Baking soda is a kitchen staple that is commonly used for baking and cleaning. Some people suggest using baking soda for constipation as a natural way to get rid of that discomfort.

Constipation is a digestive system disorder where you experience difficulty in emptying the bowels, associated with hardened feces. [1]

There are different reasons why you may have constipation. It may happen if you don’t drink enough water, have a diet low in fiber, don’t use the bathroom when it’s necessary, etc.

Apart from having trouble passing the stools, you may also have pain in the lower abdomen. 

It’s an uncomfortable and painful condition that can lead to diseases like hemorrhoids if not treated immediately. 

If you have a difficult bowel movement for several weeks or longer, you may have chronic constipation.

Some over-the-counter (OTC) medications can treat constipation quickly. However, relying on chemical infused medications may lead to some other problems in the long run.

But, is baking soda safe to use? Continue reading to learn more about the effectiveness of baking soda in treating constipation and the precautions you need to follow.

Can You Use Baking Soda for Constipation?

For decades, baking soda has been used as a laxative. Although many people think baking soda can cure constipation, no such research supports this fact.

However, baking soda has antibacterial effects that may help reduce the symptoms of upset stomach, constipation, indigestion, and heartburn. [2]

Besides, baking soda may help detoxify your body and flush out the uric acid, keeping your kidneys healthy and safe. Due to these effects, it may temporarily reduce the symptoms of constipation.

However, this home remedy is a complementary treatment and may not work for everyone. You must seek medical attention if you suffer from chronic constipation.

How Baking Soda May Help Soothe Constipation?

Baking soda may not directly treat constipation, but it can ease some other symptoms that are related to this digestive system disorder. 

Baking soda is commonly used to treat indigestion, which may lead to constipation. It can relieve bloating by stimulating the release of air from the body. [3]

When dissolved in water, baking soda creates an alkaline solution that helps neutralize the acids in the stomach, helping your feces to pass through the intestine. [4]

The solution can produce gas that makes you burp, which is claimed to help ease come of the symptoms of constipation.

Consuming baking soda can promote contraction in the gastrointestinal muscles, making the food pass through the intestinal tract quickly and expelling stool less painful.

However, more studies are required to find out whether baking soda can be a reliable solution for constipation.

How to Use Baking Soda for Constipation?

There are various ways to use baking soda to relieve the symptoms of constipation. You can consume it or have a warm bath.

1. Consuming Baking Soda

  • You can make a baking soda solution by adding one teaspoon of baking soda and a bit of salt to warm water.
  • You can also add lemon or apple cider vinegar with baking soda as they were found to help relieve constipation symptoms. [5]

 

2. Baking Soda Bath

  • If you suffer from rectal pain due to constipation, a baking soda bath may help you.
  • Fill your bathtub with warm water. Add about 2 ounces of baking soda in it.
  • Soak yourself in for 20 minutes.

Side Effects of Consuming Baking Soda

Most doctors don’t recommend consuming baking soda as it may cause some side effects, including:

  • Research published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology states that baking soda may upset your heart while treating stomach problems. [6]
  • Baking soda is high in sodium, which may create problems if you have kidney problems, high blood pressure, or cardiovascular diseases.
  • Baking soda can produce carbon dioxide if mixes with stomach acids, which may not escape if your digestive tract is full. In rare cases, this condition can make your stomach burst.
  • Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate may cause an imbalance in the potassium, sodium, and chloride, which may eventually cause damage to your heart, kidney, and stomach.
  • If you’re taking a calcium supplement or calcium-rich foods, consuming baking soda may interact with them.
  • If you’re under medications, baking soda may react with them.
  • Excessive consumption of baking soda may cause constipation in some cases.
  • Baking soda may weaken your muscle and cause muscle spasms.
  • You may experience vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, irritability, and frequent urination.

How to Prevent Constipation

As prevention works better than the solution, some lifestyle and dietary changes can help you to avoid this uncomfortable condition:

  • As dehydration is one of the main reasons for constipation. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
  • Consume foods that are rich in dietary fiber to ensure proper bowel movement.
  • Do regular exercise or walk. It can help you in producing a proper bowel movement.
  • Do not hold your stool for a long time. Immediately go to the restroom when you feel the urge to do so.

When to Seek Medical Attention

Most people don’t feel the necessity of visiting a doctor because of constipation.

However, if left untreated, it can cause severe health conditions such as hemorrhoids, rectal prolapse, and anal fissures.

Most of the time constipation goes away within a few days with some change in the diet. But if you suffer from this condition for more than three weeks, you must take a doctor’s appointment.

Besides, if you’re constipated due to some other physical conditions, you must see a doctor and have proper treatment first.

Sometimes you may have blood in your stool along with severe pain in the abdomen. You must immediately consult with a doctor if that happens.

Bottom Line

Constipation is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. 

Depending on the treatment you take, it will clear up in a few days. But if constipation becomes chronic, you need to ask for medical attention to ease the symptoms and prevent it from coming back.

If you don’t have a severe condition, you may try baking soda for constipation to soothe the symptoms. 

However, due to its potential side effects, baking soda isn’t recommended by the doctors. That’s why it’s important to consult with a doctor before you consume it.

If you experience abdominal pain or any other side effects after consuming baking soda, stop this remedy immediately and go for emergency medical treatment.

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