Constipation is a problem that always requires immediate attention. Using baking soda for constipation is a natural way to deal with this painful ordeal at home. According to a survey, about 4 million Americans have chronic constipation each year . This results in over 92,000 hospitalizations and 900 deaths per year .
900 deaths due to constipation! It is alarming!
We all experience constipation at some time or the other in our life.
So what can you do to make sure that you do not fall prey to this condition?
What You Need to Know About Constipation
What exactly is constipation?
Constipation is the word or term that used to describe the difficulty of passing stools. Generally a sign of constipation is when you pass stool less than three times a week or if you have dry and painful bowel movements. 
It comes from the Latin term “constipare” which means “to press or crowd together” .
The colon in your digestive system is in charge of getting water from the food and drinks that you consume .
It digests the food with the water that it absorbs. In doing so, it creates a waste or “excrement”, which it propels out through the rectum to get rid of .
A normal functional colon works like this.
But, if the stool stays in the colon for a prolonged period of time, then it can harden. Because of hardening, it becomes more difficult for the colon to expel it .
Constipation is a condition that has been present since the ancient times. Certain dietary changes along with home remedies can get rid of this condition.
Increasing fluid intake usually helps in improving this condition.
Doctors usually suggest laxatives to improve this condition. So, laxatives, as prescribed by a doctor, do the same thing that home remedies do.
But, if this condition is not resolved then it gives rise to more serious conditions. So, a prolonged period of constipation can often lead to the inability to pass feces and gas .
So, what are the causes of constipation?
- Insufficient intake of fiber – Fiber is an essential part of one’s diet. A diet that lacks fiber is a diet that can lead you to bowel movement complications. In other words, it can make you more prone to constipation.
- Insufficient intake of water – Drinking enough water is also important. Other fluids like coffee and soda are not as beneficial. In fact, these beverages can only dehydrate and constipate you more. You should avoid alcohol if you are already constipated.
- Ignoring the urge to pass stool – When out of home, often there is not access to a washroom. So the urge to pass stool gets suppressed. But, if this happens too often, it can lead to constipation.
- Sedentary lifestyle – Physical inactivity is another common reason for constipation. People who are bedridden, for example, are more prone to get constipated. Also, if you sit for long hours a day, say, if you are doing desk jobs, prolonged seating can cause constipation. People who don’t get enough physical workouts are at very high risk of suffering from it.
- Certain medications – Medications like narcotic pain drugs, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, calcium blocks, and diuretics also cause constipation.
- Milk – Some people find themselves constipated when they drink milk or eat dairy products such as cheese. These people are usually lactose intolerant too.
- Pregnancy – Another cause of constipation is a hormonal imbalance. This can especially occur during pregnancy. It is because, during this period, women undergo massive hormonal changes in the body.
What happens is the pressure of the uterus on the intestine might make stool passage to be more difficult than usual.
- Aging – Metabolism slows down as people grow older. And this results in less activity in the intestine. Thus, older people are prone to suffer from constipation than younger people.
- Change in routine – Constipation can also occur because of psychological factors. For example, you may have a normal routine that you follow each day. But, when you move to a new house or when you transfer to a new job, then there is a change in your daily routine. Also, when you are traveling, your routine changes. Thus, this can affect how your digestive system works, resulting in constipation.
- Overuse of laxatives – Excess use of anything can have adverse effects on your health. This is also applicable to laxatives. It is not always healthy to use laxatives all the time. If used once in a while it can help to relieve of constipation, but using it too often can lead to “habit-formation”. The body becomes conditioned towards laxative.
- Colon and rectum conditions – Many people suffer from underlying colon and rectum conditions. Such a condition may arise due to surgery or any diseases. Conditions that affect either of these, constipation is one of the most common outcomes .
Signs and symptoms of constipation include:
- Hard and lumpy stools
- Straining during a bowel movement
- A bowel movement of fewer than three times a week
- Inability to empty bowels 
Who are at risk of this problem?
- People who do not drink enough water
- People who live sedentary lifestyles
- People who are 65 years or older
- People who are on bed rest for long time
- Pregnant women
- People who have digestive issues 
Properties of Baking Soda
Most people know that baking soda is a key ingredient when making pastries and cakes.
Also, some people use it as a natural household cleaner.
Baking soda is also an all-around home remedy that can benefit the health in more than one way. That is to say, it can be beneficial for your health, your home and, thus, your life.
Since it is a quick-acting remedy, so, it can provide you with the immediate relief that you are looking for. In this case, the remedy for constipation!
But then again, you must be sure that its effects are only temporary. You should seek immediate medical help if your indigestion or other symptom is being caused by another underlying health condition.
There are other uses of baking soda too. Baking soda is also often used to get rid of uric acid, prevent arthritis and gout. It also helps in preventing the formation of kidney stones or to detoxify the body.
Why Use Baking Soda for Constipation?
Here are the various ways baking soda eases this common digestive system disorder:
- Baking soda stimulates the release of excess air from the body. So, relieves from bloating and flatulence, which is common in constipation.
- Baking soda minimizes pain in the abdominal area
- Baking soda neutralizes acids and alkalizes the stomach. It makes it easier for stool to pass through the intestines.
- Baking soda increases the contractions in the gastrointestinal muscles. So food can pass through more quickly in the intestinal tract
- Baking soda can serve as a mild laxative to loosen the stool so that expelling them is not as painful 
There are many ways you can use baking soda to treat constipation.
Let’s go to the remedies that you can apply when you are suffering from constipation.
4 Natural Remedies for Constipation with Baking Soda
Here are 4 remedies that make use of baking soda along with some other natural ingredients. These can help stimulate bowel movements.
1. Consume Baking Soda and Lemon Juice Combo
Lemon juice is also an efficient way to promote the passing of hard stools.
How to prepare this drink to stimulate bowel movement:
To 1 glass of warm water add 1 teaspoon of baking soda, followed by 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1/8th teaspoon of salt. The drink is now ready for you to consume!
You may drink this two to three times a day for one week.
2. Drink Baking Soda with Water
Drinking baking soda mixed with water has proven effective in stimulating bowel movements.
Learn how to make a drink using baking soda and water for constipation:
Stir in 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/8th teaspoon of salt in 1 glass of warm water.
You should take this on an empty stomach in the morning. To get best results, you may continue drinking this once a day for three to five days.
3. Take Mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda
Many people have found success in using apple cider vinegar for constipation.
How to prepare apple cider vinegar and baking soda mixture for constipation:
Combine 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Consume the mixture once or twice a day.
You should follow this remedy for up to one week.
4. Soak in Warm Baking Soda Bath
This will help relieve abdominal pain caused by constipation.
Here’s how you may take a baking soda bath for constipation:
Dissolve 3 tablespoons of baking soda to a tub of warm bath water. Soak in this water for at least 20 minutes to get some relief from the abdominal pain.
You should do this once or twice a day for one to two weeks or until condition improves.
Tips for Using Baking Soda as Constipation Remedy
To get the best possible results, here are some tips that you should follow:
- If you are on a salt-free diet due to any health condition, then do not go straight to using baking soda as a remedy. In such cases, it’s best to consult your doctor first. Because baking soda tends to release salt into the body.
- Baking soda may also cause an imbalance of minerals like chloride, potassium, and sodium. This may result in many health problems. Such problems include heart complications, stomach ache, and kidney issues.
First talk to your doctor if you have any cardiovascular, digestive and kidney conditions.
- Do not take calcium supplements or eat dairy products while you’re using baking soda.
Side Effects of Consuming Baking Soda
A question often asked by constipation victims is if consuming baking soda dangerous? Are there any side effects of using baking soda as a home remedy?
The answer depends on the methods and dosage of your baking soda consumption.
You should follow the directions discussed here while applying any of treatment methods.
You may already know that the major component of baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. The high level of sodium isn’t good for your well-being.
In case you are sensitive to salt and have a history of blood pressure, heart or kidney disease, you may face complications because of baking soda.
In rare cases, the side effects of baking soda may also include a rupture of your stomach. It happens when baking soda accidentally mixes with bile or stomach acid. As a result, there may be no outlet to release the carbon dioxide produced inside the gut. Thus, the stomach may burst.
Some Preventive Measures for Constipation
You can prevent constipation by making certain lifestyle changes and forming some good habits. Let’s get to learn these tips below:
- A good hydration is very important for the all the internal organs of the body to function well. That’s why you should consume plenty of water and other fluids throughout the day.
You should drink 9 to 13 cups of water on a daily basis for proper hydration of the body.
- You should include fiber-rich foods in your meals.
High-fiber foods stimulate bowel movements and help you prevent constipation. Some fiber-rich foods include beans, whole grains, fruits, green leafy vegetables, etc.
- A sedentary life such as a desk-bound job can be one of the prime reasons for constipation.
A brisk walk, jogging, yoga or other exercises on a daily basis will help to regulate your bowel movements.
- The longer you hold in the poop the harder it will get. Never pull up your stool for any reasons.
It’s recommended that you relieve yourself immediately when you have the urge to use a toilet.
When You Must See a Doctor
You should immediately visit a doctor if you do not get relief within 2 weeks of using baking soda.
Also, if you notice blood passing in your stool or urine, it is a sign that you should consult a physician without further delay.
There are many benefits that you can get from using baking soda.
It is important to remember that you need to take precaution when using baking soda as a home remedy.
Follow directions of preparation and application with attention.
In most cases consuming baking soda dissolved in water only or with some other natural ingredients will help you get relief.
Seek proper medical treatment before it worsens and causes further complications.