What does baking soda really do for gout?

Baking soda is a very popular home remedy for gout. Along with ACV, it has “cured” many victims and has developed a sort of cult following from many converted believers throughout the history of the ailment. To understand why baking soda might help you eradicate gout, and decide whether it is the right course of action to take, let’s look at some of the key principles behind this remedy.

Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. It is a chemical compound that takes physical form as small crystals—almost powder-like. Baking soda is amphoteric in nature, which means it reacts with acids and bases. To help you understand even further, think of baking soda as a sort of anti-acid substance—not hard to imagine since baking soda also happens to be a known cleaning agent. Anyway, what all this says is that sodium bicarbonate is alkaline, which neutralizes acid.

Now, what does that have to do with gout? Well, we all know what the culprit is when it comes to gout, right? Uric acid. Truth be told, that is the basic principle of why baking soda works for gout. If you are interested in the finer details, or are interested in learning some highfalutin words, you can check out some of the resources below. But for now, we’ll jump straight to how you can take baking soda for gout and what in particular it attacks (treats and cures).

How to take baking soda

To take baking soda, dissolve half a teaspoon in a glass of water and drink it before going to bed. Drink another glass upon waking up and follow up with 3 to 4 drinks spread throughout the day. As a precaution, do not drink more than 7 glasses per day; it is best to drink the solution on a not-so-full stomach (not after eating). Also, do not do this (drink daily) for more than two weeks.

How it attacks gout

Baking soda dissolves monosodium urate crystals, or uric acid crystals, which cures gout or prevents another formation in the making. It makes uric acid more soluble and increases body fluid volume which helps the kidneys excrete excess uric acid. It increases the efficacy of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which can give you relief faster.

Caution and side effects

Should you decide to take baking soda, monitor your blood pressure closely. It becomes too high, drink less or stop it altogether. Also, baking soda is high in sodium so cut down on salt intake.

Finally, always, always, always consult with your doctor before taking this drink for gout. From experience, you should anywhere (doctor’s reaction) from positive-hopeful to negative-condescending. Doctors are medication junkies and they stick with methods backed by scientific research. While there is no large study linking the healing properties of baking soda for gout, the treatment is generally considered “harmless” which is why many people take it.

Further reading

  1. A long discussion (with testimonials) on the gout-baking soda relationship.
  2. A personal account of one’s experience with baking soda compiled on a one-page (but very long) website.

One Response to “What does baking soda really do for gout?”

  1. When an attack of gout happens or to prevent a gout attack after all things failed ( other than potent drugs), I found that keeping the feet (or joint) hot and under pressure ( not too much as to prevent blood circulation) eventually clears the uric acid deposition from the area. Its best to wear two warm socks and shoes(or loafers) and keep it on during an attack. During sleep keep the socks on and cover your legs with a blanket. You can along with try the innumerable remedies available on the web like baking soda, apple cider vinegar, cherries etc to aid in the removal of uric acid and the usual potent painkillers and drugs like allopurinol etc. As the heat and external pressure build up in the area the crystals will dissolve. It seems the some have a tendency to store uric acid like fat for later reuse. The soft area around the joints which are cold is the ideal place to store it. Prevent the storage and body keeps it circulating or disposes it. Hope this helps.

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