Baking Soda, Heartburn

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Baking soda box

Baking soda and water treats heartburn. You can take baking soda in a small amount and mix it with some water. Then you drink it. This provides an excellent acid-neutralizing effect. It takes away your pain.

Note:I prefer baking soda over Tums or Rolaids because it is more effective. It is less expensive.

Tip:Baking soda and water is effective. It is an inexpensive home remedy for heartburn.

Tip 2:One teaspoon of baking soda works. Even less is sometimes sufficient—use the least amount possible.

Directions

Steps

These are the basic directions for using baking soda to treat your episode of heartburn.
You need baking soda (not powder),
a teaspoon
and a glass. Please remember that using the smallest amount of medication possible is recommended.

Tip

For this reason, you will want to use the minimum of baking soda to treat your heartburn. I recommend one teaspoon of baking soda in a cup. Then, fill the cup up with cold or room-temperature water. Next you mix it and drink it.

How much baking soda?1 teaspoon (even less is better).
Try using less than a teaspoon to see if that is effective.

How much water?1 cup (exact amount not important).
Do not use too little water, as this can make the drink too potent.

How to drink it?You should drink it slowly, without gulping it, to minimize stomach upset.

Story

Heartburn is often caused by GERD

I have chronic and severe heartburn. For me baking soda is the most effective substance for relief. Often I use baking soda for breakthrough episodes of heartburn. I also use a proton pump inhibitor.

Note:The feeling of baking soda is different from that of calcium-based antacids (Tums). Baking soda is more effective and lasts longer.

With Tums, I feel immediate relief. If I take a glass of baking soda, I will not feel this same immediate relief. But the relief from taking the Tums quickly fades. The relief from taking a glass of baking soda and water lasts longer.

So:Baking soda treats heartburn for longer than a calcium-based antacid like Tums.

Calcium, FoodsWater is important for physical health: H2O

After consuming a dose of baking soda in water, my heartburn is at its absolute minimum state. Baking soda is a powerful antacid. For this reason, even expensive medications now include it. The medication Zegerid OTC is an example.

Reader comment. One reader wrote in to tell me about her experience with baking soda and water. Jean says that even less than one teaspoon of baking soda works for her. She often uses only a quarter-teaspoon.

Taste. Baking soda and water tastes salty. The taste is not exactly pleasant. But the pain relief you will get from using baking soda will make you forget about the taste. Tums and Rolaids taste better than baking soda and water.

Baking powder?

Question

Baking powder contains some different ingredients. It is not as useful for heartburn as baking soda. The "soda" part of baking soda is important, not the "baking" part. Often baking soda is sold in orange boxes in the United States.

Tip:Arm & Hammer baking soda has been effective for me. Generic brands have been equally effective.

Arm and HammerLetters A, B and C

Investigation. Baking powder is baking soda plus some other ingredients: usually cream of tartar and corn starch. So baking powder is just additional ingredients in baking soda like fillers—obviously it is for making baked goods.

What's Cooking America: Baking Powder

Note:Baking powder is not used for heartburn. Baking soda is more effective. But the powder contains the soda.

Is baking powder effective for heartburn? It is—and this is because it contains baking soda, a good heartburn remedy. Baking powder adds unnecessary ingredients in your drink, but these won't harm you if taken in small quantities.

Vomit

Vomit

I hate to vomit. It is important to be careful with using baking soda for heartburn. If you drink too much baking soda liquid or if it is too concentrated, or if you drink it too fast, you may vomit.

Caution:This has happened to me once. The problem is easy to avoid if you are aware of the possibility.

Heartburn and Vomiting: Causes

Discussion

Caution: exclamation mark

Baking soda taken as-needed (PRN) is not a complete solution if you have GERD. Do you reach for the baking soda more than once a week? If so the problem is frequent. It may benefit from a more powerful medication.

Prilosec:A popular medication is Prilosec. This medication is called a proton pump inhibitor.

Pro re nata:PRN stands for the Latin phrase pro re nata (as circumstances require). Baking soda is a pro re nata treatment.

Pro Re Nata: PRN Medication, Latin

When you experience heartburn, acid contacts your esophagus. This acid causes damage even before you take the as-needed antacid. A longer-term treatment may help prevent the acid from causing harm to your esophageal tissue.

Excess

Note

It is a bad idea to use an excessive amount of baking soda over a long period of time. The baking soda can change the acidity of your blood. This is a known problem called sodium bicarbonate abuse.

Abuse occurs in people who use huge amounts of baking soda every day. The literature has a report of one man who used a whole box a day for 20 years. Because this causes medical problems, it is best not to use baking soda every day.

Note:This is an extreme case. However it is useful to be aware of the possible dangers of excessive use.

Medical reference: sodium bicarbonate abuse

Zegerid

Pills treat diseases

One new medication is called Zegerid OTC. It combines Prilosec (omeprazole) and baking soda. It is thought it works more effectively because the baking soda neutralizes the stomach acid. The omeprazole is not broken down by stomach acid.

Zegerid OTC

Note:I have not used Zegerid. It does show that there is a significant effect of baking soda on stomach acid.

Summary

Baking soda and water alleviates heartburn. By the time you use an antacid, some level of damage may already have occurred to your body. Baking soda can provide somewhat slower but more thorough relief to heartburn flare-ups.

And:Baking soda can salvage days that would otherwise be painful. But medical attention may be needed in frequent heartburn.

Heartburn