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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 59 (2017) 8, 494 - 498

Case report

Refeeding syndrome during alcohol detoxification

J.J.S. Rutten, H. Post, G.H. de Weert-van Oene, V.J.A. Buwalda

Refeeding syndrome (rs) can occur when malnourished patients are reintroduced to carbohydrates. The symptoms are caused by a combination of electrolyte shifts and fluid retention. Symptoms are wide-ranging; some patients may suffer from harmless muscle cramps, others from more severe neurological and cardiological symptoms that can even lead to death. Although alcohol dependence is a risk factor for the development of rs, little attention is being given to this problem in addiction treatment. In this article we report a case of rs that occurred during alcohol detoxification. We also present the results of a pilot study on the incidence of rs during the alcohol detoxification of 12 patients.

keywords alcohol, hypophosphatemia, refeeding syndrome