Milk-and-alkali tetany

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Milk-and-alkali tetany is a form of tetany cramps of the wrists and hands (carpal spasm) or legs (pedal spasm) caused by an electrolyte imbalance.

Sufferers from peptic ulcers often take an alkali such as bicarbonate of soda to relieve the symptoms, and wash it down with milk. This causes the calcium of the milk to precipitate out, whilst the phosphate is digested.

Treatment consists simply of discontinuing the habit.