Table salt makes our food delicious and provides sodium to our body which is essential for:
- Regulating amount of water.
- Proper functioning of our muscles.
- Nervous system to send signals.
But amount of salt needed for these functions is 1 tea spoon per day. salt intake more than this can cause many problems.
Here are the life threatening effects of taking too much salt:
High Blood Pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition that affects nearly 50 million Americans. While this condition can be caused by other factors such as stress and eating diets rich in saturated fats, excessive intake of sodium increases the risk of developing it. If you already suffer from high blood pressure, reducing your salt intake could also reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Also known as edema, fluid retention occurs when excess fluid accumulates in your body, including the skin. This condition can be caused by hormone changes, hot weather and high salt intake. It is characterized by swelling in the hands, ankles and feet and a feeling of stiffness or aching. Reducing your salt intake and drinking a lot of water can help alleviate this condition
When the levels of sodium in your body are higher than is normal, this condition is known as hypernatremia. It is caused by a variety of factors, including certain drugs, abnormalities in your body that hinder water absorption, and reduced water intake. In rare instances, hypernatremia may also be caused by excessive salt consumption. A study by scientists at University of Hamburg published in the January 2005 issue of “Legal Medicine” found that using excess salt to induce vomiting in intoxicated persons may lead to death due to fatal hypernatremia.
Although a definite link between salt intake and cardiovascular disease is yet to be established, most studies agree that excessive consumption of salt increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. A study by scientists at the Federico II University of Naples Medical School published in November 2009 in “BMJ” found that high salt intake increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. The study involved meta-analysis and systematic review of studies carried out between 1968 and 2008 and were aimed at establishing the link between salt intake and cardiovascular disease.
Changes in Urination
Hypernatremia is the medical term for a high level of sodium in the blood. It can occur in response to not having enough water in the body, which can happen when there is excessive water loss from exercising in extreme heat, prolonged diarrhea or vomiting, or when not drinking enough water. The changes in urination that happen are dependent upon the cause of sodium buildup, claims the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. If due to dehydration or water loss, urine output will decrease and the urine will be dark yellow. If a high sodium level is due to kidney disease, urination will be more frequent and it will be clear.
According to Merck, one of the first signs of a very high level of sodium is thirst in patients who are conscious. Very high levels can affect the brain and lead to difficulty coordinating muscle movements, weakness and in severe cases, the patient may go into a coma. If hypernatremia continues untreated, it can become fatal.