While salt is an essential component in your diet, it is also necessary to know that a balance needs to be maintained to enjoy good health. Many people commonly experience the health risks of having too much salt in their diet.

Excessive intake of salt increases the levels of sodium in your blood. As increased sodium mixes in blood, it holds on to water to dilute the same, thus increasing the volume of the blood. Increased blood volume makes the heart and blood vessels to work more, thus increasing the blood pressure and risk for other heart and circulatory problems. Knowing the health risks of having too much salt in your diet can help you to manage your diet and health.

Importance of Salt in Your Diet

  • Salt in balanced quantity is definitely one of the fundamental needs of body. Adults, children and even the elderly need salt every day. But when the consumption of salt increases beyond daily requirement, health risks can begin.
  • The daily requirement of salt may vary depending on the age of the person and other existing health problems. Based on the required daily intake, a person may experience health risks of having too much salt.
  • Depending upon age how much salt should be consumed must be discussed with your physician or a nutritionist.

What are the Health Risks of Having too Much Salt in Your Diet?

What are the Health Risks of Having too Much Salt in Your Diet?

Some of the common health risks of having too much salt in your diet include

High Blood Pressure

  • High BP is one the common known health risks of having too much salt in your diet. High blood pressure is a condition, in which blood puts excessive pressure on vessels all over the body.
  • Being overweight, inactivity, age above 40 years and a high salt diet usually increases the risk of high blood pressure.
  • High blood pressure further can have detrimental effects on the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and can lead to damage if not treated well in time.
  • Controlling salt intake can greatly help to manage high blood pressure and reduce the health risks.

Stroke

  • Stroke is one of the health risks of having too much salt in your diet.
  • It is a condition in which blood supply to a particular part is suddenly obstructed, thus stopping the oxygen supply to that area. This can lead to cell death in the area and may lead to serious consequences.
  • Two types of stroke are usually seen; ischemic strokes and hemorrhagic strokes. When blood vessels are blocked due to a clot, people experience ischemic strokes and when blood vessel bursts people experience hemorrhagic strokes. Both are harmful and can lead to damage to the circulation to the limbs or internal organs.
  • Excessive salt intake is one of the major risk factors for stroke and the same can be prevented or controlled by reducing salt in your diet.
  • Healthy diet with restricted salt, maintaining healthy routine, doing light exercise are few preventive measure which can put off stroke.

Heart Disease

  • Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a condition in which the blood vessels supplying the heart get blocked. It is one of the important health risks of having too much salt in your diet.
  • Blockages can hamper the blood supply to the heart, which can lead to heart attack. It is seen that the raised blood pressure is an important cause of coronary heart disease.
  • Thickening of blood vessels and increased blood pressure in the blood vessels can affect the ability of heart to pump blood, damage the heart and even affect blood circulation. All these factors increase the risk of heart failure.
  • As one of the important health risks for having too much salt, heart diseases and heart attack seem to be the most dreaded ones.
  • However lowering salt intake and changing lifestyle can reduce the health risks to a great extent.

Kidney Disease

  • Excessive salt intake can damage the kidney function as well. Kidney stone is one common problem where calcium build-up interrupts the normal functioning of kidneys.
  • Excessive intake of salt is attributed to an increased risk of having kidney stones.
  • When too much salt in your diet is consumed, it increases the risk of high blood pressure, which too can lead to complications like kidney damage.
  • Restricting salt intake or limiting it to daily requirements is essential to reduce health risks related to kidney diseases.

Osteoporosis

  • Salt can affect bones and cause thinning of bones making them weak and fragile. Osteoporosis is an important health risk of having too much salt in your diet.
  • Bones contain maximum calcium, but excess salt intake and high blood pressure can cause calcium to get excreted from bones to urine, gradually making the bones porous.
  • Women, during their menopause are vulnerable to this health condition mostly because of their hormonal changing as the hormone estrogen drops drastically in post menopause days, bones start becoming frail.
  • Maintaining a healthy salt intake can help.

Cancer

Some reports show that in some people, the health risks of having too much in too much salt in your diet may also increase risk of certain type of cancers. Increase salt intake can cause inflammation, which can lead to stomach ulcers and eventually cancer. High blood pressure too makes the stomach vulnerable by affecting its lining.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: May 9, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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