Is Baking Soda The Answer For Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Well, it turns out that salt isn’t the enemy after all. At least according to the researchers at Augusta University who just published a study in the Journal of Immunology stating that they have found a link between drinking baking soda and improvements in inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Exactly how baking soda helps, like many things related to our immune systems, isn’t easily understood, but it is fascinating.
Surrounding each of our organs are cells called mesothelial cells, which are designed to prevent our tissues from “sticking” together. But that’s not all, they also have a few other jobs, including telling the stomach to produce more acid in order to digest food better, and telling the spleen, our largest lymph node in the body, which filters bacteria and viruses out of the blood, that there is no threat to it. When you drink a solution of baking soda the immune cells in and near your spleen begin behaving differently. The number of pro-inflammatory cells decreases and the number of anti-inflammatory cells increases, including macrophages, the garbage collectors of the immune system, and regulatory T-cells specifically designed to modulate the immune system and help to decrease autoimmunity. This also occurs in the bloodstream and kidneys, two other places that the immune system cells mobilize to fight potential threats to our body. Results were seen in just two weeks, and this new finding is again moving the target that scientists focus on for combatting autoimmune disease.1
New research, new excitement
Reading stories like this makes me excited for the future of medicine because when I was young we had no idea that T- Cells existed, let alone that there are specialized forms of these cells which are responsible for damping down our immune response. The fact that scientists can be so targeted in the things that they study means that we are putting together puzzle pieces much quicker than we used to and putting together a real picture of how our complex immune system works. I doubt we’ll ever find all the answers we need but I hope we find enough of them to fully treat, if not extinguish, diseases like RA.
What am I doing with this information?
Drinking baking soda; I’m on day two and for now, it’s an easy addition to my day. But just like any addition to my health regime, I have to make sure it won’t negatively interact with anything else I’m doing which means that along with taking the baking soda I’m doing some due diligence. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate and since it alkalizes the blood it can help indigestion, but it can also affect the absorption of medications so I’m putting in a call to my doctor to let her know just in case there is a contra-indication for me and, since it’s a form of sodium, if I had high blood pressure I wouldn’t have started it without talking to my doctor first. Long-term effects of daily baking soda may cause other issues, like high blood pressure and potassium deficiency so going forward I will be cautious, Just like most RA treatments, this one may end up being a good news/bad news situation, but it also just may be taking us one step closer to figuring out the mystery that is RA.
What impressed me the most about this story was the fact that researchers like Dr. Paul O’Conner, who headed this study, would think to look at baking soda at all. What this tells me is that there are forward-thinking people who will look outside the traditional box of medicine to find answers for people like you and me. All the stories we hear about “piggy-back” drugs and greedy pharmaceutical companies can make us forget that there are people out there going to work every day to find real answers, regardless of their bottom line. And for that, I’m grateful and excited to see what they find out next. Because if it isn’t baking soda, there will be something, or a combination of things, that unlock the key to health for people with autoimmune disease. And I’ll be ready.
Note: Please always consult your physician before starting any new treatments or therapies.
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