Baking Soda for Constipation Relief : 4 Quick Remedies

We all experience constipation every now and then. One does not need to ask if they have ever had constipation or not!

Constipation is a problem that always requires immediate attention. Using baking soda for constipation is a natural way to deal with this painful ordeal.

It is because the difficulty and pain that comes with this condition are unimaginable! No one would ever want to see themselves or put themselves in this worst scenario!

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].

900 deaths due to constipation! That is indeed alarming!

So what can you do to make sure that you do not fall prey to this condition?

In the following article, you’ll get to know about:

  • Constipation and essential information on it.
  • Why baking soda is efficient in constipation relief?
  • 4 Home remedies for constipation using baking soda and other natural ingredients
  • Possible side effects of consuming baking soda
  • Tips and Precautions

Related: 10 Home Remedies for Constipation & How to Use Them

What You Need to Know About Constipation


What exactly is constipation?

Constipation is the word or term that is used to describe the difficulty of passing stools. If a person passes stools for fewer than three times in a week, or if they have dry and painful bowel movements when they have constipation [2].

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

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

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 [2].

This is how the colon normally should function and how it is supposed to function.

However, if the stool stays in the colon for a prolonged period of time, then it can harden. By hardening, it becomes more difficult for the colon to expel it [2].

Constipation is a condition that has been present since the ancient times. Many elderly people suggest that certain dietary changes along with home remedies can help alleviate this condition. It is also suggested that increased 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.

However, 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 [3].

This is a more complex version of constipation. And, this condition is known as obstipation [3].

So, what are the causes of constipation?

They are:

  • Insufficient intake of fiber – It has been established by experts that fiber is an essential part of one’s diet. A diet that lacks fiber is a diet that can lead you to bowel complications. In other words, it can make you more prone to constipation. Fiber is of two types: soluble fibers and insoluble fibers. Soluble fibers can absorb water while insoluble fibers cannot. However, 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. Plus, it is also possible that they’re somewhere where they cannot find or do not have an access to 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, for example, are more prone to being constipated. Also, people who sit for long hours a day, say, those who are doing desk jobs can get constipation. Or there are also people who just don’t get enough physical workout are at very high risk of becoming constipated.
  • Certain medications – Many research over the years presented that some medications can cause constipation. Such type of medications includes narcotic pain drugs, antidepressants, anti-convulsants, calcium blocks, and diuretics.
  • 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. So, this may cause constipation. For such women, 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. Therefore, older people are prone to being constipated then 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. However, if anything like this happens that 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, at many times 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. Although it can help you resolve constipation once in a while, using it too often can lead “habit-formation”. The body becomes conditioned towards laxative. So, you can have constipation if you overuse laxatives.
  • Colon and rectum conditions – Many people suffer from underlying colon and rectum conditions. Such condition may arise due to surgery or any diseases. So, when you have such conditions that affect 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 fewer 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 that baking soda is used as a key ingredient when making pastries and cakes.

Also, 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. That is to say, it can be beneficial for your health, your home and, thus, your life.

According to WebMD, baking soda is a natural antacid that can be used to relieve several digestive issues. These digestive issues include upset stomach, indigestion, and heartburn or GERD.

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.

If your indigestion or other symptom is being caused by another underlying health condition or symptom then IT IS A MUST TO GET IMMEDIATE MEDICAL TREATMENT!

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?


Why baking soda is good for 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]

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 constipated.

Related: Nausea After Eating: Reasons And Remedies

4 Natural Remedies for Constipation with Baking Soda


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 with Water

Drinking baking soda mixed with water has 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.

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.

Related: Apple Cider Vinegar for UTI Treatment: 8 Practical Ways

#3. Consume Baking Soda and Lemon Juice Combo

Lemon juice is also an efficient way to promote the 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 to the water.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Pour lemon juice and sprinkle salt.
  4. Drink two to three times a day for one week.

Related: Lemon Juice for Acne : 8 Simple Home Remedies

#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 Constipation 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 health condition that you are currently following, then do not go straight to using baking soda as a remedy for constipation. In such cases, it’s best to consult your doctor first before using baking soda, because 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 multiple health problems. Such problems include heart complications, 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.

Side Effects of Consuming Baking Soda


A question frequently asked by constipation victims is if consuming baking soda dangerous? Is there any side effects of using baking soda as a home remedy?

The answer to this question depends on the methods and dosage of your baking soda consumption.

It is recommended that you strictly follow the directions discussed here while applying any of treatment methods. Some of the rare side effects of baking soda over dose may include: diarrhea, fatigue, convulsions, abdominal pain, vomiting, and irritation in stomach.

You 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 to baking soda may also include a rapture of your stomach. It happens when baking soda accidentally mixes with bile or stomach acid. As a result the carbon dioxide produced inside the digestive tracts may not have an outlet to be released. Thus, the stomach may burst.

Some Preventive Measures for Constipation


You can prevent the painful experience of 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. It is recommended that you 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 have the positive effects on bowel movements and help you prevent constipation. Some of the 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 of constipation. You need some real movements on a daily basis so that all goes well at the latrine. Physical exercise, a brisk walk, jogging, yoga, etc. are great tools to regulate your bowel movements and help you prevent constipation.
  • 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.

Some Q&A For Constipation


Q. How normal and consistent it is for a bowel movement to occur?
A. You should now that regular bowel movements that are normal consistent should include feces that are soft and formed. They should easily flow out of your body without you having to apply any pressure.

Q. What is the frequency that I should move my bowels?
A. Usually, the standard time frame for normal bowel movement frequency is between one to three bowel movements per day to as few as four to five bowel movements per week.

Q. What is the amount of fiber that should be there in my diet?
A. Usually, most Americans eat about only 12 grams of fiber a day. But, the recommended amount is between 25-35 grams of fiber a day. So, you should try making sure that you intake that much fiber every day.

Conclusion


There is many benefits 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 as a remedy for constipation.

Follow directions carefully in terms of preparation and application.

Even after using baking soda, if constipation does not get better after one week, then it is high time that you go to your doctor. Seek him to get proper medical treatment for this condition before it worsens and further complicates your life.

Read More: How to Use Apple Juice for Constipation Relief