Bicarbi is a medical food for the management of metabolic acidosis.
Bicarbi is GI friendly enteric coated sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) which is used for the treatment of low bicarbonate levels (also know as TCO2,Total CO2, CO2 or Carbon Dioxide), which may reflect high body and blood acid content.
Treatment of elevated body and blood acid with Bicarbi may delay the progression of kidney disease. More on the importance of treating body and blood acid (called metabolic acidosis) can be found in the About Metabolic Acidosis section of this web site.
Treatment with sodium bicarbonate found in Bicarbi is supported by medical guidelines for Health Care Providers. Bicarbonate levels (also called Total CO2, TCO2, CO2 or Carbon Dioxide), should be maintained between 23-29 meq/L in people with kidney disease.
Bicarbi is affordable and cost effective. Even so, the cost may be covered by your Health Savings Account, and may qualify for tax deduction as a qualified medical expense for you and your dependents.
Bicarbi is designed to help the 35% of CKD patients who can't take raw sodium bicarbonate due to GI upset, such as Bloating, Belching or Burping as well as acid reflux.
Elevated body and blood acid or metabolic acidosis is a condition that occurs when the body produces excessive quantities of acid or when the kidneys aren't removing enough acid from the blood. The acid that is being produced is not the same as stomach acid. The acid from metabolic acidosis is from normal metabolic function.
Yes, several studies have shown that improving systemic acid or raising low serum bicarbonate levels with sodium bicarbonate reduces the risk of kidney failure.
4,5 (Serum Bicarbonate can be measured under several names including Total CO2, TCO2, and Serum Bicarbonate). One study even showed not only did improving low serum bicarbonate level reduce the risk of kidney failure but it also improved the nutritional status of people with kidney disease.4 This said, raising low bicarbonate levels is only one part in improving outcomes for those with chronic kidney disease. Your health care provider will give you guidance on controlling blood pressure, controlling glucose, potential weight loss and some dietary requirements. All of these and more are modifiable factors in improving the outcome of chronic kidney disease or CKD. See 'References' in the 'About Metabolic Acidosis' section if you are interested in some of the published clinical data about improving bicarbonate levels in CKD.
Sodium bicarbonate is an acid buffer or a base. It is often used to treat metabolic acidosis or to reduce blood acid levels. Sodium Bicarbonate is the same as baking soda used in cooking.
An enteric coating allows a capsule to pass through the acid environment of the stomach and not release the active ingredient of the capsule until it is in the small intestine. The active ingredient in Bicarbi is sodium bicarbonate.
Bicarbi has an enteric coating so the sodium bicarbonate in Bicarbi won't react with stomach acids. When uncoated sodium bicarbonate is taken, some of it reacts with the acid in the stomach and is lost and turned into carbon dioxide gas before it can enter into the small intestine where it is absorbed into the bloodstream to help reduce the acid in your blood. The carbon dioxide gas produced can cause bloating, belching or burping as well as acid reflux.
Your healthcare provider will guide you on dosing Bicarbi. The typical dose for Bicarbi is one capsule twice daily, but dosing can vary widely depending on personal needs.