood stream can embolize, travel and clog a blood vessel, resulting in a stroke. Moreover they can erode GI tissue if ingested causing ulcers and perforations.
IV H2O2 therapy has been promoted as a treatment for boosting immune systems and fighting cancer. In 2004 a woman with multiple sclerosis being treated with IV H2O2 died after suffering “systemic shock” and “DIC”, disseminated intravascular coagulation. DIC causes multiple small blood clots to form and then since the clotting factors have “run out”, excessive bleeding ensues.
A study published earlier this year in the Annals of Emergency Medicine reported 294 cases of peroxide ingestion in a 10 year period with the majority of patients becoming critically ill, disabled, or deceased.
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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician