Arm and Hammer
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. 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. 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. 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. 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.