A dash of salt for optimal health, but if you have more than what is required, it can damage your body
Sodium chloride commonly known as salt is an electrolyte that regulates the amount of water in our body. Salt is an essential nutrient for muscle function, proper nerve function, and fluid balance. It is recommended to consume 2,300 milligrams or less per day. However, we tend to consume significantly more than we need. Our body requires a little bit of sodium every day but consumption of too much or even too little salt has an adverse effect on our body.
Here are the nine effects of consuming too much salt.
- Water retention/swelling – Your kidneys balance the amount of sodium stored in your body for optimal health. When body sodium is high, your kidneys excrete the excess in urine. But for some reason, if your kidneys cannot eliminate enough sodium your body will begin to bloat as sodium attracts and holds water. Your feet may begin to feel swollen or you will have puffy eyes in the morning.
- Raging thirst – As sodium balances fluid in your body. When the consumption of sodium is high, your body will need more fluid intake to help your muscles and other organs to function properly. It is essential to keep in mind that if you avoid drinking enough water it may lead to severe dehydration.
- Urination – Kidneys flushes out the build-up sodium from your body. If there is excess sodium accumulation, this may result in kidney diseases. Too much salt will make your kidneys overworked causing frequent urination that may appear transparent or completely clear. On the other hand, too much salt may cause significant loss of water causing dehydration and less frequent urination appearing dark yellow in color.
- Weak bones and yellow teeth – Osteoporosis is linked to high salt intake. When your body is unable to flush salt out of your system this increases calcium loss. It can cause chronic calcium deficiency. You may experience achy joints and also discoloration of your teeth.
- Muscle cramps – As sodium is an essential nutrient for muscle function too much of it will result in cramps, tightness, and pain in your muscle.
- Hypertension – Excess salt consumption increases the volume of your blood taking up more space in your blood vessels. This causes high blood pressure also known as hypertension resulting in severe headaches.
- Cognitive decline – Hypertension alters the blood vessels which may cause the arteries leading to your brain to damage. This will affect the ability to think clearly and perform daily tasks will be harder. It can also lead to poor memory, slow reaction time and stroke.
- Stomach Ulcer – High salt intake may trigger ulcers and even add the risk of gastric cancer. Gastritis is caused by the bacteria Helicobacter Pylori, which infects the stomach lining. Salt riles up these bacteria which triggers ulcer and an untreated ulcer adds to the risk of stomach cancer.
- Heart failure – If you are sodium sensitive, your body will retain sodium more easily leading to fluid retention and increased blood pressure. If this becomes chronic, it can lead to heart disease and congestive heart failure.
Moderate your salt consumption and be mindful when you add that extra pinch of salt.
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