Heartburn or Reflux Cure
Smeato Shed Mate showed me how to cure Reflux, often called Heartburn.
Late in 2009 I began to get some painful reflux, some mornings, at around 5am. I tried taking Mylanta and Gaviscon for a few weeks but the relief was very temporary. I had a Gastroscopy and there were no ulcers or anything serious, the doctor gave me a script for some XXX tablets to take daily.
I’m reluctant to take pills on a daily basis unless absolutely necessary and when I mentioned my reflux to Smeato, he had a very simple answer, a Classic Home Remedy, which works. It can be taken as a preventative or for relief. Dissolve one teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda in a small amount of water- say two mouthfuls – and swallow it.
A CLASSIC HOME REMEDY
It tastes revolting. I have a glass of water handy, hold my breath, swallow the mixture and some fresh water, then breathe again. If taken to ease reflux, within 5 minutes a burp or two will signify that the acid in the stomach is being neutralized.
What I like best about taking Bicard of Soda is that it treats the symptoms and I only take it when I need to.
Of everything I’ve tried, this works the best and also the longest. I’ve never needed to repeat the dose. I take it the moment I notice that reflux may be starting. For me that is usually around 4:30-5am. It can also be taken as a preventative – for instance after a gastronomic feast, too much of everything, this settle the stomach and prevents any reflux.
I had been taking 2ooomgs of vitamin C at bedtime for several months before getting severe heartburn and I believe the acid had eaten away at the stomach lining and was the cause of the heartburn/reflux. I stopped taking the Vitamin C tablets late at night and my reflux is reducing, currently (OCT 2010) to about once in 8 weeks. UPDATE: April 2011- no reflux in over 4 months – YAY!
Before I tried this amazing cure, I wondered if taking Bicarb of Soda would be harmful. I found a wealth of info on the net, saying that there were many benefits from taking it. I’ll document them here, but first lets make sure some idiot doesn’t try to sue me for writing about something that is working FOR ME.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical person. I am writing here what works for me and I accept no responsibility for others.
Warning: Baking soda should be tried with your doctor’s approval since this could have many side effects including high blood pressure, headaches, appetite loss, nausea, vomiting, stomach pains and others. Baking soda is high in sodium, so cut down your salt intake as much as possible if taking it. People with heart, kidney, and liver disease, and appendicitis should not try it, without their doctor’s agreement. It is contraindicated with some prescription medicines. Take too much for too long and you could get alkalosis. So speak to your doctor first.
Health Benefits of Bicarbonate of Soda
A Classic Home Remedy: Keen runners have sworn that taking a spoonful of bicarbonate of soda helps them to keep going for longer. From Gout to Advanced Chronic Kidney Disease, from Foot Odor to Flatulence, this magical compound can take care of it all.
Most of the medicinal benefits of bicarbonate of soda come from its natural antacid properties. Let us now discuss the immense health benefits of bicarbonate of soda and why you should always have it handy.
For age spots: A paste of bicarbonate of soda mixed with hydrogen peroxide in equal proportions can lighten age spots when used as a pack on affected areas.
For itching, hives, bites and stings: Apply a paste of sodium bicarbonate mixed with water to ease pain and itching.
For foot and body odor: Bicarbonate of soda can neutralize bacteria that cause foot and body odor. A paste of the compound with water can help clear athlete’s foot.
For foot pain and splinters: A foot soak made of 150gms of bicarbonate of soda with equal quantities of Epsom salts can reduce soreness and minimize nerve pain.
For oral problems: Oral bacteria produce acids that can corrode the teeth enamel. A bicarb rinse several times a day or before going to bed can protect the teeth from untimely decay.
For heartburn: Heartburn is caused when digestive acids make their way up to the tract. A tablet or teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate along with the few drops of lemon juice acts as an antacid and provides instant relief. The same works for dispelling painful wind in case of indigestion and flatulence.
For household cleaning: 4 tablespoons of sodium bicarbonate in a liter of water makes a eco-friendly and non-toxic multipurpose cleaner for the house.
For nappy rash: Bicarbonate of soda added to a baby’s bathwater soothes the irritated skin and promotes faster healing.
For sore throats and mouth ulcers: Acid producing bacteria can cause lot of pain and agony. Add a teaspoonful of sodium bicarbonate in a glass of water and gargle every four hours to neutralize the acids.
For sunburn and heat rash: Bicarb can ‘soften’ bath water which makes for a comforting soak for agitated skin.
For UTIs: Drinking a solution of bicarb can ease the burning sensation while urinating by balancing the acids in the bladder.
For Gout: If you get baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) into your gout diet you add a well known alkalizing agent to it. It’s the classic home remedy for gout and the good news is that it gets many rave reviews from gout sufferers. It may well raise your pH level and alleviate or even end your gout attack. For many people for whom this works it usually begins to happen quickly – sometimes virtually immediately, often within 24 hours, and at least within a week.
It’s even been reported to reduce tophi, but you should note that even beneficiaries get different results.
Dosage Bicarbonate of soda is cheap and the remedy is an-easy-to-prepare part of a gout diet. Use half a teaspoon filled to the top of the spoon’s ridge, not above, (you don’t want a “mountain” of it in the spoon) with eight fluid ounces of water. (Or use measuring spoons). Make sure it dissolves completely in the water. Take, normally, four times a day, which includes one dose before bedtime. The body is said to be more acidic at night. Is it just a coincidence that many gout attacks happen after midnight and before daylight?
Some people find that even a 1/4 teaspoon serving four times a day can deal with their gout attack, and if you can, so much the better, because of the high amount of sodium.
Warning! Baking soda may not be your natural gout cure. It MUST ONLY BE TRIED with your doctor’s approval since this could have many side effects including high blood pressure, headaches, appetite loss, nausea, vomiting, stomach pains and others. Baking soda is high in sodium, so cut down your salt intake as much as possible if taking it. Gout attacks raise blood pressure, and so does excess sodium.
Moreover people with heart, kidney, and liver disease, and appendicitis should not try it, without their doctor’s agreement. It is contraindicated with some prescription medicines. Take too much for too long and you could get alkalosis.So speak to your doctor first. It should not be taken when the stomach is too full. An empty stomach is better.
WHY DOES BAKING SODA (BICARBONATE OF SODA) WORK SO OFTEN?
Sir Alfred Garrod, the Britishman who discovered that an excess of uric acid in the blood is the cause of gout in the mid 19th century, was a practicing gout doctor who ended his career as a physician to Queen Victoria. He also wrote The Nature and Treatment of Gout and Rheumatic Gout.
In this book he explained he believed in alkalising (alkalizing) the blood, or as we would put it today, raising blood pH. This is his key statement about it:
“Any diminution in the alkaline state of the blood lessens its power of holding urate of soda (uric acid) in solution and hence promotes its deposition, especially in tissues in which the reaction is naturally less alkaline than in the blood.”
“The causes exciting a gouty fit (i.e. flare) are those which induce a less alkaline condition of the blood, or which greatly augment for the time, the formation of uric acid, or such as temporarily check the eliminating power of the kidneys.”
Sodium bicarbonate alkalises (alkalizes) the blood (by removing hydrogen ions), and this is the key. The blood is able to hold more uric acid without crystallising (crystallizing). And when this happens crystal deposition ceases, or better said, usually ceases, because baking soda doesn’t always halt gout attacks. Moreover, in some mysterious way, deposited crystals often begin to dissolve.
Or, if you take bicarbonate of soda in water before an impending gout attack, your blood is further alkalised (alkalized) – remember blood is always maintained by the body as slightly alkaline – and crystallisation (crystallization) is halted in the manner described by Garrod. Morever, higher blood alkalinity makes uric acid more soluble, as does drinking plenty of water.
Although Sir Alfred used bicarbonate of soda in some gout cases, you’ll be surprised to learn that generally he did not. And it wasn’t because of the sodium. The reason was – he thought he had stronger alkalising (alkalizing) agents than baking soda – ones that today have been forgotten in gout treatment.
Note the cautions above about using it, and discuss with your doctor before using it.
Kidney Disease: Daily dose of sodium bicarbonate-baking soda, already used for baking, cleaning, acid indigestion, sunburn, and more-slows the decline of kidney function in some patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD), reports an upcoming study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). “This cheap and simple strategy also improves patients’ nutritional status, and has the potential of translating into significant economic, quality of life, and clinical outcome benefits,” comments Magdi Yaqoob, MD (Royal London Hospital).
The study included 134 patients with advanced CKD and low bicarbonate levels, also called metabolic acidosis. One group received a small daily dose of sodium bicarbonate in tablet form, in addition to their usual care. For this group, the rate of decline in kidney function was greatly reduced-about two-thirds slower than in patients. “In fact, in patients taking sodium bicarbonate, the rate of decline in kidney function was similar to the normal age-related decline,” says Yaqoob.
Rapid progression of kidney disease occurred in just nine percent of patients taking sodium bicarbonate, compared to 45 percent of the other group. Patients taking sodium bicarbonate were also less likely to develop end-stage renal disease (ESRD) requiring dialysis.
Patients taking sodium bicarbonate also had improvement in several measures of nutrition. Although their sodium levels went up, this didn’t lead to any problems with increased blood pressure.
Low bicarbonate levels are common in patients with CKD and can lead to a wide range of other problems. “This is the first randomised controlled study of its kind,” says Yaqoob. “A simple remedy like sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), when used appropriately, can be very effective.”
But how does something so seemingly innocuous have such a dramatic effect? During prolonged or intense exercise muscles produce large amounts of waste products, such as lactic acid, that lead to soreness, stiffness and fatigue. Because sodium bicarbonate naturally reduces acids, it acts as a buffer against these performance-limiting by-products.
Sport: For years, keen runners have sworn that taking a spoonful of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) helps them to keep going for longer. For years, experts doubted that there was anything other than a placebo effect to these claims until they subjected the substance to rigorous examination. Most exercise scientists investigating the trend for “soda-doping” among athletes and gym-goers have shown that it offers significant benefits for endurance and speed.
At Loughborough University, for instance, physiologists reporting in the June issue of the International Journal of Sports Medicine showed that swimmers who took baking soda about one hour before a 200m event were able to shave a significant time off their usual performances. Dr Jonathan Folland, who led the study, says that it is not uncommon for top swimmers to take sodium bicarbonate (another name for the substance) before a competition to give them an edge. Indeed, he showed that of nine swimmers tested, eight recorded their fastest times after ingesting a supplement of the common baking ingredient.
Another small study by Dr Ronald Deitrick,of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), showed that competitive runners also benefited. Dr Deitrick, who presented his findings at the ACSM annual conference, gave 800m runners either a placebo or a sodium bicarbonate capsule, which they took with water. Although a few of the runners had minor gastrointestinal problems after swallowing the capsules, a greater number benefited significantly
For optimum effects it should be taken with water, ideally before exercise, on an empty stomach. Most people take about 20g, although it can cause problems.
“It is not dangerous, but it tastes appalling and can make you want to retch,” Dr Folland says. “It can make some people nauseous when it hits their stomach and a few suffer an upset stomach or diarrhoea when they take it.”