Gemma Oaten reveals she’s been diagnosed with milk-alkali syndrome after being rushed to hospital


Gemma Oaten has revealed she’s been diagnosed with milk-alkali syndrome after being rushed to hospital with kidney ‘distress’ on Monday.

Taking to Instagram to pen a lengthy post, the Emmerdale star, 37, admitted it had been ‘a horrible time’ for her loved ones after she suffered a ‘severe’ case of the disease which could be fatal, just days after testing positive for Covid.

Gemma, who has previously detailed her battles with anorexia, also hit back at trolls who criticised her for sharing posts from her hospital bed, insisting that when she read the vile messages it was feared she ‘wouldn’t make the night.’ 

Scary: Gemma Oaten has revealed she’s been diagnosed with milk-alkali syndrome after being rushed to hospital with kidney ‘distress’ on Monday

Posting a gallery of snaps, Gemma shared a stricken selfie from her hospital bed along with a selection of snaps showing the magazines and puzzles she’d been sent by friends to pass the time.

Explaining her health scare in a lengthy caption, she said: ‘Hi everyone. I’m so sorry I’ve been quiet. I’ve been inundated with messages and tried to keep up, as have my parents, but we’ve hit a brick wall.

‘I just thought it best to do an update for all you lovely people so our phones can cool down and we can get some rest at what’s been a really horrible time for us all and my close family and friends.  

Worrying: Taking to Instagram to pen a lengthy post, the Emmerdale star admitted it had been 'a horrible time' for her loved ones after she suffered a 'severe' case of the disease

Worrying: Taking to Instagram to pen a lengthy post, the Emmerdale star admitted it had been ‘a horrible time’ for her loved ones after she suffered a ‘severe’ case of the disease

Close call: In her post Gemma revealed she was hospitalised with 'excruciating' pain just days after testing positive for Covid

Close call: In her post Gemma revealed she was hospitalised with ‘excruciating’ pain just days after testing positive for Covid

Horrific: Gemma then furiously hit back at trolls who had been criticising her for sharing images taken in hospital, alongside screenshots of some vile messages she'd received

Horrific: Gemma then furiously hit back at trolls who had been criticising her for sharing images taken in hospital, alongside screenshots of some vile messages she’d received

‘So… I’ve been in hospital since Saturday and things quickly took a turn for the worse. As many know I tested positive for covid last Tuesday but woke early hours Saturday morning with excruciating chest, stomach and back pains. 

‘I called 111 for advice and they sent an ambulance and its all been a blur and very surreal, but too real as well if that makes sense?

What is Milk-Alkali Syndrome? 

Milk-alkali Syndrome can be caused by the excessive intake of calcium or the supplement calcium carbonate, which causes heightened levels in the patient’s blood, making its balance become more alkaline. 

It is typically diagnosed by doctors through a blood test, with symptoms including excessive urination, fatigue, dry mouth and vomiting.

If left untreated, milk-alkali syndrome can cause calcium deposits in the kidneys, which may lead to kidney failure and in severe cases, death.

It is typically treated through a patient reducing the amount of calcium they are concerning, though if kidney failure has occurred, a more significant treatment method may be needed.  

‘Long story short and I’ll explain more when I am ready and fully fit, but I was diagnosed with milk alkali syndrome which in rare and severe cases (like mine) leads to kidney failure or worse, death. 

‘Yep. All a bit much. Thank you to @henriettamac for making me seek help and pushing me to put me first and for all her care and @joffpowell for bringing me clean knickers and all the magazines and puzzles a girl could dream of and for being my rock as always. Both of you. You’re amazing.’

Milk-alkali Syndrome can be caused by the excessive intake of calcium or the supplement calcium carbonate, which causes heightened levels in the patient’s blood, making its balance become more alkaline.

It is typically diagnosed by doctors through a blood test, but additional tests may be ordered to check whether it has severely affected the patient’s kidneys. 

Too much calcium can lead to structural and functional damage in your kidneys, with symptoms including excessive urination, fatigue, dry mouth and vomiting.

If left untreated, milk-alkali syndrome can cause calcium deposits in the kidneys, which may lead to kidney failure and in severe cases, death.

It is typically treated through a patient reducing the amount of calcium they are concerning, though if kidney failure has occurred, a more significant treatment method may be needed.  

Gemma then furiously hit back at trolls who had been criticising her for sharing images taken in hospital, alongside screenshots of some vile messages she’d received.

‘And to the trolls (swipe through) for your messages… I don’t normally call out keyboard warriors but a lesson needs to be learned,’ she said.

‘I read these whilst wondering if I would make the night. Think before you type. Kindness means everything.’

Getting there: Posting a gallery of snaps, Gemma shared a stricken selfie from her hospital bed along with a selection of snaps showing the magazines and puzzles she'd been sent by friends

Getting there: Posting a gallery of snaps, Gemma shared a stricken selfie from her hospital bed along with a selection of snaps showing the magazines and puzzles she’d been sent by friends

Worrying: In her post the star admitted her priority now was to 'rest and self care' and her diagnosis was 'a wake up call she needed time to process'

Worrying: In her post the star admitted her priority now was to ‘rest and self care’ and her diagnosis was ‘a wake up call she needed time to process’

Cute: Alluding to a cute throwback snap in her post (pictured), the actress added: 'On a lighter note. Thank you @ollielockeworld for sending this photo and making me laugh'

Cute: Alluding to a cute throwback snap in her post (pictured), the actress added: ‘On a lighter note. Thank you @ollielockeworld for sending this photo and making me laugh’

Alluding to a cute throwback snap in her post, the actress added: ‘On a lighter note. Thank you @ollielockeworld for sending this photo and making me laugh, insta filter dream. 

‘For now self care and rest for me, so please bear with. This has been a wake up call and I need time to process it all too.

Stay well lovelies, thanks to all the amazing people in my life for the support. Especially mummy and daddy O and my family and real friends �� ❤️ love you.

‘PS Big shout out to the A&E staff at charing Cross hospital, Marjory Warren ward. You are absolutely incredible. Thank you for looking after me and for your tireless work. *God that took me an hour to type. Tata!*’ 

Hospital dash: On Monday Gemma first revealed she was rushed hospital, as she shared a snap from her bed while revealing she'd experienced a 'scary day' but was now in 'safe hands'

Hospital dash: On Monday Gemma first revealed she was rushed hospital, as she shared a snap from her bed while revealing she’d experienced a ‘scary day’ but was now in ‘safe hands’

On Monday Gemma first revealed she was rushed hospital, as she shared a snap from her bed while revealing she’d experienced a ‘scary day’ but was now in ‘safe hands’. 

Alongside the snap, she wrote: ‘In hospital and in safe hands. Scary day. Signing off for sleep after more tests. Much love.’ 

Her fans and friends flooded her with support and well wishes, while she explained her admission was caused by her kidneys, not Covid.

Gemma thanked everyone for their kind messages and shouted out the NHS staff, while vowing she would ‘fight back’.

She added: ‘Hopefully I’ll be able to go home in a few days. I have Covid but this is actually to do with my kidneys being in distress.

‘Really scary but the NHS services have been a lifeline for me today. So poorly and stress hasn’t helped but will fight back.’ 

Her hospital dash comes after Gemma revealed she thought about taking her own life as she battled anorexia like her late pal Nikki Grahame.

Get better soon: Her fans and friends flooded her with support and well wishes, while she explained her admission was caused by her kidneys, not Covid

Get better soon: Her fans and friends flooded her with support and well wishes, while she explained her admission was caused by her kidneys, not Covid

Former Big Brother star Nikki died in April last year at the age of 38 after she relapsed with her anorexia, which she had suffered with from since the age of 18. 

Speaking to Fabulous magazine last week, Gemma said her battle with anorexia started when she was 10 years old, which led to bulimia in her teens’.

She admitted: ‘It could so easily have been me… an eating disorder doesn’t care what’s right or wrong. When it gets hold of a person, it will do everything it can to destroy them.’  

Gemma continued: ‘People go to the extreme lengths of taking their own lives, because not being here is easier than being here.

‘I know that because I’ve had that in my own life. At one point, I planned to take my own life, but my dad called out my name as I was about to do it and pulled me back from the brink.’

Last month Gemma spoke to MailOnline, where she said she is concerned mental health services are unable to cope with the amount of people who need help, adding it’s ‘nonsensical’ to let people suffer.

She explained: ‘Look at Nikki Grahame. We are nearly up to the anniversary of her passing. It is such a postcode lottery.

‘There are some areas in the UK that are spot on. And some parts of the country that are absolutely shocking. There are far too many areas where CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health services) can’t cope. 

‘Even adult mental health services can’t cope. It is like the blind leading the blind and that is what happened with Nikki. 

‘She was left to get to a point where there was a point of no return. Even when she was on death’s door she was still fighting. 

‘Her family and friends were still fighting for her to get treatment. And to me I look at the situation about the system and I am appalled. I worry things haven’t changed. 

‘It was such a difficult situation because we were in the heart of lockdown. I can’t speak for Nikki or the family but from my understanding that really didn’t help.’

For support with an eating disorder contact SEED on hello@seed.charity, 01482 718 130 or visit https://seed.charity/. 

Ordeal: Her hospital dash comes after Gemma revealed she thought about taking her own life as she battled anorexia like her late pal Nikki Grahame

Ordeal: Her hospital dash comes after Gemma revealed she thought about taking her own life as she battled anorexia like her late pal Nikki Grahame

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