What Are The Symptoms of High Levels of Sodium in Your Blood
Your blood pressure may be high.
The kidneys can have trouble filtering wastes from the blood.
There are other symptoms associated with high sodium levels, but this is one that people notice first because it has to do with their bodies. When something goes wrong with your body chemistry, you tend to see it quickly because things don’t function as they should be. Unfortunately, this level of efficiency tends to make us take our bodies for granted until something doesn’t work correctly or causes us pain, discomfort, or suffering in some way.
When it comes to how much salt we eat daily, most health experts recommend keeping intake low and staying away from processed foods whenever possible. How many people follow this advice? Not too many.
Health experts give this advice because overeating salt can lead to high blood pressure, which then puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, to name a few. High blood pressure has no symptoms in the early stages, so by the time it does start acting up, it’s often too late to do anything about it.
What causes high sodium levels?
There are many causes of high sodium levels ( hypernatremia ), but not all are related directly to dietary intake. These other causes include:
Kidney disorders like acute kidney failure or chronic kidney disease. Breathing problems like respiratory alkalosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Trauma like burns Liver cirrhosis Certain medications like water pills, diuretics or lithium Diabetes Starvation
If you have high blood pressure, then overeating salt will likely put you over your limit. Salt is the primary source of sodium in most diets, so you can help lower your overall intake of this mineral by cutting back on it.
Aside from following nutritional guidelines for how much salt to eat each day, there are simple things that people can do to improve their health if they suffer from hypertension:-
Exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, lose weight, work with your doctor to find an appropriate treatment plan if necessary, and drink plenty of pure water whenever possible.
How does excess dietary sodium cause high blood pressure?
When you eat something high in salt content, the body holds onto more water to dilute the salt. This can put pressure on blood vessels which is one of the causes of high blood pressure ( hypertension ).
It’s estimated that nearly 70 million Americans or roughly 1 in 3 adults suffer from high blood pressure, according to statistics compiled by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. This means more than 200 million people worldwide suffer from this condition, which makes it a severe medical issue indeed.
High sodium levels often go undetected because most people don’t know they have high blood pressure until something goes wrong with their health, so diagnosis is usually made when side effects begin, not before.
This happens because the symptoms associated with high blood pressure aren’t obvious, so many people never connect their health problems with the condition. For example, when people have high blood pressure, they often experience no symptoms or very mild ones that are easy to miss, even for doctors who specialize in treating it.
Can a high-sodium diet cause heart disease?
Yes, it can, especially if your body holds onto too much water because of it, which may cause your heart to work harder than necessary to pump blood through your system. This is one reason why a high sodium intake can lead to coronary artery disease and other complications related to cardiovascular function. Hence, you want to avoid overeating salt whenever possible.
How does excess dietary sodium affect my kidneys?
Your kidneys have a pretty important job, but unfortunately, many people’s diets – mainly if they eat lots of processed foods loaded with salt – can cause them to become overworked and eventually damage them. The symptoms that may appear due to too much salt in the diet include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, weakness, diarrhea, or dizziness.
High blood pressure is insufficient for your kidneys because it causes the heart to work harder than average, which means it’s often pumping at near-maximum capacity during most of the day and night.
This additional stress on your cardiovascular system puts your kidneys under more pressure than they were designed to handle, so eating lots of salty food can make things much worse if you already have kidney disease.
High sodium levels in elderly symptoms:
The elderly are at higher risk of developing high sodium levels. Since their cells are less sensitive to insulin, they have difficulty controlling blood sugar levels. The kidneys may also be affected by aging, which increases the probability of high sodium levels because the body can’t rid itself of excess salt. Excessive water retention can contribute to hypertension in the elderly as well.
Older adults usually have less muscle mass than younger adults, so they don’t burn as many calories for energy and are more likely to gain weight. This puts them at greater risk for heart disease and other illnesses associated with obesity.
One should try to reduce sodium intake if someone suffers from high blood pressure or any related problems. High sodium intake that results in fluid retention in the body can result in hypertension. High blood pressure is one of the primary causes of heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death among people 65 and older.
Medication is often used to treat high blood pressure by lowering the production of angiotensin II, a hormone that constricts blood vessels. Angiotensin II is part of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), which also regulates salt balance. If RAS activity increases due to high sodium intake, it may trigger blood vessel constriction, resulting in high blood pressure.
If you’re at risk for hypertension because you’re over 65 or have related conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, or heart disease, you may need to limit your sodium intake.
The elderly with hypertension should avoid salt as much as they can, and if their blood pressure drops with the restriction of salt and does not go up on increasing it, doctors advise them to continue restricting salt in their diet.
Medicine to increase sodium level in blood:
A blood test can determine if your sodium level is too high or low.
The treatment for hyponatremia depends on the underlying cause and how severely it has affected you. If your symptoms are mild, you may be able to manage them by getting plenty of rest and slowly increasing the salt in your diet over a few days to a week.
If you have severe hyponatremia, you will need to seek immediate care from a doctor or hospital. They will treat it by administering IV fluids with electrolytes to restore the proper balance of fluid and minerals in your body. In severe cases, this might require intensive medical supervision in an emergency department or critical care unit until your condition stabilizes.
In much more severe cases, if left untreated, your body’s cells may swell, and you could develop brain swelling (cerebral edema) or even slip into a coma. If this happens, you will need emergency help to restore your sodium levels quickly so that complications are avoided.
Medicines used to treat high blood pressure, known as anti-hypertensive medications, can also be used in low blood pressure states such as orthostatic hypotension. These medicines work by helping the blood vessels expand better when needed most. They can be taken orally or injected directly into a vein.
How to increase sodium levels:
Eat more salty foods. Sodium is a nutrient you need to maintain fluid balance and normal heart function, among other things.
Incorporate 1/2 teaspoon of salt into your daily diet if you are between 19-50 years old. If you are over 50, ask your doctor how much sodium you should have each day, as this varies by individual.
Avoid low sodium foods – these often have additional sugar added – which can raise blood sugar levels and contribute to obesity and diabetes.