How to Use Baking Soda for Constipation: 4 Effective Ways

baking-sodaHave you ever experienced what it’s like to have constipation?

If yes, then you know how painful and difficult this condition can be.

It’s probably one of the worst scenarios most people find themselves in.

According to a survey, about 4 million Americans have chronic constipation each year [1].

This results in over 92,000 hospitalizations and 900 deaths annually [1].

So what can you do?

In this article, you’ll learn more about:

  • Constipation and what you need to know about it
  • Baking soda and how it can help you in resolving this problem
  • Plus, baking soda for constipation remedies that will have you passing stools normally in no time

What You Need to Know About Constipation

What exactly is constipation?

This is a term that is used to describe the difficulty of passing stools, passing stools for fewer than three times in a week, or having dry and painful bowel movements [2].

It comes from the Latin term “constipare” which means “to press or crowd together” [3].

The colon in your digestive system is in charge of getting water from the food and drinks that you consume [2].

With this, it creates waste, which it propels through the rectum to get rid of [2].

However, if the stool stays in the colon for a long time, it can harden and become more difficult to expel [2].

Certain dietary changes, home remedies and increased fluid intake usually help improve this condition.

Laxatives, prescribed by doctor, also do the same thing.

However, if constipation is not resolved, it can lead to a serious complication, in which feces and gas cannot pass through [3].

This condition is known as obstipation [3].

What are the causes of constipation?

  • Insufficient intake of fiber – It has been established by experts that fiber is an essential part of one’s diet, and that lack of it can make you more prone to constipation. Fiber comes in two types: soluble and insoluble. Soluble can absorb water while insoluble cannot, but both are important in promoting regular bowel movement.
  • Insufficient intake of water – Like fiber, it’s also important to drink enough water to prevent constipation. Other fluids like coffee and soda are not as beneficial. In fact, these beverages can only dehydrate and constipate you more. Alcohol should also be avoided if you are already constipated.
  • Ignoring the urge to pass stool – Sometimes, people are so busy that they don’t go to the restroom when they feel the urge to do so. Or it’s also possible that they’re somewhere else and cannot find a restroom. However, if this happens too often, it can lead to constipation.
  • Sedentary lifestyle – Physical inactivity is another common reason for constipation. People who are bedridden, people who sit for long hours a day, or people who just doesn’t get enough physical workout are at high risk of becoming constipated.
  • Certain medications – It has been found that some medications cause constipation, and some of these include narcotic pain drugs, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, calcium blocks, and diuretics.
  • Milk – Some people find themselves constipated when they drink milk or eat dairy products such as cheese.
  • Pregnancy – Hormonal imbalance during pregnancy may cause constipation. The pressure of the uterus on the intestine may also make stool passage more difficult than usual.
  • Aging – Metabolism slows down as people grow older, and this results in less activity in the intestine.
  • Change in routine – When you move to a new house, when you transfer to a new job, or when you travel, your routine changes, and this can affect how your digestive system works, sometimes resulting in constipation.
  • Overuse of laxatives – It’s not healthy to use laxatives all the time. While it can help you resolve constipation once in a while, using it too often can be “habit-forming”.
  • Colon and rectum conditions – When you have a condition that affects either of these, constipation is one of the most common outcomes [3].

Signs and symptoms of constipation include:

  • Hard and lumpy stools
  • Straining during bowel movement
  • Bowel movement of less than three times a week
  • Inability to empty bowels [4]

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 confined to their beds
  • Pregnant women
  • People who have digestive issues [5]

Properties of Baking Soda

Most people know baking soda as a key ingredient in baking pastries and cakes.

Some people use it as a natural household cleaner.

It’s important to know that baking soda is also an all-around home remedy that can benefit the health in more ways than one.

According to WebMD, baking soda is a natural antacid that can be used to relieve several digestive issues such as upset stomach, indigestion, and heart burn.

Since it is quick-acting, it can provide you with the immediate relief that you are looking for.

However, its effects are only temporary.

If your indigestion or other symptom is being caused by another symptom, it’s a must to get medical treatment.

Baking soda has also been used to get rid of uric acid, to prevent arthritis and gout, to prevent formation of kidney stones, or to detoxify the body.

4 Ways to Use Baking Soda for Constipation

Is it true that baking soda can help in constipation?

Here are the various ways baking soda is believed to alleviate this common digestive system disorder:

  • Baking soda stimulates release of excess air from the body, relieving bloating and flatulence, commonly experienced by those who are constipated
  • Baking soda minimizes pain in the abdominal area
  • Baking soda neutralizes acids and alkalizes the stomach to make it easier for stool to pass more easily through the intestines
  • Baking soda prompts the contractions in the gastrointestinal muscles so that 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 [6]

These are the many ways that baking soda can help treat this problem.

Let’s go to the remedies that you can apply when you are constipated.

Baking Soda Remedies for Constipation

The following are constipation remedies that make use not only of baking soda but also of other natural ingredients that can help stimulate bowel movements.

#1. Drink Baking Soda Mixed with Water

Drinking baking soda mixed with water has been proven effective in stimulating bowel movements.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 glass of warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt

Recommended Directions:

  1. Stir in baking soda and salt in warm water.
  2. Drink on an empty stomach in the morning.
  3. Repeat remedy once a day for three to five days.

#2. Take Mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda

Many people have found success in using apple cider vinegar for constipation.

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What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

Recommended Directions:

  1. Combine baking soda and apple cider vinegar.
  2. Consume mixture once or twice a day.
  3. Follow this remedy for up to one week.

#3. Consume Baking Soda and Lemon Juice Combo

Lemon juice is also an efficient way to promote passing of hard stools.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 glass of warm water
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add baking soda into the water.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Pour lemon juice and sprinkle salt.
  4. Drink two to three times a day for one week.

#4. Soak in Warm Baking Soda Bath

This will help relieve abdominal pain caused by constipation.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 tablespoons of baking soda
  • Warm bath water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Mix in baking soda to warm bath water.
  2. Soak in the tub for 20 minutes.
  3. Do this once or twice a day for one to two weeks, or until condition improves.

Tips for Using Baking Soda as Remedy

To get the best possible results, here are some tips that you should follow:

  • If you have been advised to be on a salt-free diet due to any condition that you might have, it’s best to consult first your doctor before using baking soda, as it tends to release salt into the body.
  • It’s also possible for baking soda to throw off the balance of minerals like chloride, potassium and sodium. This may result in heart problems, stomach ache, and kidney issues. If you have any cardiovascular, digestive and kidney conditions, check with your doctor first before using baking soda.
  • Do not take calcium supplements or eat dairy products while you’re using baking soda.

There are many benefits and uses that you can get from using baking soda.

It is important to remember though that as with other remedies, you need to take precaution when using baking soda.

Follow directions carefully in terms of preparation and application.

If constipation does not get better after one week, it’s time to go to your doctor to get medical treatment for this condition before it worsens.