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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Dangerous Fad Soy Sauce ‘Cleanse’ Kills Woman with Possible Celiac Disease

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    A dangerous, fad internet "cleanse" in which people drink a half a gallon of soy sauce in two hours has claimed the life of a 39-year-old woman with possible untreated celiac disease.

    Dangerous Fad Soy Sauce ‘Cleanse’ Kills Woman with Possible Celiac Disease - Wooden vats fermenting soy sauce. Image: CC--Joi Ito
    Caption: Wooden vats fermenting soy sauce. Image: CC--Joi Ito

    Celiac.com 12/17/2018 - A 39-year-old woman with possible celiac disease was left brain dead after a dangerous internet “soy sauce colon cleanse” caused critically high levels of salt in her blood, which led to organ failure and death. The medical YouTube channel Chubbyemu, says that the woman, identified only by the initials, CG, arrived at the emergency room with a rapidly deteriorating mental status. Earlier that day, CG had performed a “soy sauce colon cleanse,” a dangerous internet fad in which people drink an entire liter of soy sauce in two hours.

    CG had been unwell for weeks before the incident. She had begun a diet made up exclusively of white bread and canned fish six months prior, and had lost 11kg, nearly 25 pounds, in the three weeks leading up to the soy sauce incident. Additionally, CG had been recently diagnosed with untreatable paranoid schizophrenia. She suffered from a psychosis that caused her to believe the government had poisoned her. 



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    Somewhere online, she read that the soy sauce colon “cleanse” would purge the toxins form her body. There are indications that CG may have suffered from celiac disease. Soon after drinking the highly salt-laden soy sauce her heart began to beat rapidly, according to a person identified only as Bernard, who claims to be a U.S.-based medical doctor, and who runs the popular Chubbyemu channel, which features videos on medical issues like kidney disease and cancer.

    After resisting all attempts to get her to drink water, CG began to stumble around and and mumble unintelligibly until she collapsed. She was rushed to a hospital and while en route went into cardiac arrest, before being resuscitated. Eventually, though, CG died as a result of acute hypernatremia— extremely high levels of salt in the blood.

    Bernard believes the woman had undiagnosed celiac disease, which manifested as psychosis and delusional disorder. He adds that a microscopic examination of her cells revealed “marked villous blunting and atrophy”, a common sign of celiac disease. Bernard argued she developed gluten sensitivity, became delusional and was misdiagnosed, and later falling victim to internet misinformation. 

    If that is true, then the story is a sad one, indeed. In any case, the dangers of drinking large amounts of soy sauce or any other salty substance can hardly be overstated. Be very careful and always seek out the advice of a doctor before beginning any type of “cleanse” or “purge” meant to rid the body of “toxins.”

    See the video on the YouTube Channel Chubbyemu.

    Read more at: News.com.au


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    As stated if this is true it is sad. The 6 months prior white bread fish diet could have begun the impairment of CG's mental cognition and mood. Misdiagnosis, desperation, and paranoia may have led to the soy cleanse as she may not have been able to think with clarity about undertaking this drastic cleanse. Sad she slipped through the cracks.  Many in our community go undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or a quick label of mental illness stigmatizes and delays a through investigation of an underlying cause which can easily lead to tragedies like this.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.


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    Jefferson Adams
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