211013 Four more reasons to keep your sodium intake low

Four more reasons to keep your sodium intake low

Researchers are finding that excessive sodium intake not only causes problems with your blood pressure but also harms the bone, cardiovascular system, kidneys, and your stomach.

The effect that high sodium has on your bones is this; it increases the amount of calcium eliminated through the urine. This process leaches calcium from the bone and contributes to bone loss, which increases the risk of suffering a bone fracture over time.

A simple reduction of salt intake has a positive influence on calcium balance. Reducing this calcium loss may help moderate some of the bone loss related to age.

A high level of sodium can make the blood vessels of your body less flexible. This loss of flexibility may cause or even worsen atherosclerosis. This may happen independently from sodium’s effect on the individual’s blood pressure.

A recent study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, described how a single, 1500 mg, high sodium meal caused a negative effect on the blood vessels ability to dilate in healthy people within thirty minutes of eating. Even more importantly, a high sodium load can be the trigger to heart failure in those with an already impaired heart function.

Medical professionals know that high blood pressure is a major cause of kidney damage. However, those outside of the medical field are generally unaware that sodium directly weakens the kidneys ability to process fluids. Moreover, an increased amount of leached calcium in the urine caused by high sodium can be a contributing factor to an increased risk of kidney stones.

If all that is not enough to cause you to use less salt, consider what the Institute of Medicine (IOM) had to say about high sodium intake and stomach problems.

In the report, mentioned earlier, they found a link between higher sodium intake and an increased risk of gastric cancer. This link, between salty foods and the stomach lining, implied that is more likely that the bacterium H.pylori (1) (a direct cause of ulcers and stomach cancer) can affect the stomach tissues. Not only is this a possibility but it also increases the likelihood that the stomachs environment may be altering the structure of H.pylori. This alteration may increase its ability to survive and therefore do more damage to the stomach lining.

(1)H. pylori is a spiral-shaped bacterium found in the stomach, which (along with acid secretion) damages stomach and duodenal tissue, causing inflammation and peptic ulcers. Approximately 30 to 40 percent of the U.S. population is thought to have H. pylori, but fortunately, most people don’t develop ulcers. Even so, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, H. pylori is a leading cause of ulcers among those who develop them

170413 Lower your blood pressure

Lower your blood pressure

High blood pressure is often referred to as the silent killer because its effects are rarely felt until the disease has progressed to a dangerous level.

Here is a list of four things that you can do to potentially lower your blood pressure.

If you weigh too much, lose weight.

Look at yourself in the mirror. Can you see the fat hanging off your stomach and sides? Can you pinch more of an inch on your sides? If so, you need to lose weight. Can you see your toes? If not, you need to lose weight. Is your body mass index in the obese range? If so, lose weight.

With a 10% reduction in your weight, you may notice reductions in your blood pressure numbers.

Start becoming more physically active.

If your prime source of entertainment is watching TV, working on the computer, or socializing at the local tavern then it is time to get off your butt and get moving. Being physically active goes hand-in-hand with losing weight and they each complement one another.

Reduce eating foods that are high in salt and sodium.

Began with an inventory of the foods in your house. Look at the labels. Are they high in sodium? Do you have stacks of potato chips in the cupboards? Is there bacon and sausage in your refrigerator?

You can reduce the salt you eat by cooking your own food and not adding salt when you eat at the table. Canned vegetables, according to their labels, contain an overly high amount of sodium. You can eliminate much of this by rinsing the vegetables before you cook them. This removes much of the salty juices that contribute to the high salt content of the food.

Cut back on the alcohol you drink.

Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and generally, when you are drinking, you are with friends socializing and eating crap food. More than likely the food you eat during these times contains a lot of fat and salt.

If you already have high blood pressure and are taking medications, do not stop these medications until you talk with your doctor.

The health problems of too much salt in your diet

Contrary to recent news articles suggesting that the low-salt diets are not helpful studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that one high salt meal of 1500 mg of sodium (this is at the upper end of the recommendations suggested by the US dietary guidelines for a full-day), reduces the ability of the blood vessels to dilate. Even though blood pressure is not affected, this reduction in dilation ability in healthy people was noted within thirty minutes of the meal.

High sodium loads in the body of people with impaired heart functioning can start a heart failure incident, which may lead to death. Not only is excessive salt hard on your blood vessels, it also affects your bones, kidneys, and your stomach.

The system within your body that regulates blood pressure and fluid balance is also involved in bone health. It appears as though a high sodium intake increases the elimination of calcium through the urine. This in turn causes calcium to be leached from the bone with the attending bone loss and increased risk bone fractures. It’s well known that reducing the salt intake has a positive effect on the bodies calcium balance. For this reason, a low-sodium diet may help slow the progression of age-related bone loss. Not only is the skeletal system adversely affected by high sodium, so are your kidneys.

In many people, additional salt contributes to hypertension which is a major cause of kidney dysfunction and even failure. Evidence collected from the studies of animals and humans lead directly to the contention that salt may, in some people, directly impair kidney function. Another side effect of increased calcium in the urine, see the previous paragraph, and high sodium intake is a potentially higher risk of kidney stones. The story doesn’t end there. Some studies have linked higher salt to cancers and ulcers of the stomach.

The stomach isn’t the only soft tissue organ that may be adversely affected by a high sodium diet, others are the colon and the rectum. According to the research, the evidence is not extremely clear but it is thought that the salty foods adversely affect the stomach lining and make it more likely that bacterium H.pylori can affect the tissues of lining. This bacterium is when the major cause of ulcers and stomach cancer something that most of us may want to avoid. Other findings theorize that the salty stomach environment could be altering the structure of the H.pylori and increases its ability to continue to live and do more damage to the stomach.