If you’ve ever experienced the radiating discomfort of heartburn, you’ve probably spent some time online looking for effective treatments, over-the-counter medications, and home remedies to help. During your research, you may have come across a surprising solution you can probably find in your pantry right this moment: baking soda for heartburn.
Does baking soda help heartburn? And how does it work? In this post, we’ll take a look at this home remedy, discuss how effective baking soda for acid reflux really is, and go over other ways you can manage your symptoms.
Use the links below to skip ahead to the section that best answers your query, or read through for a comprehensive take on the topic.
Heartburn is a symptom that affects nearly 15 million Americans each day1. The uncomfortable feeling in your chest and throat can be triggered by certain foods, high stress levels, lack of sleep, acid reflux, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Heartburn occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes when it shouldn’t, allowing stomach acid and undigested foods back into the esophagus. Over time, stomach acid can start to burn and deteriorate the lining of the esophagus and contribute to other health issues if left unresolved.
Categorized by a burning sensation in the chest, a sour taste in the mouth, and coughing, heartburn is one of the uncomfortable symptoms of acid reflux and the chronic form of the disease, GERD. Heartburn can happen as a result of these gastroesophageal diseases or happen sporadically when triggered by certain foods, medications, and lifestyle factors, such as high stress and smoking.
In addition to the burning-chest and throat feeling of heartburn, other symptoms of acid reflux2 can include:
When to see a doctor:If you experience heartburn symptoms more than twice a week or do not see improvement after using over-the-counter medications or home remedies, it may be time to schedule a visit with your physician to determine the best course of action.
If you’re looking for a way to mediate your heartburn symptoms, you might want to start with your home pantry first. According to a study by the Mayo Clinic3, you can use sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda, for heartburn relief.
As one of the primary ingredients in over-the-counter antacids and other acid reflux medications, baking soda helps neutralize stomach acid, which in turn, limits the opportunity for stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus, causing heartburn. Like any home treatment, you’ll want to be sure you’re aware of the dosage options as well as the potential side effects of using baking soda for acid reflux and heartburn relief. In these next sections, we’ll take a look at how to use baking soda for heartburn, the possible side effects, and the do’s and don’ts of using baking soda as a remedy for heartburn.
According to the Mayo Clinic, you can use sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) as a tablet, granule, or solution mixed with water. Before using baking soda for heartburn relief, make sure to speak with your doctor to determine if it’s the appropriate course of action for your symptoms.
If you do decide to use baking soda for acid reflux and heartburn relief, keep these recommendations from the Mayo Clinic in mind:
For sodium bicarbonate powder to relieve heartburn or sour stomach:
For sodium bicarbonate tablets to relieve heartburn or sour stomach:
For sodium bicarbonate effervescent powder to relieve heartburn or sour stomach:
Every person’s body reacts to treatment differently, so you’ll need to consider the potential side effects of using sodium bicarbonate before incorporating it into your heartburn treatment solutions.
Some of the possible side effects of using baking soda for heartburn3 can include:
Keep in mind, these side effects typically occur only in patients who use baking soda in large doses on a regular basis. Talk to your doctor if you notice symptoms after using baking soda for heartburn relief.
Does baking soda help heartburn? It certainly can— however, how you use it can alter its effectiveness. Keep these do’s and don’ts in mind as you start to incorporate baking soda into your heartburn treatment plan:
Now that you know how to use baking soda for acid reflux relief, let’s take a look at the other treatment options available to you.
If you’re wondering what causes acid reflux flare ups, you may want to start by taking a close look at your diet. Certain ingredients and categories of food can exacerbate or bring on symptoms.
Here are some of the foods to avoid when managing your heartburn symptoms:
Alternatively, you can incorporate these foods to help your heartburn symptoms:
Whether you’re dealing with mild, moderate, or bad acid reflux, it’s a good idea to implement several different solutions into your treatment plan, including making certain lifestyle changes. Maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and avoiding tight-fitting clothing are some of the ways you can mitigate your heartburn symptoms without using medication or surgery.
If you’re one of the 50% of acid reflux patients5 that experiences heartburn on a nightly or nearly nightly basis, we can help. MedCline’s Reflux Relief System has been clinically proven to reduce symptoms of GERD and acid reflux at night.
Engineered using the physician-recommended position for sleeping with acid reflux — on the left side, at an incline — our three-component system features medical-grade materials and is available in three different sizes for close-to-custom comfort. What’s more, our Sleep Specialists are here to support you on your search for reflux-free rest.