I MUST find this answer..

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by wakeupcall, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Calling all Doctors and Nurses! This is something I've always wanted to know..If one does NOT have high blood pressure, is it detrimental to have salt? My husband watches his salt intake because he has a tendency to high blood pressure. I, on the other hand, have very low blood pressure, so I don't pay much attention. husband says it's harmful to me anyway. What is the truth?
     
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Large amts of salt can cause you to retain water which can increase b/p and put a strain on the kidneys.

    But if high b/p isn't an issue with you, or any other disorder where you should restrict salt intake, then go ahead and eat your salt. The body needs salt in moderation.

    Does this help? I've had to nearly swear off salt altogether thanks to the kidney disease causing my now high b/p. :hammer: Good thing I was never a huge fan of salt in the first place.

    Hugs
     
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It really does depend on how much you have. And to a certain extent, on where you live. In Texas, I guess you're similar enough climate-wise to us in Australia to need to have SOME salt in your diet, especially in summer.

    Salt (or sugar) in your system needs to be managed. Your body needs a small amount for normal function. We excrete salt (various kinds, sodium and potassium mainly) in sweat and urine mostly. Tears don't account for that much in comparison.

    If we take in more salt than our body excretes (or uses in neurological function) then our body has to get rid of it. The excess gets dumped in the urine, but our kidneys are limited in the degree to which they can concentrate urine - there is a limit. Some desert animals can concentrate urine until it's almost crystalline - not us. A healthy person's urine shouldn't be a strong colour, it should be pale. You should be able to put some in a jar and still read a newspaper through it.

    If your body is trying to excrete more salt than your kidneys can successfully concentrate, you will lose water. The salt will drag the water with it, and you will get thirsty. If you do not drink enough water to compensate, you can get dehydrated, even if you have drunk your required 8 glasses a day - the salt has used up the water.
    And I mentioned sugar - to a lesser extent, because kidneys can reclaim sugar and your body can convert and store the excess, but moving it around also uses up water.

    So if you eat extra salt - you will need to drink a lot more water. A LOT more. The extra liquid has to go somewhere, which is why, eventually, the combined heavy work for the kidneys plus the extra blood volume (from all that water trying to dilute all that salt) can take its toll and over time, push the blood pressure up sneakily.

    We get a lot of hidden salt in our food - the more processed food we eat, the more salt sneaks in. And often along with the salt, and a much bigger nasty, is saturated fat, trans fat and HDLs. While LDLs and monosaturated oils are like Drano for blood vessels, the other fats clog things up. As blood vessels clog they get narrower; the velocity of blood flowing through narrower vessels is higher and this can also push up BiPolar (BP). It can also push up pulse pressure. The combination is like water hammer on the pipes of your body - a plumber's nightmare. Water hammer can damage the pipes of a house - it can really damage organs, especially the poor old kidneys again. And damage in the kidney area will directly push up blood pressure via various hormones there. All in all, a vicious circle.

    If you prepare your own food and take care to keep it healthy and not loaded with bad fats, a moderate amount of salt isn't a problem. Keep the water available and if you notice you're always automatically adding salt, take some of your husband's wisdom. But if you're doing OK, your BiPolar (BP) is OK, plus you keep track of it all - there's no sense in getting paranoid about it. But the time will come when you will probably have to be very careful.

    Blood pressure can rise for all sorts of reasons. Salt intake will immediately have an effect because of the extras liquid you need to take on board to wash the salt from your body - this extra fluid increases your blood volume until the salt is back in balance. But BiPolar (BP) will rise for other often unrelated reasons.

    I guess the moral here is - all things in moderation, including moderation.

    But seriously, don't take my word for it - talk to your doctor. Your medical history is there, it is far more important in taking all this into account. And remember, I'm not a doctor.

    Marg
     
  4. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Thanks!

    My BiPolar (BP) is low...like 98/55, all the time. It's always been like that. Urine is alarmingly (to me) clear. I never ADD salt to normal foods, but it seems there's plenty in it anyway. I don't drink much, but never feel thirsty. I have a check up tomorrow, so I'll see what the doctor says....but sometimes one's doctor isn't very clear (if you know what I mean).
     
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am going to move this to Watercooler.
     
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Doctors are more knowledgeable now than they were a decade ago, but many still have outdated info. Often the best source of info on something like this is a registered dietician. Knowing how salt helps or stresses the body is part of what they MUST know. Often doctors just have what info the "latest and greatest" article on the cover of the medical journal has, or the info the drug reps give them. (My sources for this are my Family Practice doctor and my rheumatologist - and they both agree!!)

    Marg pretty much hit the nail on the head. This does not seem to be your dietary issue. As a matter of fact, before you went on a very low sodium or almost no sodium diet you should talk to a registered dietician.

    As far as never being thirsty, that is the whole point. By the time your body sends the message that it is thirsty, you are on the slippery slope of dehydration. Your urine should be very light in color (close to the color of the water) and should not have a strong odor. If you have dark or strong-smelling urine it is time to hit the room-temp water on a steady basis.

    One of the best ways to stay hydrated is to drink 1 to 2 of the 3 oz paper cups every time you wash your hands at least during most of hte year when you are not out laboring in the heat. Here in OK, where the summer is very hot most years, we really get into hydration. As do any others of you who live in hot weather areas.

    My cousins in New York think we are strange that we don't leave the house without water bottles and our cars always have at least 1/2 CASE of water bottles in them. But in winter we can forget our hats and not have frostbitten ears on the way to the car, except for maybe 3 weeks, not in a row. But the same cousins keep extra hats, mittens, scarves, and ear protectors thingys in their trunk.

    As for your salt, basic moderation should be fine for you. For any other options you should see a dietician that your doctor recommends. Your husband's salt intake is part of a prescription to manage a chronic health condition. He may just feel singled out, or deprived.

    by the way, cold water is harder for your body to process. Your body gets the best results from water that is tepid or lukewarm.

    Hugs,

    Susie
     
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