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  Salt Intake Requirement  
 
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Signs, symptoms and indicators | Contributing risk factors | Recommendations

 

When drinking lots of water throughout the day, salts (especially sodium) are washed through the kidneys and voided. Increasing salt in the diet helps prevent any imbalance as a result of significant water consumption and low salt intake. For every two quarts of water consumed per day consider adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Excessive sweating can lead to dilution of salt in body fluids which can cause a condition known as hyponatremia. Symptoms of hyponatremia are fatigue, weakness, cramping, nausea, vomiting, bloating, swelling and tightness of the hands and feet, dizziness, headache, confusion, fainting, seizures, coma, and even death. This is usually an acute problem encountered in athletic circumstances, requiring emergency medical care. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke must be distinquished as the treatment for each is different.
 

 
 

Signs, symptoms & indicators of Salt Intake Requirement:
 
 
Symptoms - Food - Preferences  Craving for salt

Counter-indicators:
  Dislike of salt

Symptoms - General

  Dizziness when standing up

Symptoms - Metabolic

  Daytime sweating

Symptoms - Muscular

  Leg/foot cramps

Symptoms - Sleep

  (Frequent) difficulty falling asleep
 
 

Risk factors for Salt Intake Requirement:
 
 
CirculationCounter-indicators:
  Hypertension
 People who are salt-sensitive experience an exaggerated blood pressure elevation when they are given a salt load. (There is no standard way to test for salt-sensitivity, and such tests are currently done only in a research setting.) While salt-sensitivity is felt to be a risk factor for developing hypertension, many salt-sensitive people are, in fact, not hypertensive at all. The Indiana study suggests that, while hypertension is a major cause of cardiovascular disease, its not the hypertension that causes early death in salt-sensitive people its the salt-sensitivity itself. That is, in these individuals, high dietary salt causes cardiovascular disease even if their blood pressures remain normal.

How does salt cause cardiovascular disease without increasing the blood pressure? Dr. Aviv from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey thinks he has the answer salt increases the reactivity of platelets, the tiny blood elements that help the blood to clot. Thus, he says, high dietary sodium might lead to cardiovascular events like stroke, heart attack, and kidney disease directly, even in the absence of hypertension.

Symptoms - Food - Beverages

  High/excessive water consumption
  Sufficient/reasonable water consumption

Symptoms - Food - Intake

  No/low added salt consumption

Counter-indicators:
  High added salt consumption

Symptoms - Muscular

  History of leg/foot cramps
 
 

Recommendations for Salt Intake Requirement:
 
 
Mineral  Increased Salt Consumption
 
 


KEY
Weak or unproven link
Strong or generally accepted link
Proven definite or direct link
Strongly counter-indicative
Very strongly or absolutely counter-indicative
Highly recommended







GLOSSARY

Acute:  An illness or symptom of sudden onset, which generally has a short duration.

Cardiovascular:  Pertaining to the heart and blood vessels.

Hypertension:  High blood pressure. Hypertension increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure because it adds to the workload of the heart, causing it to enlarge and, over time, to weaken; in addition, it may damage the walls of the arteries.

Nausea:  Symptoms resulting from an inclination to vomit.

Seizure:  While there are over 40 types of seizure, most are classed as either partial seizures which occur when the excessive electrical activity in the brain is limited to one area or generalized seizures which occur when the excessive electrical activity in the brain encompasses the entire organ. Although there is a wide range of signs, they mainly include such things as falling to the ground; muscle stiffening; jerking and twitching; loss of consciousness; an empty stare; rapid chewing/blinking/breathing. Usually lasting from between a couple of seconds and several minutes, recovery may be immediate or take up to several days.

Sodium:  An essential mineral that our bodies regulate and conserve. Excess sodium retention increases the fluid volume (edema) and low sodium leads to less fluid and relative dehydration. The adult body averages a total content of over 100 grams of sodium, of which a surprising one-third is in bone. A small amount of sodium does get into cell interiors, but this represents only about ten percent of the body content. The remaining 57 percent or so of the body sodium content is in the fluid immediately surrounding the cells, where it is the major cation (positive ion). The role of sodium in the extracellular fluid is maintaining osmotic equilibrium (the proper difference in ions dissolved in the fluids inside and outside the cell) and extracellular fluid volume. Sodium is also involved in nerve impulse transmission, muscle tone and nutrient transport. All of these functions are interrelated with potassium.

Stroke:  A sudden loss of brain function caused by a blockage or rupture of a blood vessel that supplies the brain, characterized by loss of muscular control, complete or partial loss of sensation or consciousness, dizziness, slurred speech, or other symptoms that vary with the extent and severity of the damage to the brain. The most common manifestation is some degree of paralysis, but small strokes may occur without symptoms. Usually caused by arteriosclerosis, it often results in brain damage.

Teaspoon:  (tsp) Equivalent to 5cc (5ml).