Baking Soda for Heartburn

  • Does baking soda for heartburn really work?
  • Can anyone use baking soda for heartburn?
  • How do I use baking soda for heartburn?

Have you tried baking soda for heartburn? Baking soda is often used as a systemic and urinary alkalizer, an antacid and an electrolyte replenisher. Its actual name is sodium bicarbonate. It neutralizes stomach acid that causes heartburn, sour stomach and acid indigestion. Baking soda is available as an oral powder, in tablets and in effervescent powder. It is also available as an injection.

When Baking Soda Should Not Be Used
Baking soda should not be given to children under six years old unless the child's pediatrician prescribes it. The heartburn symptoms might mimic other symptoms, and a child's explanation of the symptoms may not be precise enough for a home diagnosis. The child should be seen by a pediatrician to discover the cause of heartburn. If the child has digestive problems, antacids, including baking soda, may worsen the condition.

While baking soda is available over the counter, it shouldn't be mixed with certain medications. If you are taking Nizoral, tetracyclines, mecamylamine or methanamine, you may suffer from a decrease or an increase in their effectiveness. Talk to your doctor before using baking soda with these medications.

Other Cautions
If you have allergies to sodium bicarbonate, do not allow your doctor to prescribe baking soda. You should also alert your doctor to any other food allergies, preservative allergies and dye allergies, as many medications contain these items.

Sodium bicarbonate may also make conditions such as appendicitis, intestinal bleeding and rectal bleeding worse. Avoid taking baking soda for heartburn if you have any of these conditions. It sometimes causes the body to retain water, which can make edema, high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease and toxemia of pregnancy worse.

Effective Use
For relief of heartburn symptoms, check the instructions on the package. As a rule, a half a teaspoon to 1 1/2 teaspoons should be dissolved in water and consumed within one to three hours after a meal, depending on the strength of the product. Do not take more than the recommended dose, as this will not improve effectiveness. Effervescent powders may cause bloating and gas if too much is taken.

If your doctor prescribes sodium bicarbonate, be sure to follow dosing instructions carefully.

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