Sodium bicarbonate: uses, forms, risks

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Baking soda may seem like you've never heard of it, but there are likely a few of them in your kitchen cabinet right now. This chemical compound, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a salt made up of a sodium cation and a bicarbonate anion.

Baking soda is often in the form of a fine powder, although it is actually a crystalline solid. It is considered monosodium (it contains only one sodium atom) and has little alkaline value.

Although baking soda is often used for cooling, it is also commonly used for many conditions and to improve endurance and performance during exercise.

Jessica Olah / Get Medication Information

Applications

Baking soda has many uses, some of which may surprise you. The chemical compound is used in a variety of health conditions and is often found in home remedies, as well as some over-the-counter medications. The legendary history of the use of baking soda suggests that it is one of the most versatile compounds available.

Oral health

Sodium bicarbonate has been shown to have a great effect on oral health, as it can act as a bactericidal agent against certain periodontal pathogens. It has also been used as a common mouthwash and as an inexpensive way to whiten teeth .

Ulcers have also been shown to improve with treatment with a baking soda mouthwash, with ongoing treatment to relieve pain associated with minor painful ulcers .

Digestive health

Heartburn affects about 60 million Americans. It is a symptom caused by acid reflux that causes pain and burning through the esophagus into the throat. When the disease is chronic, it can be difficult to control.

Due to the neutralizing effect of baking soda on stomach acid, people can eliminate heartburn by mixing a small amount with water. It has also been shown to help with episodes of indigestion .

It should be noted that drinking baking soda for a long time can lead to heart problems and metabolic alkalosis .

Athletic performance

While research on the use of baking soda as an exercise aid has varied, some have suggested that it might lead to increased performance by improving endurance levels. The powder's high pH is believed to reduce fatigue in high-intensity exercisers by helping neutralize acidic by-products that can result from prolonged activity .

Use in treatment

Proper kidney function is important because they are designed to remove waste and excess water from the bloodstream that can build up and cause health problems. They also play an important role in the balance of essential minerals. When the kidneys are not working at their best, the acid-base balance in the body can be disrupted, causing very dangerous and systemic problems.

Research shows that people with less than desirable kidney function can slow the progression of their disease by taking sodium bicarbonate supplements due to the higher pH. Baking soda can also help improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatments for cancer patients by promoting a less acidic environment for tumors. However, none of these uses should be done without the guidance of a healthcare professional. Serious side effects can occur if used incorrectly.

Cleaning and deodorization

Baking soda has long been used as a cleaning agent. The power of the powder can work wonders on stubborn kitchen or clothing stains. For best results, it is recommended that you use a sufficient amount of baking soda mixed with water to form a paste. It has also been shown to be a great way to remove pesticides from fruits .

It is also effective in eliminating odors, since the baking soda neutralizes the acidic and basic molecules. It can also be used as a personal deodorant, home furnishings, and carpet deodorizer, and to keep cool in both the fridge and freezer.

Kitchen fires dowsing

Grease flames are difficult to control and should never be extinguished with water. Baking soda can be helpful when there is no fire extinguisher nearby because it suppresses the flames by releasing carbon dioxide.

Forms

Baking soda is usually available in powder form. However, it can also be found in capsules, granules, and solutions. Some over-the-counter medications contain small amounts of baking soda, including Alka-Seltzer.

Risks and side effects.

Although baking soda is a versatile remedy used for many purposes, it can still pose a health hazard if taken too often or in large amounts. Even limited short-term consumption of baking soda can cause gastrointestinal upset, such as nausea, seizures, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Studies have also shown that consuming large amounts can lead to hemorrhagic encephalopathy, a serious illness that can cause shock, blood thinning and the inability for the blood to clot, liver and kidney problems, and changes in function and function. the structure of the brain .

While long-term use may not be the only cause of some conditions, it can increase the risk of getting worse or developing new diseases. A specific condition known as metabolic alkalosis occurs when the body's pH reaches dangerously high levels. This can lead to confusion, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, persistent muscle spasms, and hand tremors.

Always speak with your doctor before starting a new supplement regimen or using baking soda for any condition.

Get the word of drug information

While the general use of baking soda is considered safe, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with long-term use of this chemical. In contrast, the use of baking soda for cleaning and deodorizing in the home has been around for many years and is unlikely to pose any health risks when used responsibly.

When seemingly harmless home remedies are used, especially when combined with pre-existing medical conditions, there is an increased risk of serious complications. Always speak with your doctor about your questions or concerns regarding the use of baking soda.

If given the go-ahead, it could be an inexpensive, readily available product that you can use to combat oral health issues, exercise fatigue, and household odors.

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