How Much Salt Is Too Much Salt When It Comes To Your Health?

How Much Salt Is Too Much Salt When It Comes To Your Health?

Although most people consume too much salt, some conditions require more salt. However, before increasing your salt intake, Khera emphasized that “these are specialized conditions that require specific expertise,” and that no one should increase their salt intake before having “explicit discussions with their doctor.” The following conditions may require adding salt to one’s diet:

Orthostatic hypotension. Khera explained that if people have low blood pressure when standing up, or orthostatic hypotension, they may need more salt. When a patient is diagnosed with this condition — one variation of which is postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome — doctors “sometimes recommend salt to retain more fluid in the body and have fewer dizzy or loss-of-consciousness spells,” Khera said.

High-performance athletes. Khera explained that high-performance athletes may lose a lot of salt via sweat, especially if they are training or competing in hot climates. However, he noted that “this is rarely needed,” and that when it is, “modest increases are sufficient.”

Cystic fibrosis. Individuals with cystic fibrosis lose salt through their sweat more than those without the condition, Khera said. That means they “often require an increase in intake in salt,” although the amount of additional salt each person needs varies and is determined by their doctor.

Addison’s disease. According to Batiste, “People with Addison’s disease, a condition affecting the adrenal glands, may experience low levels of sodium.” Health care providers may recommend increased salt intake to maintain electrolyte balance.

Electrolyte abnormalities. Some electrolyte abnormalities, such as low blood sodium or hyponatremia, are treated with increased sodium intake. However, these conditions are sometimes treated with reduced fluid intake. 

Dialysis. Some dialysis patients are instructed to increase sodium intake, Khera said.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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