How to Use Baking Soda to Treat and Prevent Acid Reflux
Acid reflux can plague anyone from time to time. Whether because you’ve just finished a spicy dish or decided to lie down too soon after eating a full meal, the sensation of acid reflux—sometimes called “heartburn” because of the stinging sensations it can cause in your chest—is uncomfortable at best.
However, there’s no need to suffer or spend the entire day gobbling down store-bought antacid medications. Baking soda is a healthy and natural way to put the brakes on acid reflux! Read on to find out how exactly to use baking soda to get rid of acid reflux.
What is Acid Reflux and What Causes it?
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acids rise up into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation and interfering with proper digestive processes. This happens when the muscle that separates the stomach from the esophagus is opened and allows the acids to enter the esophagus. Chronic, acid reflux can erode the lining of the esophagus and cause permanent damage. Common causes of occasional or chronic acid reflux include:
Eating very spicy, acidic or greasy foods
Being overweight is associated with a type of hernia that causes reflux
Certain medications (aspirin or NSAID drugs, for example) can increase reflux risk – if you use NSAID drugs then you can find some natural alternatives.
Baking Soda – a Natural Relief for Acid Reflux
There are many uses for baking soda: baking soda (or bicarbonate of soda) is not only used as a raising agent in baking or as a household cleaner. Baking soda can also be used as a kitchen medicine as well as a natural and powerful healing compound for cancer. Baking soda, can help end acid reflux and even keep it from coming back.
Your body’s pancreas produces sodium bicarbonate to put an end to excessive acids in the digestive system. Smoking and other lifestyle choices can restrict this capability, thereby increasing your risk for acid reflux. Baking soda is thought to mimic the same effects as natural sodium bicarbonate production in the body.
How to Use Baking Soda for Acid Reflux
End your acid reflux by following your meals with a small yet powerful dose of baking soda. Mix half teaspoon of baking soda into a full 8-ounce glass of cold water until it is completely dissolved. You can drink this mixture to treat an acid reflux.
That’s all there is to it—plain baking soda and water are all it takes to kick acid reflux to the curb.
Baking Soda – Precautions
Although baking soda is a great at-home treatment for acid reflux, it’s important not to overdo it.
Do not exceed seven half-teaspoon dosages in a 24-hour period (senior citizens over age 60 should not exceed three half-teaspoons in 24 hours).
Women who are pregnant are not advised to use baking soda to treat acid reflux without talking to a doctor.
If your acid reflux is chronic and severe and baking soda mixed with water provides no relief, visit your doctor to discuss your condition—you may have severe esophageal damage from prolonged reflux issues or another underlying cause that cannot be cured with baking soda alone.
Despite the neutralizing benefits of baking soda, this method isn’t appropriate for everyone with acid reflux. Since this product contains a form of sodium, you should not use it if you’re following a low-sodium diet.
Baking soda can interact with other medications and supplements. It’s important to discuss this risk with your doctor.