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A Baking Soda Natural Treatment for Heartburn

written by: Harry Sylvester • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 9/23/2010

Heartburn is not related to the heart, but this burning sensation really leads to excruciating pain. However, baking soda or sodium bicarbonate proves useful to allay the pain. Learn more about baking soda for heartburn relief along with recommended dose and side effects.

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    What is Heartburn?

    Heartburn is an uncomfortable and burning sensation in the chest, behind the breastbone and sometimes in the neck. The excruciating pain happens while you are bending over or lying down. Heartburn is not related to the heart, even though symptoms like a burning pain in the chest might be similar to that of a heart attack. Heartburn is not hazardous. It is due to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is the rise of stomach acid that returns to the esophagus. The burning feeling results from an underactive lower esophageal sphincter (LES) that does not close tightly, allowing stomach acid to reflux into the esophagus and irritate it.

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    Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)

    If you want to alleviate and cure the pain, you can try an alternative medicine. Have you heard of baking soda? Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate can be an alternative to treat this with or without a prescription. Baking soda, which is usually used to make favorite cookies and bread, proves effective to neutralize excessive stomach acid in addition to preventing excess acid in the blood or urine. It is good to use baking soda for heartburn relief since it functions as an antacid, which can reduce stomach acids. Baking soda comes in the forms of powder, tablets, capsules, and granules.

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    Recommended Dosage and Proper Use

    When you decide to take sodium bicarbonate to allay pain in your chest, make sure you follow the directions on the label if you use it without a prescription, or you can follow your doctor’s instruction. The dosage for each person is different based on the age. Keep in mind to avoid consuming large amounts of dairy products because they can raise the risk of side effects. Here is a list of the average doses:

    Powder

    Dose for children below 6 years old depends on your doctor, while teenagers and adults can consume 1/2 teaspoonful of sodium bicarbonate in a glass of water. This should be taken every two hours as needed.

    Effervescent powder

    Your doctor decides the dose for children below 6 years old, but children from 6 to 12 years old can take 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoonful of sodium bicarbonate in a glass of cold water after meals. Teenagers and adults are recommended taking 1 to 2.5 teaspoonfuls in a glass of cold water after meals, but they may not exceed 5 teaspoonfuls per day.

    Tablets

    Dose for children below 6 years old depends on your doctor’s decision. Children from 6 to 12 years old can take 520 mg and they can repeat the dose in 30 minutes. However, teenagers and adults can take 325 mg to 2 grams once to four times a day.

    If you forget to take a dose, take it right away. But, if one hour or two is your next planned dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual scheduled dose. You need to avoid doubling the dose to catch up.

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    Side Effects

    Consume baking soda for heartburn relief in moderation to help prevent side effects. Due to its large amounts of sodium, baking soda is not good for those with hypertension (high blood pressure). Excessive sodium in the body might trigger the rise of blood pressure. With that said, you need to consult your doctor if you have hypertension. Other side effects might include nausea, loss of appetite, headache, frequent urination, fatigue, mood changes, and anxiety.

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    References

    WebMD.com: What is heartburn? - http://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/guide/understanding-heartburn-basics

    MayoClinic.com: Sodium Bicarbonate - http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR601241

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    Disclaimer

    Please read this disclaimer regarding the information contained within this article.