Acid reflux is a very uncomfortable medical condition for those who duffer with it, caused by either an excess of acid in the stomach which makes its way up the food-pipe, or a faulty valve which doesn’t do the intended job of stopping the acid moving back up that way.
Known as GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease, there are a number of reasons why it might happen to you. If you eat before bed, you’re likely to have heartburn (acid reflux) or indigestion, and the same can be said for eating large meals as well as spicy foods and also certain ‘trigger’ foods. Some people find that chocolate and cheese are the worst culprits but each patient will have their own ‘trigger’ foods.
Tea, coffee and fizzy soda’s will also increase your chances of suffering with acid reflux as well being pregnant, taking certain medications and smoking.
Luckily, there are more than a few ways that you can treat acid reflux with things you’ll find in your own home and right now, we’re going to investigate using backing soda for acid reflux.
How does baking soda for acid reflux work?
There is some truth behind the old wive’s tale that a spoonful of sugar (or in this case, baking soda) helps the medicine go down, baking soda is considered to be a ‘base substance’ which means it has a pH level of 7 or above.
Sodium bicarbonate as it is more technically known, helps to neutralize the excess stomach acid, or acid reflux, in the same way that sand can put out a fire. The acid is neutralized with the 7+ pH level. The acid itself may still move in place it shouldn’t, but it won’t burn you quite so much. In fact, baking soda for acid reflux can provide immediate relief.
How to use baking soda for acid reflux
The easiest way to use baking soda as a treatment for your GERD or acid reflux, is to dilute it in water, about half to a full teaspoon in a regular eight ounce glass. You can make up a larger batch and drink as and when needed on particularly bad days, just remember to give it a stir again before you do so, but you should try to avoid more than seven teaspoons of baking said in one day. You don’t want to completely counteract your acid problem and cause another one entirely, do you?
(Baking soda is high in salt and too much salt is not good for the body. In this case, it could have adverse side effects such as vomiting or nausea, and even swelling.)
Baking soda for acid reflux – side effects
It’s always good to know about the good and the bad and as with many all-natural remedies, using baking soda for acid reflux can come with its fair share of side effects you may not want.
It is likely to cause you increased gas and this can lead t trapped wind. It could even wreak havoc with your digestive system, especially when you first start using it and definitely if you already have a sensitive stomach or other stomach complaints or problems.
Because of the high salt content, you will also find that you are more thirsty when using this as your GERD remedy, and you may experience headaches also.
In very rare cases, using baking soda for acid reflux can prove dangerous. If you notice any of the following symptoms, seek medical advice immediately:
- Vomiting brown ‘lumps’ which look like coffee grounds
- Blood-stained urine
- Feet or leg swelling
- Blood in the stools
- Weight loss
- No appetite
- More trips to urinate
- Breathing difficulties
Safety tips for using baking soda for acid reflux
Although there are negative side effects, finding all natural remedies for a problem such as acid reflux is always a good idea and when used in the right way, following sensible and smart guidelines and guidance, you may even find that the home remedies work better than their over-the-counter treatments.
Make sure you buy baking soda and not baking powder. The two are very different and the wrong one will give you a very upset stomach.
You should never feed backing soda in any form to a child.
Adults should not take more than seven teaspoons of baking soda over 24 hours. If the acid reflux problem persists for more than a day or two, seek medical advice.
Because of the effect this supplement may have on your stomach, it is advisable to wait at least an hour after eating before taking it.