I am using baking soda all over the place now -- started with deodorant (mixed with coconut oil and corn starch, works better than anything I've ever tried), then for heartburn (just a 1/2 t or so in water), and now UTI's.
The UTI thing is fan-freaking-tastic! I was dx'd with type I diabetes when I was 23 and before that I was able to get rid of UTI's with cranberry juice (just ocean spray back then), but by the time I got to zero insulin production, all that was a thing of the past (even the 100% no sugar stuff from whole foods does nothing for me now). When I get an infection of any kind, my blood sugar becomes harder to keep under control and it's a vicious cycle because of course the bacteria thrive with a bunch of extra sugar around. So, I didn't have high hopes for baking soda, but WOW!!! It works for me! Woot! I think it must be very powerful stuff, and I am so happy to have one less thing (and one that seems to crop up repeatedly) to have to use abx for.
So, here's my experience with it:
I wasn't able to really find much of a protocol online, so I kinda made one up. The first time around, it only halfway worked. I was having one teaspoon in water each morning and then drinking a fair amount of water throughout the day. Each morning I'd wake up feeling just a hint of it and then try one teaspoon again. This went on for five days. On day number five I got scared that maybe I was masking the symptoms but still having a raging infection (although seriously, I could have lived like this, symptoms were totally taken care of in two minutes in the morning). But I was scared it would go to my kidneys so I went to the doc. When I got there, having had the infection already for five whole days, they could not see any bacteria in my urine but it did show up on the culture. So that gave me the guts to try harder next time -- it was not just treating the symptoms! Normally if I go in on day one I am feeling like I'm gonna die (unless I have pyridium) and my urine is full of bacteria.
I also asked the doctor while I was there what she thought of the baking soda treatment. She said that there was no way in hell it was gonna work, and that "you cannot get rid of a UTI without antibiotics," which I think we all know is wrong, right? I asked her about cranberry and she said it was a placebo. I think that's dead wrong. She also said that if I wanted to go ahead and pursue the baking soda thing that it wouldn't hurt, it just wouldn't help. I pushed her and said that I had read scary things online about baking soda screwing you up (heart attack bc of messed up electrolytes being the scariest) and she was like, "ah, no, baking soda's not gonna hurt you!" So, I'm hoping that she was right about the baking soda not hurting you and, while I did take abx for that infection, I went with it for my next UTI...
Which was only a couple of months later... ugh. And I took the baking soda 3x a day, one teaspoon in a cup of water, washed down with another smallish glass of water, and made myself have another 8 oz or so each time I peed. I had to do it for quite a few days, like maybe five, and now I've been symptomless for five days. I am so impressed and I kinda think that if this works for me, it has got to be very powerful. Maybe others could get by with fewer and/or smaller doses.
So, I'm wondering if anyone has any real info about ingesting baking soda. I was worried about my pH going up (when I went to doc, it was 9ish, and I guess normal is 7ish), but doctor assured me that it was just my urine pH, not my whole body. I have read some conflicting things about that though (see "soda loading" for some evidence that your general pH goes up). My big fear was that it would hurt my kidneys, but it turns out that there was a big study done on long term kidney disease (like diabetics are prone to) that showed that daily baking soda actually reversed the damage (though I'm wondering if that is because the kidney disease was forcing pH down for some reason). Another issue I found online was that someone was claiming that baking soda use could cause kidney stones, but I don't know how much or how often or, of course, whether or not there's any truth to it.
So, I'd love to hear some opinions about the safety of baking soda use. Right now I'm thinking that using it for this purpose is a healthier thing for me than using abx every time I have a UTI (I sometimes go a couple of years between them, but then when I get one, I usually get two or three in a four or six month period). But I just can't find anything concrete out there. I obviously can't trust my doctor as far as I could throw her.