Salt or Natricloride (NaCl) is perhaps the most indispensable ingredient in daily food, even for many people, they can lack meat without salt in the diet. Eating too much sodium has been shown to be harmful to the heart and blood pressure, but eating too low sodium is also bad for your health.
The role of salt in the body
In the body, salt plays an important role in maintaining the osmotic pressure, keeping the water balance inside, outside the cell and in the blood vessels. In addition, sodium also plays a role in maintaining cellular voltages, transmiting nerve impulses, ensuring the balance of alkaline. Sodium reconcilability in the body is due to adrenal gland of aldosterone hormone (reabsorption of Na + and K +, H + through the renal tubule) and vasopressin hormone (or ADH, antihistamine hormone) of post-natal line. Normal blood sodium is 135-145 mEq/l. Salt in the blood decreases when blood sodium is less than 135 mEq/l.
A diet low in salt is when the amount of food, water taken in 24 hours into the body has a total NaCl of less than 2.400 mg (equivalent to about 1 teaspoon of coffee). The body needs a minimum salt of 500 mg/day with provided that salt is not lost through urine, sweat, or other fluids.
For people who eat too much sodium, the amount of sodium in the blood decreases as a result of hyponatremia. That affects health, even death if blood sodium is too low.
For people who eat low sodium, the amount of sodium in the blood decreases as a result of hyponatremia. That affects your health, even causes death if blood sodium is too low.
Effect of hyponatremia
The first organ that is affected when blood sodium is lower than normal is the brain. Low levels of sodium cause the cerebral edema, leading to symptoms such as headache, dizziness, distention, vomiting, disturbances of consciousness and severe symptoms: convulsions, coma. Symptoms appear to be severe if hyponatremia is sudden.
When blood sodium decreases, the pressure in the blood vessels is reduced, leading to low or falling blood pressure. When the blood pressure drops, the body’s vital organs like the heart, brain, kidneys, liver, muscles … are depleted of oxygen and nutrients, making the body tired.
The decrease of blood sodium also causes water to drain out of the gaps freely, leading to swelling in the hands or legs or swelling in the body.
Hyponatremia causes muscle weakness. The manifestations include muscle weakness, muscle paralysis, ants running, cramps.
Thus, in some diseases such as hypertension, heart failure, kidney failure, patients are recommended to eat with low sodium. However, if you eat too low sodium and too long, the amount of salt in the body can be reduced, leading to unpredictable consequences. Dietary adjustment with not excessive sodium or vice versa is necessary for people who are maintaining a light diet.
How to treat this problem?
When these symptoms appear in people who are on a diet of salt, the first thing to do is to do a test whether the amount of blood sodium is reduced or not. If reduced, the simple treatment is to compensate for the lack of salt. If it is light, it is possible for patients to eat more salt than usual. In severe cases, salt supplements may be required by intravenous infusion and of course, this can only be performed at intensive care facilities. Salt compensation should not be too fast because mass compensation can cause more damages to the brain.