Bicarbonate is one of the main "grandmother's remedies" to digest, still used today by millions of people around the world.
What is that
What is Bicarbonate to Digest?
Baking soda to digest is none other than sodium bicarbonate (IUPAC name: sodium hydrogen carbonate), an inorganic salt having a raw formula NaHCO 3 . More precisely, from the chemical point of view, bicarbonate to digest is the sodium salt of carbonic acid.
Dissolved in water, sodium bicarbonate gives rise to a slightly basic solution, which can be exploited precisely to counteract digestive disorders and excessive stomach acidity.
Did you know that ...
Sodium bicarbonate is the active ingredient of various drugs for parenteral use intended for the treatment of various conditions, such as: states of metabolic acidosis; shock; intoxication from barbiturates, salicylates and methanol; hemolytic and rhabdomyolysis syndromes; hyperuricemia.
Of course, similar products require medical personnel to be used.
Features and Properties
Characteristics, Properties and Mechanism of Bicarbonate Action for Digesting
To digest bicarbonate is a white crystalline powder, soluble in water and insoluble in ethanol.
Since when dissolved in water gives rise to a weakly basic solution, bicarbonate is able to counteract excessive gastric acidity by interacting with the hydrochloric acid present in the stomach according to the following reaction:
NaHCO 3 + HCl → NaCl + H 2 O + CO 2 ↑
In other words, the intake of bicarbonate to digest neutralizes the acidity of the gastric juices producing carbon dioxide, thus favoring digestive functions and counteracting acidity and heartburn.
What do you need to know before taking Bicarbonate to Digest?
Similarly to what happens with other antacids, bicarbonate to digest gives relief only temporarily from acidity and heartburn, but is not able to intervene on the causes that generated these symptoms.
Therefore, its use can be useful in case of acute manifestations that occur occasionally (such as, for example, after excessively abundant meals), but cannot be used chronically (also due to the side effects it may cause) .
If, on the other hand, acidity and heartburn are symptoms that persist and occur frequently, they probably represent signs of a possible undiagnosed basic pathology (gastroesophageal reflux, Helicobacter pylori infection, etc.). Therefore, in these cases it is necessary to request the intervention of the doctor who - after having carried out the necessary analyzes and an adequate diagnosis - will be able to indicate to the patient the most suitable therapeutic strategies for the treatment of the disorder that afflicts him (for example, antibiotic therapy to eradicate Helicobacter pylori, intake of proton pump inhibitors, etc.).
Furthermore, it is important to remember that since bicarbonate to digest contains sodium, its use by individuals who must follow a low-sodium diet should be carried out with great caution, especially in concomitant presence of heart failure, hypertension and renal dysfunction. Patients who find themselves in similar conditions before taking bicarbonate to digest should therefore seek the advice of their doctor.
How to use
How to use bicarbonate to digest?
The use of baking soda to digest is extremely simple. In fact, it is sufficient to dissolve one or two teaspoons of product inside a full glass of water, possibly at room temperature. After mixing well, once the baking soda has dissolved to digest, it is possible to drink the solution thus obtained.
In order to guarantee its effectiveness, the bicarbonate solution to digest must be taken immediately after its preparation. Moreover, it is good to remember that, to aid digestion, sodium bicarbonate should not be taken immediately after a big binge, but after one or two hours from the meal.
Digesting bicarbonate can interfere with other medications?
By altering the pH at the gastric level, bicarbonate to digest is able to alter the absorption of acid drugs, with a consequent decrease in their therapeutic efficacy. Also due to this alteration of gastric pH, it can determine an increase in the absorption of basic drugs, causing an increase in their toxicity.
Similarly, bicarbonate to digest can slow the renal elimination of basic drugs, increasing their duration of action and toxicity. Due to the same mechanism of action, it can also promote renal elimination of other drugs, decreasing their effect.
For this reason, in the case of ongoing therapy with other medicines, before taking bicarbonate to digest, it is good to seek the advice of your doctor.
Although it is considered a safe remedy (if used correctly), baking soda to digest could still give rise to some undesirable effects, such as:
- Stomach cramps;
- Water retention;
- Metabolic alkalosis (especially in patients with renal insufficiency).
Furthermore, the possible onset of allergic reactions in sensitive individuals should not be forgotten.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Can digesting bicarbonate be used in pregnancy and during breastfeeding?
Studies conducted on the use of bicarbonate to digest during pregnancy have shown that this product does not exert harmful effects on the fetus. However, taking sodium-containing products - such as bicarbonate to digest - could worsen the water retention and edematous condition typical of pregnancy. Therefore, before using this product, it is advisable to seek medical advice.
As for breastfeeding, instead, the use of bicarbonate to digest is considered safe and free of contraindications.
The use of baking soda to digest is contraindicated in the following cases:
- In case of hypersensitivity known to the same bicarbonate to digest;
- In patients with heart failure;
- In patients with hypertension;
- In patients with impaired renal function;
- In pediatric age.