Many words are used to refer to heartburn. This includes acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), but they are not the same. To properly treat heartburn, one must know what it is.
Heartburn is a symptom usually experienced by those with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It is a feeling of burning pain in the middle of the chest that generally starts behind the breastbone and moves upward to the throat.
Though pharmaceutical companies have developed medications to treat heartburn, recent reports in health, fitness, and medicine have revealed a shift in the populace’s preference for alternative treatments that are more natural to address their health issues. Such remedies are usually commonplace, readily available, and even cheaper than medications sold at the pharmacy.
These natural remedies also treat common health concerns such as heartburn. But, like medications, these remedies can have risks. For example, some interact with medicines and supplements that can cause other problems. Thus, research and study are vitally important before trying out these alternative treatments.
Baking Soda and Water
You might already have a ready remedy for heartburn at home without you knowing it, in your kitchen specifically. Baking soda has been known to calm episodes of heartburn by neutralizing stomach acid. Just put one teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water. Dissolve it and drink it slowly.
But do not do this often. Though baking soda can neutralize stomach acid, it can increase heart rate. Each teaspoon of baking soda contains 4.8 gm, comparable to 59 mEq of sodium and 59 mEq of bicarbonate. Similarly, 650 mg of oral sodium bicarbonate tablets contain 7.7 mEq of sodium and 7.7 mEq of bicarbonate.
Most case reports of baking soda poisoning involve its victims’ excessive use as an antacid. Baking soda is a safe substitute for sodium carbonate in managing chronic metabolic acidosis. However, there are morbidity case reports when this is used for this purpose.
Baking soda overdose may result in health complications such as metabolic alkalosis, which, if left untreated, could lead to hypokalemia. Other possible health problems from excessive baking soda intake are hypochloremia, hypocalcemia, and hypernatremia.