Baking Soda for Heartburn: Does it Work?
Do spicy or acidic foods give you a burning sensation in your chest? You’re not alone. Heartburn is a common digestive problem that affects millions of people worldwide and it happens when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. While chronic heartburn may need to be treated with medication, baking soda for heartburn is a great treatment. The best part? You probably have some in your pantry.
Causes of Heartburn
Spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine are among the foods and beverages that can trigger heartburn. Being overweight, smoking, and pregnancy can also contribute to its development. In addition to feeling a burning sensation in your chest, if you have heartburn you may also have a sour taste in your mouth, difficulty swallowing, and a cough or hoarse voice.
Baking Soda for Heartburn Relief
While several over-the-counter and prescription medications are available to treat heartburn, some people turn to natural remedies such as baking soda.
What is Baking Soda?
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a white crystalline powder commonly used in baking as a leavening agent. Baking soda is also a natural antacid, which is why it can help relieve heartburn.
How Does Baking Soda Work?
Baking soda works by neutralizing the acid in your stomach. Because heartburn occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, baking soda can stop heartburn before it occurs.
You can find baking soda as a tablet or powder in most grocery stores, which makes baking soda an affordable and accessible heartburn remedy. To use baking soda for heartburn, mix a teaspoon of baking soda with a glass of water and drink it slowly. The water helps to dilute the baking soda, making it easier to swallow.
Is Baking Soda Safe?
While baking soda is generally safe to use as a remedy for occasional heartburn, it is important to use it in moderation and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Baking soda can interfere with the absorption of certain medications and can cause side effects such as bloating, gas, and stomach cramps. In addition, people with certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure, kidney disease, and liver disease, should avoid using baking soda for heartburn as it can worsen their condition.
Treatments for Heartburn
While lifestyle changes such as avoiding trigger foods and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce symptoms, many people require additional treatment options to manage their heartburn effectively.
- Antacids. Antacids are over-the-counter medications that can help to neutralize stomach acid and relieve heartburn symptoms. They work quickly and can provide relief for several hours.
- H2 Blockers. H2 blockers are medications that reduce the amount of acid the stomach produces. They are available over-the-counter and by prescription and can provide longer-lasting relief than antacids.
- Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs). PPIs are medications that block the production of stomach acid. They are typically used for more severe cases of heartburn and can provide relief for up to 24 hours. They are available over the counter and by prescription.
Warning Signs of More Serious Problems
While occasional heartburn is common, frequent or severe heartburn can indicate more serious problems such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or a peptic ulcer. Some warning signs to watch out for include:
- Difficulty swallowing or pain when swallowing
- Chronic cough or hoarseness
- Unintentional weight loss
- Chest pain or pressure
- Blood in vomit or stool
If you experience any of these symptoms or heartburn that doesn’t improve with treatment, consult your doctor. They can help determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Neutralize Your Heartburn Today
Don’t let heartburn hold you back from enjoying life to the fullest—seek help and get the relief you need! Call today to schedule an appointment.