High intake of sodium has been proven to be a silent killer and can cause devastating effects to the heart. Not just the heart, but high intake of salt can affect other organs of the body like the kidneys, brain and arteries, leading to high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack. A research conducted at Harvard University stated that there is evidence that sodium or too much salt can be very harmful for bones too.
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Studies conducted at Indiana School of Medicine which was backed up by the Center of for Disease Control and Prevention’s reports (CDC) stated that one-third of Americans have developed high blood pressure increasing the risk of developing stroke and heart diseases.
Let’s find out more on the damaging effects of salts to some organs in the body.
In most developed countries and the United States, salt has been railed to be the major cause of heart disease and high blood pressure.
Salt can damage the arteries connecting the heart causing the cells in the heart not to function due to lack of oxygen and nutrients. However, continuous intake of salt over time will result to increased blood pressure causing the arteries to clog or burst. Some part of the affected heart fails to receive the necessary oxygen and nutrients it needs and dies. This is a typical example of heart attack as a result of high consumption of salt.
The kidney functions through osmosis and helps to get rid of extra fluid or water from the blood. The ionic balance between sodium and potassium helps to draw out excess water from the bloodstream across the cell walls.
Increase in sodium due to too much consumption of salt, affects the ionic balance in the kidney. Hence, this prevents the kidney from drawing out excess water from the blood. The blood pressure is increased as a result of fluid strain and thus, causing chronic kidney diseases leaving you at high risk of other serious kidney problems and cardiovascular diseases.
Certain ranges of treatments are available for chronic kidney diseases like controlling high blood pressure, a good and healthy diet with plenty of vegetables/fruits and avoiding processed foods or sugar rich foods.
As you have learned earlier, high intake of salt can damage the arteries, not just the arteries leading to the heart, but also that leading to the brain.
A damaged artery leading to the brain causes a reduction of blood to the brain causing brain cells to lack oxygen and necessary nutrients. This causes the brain cells to die leading to brain disorders such as dementia and stroke.
To help reduce blood pressure in the body, you should limit yourself to no more than 2,300mg of sodium per day and that will improve your health.