Baking soda for heartburn & acid reflux
How This Helps
Nobody likes the feeling, and we have all felt it. The hot, burning acid creeping up your throat, placing pressure on your chest. For people suffering from GERD, it gets incredibly problematic, affecting your lifestyle. Before you rush to your community pharmacy, you will find natural GERD home remedy solutions you can attempt to alleviate the unwanted side effects of the embarrassing issue.
Baking soda has been used as a home remedy for heartburn for a long time. Baking soda is found on several kitchen shelves. It can be used not just for baking but also for cleansing and even for brushing our teeth. Another fascinating fact about baking soda is that it can neutralize gastric acid. Is it an effective home remedy for heartburn? Well, that depends upon how it is used. If you only have heartburn once in a while, baking soda can be useful for some quick relief. However, it's not smart to use baking soda too frequently, as it is for occasional use and can interact with other medications.
What is heartburn?
What's acid reflux?
Acid reflux (the medical term is gastroesophageal reflux disease GERD), is a burning sensation in the chest that some people experience after eating. Baking soda can help alleviate symptoms, but people should use it with caution. Heartburn occurs when the stomach acid finds itself back up into the food pipe, causing pain and distress. Some individuals can experience a sour-ish taste in their mouths. American College of Gastroenterology estimates over 60 million Americans who experience acid reflux at least once every month. Some studies suggest over 15 million consuming it every day.
Anyone who encounters acid reflux over twice a week should seek medical treatment, as it might be a symptom of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) or some other underlying condition. But if acid reflux goes and comes and lasts for a short duration, baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate might help. Some over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications for acid Reflux include sodium bicarbonate. But, some people also use baking soda in the kitchen as an antacid to counteract acid reflux.
Baking soda benefits as heartburn home remedy
Benefits of baking soda
Add half a teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of water to relieve occasional heartburn. Baking soda -- or sodium bicarbonate -- is a salt which includes sodium ions and bicarbonate ions. It usually appears as or a fine powder or white crystalline solid. Sodium bicarbonate tablets and capsules are also offered. Baking soda is used to make baking cakes fluffy. Additionally, it is an ingredient in dental toothpaste and cleaning solvents. For medical purposes, consult your physician as it can have adverse consequences.
Heartburn home remedy
Heartburn is a symptom that results from the action of acid reflux. This reflux is a fluid that flows back up from the stomach into our esophagus. During reflux, amino acids and digestive enzymes harm the esophagus's mucous membranes and may cause inflammation. The end result of this reflux is heartburn. To deal with this painful sensation, we must decrease the acidity that causes the pain in the esophagus. So how can we do that? We can swallow something alkaline, which neutralizes the acidity.
What is alkalinity?
Acidity and alkalinity can be measured using the pH scale. Measurement of below a pH of 7 is acidic, while that of a pH greater than 7 is alkaline. Alkaline and acidic substances are opposites and neutralize each other.
Over-the-counter antacids work by precisely the same principle. They contain highly alkaline substances that decrease the acidity in the stomach and esophagus. Swallowing those antacids gives heartburn relief.
If you are like many who are concerned about the potential side effects of artificial antacids, you are not alone. A natural solution to store-bought antacids is baking soda or sodium bicarbonate. It may appear unnatural, but our body is extremely used to it. Bicarbonate is found in our saliva. Our body's digestive system releases sodium bicarbonate to neutralize the acidity of the food before it goes down into the stomach.
In plain terms, baking soda is our built-in anti-heartburn mechanism. The issue is that our cells only release small quantities of sodium bicarbonate. However, we could drink a mixture of baking soda and water to neutralize more bloated than our body could on its own. This makes baking soda a home remedy for acid reflux.
Heartburn and baking soda
Since baking soda has an alkaline pH, it can be a common home remedy for the relief of heartburn and acid reflux. It can neutralize the excess stomach acid that causes symptoms.
The Canadian Society of Intestinal Research reminds folks that baking soda is a temporary solution to acid reflux. They advise people that sodium bicarbonate is commonly available from a pharmacy in the form of pills and effervescent powder. Alternatively, a half teaspoon of baking soda mixed in half a cup of water might offer fast relief of symptoms.
Doctors only recommend using baking soda briefly when symptoms first appear. If the body becomes too alkaline, other problems may develop. Like other medications, it is essential to speak with a doctor about suitable doses of sodium bicarbonate. Children under six years old should just use sodium bicarbonate if a physician prescribes it. Acid reflux remedies containing baking soda can be found for purchase online.
How can you create alkaline water?
If you do not have it in your home, you can get baking soda at just about any grocery store in the baking supplies department. As soon as you have the baking soda, you want to dilute it. You cannot properly swallow it like a powder. Additionally, it can be bothersome in its pure form.
You only need just enough baking soda in half a cup of water so you can dissolve the baking soda and consume it. Stir until the baking soda is dissolved. It won't dissolve well. Water at room temperature works slightly better than cold water. It's fine if you don't get it dissolved. As soon as you've mixed your solution, you have made alkaline water!
Simply gargle with it before consuming it. It will help to neutralize reflux, which may have attained the airways. Most individuals don't even understand that some issues they have, such as hoarseness, cough, and asthma, can result from airway reflux.
Precautions & side effects with baking soda
Risks and side effects
Common side effects of baking soda comprise increased thirst, gas and bloating, and stomach cramps. Consult a health professional if these symptoms persist or are severe. Anyone who experiences heartburn for more than two weeks should also see a physician. Baking soda is not recommended for acid reflux during pregnancy unless suggested by your physician.
High Blood Pressure
A significant drawback of using baking soda is that you will consume substantial amounts of sodium. This salt is the same material that's found in ordinary table salt. People with high blood pressure should have a low sodium intake, as it may increase blood pressure. It has been questioned recently whether this is a universal truth that applies to all groups of patients. However, if high blood pressure is an issue for you, it's Recommend avoiding using baking soda for heartburn and adhering to your physician's advice on sodium intake. There are loads of other ways to decrease heartburn.
Sodium bicarbonate interactions
Baking soda can react and interfere with how the body absorbs some medications. People should not take it within two hours of other medicines. It lowers stomach acid levels, so it can interfere with the body's ability to break down and consume medications. Additionally, baking soda may interact with medications.
Be sure to take baking soda with lots of water, and check first with a physician if you're taking another medication. Individuals should always tell their doctor which medications They're taking, whether prescription, OTCsupplements, or other remedies when discussing using baking soda as an antacid.
Holistic treatments for heartburn
Remedies for acid reflux
There are many different types of treatments for acid reflux, including lifestyle changes, OTC or prescription medications, and surgical interventions.
Lifestyle behavior changes
Individuals can reduce heartburn and acid reflux naturally by Implementing some or all the following changes:
Sit up straight: Eating habits that can reduce the danger of getting heartburn include sitting up straight to consume and waiting 3-4 hours after eating before lying down.
- Keeping a healthy weight: Remaining within a healthy weight range for your height can reduce some of the stresses on the stomach. This prevents stomach acid from backing into the food pipe.
- Raising the head of the mattress: Individuals who experience acid reflux at night may gain from increasing the head of the bed with blocks or wooden wedges.
- Preventing overeating or eating too fast: Eating large meals makes it hard for the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to shut properly. The LES acts as a valve that separates the food pipe in the gut and prevents acid from rising. Eating too quickly may also lead to heartburn.
- Wearing loose clothing: Tight-fitting clothing puts increased pressure on the stomach.
- Knowing and preventing food triggers: Certain foods and beverages trigger acid reflux. Triggers vary between people, but they most commonly include alcohol, chocolate, garlic, onions, caffeine, fried foods, and high-fat meals. Avoiding triggers is an easy method to decrease heartburn.
- No smoking: There's a clear connection between smoking and GERD, and it's best to avoid this habit.
Short term fix only
Not a Permanent Cure
A drawback of baking soda is that it won't work long term. Our body tries to maintain the acidity in the stomach constant. So, in case you regularly neutralize acidity with baking soda, then your body will just begin to produce more acid. It will diminish the anti-heartburn impact of baking soda.
Another drawback worth mentioning is that: when baking soda neutralizes our stomach acid, it immediately generates gas. This gas presses the sphincter over the stomach, which may result in new reflux, especially gaseous reflux with symptoms such as hoarseness, cough, and asthma. It's not a big deal if you only use baking soda sometimes. For those who have frequent heartburn, then something isn't right. You will require a permanent cure, not only a short-term fix.
Baking soda vs. baking powder
Sometimes people can get confused between baking soda vs. baking powder. They try to use baking powder instead of baking soda to relieve heartburn. That is not going to work. Here's why.
Baking powder consists of alkaline and acidic substances. The alkaline component in baking powder is usually composed of baking soda. Acidic salts offer the acidic part. During baking, both elements start a chemical reaction that has a harmless result. It merely produces carbon dioxide, the same gas we regularly breathe in and out. The purpose of this reaction is the gas gives the baking dough light and airy structure. The purpose of using baking soda would be to neutralize the acidity in the stomach and esophagus. Baking powder contains acids. When you combine it with water, it is going to keep the identical pH. It won't decrease the acidity in your esophagus either. That's the reason why baking powder can't reduce your heartburn. Use baking soda instead.
Medicines and home remedies just alleviate the symptoms of heartburn. They don't fight the source of the issue and can cause new signs in the long term. Health pros commonly accept sodium bicarbonate or baking soda to succeed in providing temporary, intermittent acid reflux relief. Baking soda is useful as it has an alkaline pH to neutralize the acidity in your stomach, working in a similar way to a lot of over-the-counter antacids. Consult your doctor prior to using baking soda frequently, as it may affect the absorption of many drugs, and is high in sodium. Additionally, sodium bicarbonate isn't safe for long-term usage and is only suggested for only the acute periods of reflux lasting less than two weeks. Sodium bicarbonate is commonly available in tablets and effervescent powder, in addition to the normal powder you can get at any grocery store. If you're in a pinch, a half teaspoon of baking soda mixed in at least 125 mL (1/2 cup) of plain water may offer fast relief of symptoms. This treatment isn't recommended for pregnant women.
1. Sodium bicarbonate (oral route, intravenous route, subcutaneous route): Description and brand names. (2018, February 1) https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/sodium-bicarbonate-oral-route-intravenous-route-subcutaneous-route/description/drg-20065950
2. Acid reflux. (n.d.) http://patients.gi.org/topics/acid-reflux/
3. Antunes, C., & Curtis, S. A. (2017, October 10). Gastroesophageal reflux disease. StatPearls [Internet] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441938/
4. Al-Abri SA, et al. (2013). Baking soda can settle the stomach but upset the heart: Case files of the Medical Toxicology Fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. DOI: 10.1007/s13181-013-0300-4
5. Bergeron L. (2006). Chocolate, wine, and spicy foods may be OK for heartburn.
6. Eating, diet, and nutrition for GER and GERD. (2014).
7. Katz PO, et al. (2013). Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of gastroesophageal reflux disease. gi.org/guideline/diagnosis-and-managemen-of-gastroesophageal-reflux-disease/
8. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018). Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gerd/symptoms-causes/syc-20361940
9. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2016). Acid reflux and GERD: The same thing? mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heartburn/expert-answers/heartburn-gerd/faq-20057894
10. Smoking and the digestive system. (2013). digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/smoking/
11. Sodium bicarbonate. (2014). examine.com/supplements/sodium-bicarbonate/
12. Symptoms and causes of GER and GERD. (2014). niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/ger-and-gerd-in-adults/Pages/symptoms-causes.aspx
13. Treatments for GER and GERD. (2014). niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/ger-and-gerd-in-adults/Pages/treatment.aspx
14. Vakil N. (2016). Drug treatment of gastric acidity. merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/gastritis-and-peptic-ulcer-disease/drug-treatment-of-gastric-acidity
15. Baking soda for heartburn. (2012) https://www.badgut.org/information-centre/a-z-digestive-topics/baking-soda-for-heartburn/
16. Sodium bicarbonate. (n.d.) https://bnf.nice.org.uk/drug/sodium-bicarbonate.html