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6 Warning Signs Your Body Shows When You're Consuming Too Much Salt

6 Warning Signs Your Body Shows When You're Consuming Too Much Salt

We tend to consume a lot of packaged and unhealthy foods that contain excess sodium or salt content. Our body that detects this excess salt will show some signs to warn us of the problem.

Whether it is chicken breast or a great piece of steak, salt is unavoidable. But sometimes, we tend to use our salt shaker a little more than usual. However, the fact is we don't keep a tab on the amount of salt is used. This lack of knowledge can be the reason for major health problems. 

There's no denying that salt is an unavoidable ingredient in the food we consume every day, at least if we want it to taste good. However, an average person doesn't require more than 500mg of salt to maintain a proper balance of water and minerals in the body. But shockingly, most Americans are found to consume at least 1.5 teaspoons of salt per day or about 3400mg of sodium.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 90 percent of Americans who are 2 years or older consume too much sodium. It has been found that this can cause health problems such as high blood pressure, heart diseases and even stroke.

When an individual consumes to much salt, the body displays numerous signs to hint you about your unhealthy habit. Here are a couple of signs that may help you detect this.

1. Muscle cramps 

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Our body requires every mineral in the right balance for its smooth functioning. If you tend to notice that you're becoming more prone to leg cramps and feel your muscles go rigid, one of the main reasons for this would be an excess consumption of salty food. Minerals like potassium help in the relaxation of the muscles while sodium is responsible for contraction. Therefore maintaining the right balance is important.

2.  Excessive thirst

If you notice yourself drinking more water than usual, you might be consuming a lot more salt than what your body requires. Eating salty food can lead to the loss of fluid in the parts of the body that needs it, and instead gets accummulated in other parts of your body, causing swelling. When the consumption of salt exceeds the required amounts, the thirst center goes on alert and the body will require more water to dilute the salt. This is responsible for the urge to drink more water.

3. Swollen ankles

A diet that consists of excess salt can lead to swollen ankles. Too much sodium in the food you condume can lead to the retention of water which causes the swelling of ankles. Sometimes, the ring that you have been wearing for a long time appears tight now and then. An overload of salt in your diet may be responsible for the intermittent swelling.

4. Persistent headaches 

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Though your health is quite okay and you may not even have been under a lot of stress. But still, you have been experiencing headaches out of nowhere. Now in such a situation, the best thing to do is to think about your last meal. Excess salt in the diet may be responsible for your mild headache. A lot of salt can cause dehydration-induced headache symptoms. “Too much salt can cause blood vessels in the brain to expand, which can lead to painful headaches,” says Mandy Enright, a nutritionist and fitness trainer.tfhttf

5. Excessive urination 

High sodium diets lead to frequent urination as the person tends to consume more water than usual. The excess salt results in concentrated urine and the increased excretion of sodium. Every time the person urinates, the body loses calcium that is responsible for strong bones and teeth. Over time, it will also lead to the weakening of bones leading to health problems like osteoporosis. 

6. Cognitive problems 

According to Medical News Today, too much salt can cause cognitive deficits. It increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure. However, it can also cause brain-related issues such as cognitive impairment, stroke, and cerebrovascular disease. Constant dehydration caused due to excess salt can lead to memory loss and tiredness.  

How to reduce salt?

Dietary changes can prevent creating further health problems. The substitution of packaged and canned food with fresh meat and vegetables less in sodium will help keep your salt in check. Make sure that the spices and herbs used also contain a minimum amount of sodium. Reducing the habit of eating out will also help you deal with the excess salt content in your body.

References:

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/
https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_sodium.htm
https://www.health24.com/Diet-and-nutrition/Nutrition-basics/4-major-signs-youre-eating-way-too-much-salt-20171121
https://www.muscleandfitness.com/nutrition/7-signs-you-re-eating-too-much-salt
https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003085.htm
https://indianapublicmedia.org/amomentofscience/why-salt-makes-you-thirsty/
https://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/health-wellbeing/diet-nutrition/nutrition/10-signs-eating-too-much-salt
https://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/a19959128/too-much-salt-signs/
https://www.popsci.com/heres-what-happens-to-your-body-if-you-eat-too-much-salt/
https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/how-body-regulates-salt-levels
https://www.kidney.org/news/ekidney/june10/Salt_june10

Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.