Sodium is present in all salty foods, salt being the chief supply of sodium. Sodium is very important for us and we can not survive without it. It is an essential mineral, it helps our muscles contract, send nerve impulses through body and helps in regulating fluid balance in the body to prevent dehydration.
We need it in moderation and not in excess. But how much is too much? What happens when your sodium level is too high? What are the negative effects of sodium? Read on to find out.
Recommended daily sodium intake
Daily recommended intake of sodium by FDA is no more than 2,300 mg per day.
What happens when your sodium level is too high?
Excess intake creates a problem of Hypernatremia which is an electrolyte imbalance in the body.
Causes of Hypernatremia:
- Dehydration due to vomiting, diarrhea, sweating or high fever
- Increased salt intake
- Fast Breathing (Hyperventilation)
- Certain blood pressure lowering medicines
Side Effects of excess Sodium intake
1. Increased thirst
Excess sodium containing foods like chips, sauce etc. plays havoc with the fluid balance in the body and makes up feel thirsty. This happens because your body starts craving for water to restore the fluid imbalance in the body.
2. Feeling Bloated
Well when you have excess sodium in the body then kidneys instead of flushing out the fluid from the body, holds the fluid. This excess fluid makes you feel bloated. This condition is called edema, which is the swelling of your body tissues due to extra fluid.
3. Kidney Stones:
Too much sodium disrupts the kidney function and increases the protein content in the urine. Kidneys also stops flushing fluid when there is excess amount of sodium in the blood.
4. Stomach Ulcer:
It also creates a problem of stomach ulcers and cancer in animals.
5. High Blood Pressure:
It raises the blood pressure in the arteries which increases the risk of heart stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.
So it is very important to consume sodium within the recommended limit.