Sodium is an essential mineral that keeps the body’s fluid balance, muscle function, and nerve transmission. But too much sodium in your blood can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
In this blog post, we will discuss the signs and symptoms of excessive sodium in the blood and provide solutions to reduce it’s levels.
Why is high sodium a concern?
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When there is too much sodium in the blood, it can cause an imbalance in fluid levels, leading to high blood pressure and other health problems.
High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.
It can also increase the risk of developing osteoporosis, stomach cancer, and kidney stones.
According to the centers for disease control and prevention, more than 70 percent of the sodium consumed by Americans comes from packaged and restaurant foods, rather than the salt shaker.
This makes it difficult to monitor and control sodium intake.
What causes high sodium levels in the blood?
The human body requires a certain amount of sodium to work properly, but the optimal level of sodium in the blood can differ depending on age, health status, and physical activity level.
In general, the normal range for sodium in the blood is between 135 and 145 mEq/L.
Excessive sodium levels in the blood can occur due to various factors, including:
- Eating a high-sodium diet
- High intakes of salted-foods
- Kidney problems
If you want to know the amount of sodium in your blood, the best way to do this is to get a sodium blood test. This test can measure the level of sodium in your blood, and if the levels are too high, it could be a sign of hypernatremia.
Signs and symptoms of hypernatremia
This may vary from person to person, and some people may not experience any at all. Some of the most common signs and symptoms include:
- Swelling in the legs
- High blood pressure
- Muscle weakness
Solutions to reduce high sodium levels in the blood
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, here are various ways to reduce sodium levels in the blood.
Monitor sodium intake
The American Heart Association recommends that adults consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, but ideally, aim for 1,500 milligrams or less.
However, the average American consumes around 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day, which is far above the recommended limit.
To monitor sodium intake, read the food labels carefully and choose low-sodium options when possible.
Many processed and packaged foods are high in sodium, so it is best to avoid them. Instead, opt for fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, which are naturally low in sodium.
Avoid processed foods
Avoid consuming high-sodium foods, such as canned foods, and fast foods. Instead, eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Regular exercise helps to reduce fluid retention and lower blood pressure, both of which can be caused by high sodium intake.
Drinking more water
Drinking more water can help flush out excess sodium from the body. High amounts of sodium increases alkalinity in blood, so taking water helps maintain blood pH at neutral levels.
Additional tips for reducing sodium intake:
- Use herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
- Cook with less salt or no salt at all
- Choose fresh or frozen foods instead of canned foods
- Stop adding too much salt to food
- Limit high-sodium condiments like soy sauce, ketchup, and mustard
- Eat out less often as restaurant meals tend to be high in sodium
It is also important to follow the recommended daily intake for sodium.
The key recommendations of sodium for the age ranges between adults and children are as follows:
- Adults 22-40yrs: 2300mg/day
- Children 9-13yrs: less than 2200mg/day
- Children 4-8yrs: 1900mg/day
- Children 2-3yrs: 1500mg/day
Conclusion: Are you having too much sodium in your blood?
In conclusion, if you are showing symptoms like swelling, bloating, and high blood pressure, that could be a possible sign that you have too much sodium in your blood.
By making simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, such as reducing your salt intake, choosing fresh foods, and exercising regularly, you can reduce your sodium intake and improve your health.
If you have any concerns about your sodium intake, be sure to speak to your doctor and ask for help.