Does Baking Soda Help Acid Reflux?
For anyone who suffers from regular and/or prolonged heartburn, finding an effective remedy can be extremely difficult. Of course, acid reflux can occur due to a number of reasons, including increased stomach acid production, a weakening of the esophageal sphincter, and inflammation of the lower esophagus, and more.
Whatever the cause may be, you need a remedy, and for many people this remedy may very well be baking soda. So, does baking soda help acid reflux? Is it a good and safe treatment? Are there side effects of using baking soda to treat acid reflux? Are the better alternatives? It’s a serious issue so let’s tackle it.
Baking Soda to Treat Acid Reflux – IT CAN WORK!
In terms of using baking soda as a treatment for acid reflux, it can indeed work, albeit temporarily. There are in fact a variety of over-the-counter medications that can be purchased for acid reflux treatment.
For those who don’t know, baking soda is technically known as sodium bicarbonate, a type of salt which consists of a combination of bicarbonate and sodium ions. This can come in the form of simple baking soda, such as you would purchase in any grocery store, and it can come in the form of pills as well.
The reason why baking sodium makes for a fairly effective treatment for acid reflux is due to its high pH level. Acidity is measured on a scale of 1 to 14, with 1 being the most acidic and 14 being completely basic (alkaline). Stomach acid is extremely acidic and baking soda is very basic.
Therefore, baking soda can work to neutralize stomach acid to a certain degree, thus reducing or eliminating acid reflux for the time being. Once again, keep in mind that this is only a temporary solution. Moreover, baking soda should be used sparingly as an acid reflux treatment because there are issues that can arise if the body becomes too alkaline.
How to Use Baking Soda to Treat Acid Reflux
Using baking soda to treat acid reflux is very simple. Just dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in 125ml of warm water, and down the hatch it goes.
Baking Soda – Possible Risks, Side Effects, and Medical Interactions
Of course, as is the case with any sort of medication, no matter how natural, there are some risks and side effects that you need to know about.
Possible Side Effects
Some of the possible side effects of using baking soda as an acid reflux treatment include gas and bloating, possible diarrhea, stomach cramps, and increased thirst. If you experience any of these side effects, especially if they are severe, stop taking baking soda and contact your health care professional.
Risk With Existing Medical Conditions
There are some medical conditions which if you have, you should avoid taking baking soda to treat acid reflux. Anybody with the following conditions should avoid taking baking soda unless otherwise instructed by a healthcare professional.
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
Using Baking Soda With Other Medications
As a rule of thumb, do not take use this baking soda treatment within 2 hours of other medications. Moreover, there are some medications, that when taken with baking soda can cause a bad reaction. These include the following.
Other Options to Treat Acid Reflux
If you are looking for other ways to help treat and control acid reflux, natural methods which do not involve medications, here are some options you have at your disposal.
If you are overweight, this can add pressure on the stomach, which in turn can cause acid reflux. Therefore, maintaining a healthy body weight for your size can help avoid acid reflux.
Something which can cause acid reflux to occur is if you overeat or eat far too quickly. So, moderate your food intake and slow things down a bit.
There are certain foods which can cause acid reflux, but of course, these food triggers will differ from one person to another. Some common foods which can trigger acid reflux include garlic and onions, alcohol, chocolate, caffeine, and fried foods.
Something else which can help you avoid heartburn is to sit up for at least 2 hours after eating. Laying down too quickly after eating can increase the risk of acid reflux because the horizontal position makes it easier for the acid to travel up the esophagus.
Smoking tobacco is also known to be a big cause of acid reflux, so quit!
When all is said and done, although baking soda can temporarily help relieve the symptoms of heartburn, it’s not a permanent solution and there are some risks involved. The best way to avoid acid reflux is to simply improve your lifestyle, live healthier, and follow the tips outlined above.