Baking Soda A Common Remedy For Gout
Baking soda is well-known for its numerous applications, which include everything from cleaning to tooth care. Treatment for gout and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may now be added to its ever-expanding list of uses.
But when did it become essential in the home? Baking soda, it turns out, has a long history that predates the Great Pyramid of Giza. Ancient Egyptians utilized natron (mainly sodium carbonate) as a soap-like cleaning agent as early as 3500 BC. It was also utilized to create mummies.
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 a common baking ingredient. It is also known as sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda. It imparts a light, fluffy texture to meals such as bread, cakes, muffins, and cookies.
Baking soda’s leavening qualities allow it to react with acids like vinegar or lemon juice, causing dough to rise by releasing carbon dioxide.
Health benefits of baking soda
While baking soda has a variety of household applications, we’re more interested in the health benefits it may provide. Specifically, any benefits that aid in the relief of gout-related symptoms such as swelling and pain.
Here are a few of baking soda’s well-known health benefits.
Provides heartburn relief:
Acid reflux, often known as heartburn, is a painful, burning sensation in the upper part of your stomach that can spread to your throat. Acid from your stomach travels up into your esophagus, the tube that connects your stomach to your mouth, causing heartburn.
Although acid reflux can be caused by a variety of factors, it is most commonly caused by eating large meals, drinking carbonated beverages, or eating greasy or spicy foods. This type of bad diet, by the way, is also a major risk factor for gout.
Baking soda may aid in the treatment of heartburn by neutralizing gastric acid. To give it a try, dissolve 1 teaspoon (5 grams) of baking soda in a glass of cold water and drink gently.
Despite the acid-reducing properties of baking soda, most people treat their heartburn symptoms with acid-inhibitory medicines (antacids). Antacids have been demonstrated in studies to considerably raise serum uric acid levels, potentially leading to gout in hyperuricemia patients.
Continued usage of baking soda, on the other hand, may result in metabolic alkalosis (a condition in which your blood becomes too alkaline) and heart problems.
In any instance, the use of medications and/or remedies should be supplemented with dietary and lifestyle changes as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
Boosts exercise performance:
Athletes use baking soda as a supplement as well. According to research, baking soda can help you perform at your best for longer, especially during anaerobic exercises, high-intensity training, and sprinting.
Your muscle cells produce lactic acid during high-intensity exercise, which is responsible for the burning sensation you experience while exercising. Lactic acid also causes your muscles to weary by lowering the pH inside your cells.
Due to its high pH, baking soda may help delay fatigue, allowing you to perform at maximum intensity for longer. According to one study, cyclists who took baking soda exercised for 4.5 minutes longer than those who did not.
It’s no secret that patients with gout need to be active to maintain their cardiovascular health and avoid long-term joint damage. The body’s fat accumulates more uric acid than muscle, according to researchers.
As a result, by losing weight, you can lower your blood uric acid levels. Exercising can assist to avoid gout attacks by reducing uric acid levels.
According to Harvard Health, patients with gout have a higher chance of developing high blood pressure, therefore maintaining cardiovascular health through activity is critical.
Helps slow down the development of chronic kidney disease:
Your kidneys are crucial because they help remove waste and excess water from your blood while also balancing important minerals like potassium, salt, and calcium.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) causes kidney function to deteriorate over time.
While additional study is needed, several studies suggest that supplementing with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) may help improve renal function and slows the progression of CKD.
Gout might also be a symptom that you have kidney disease. When you have gout, your blood contains too much uric acid. If uric acid crystals grow in the kidneys, painful kidney stones can form, obstructing the kidneys’ ability to remove waste and perhaps leading to infection.
Because of their sharp edges, kidney stones formed by uric acid crystals may scar the kidneys. Chronic kidney disease and potentially, kidney failure can result from these issues.
NSAIDs, which are some of the most commonly prescribed pain relievers for gout, can cause kidney problems over time.
If you have gout and/or kidney problems, talk to your doctor before using baking soda, NSAIDs, or any other type of medication to treat your kidneys.
Reduce Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms (RA):
Gout and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are two separate diseases. Some of their principal symptoms, such as joint pain and swelling, do, however, overlap.
RA is an autoimmune disease in which the body destroys its own organs as a result of an overactive immune system.
According to a 2018 study published in the Journal of Immunology, baking soda helped guide immune cells to work on lowering inflammation rather than stimulating it.
In other words, baking soda aided the body’s anti-inflammatory reaction, causing it to emit a relaxing signal rather than an emergency attack signal. This suggests that if sodium bicarbonate can aid with RA, baking soda may also help with gout.
Gout attacks are caused by uric acid crystallization in the joints. The crystals are perceived as a threat by the immune system, prompting it to start an immunological reaction against them.
The resultant inflammation produces swelling, skin reddening, and incapacitating discomfort. Uric acid crystals can form hard nodules called tophi under the skin, on the surface of joints, or on cartilage when untreated gout progresses to advanced, chronic gout.
Baking soda may help prevent autoimmune illnesses like gout and RA if used on a daily basis. Autoimmune diseases are conditions in that the body develops antibodies that attack its own tissues, causing them to deteriorate or even die.
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!
Baking soda, according to most experts, may help alkalize a very acidic environment in your body. Many holistic and naturopathic doctors, as well as other health practitioners, advocate for an alkaline bodily environment over an acidic one.
Having said that, it’s still vital to remember that being too acidic or alkaline might cause medical problems. Instead, maintaining a healthy pH balance in your body should be your primary focus.
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.
A baking soda bath is also frequently recommended to relieve itchy skin caused by insect bites or bee stings. Additionally, baking soda may help alleviate itchy skin caused by sunburn. Some report that it works better when coupled with other components such as cornstarch and oats.
To treat a specific location, make a paste of baking soda and a small amount of water, then apply a thick coat to the area affected.
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.
Potential side effects of drinking too much baking soda
When using baking soda to relieve gout symptoms, there are a few things to keep in mind. Short-term baking soda use is most usually associated with stomach problems such as nausea, cramping, vomiting, or diarrhea.
If you want to try out the baking soda treatment safely and effectively, you should follow these recommended tips to help limit the risks of these negative effects:
Avoid drinking baking soda on an empty stomach:
On an empty stomach in the morning, baking soda might not be the best choice. Instead, drink the baking soda solution during the day, such as before lunch or after dinner.
You might want to start small:
If you’re not sure how your body will react to the tonic, start with 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda and gradually increase to 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.
If no adverse responses occur, a person who wants to drink baking soda to treat gout can dissolve half a teaspoon in water. They can do this several times a day. A total of 4 teaspoons of baking soda is advised every day.
Always check with your doctor beforehand:
Before attempting this solution, consult your healthcare practitioner about your sodium levels. Because baking soda contains a lot of salt, you’ll want to be sure your sodium levels are in check before you start.
On the internet, you may find a range of gout home remedies, some of which are based on anecdotal evidence and others that are based on scientific evidence. Keep in mind that each person reacts to treatment in a unique way.
Before using baking soda, talk to your doctor (or any other alternative treatment).
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.
Your doctor will be able to tell you if the treatment is right for you. They’ll think about how serious your disease is, as well as any potential interactions with any medications you’re taking.
Baking soda is a versatile substance with applications that go far beyond cooking. Furthermore, baking soda is cheap and widely available. It’s never a bad idea to keep a container on hand.
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