Baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) is not considered a first-line treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is a chronic autoimmune condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks the joints, leading to inflammation and joint damage. The primary goal of RA treatment is to reduce inflammation, alleviate symptoms, and prevent further joint damage.

While dietary changes can play a role in managing inflammation associated with arthritis, there is limited scientific evidence to support the use of baking soda as a specific treatment for RA. Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is commonly used as an antacid to relieve heartburn and indigestion. Some people may also use it as a home remedy for various purposes.

It’s important to note that RA is a complex condition that requires a comprehensive treatment plan, which often includes medications prescribed by a healthcare professional. These medications may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), biologics, and corticosteroids.

If someone with RA is considering dietary changes or supplements like baking soda as part of their management strategy, it is essential to consult with a healthcare provider or rheumatologist. They can provide guidance on the most effective and evidence-based approaches to manage RA symptoms and can help individuals make informed decisions about dietary modifications or complementary therapies.

Can baking soda help rheumatoid arthritis?

The studies you’ve mentioned suggest some potential links between baking soda and its effects on inflammation, which may be of interest to individuals dealing with inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, it’s important to keep in mind that these studies are preliminary, and further research is needed to establish the efficacy, safety, and appropriate use of bicarbonate of soda for managing RA or other inflammatory conditions.

  1. Anti-Inflammatory Diet: The 2020 research paper suggests that dietary changes, including following an anti-inflammatory diet, might help manage RA symptoms. Such diets typically include foods rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and other nutrients that may have anti-inflammatory properties. While this is a promising approach, it’s essential to work with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian to develop a well-balanced dietary plan tailored to individual needs.
  2. Baking Soda and Immune Response: The 2018 study investigated the effects on the immune system, suggesting that it might have anti-inflammatory properties. The study observed changes in immune cell behavior, specifically macrophages. While these findings are intriguing, they are based on animal and limited human studies, and more extensive research is required to determine the full implications for human health.

It’s important for individuals with RA or any other medical condition to approach potential treatments with caution and to consult with healthcare professionals. Baking soda, like any substance, should be used under medical guidance. Self-treatment or relying solely on dietary changes may not provide adequate control of RA symptoms or address the underlying autoimmune process.

RA management typically involves a combination of medications prescribed by healthcare providers, such as NSAIDs, DMARDs, biologics, and lifestyle modifications, including diet and exercise. Always discuss any new treatments or dietary changes with a healthcare provider to ensure they align with the overall management plan for RA and do not interfere with other treatments or medications.

Potential risks:

Some potential risks associated with taking baking soda. It’s crucial for individuals considering the use of bicarbonate of soda for any medical purpose, including managing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or addressing inflammation, to be aware of these risks. Here’s a breakdown of the potential risks:

  1. Metabolic Alkalosis: Baking soda can lead to metabolic alkalosis, a condition in which the body’s pH rises above the normal range (more than 7.45). This disturbance in acid-base balance can have various adverse effects on bodily functions.
  2. Headache: Some individuals may experience headaches as a side effect of consuming baking soda.
  3. Nausea and Vomiting: Baking soda ingestion may lead to nausea and vomiting in certain individuals.
  4. Muscle Pain and Twitching: Muscle discomfort, pain, and twitching can occur as a result of metabolic disturbances caused by excessive baking soda consumption.
  5. Abnormally Slow Breathing: In severe cases, baking soda overdose can lead to abnormally slow breathing, which can be a life-threatening condition.
  6. Unpleasant Taste in the Mouth: Baking soda can have a bitter or unpleasant taste, making it difficult for some individuals to consume.
  7. Nervousness or Restlessness: Baking soda ingestion might lead to feelings of nervousness or restlessness in some individuals.
  8. Increased Urination: Some people may experience more frequent urination than usual after taking baking soda.
  9. Tissue Damage: If baking soda is administered incorrectly into a vein or if it mistakenly enters surrounding tissues, it can cause tissue damage or tissue death. This underscores the importance of proper administration and medical supervision when using bicarbonate of soda for any purpose.

Given these potential risks and the need for precise dosing and administration, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before using baking soda as a potential treatment for RA or any other medical condition. Healthcare professionals can assess individual health needs, risks, and potential benefits and provide appropriate guidance on treatment options. Self-treatment with it is not recommended without medical supervision.

Using baking soda for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) should be done with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare provider. Here are some general guidelines on how to use baking soda for RA:

  1. Consult Your Doctor: Before considering baking soda as a treatment for RA, it is essential to consult with your healthcare provider. They can evaluate your specific condition, medical history, and potential interactions with other medications or supplements you may be taking.
  2. Dosage: In the 2018 study you mentioned, participants received 2 grams of bicarbonate of soda dissolved in 250 mL of water. However, the appropriate dosage can vary from person to person. Your doctor will advise you on the safest and most effective dosage for your individual needs.
  3. Administration: Baking soda can be consumed by dissolving it in water. It’s crucial to follow your doctor’s instructions on how to prepare and administer the solution correctly.
  4. Regular Monitoring: If you and your healthcare provider decide to incorporate bicarbonate of soda into your RA management plan, it’s essential to monitor your progress and any potential side effects. Keep your doctor informed of any changes in your symptoms or overall health.
  5. Consider Other Tips: In addition to baking soda, consider implementing other lifestyle changes and recommendations from your healthcare provider to manage RA symptoms effectively. These may include maintaining a healthy body weight, regular exercise, quality sleep, good dental hygiene, stress management, and smoking cessation if applicable.
  6. Medical Supervision: Always use bicarbonate of soda under medical supervision. Your healthcare provider can provide ongoing guidance, adjust dosages if need, and ensure your overall health and well-being are considered.
  7. Potential Interactions: Be aware of potential interactions between baking soda and other medications or supplements you may be taking. Discuss these concerns with your doctor.

In summary, while bicarbonate of soda may have shown promise in some studies as an anti-inflammatory agent, its use for rheumatoid arthritis should only be considered after consulting with a healthcare professional. Your doctor can help determine if it’s a suitable option for your specific situation and provide personalized guidance on its usage. Additionally, if you experience any side effects or changes in your condition while using baking soda, promptly contact your healthcare provider.


The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge before you choose to consume any product or perform any exercise.

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