To maintain normal physiological functions one must consume adequate amounts of salt. However, excessive consumption of salt can lead to many dangerous health complications. It can even interfere with nutrient absorption. To discover the possible health complication which can arise due to excessive consumption of salt, read one.
Here Are 10 Must Know Dangers Of Eating Too Much Salt:
High Blood Pressure
Hypertension or High Blood Pressure in layman’s terms can be defined as excessive pressure exerted by circulating blood on the arterial walls. Hypertension (blood pressure of 140/90mmHg or higher) is influenced to a large extent by diet and lifestyle factors. Nutritional research has positively established the fact that consuming a high salt diet can lead to hypertension. Excessive consumption of salt leads to sodium imbalance in the body – which can cause reduced renal function and water retention. This in turn can cause a marked expansion in plasma volume (which causes high blood pressure).
Dehydration which is a state of negative fluid balance can be caused by numerous factors including excessive salt consumption. When you consume a high salt diet without drinking adequate amounts of water, your body metabolism will shift into crisis mode. To balance out the excess sodium that you consume, the body will draw out water from the cells. This can leave a person severely dehydrated.
Salt is one of the major contributory factors for CVD or Cardiovascular Diseases. A high sodium diet can cause a sharp rise in blood pressure levels. In the long run, excessive pressure exerted by the circulating blood on arterial walls, can damage the arteries – which increases the risk of heart attacks. High blood pressure (brought on by eating salty food) can also cause enlarged heart condition. Enlarged heart condition in turn increases the risk of heart failure and cardiac arrest.
A high sodium diet is linked to increased calcium loss. Sodium absorption and regulation of calcium in the body are controlled by the same set of molecules. So, when the body leaches out excess sodium through urine, it correspondingly increases the amount of calcium excreted in the urine as well. The progressive loss of calcium from the bones (by consuming a high sodium diet) can lead to Osteoporosis. Post menopausal women who consume a high sodium diet have a greater likelihood to suffer from osteoporosis.
Salt is vital for the production of stomach acid. However, excessive consumption of salt can lead to acid reflux. Acid reflux has been linked to bloating and heartburn. Eating salty food also increases an individual’s risk of suffering from painful gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers. Medical research has indicated that consuming a high salt diet is a probable cause of stomach cancer.
A high sodium diet is linked to impaired renal function. A high sodium diet can increase the amount of protein which is excreted in the urine. This in turn leads to a marked deterioration in the functioning of the kidneys. A high sodium diet leads to hypertension. Hypertension puts excessive strain on the kidneys – which too can lead to kidney diseases. Excessive consumption of salt can also increase the risk of painful renal stones.
Medical studies have indicated that a high sodium diet can initiate and even aggravate the symptoms of Asthma. Eating excessive amounts of salt can potentiate bronchial reactivity. Bronchial reactivity or hyper responsiveness is a hallmark of asthma. So, to prevent asthma attacks one should regulate his / her salt consumption.
Childhood / Teenage Obesity
Higher than normal intake of salt, is linked to an increased incidence of obesity especially among teenagers. A high salt diet does not directly cause weight gain. Instead eating foods high in sodium can make a person feel thirty. Children and teenagers typically drink highly sweetened drinks to quench their thirst. Drinking sugary drinks, like soft drinks, can lead to weight gain.
Vascular dementia or multi-infarct dementia is caused by impaired blood supply to the brain. Eating salty food increases the risk of hypertension. Hypertension causes irreversible damage to the arteries. It also increases the risk of stroke. When there is a reduction in the supply of oxygen rich blood to the brain due to a narrowing of the arteries or because of stroke it can lead to vascular dementia (characterized by problems in memory, reasoning, vision, cognition).
Edema can cause an abnormal buildup of fluid in different parts of the body. This in turn can cause swelling, general discomfort and pain. High intake of salt in linked to edema. Abnormal levels of salt in the body, can lead to fluid retention. Excessive fluid retention can cause tiny blood capillaries to leach fluid into the space between the cells, which can lead to edema.