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Are You Feeling the Effects of Too Much Salt?

By Sandy Schroeder

A couple of great lunches, an enjoyable dinner out, and your favorite salted nuts may leave you feeling a little uncomfortable. Here are some symptoms to check for salt overload.

Super Thirsty – As you reach for another glass of water, your mouth feels like it is coated in sand. When the body takes in too much salt, it demands to be rebalanced with water. If you find yourself gulping water, cut back on the salt.

Mind Clouds Over – Too much salt can dehydrate the system, taking your alertness with it. Both mood and mental clarity can take a dive when water levels drop.

Shoes and Rings Are Tight – When the body gets an overload of salty fries or salt-laden pizza, hormones are released telling the body to store water. When your feet and fingers swell, you need to rebalance sodium and water levels.

Lots of Bathroom Stops – Too much salt can work just like too much water to get the kidneys working too much as they try to get rid of the extra sodium.

Headache Alert – When sodium goes up, headaches may be next. According to research listed in BMJ, adults eating 3500 mg of sodium daily had a third more headaches than those eating 1500 mg. Cut back on the salted nuts, fries and chips to make the headaches disappear.

Blood Pressure Spikes – Extra salt can increase blood pressure as more fluid is retained in the body and the heart has to pump harder.

Kidney Disease and Stones – Too much salt can increase the protein in urine and raise the risk for kidney disease. It also increases the risk for kidney stones. If you have kidney stones or pain, work with your doctor to develop a low sodium diet.

What to Do

If any of these symptoms fit, start dealing with it now as you cut back on the salt and make sure you are getting enough water. As the body rebalances, you should see the symptoms disappear. If you are still having swollen feet or fingers, headaches or high blood pressure, follow up with your doctor to rule out any other causes.

Overall, U.S. dietary guidelines suggest eating less than 2300 mg of sodium daily. To get your salt under control, start checking labels for sodium content and watch the levels in breads, rolls and biscuits,  crackers, chips, cured meats, pizza, poultry, and canned soup. As you cut back, your taste for salt will drop. Use other seasonings, such as oregano, basil, rosemary or thyme, and flavors such as lemon and lime, to fill in for the missing salt. 

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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