Acid reflux is a medical condition that is getting more and more common in humans. According to statistics, the condition is so prevalent that almost one-third of the population develops it at least once a month. Among them, around 10% are found to experience it daily. Acid reflux is caused when the stomach acid flows back to the esophagus, due to various reasons.
The characteristic symptom of acid reflux is heartburn, which can cause immense discomfort to the affected person. While the condition can be controlled to some extent with certain home remedies and lifestyle changes, severe and persistent ones need medical attention. Such home remedies include various acid reflux foods that help to relieve the condition. Using baking soda for acid reflux is said to be one of the effective remedies for the condition.
Baking Soda and Acid Reflux
Most of us are familiar with baking soda, which is a fine white powder with a myriad of household uses. Apart from being an effective cleaning and deodorizing agent, baking soda is also used for oral and skin care. It can be used for making toothpaste, as a skin exfoliator, for treating insect bites and for relief from itching and body odor. It is also said to be an effective antacid and so is widely used as a home remedy for acid reflux.
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate has been used by humans since the time of ancient Egyptians. The aqueous solution of baking soda is alkaline in nature and so, is capable of neutralizing acids. The same is applicable in case of stomach acids too. It neutralizes stomach acid and provides relief from acid reflux. The reaction between baking soda and acid produces carbon dioxide. This is why the affected person belches after using baking soda for acid reflux. So, through belching, the carbon dioxide is released and this indicates that the stomach acid has been neutralized. This is the mode of action of baking soda in relieving acid reflux.
How to Use Baking Soda for Acid Reflux
Usually, a solution of baking soda mixed with water is used for treating acid reflux. For this purpose, half a teaspoon of baking soda is mixed with half a glass (3 to 4 ounces) of plain water. Allow the baking soda to get dissolved completely, before consumption. Though a single dose of this solution is not found to cause any side effects, it is not advisable to take it for more than two times a day (within 24 hours). If the symptoms of acid reflux are still there, you have to seek medical attention, rather than sticking to home remedies. This is more applicable to those who develop acid reflux frequently. This remedy is not meant for those who are taking certain prescription medication, especially those with high blood pressure.
Though, it is said to be an effective home remedy for acid reflux, baking soda may not be effective for all. While some people find it highly effective, others may not. The most important thing is to use it as per the above said method. Intake of large amounts may produce negative effects. As in case of most of the home remedies, it will be better to seek the opinion of your doctor regarding the use of baking soda.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting your doctor is the best and safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition.