Baking Soda A Common Remedy For Gout
In this post I will be explaining how baking soda or bicarbonate of soda may help us gout sufferers support healthy uric acid levels in the blood. First let’s find out where baking soda came from. It was discovered by chemist Nicolas Leblanc in 1791. Back then, it was called soda ash. Later on, American bakers John Dwight and Austin Church would build the first factory that produced baking soda in the United States.
This remedy is one that goes back to the 19th century, whereby a British doctor by the name Alfred Garrod (author to The Nature and Treatment of Gout and Rheumatic Gout) and physician to Queen Victoria, who had discovered that the trick to treating gout was to alkalize the blood, protecting against gout by keeping uric acid diluted in the urine.
What’s great about baking soda is that it’s very accessible. Every kitchen pantry has this staple item since it can be used in a variety of ways whether as a cleaner, a deodorizer, or a leavening agent.
Baking soda is not just good for gout. It’s known to help with a number of conditions. In one study involving patients with colorectal cancer, they found that baking soda had helped improve their appetite and reduce vomiting. Women that are already on menopause reduce their risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
Now that you know what it does for other diseases, you’re probably wondering how it works for gout. Before I continue make sure to consult your doctor before experimenting with baking soda since we all our bodies are different and you may be taking prescription drugs that don’t interact well with baking soda and cause worse problems to your health especially if you have heart, kidney or liver disease, as well as appendicitis. Furthermore, there are some potential side effects like increase in blood pressure, nausea, loss of appetite, headaches, vomiting etc…So going back to alkalizing your blood, what baking soda does so well is actually raise your pH level and may help relieve or may even stop your gout attack. For many gout sufferers, this remedy may work fast, usually anywhere between 24 hours to within a week but for some it may work immediately!
How do you use baking soda?
First of all it’s cheap to purchase and easy to prepare. You add half a teaspoon of baking soda and mix it to your glass of water around 250ml making sure it is entirely dissolved in the water. This is important since baking soda that’s not mixed well in water can turn up chalky. Take the solution 4 times a day and ensure you drink a glass right before going to bed. Why? Because the body is known to be more acidic during the night and this is why many gout attacks happen between midnight and dawn, heck all my gout attacks have occurred at this time only!
Some gout sufferers have even reported that a ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, 4 times a day, can deal with their gout attack. Remember, if you can, the lower the better. Why? Because baking soda is extremely high in sodium. Make sure to reduce salt intake in other foods when using baking soda for gout. Just a teaspoon of baking soda contains around 1200mg of sodium and taken in large amounts can have serious effects on your health since sodium is a caustic poison which may result in burns to the mouth, esophagus and cause your stomach to rupture. Plus take too much of it for too long and you can also get alkalosis.
Baking soda may also be applied topically. If you are unable to consume it for some reason, you can do a baking soda bath instead. This is when you add a cup of baking soda to your bath and soak in it for 20 minutes. If you only want to dip the affected joint, you can just use a quarter cup of baking soda to a basin of water and soak the affected joint.
So what does it actually do?
Some of us and our bodies are acidic and the some are alkaline and this usually measured using a pH scale ranging from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral (in the middle) and anything below 7 is considered acidic and anything above is obviously considered alkaline. So what baking soda actually does is, it increases the blood and body fluids Ph level which may turn your uric acid more soluble, which in turn may make it easier to flush out of the kidneys, restoring this natural alkaline balance.
If you already have chronic kidney disease, great news. One study found that patients who have it were able to slow down its progression after taking baking soda.
The blood may be able to hold more uric acid without crystallizing which causes your gout attack. By alkalizing your blood, it may also alkalize your urine making your uric acid more readily excreted avoiding kidney stones made from uric acid and remember to use pH strips to test the alkalinity of your urine. You can buy those on Amazon.com. You can also try AlkaHydra Water Sachets with Coral Calcium from Gout and You, which may help you alkalize your body’s pH levels as well! The best way to alkalize your body is through proper diet which we will discuss in a future post in greater detail.
Finally, baking soda is not a cure-it-all for gout, there are many gout sufferers, about 15% who have stated that it didn’t work on them as confirmed by an online poll done on the subject but 85% stated that baking soda did have a positive effect on them which makes baking soda a classic home remedy for us gout sufferers in my book.
Baking Soda and Aluminum Content
There’s some concern about certain brands having aluminum in their baking powder, therefore, it should be in baking soda as well. To clarify, baking soda does not contain aluminum in it. This is simply fear mongering proliferated in health forums. Do your research, read the labels, use baking soda sparingly, and you should be fine.
When to Take Baking Soda?
The best time to take baking soda is when you experience the first symptoms. Gout flares often happen at night where the temperature is at its lowest so if you suspect a gout attack coming on, take a baking soda solution right before bed. This might just help you avoid that dreaded gout attack.
If you have just eaten a high purine meal that day, you may also consume a baking soda solution. Just make sure it’s on an empty stomach as there have been cases of individuals experiencing stomach rupture from taking baking soda after a meal.
You don’t want to consume baking soda solution too frequently due to the associated side effects we have discussed above.
Some gout patients have experienced relief after just a couple of hours while for others, it took almost a week.
What has your experience been like taking baking soda as a remedy for gout? Did it work for you or did not? Share your stories in the comments below.
Posted by Spiro Koulouris