The Low Down on High Sodium Levels

The Low Down on High Sodium Levels

It’s official the holiday season has arrived! Well, we may be a bit early but between Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, there’s definitely an increase in festivities. With an increase in social gatherings or big dinners, you may also see something else start to rise. Sodium levels! Although sodium intake is something mentioned often, most people aren’t sure exactly what it means and why they should care. Eat less salt, right? It’s actually a lot more than that. In fact, too little sodium is equally as dangerous! In this blog post, we are diving into sodium! 

What is Sodium?

It’s one of your body’s electrolytes, which are minerals that create electrically charged ions. 

Your kidneys help regulate your body’s sodium levels by adjusting the amount that is excreted in your urine. You also lose sodium through sweating.

What Sodium Does To Your Body

Most of your body’s sodium resides in your blood and the fluid surrounding your cells, where it helps keep these fluids in balance. Along with maintaining normal fluid balance, sodium plays a key role in normal nerve and muscle function. Your kidneys are primarily used to help regulate sodium by adjusting the amount in your urine, sweating also helps lose sodium!

Why Worry About Sodium Levels? 

Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which is one of the most common causes of kidney disease. 

If the kidneys can’t eliminate enough sodium, it builds up in the blood. Sodium attracts and holds water, so the blood volume increases. The heart must work harder to pump blood, and that increases pressure in the arteries. Over time this can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.

Some people are more sensitive to the effects of sodium than are others. That means they retain sodium more easily, which leads to fluid retention and increased blood pressure.

How to Watch Sodium Intake

The good news is, unless you have high sodium levels or experience other health problems you are likely safe! But if you want to watch sodium levels there are simple lifestyle habits that can keep you in check. 

  • Exercise Daily (sweat it out)
  • Eat Fruits and Vegetables
  • Eat at Home
  • Check Labels
  • Drink Less Alcohol

Remember! Limiting sodium can also be extremely dangerous to the body, if you have any concerns it’s best to discuss with a dietician or your doctor.

Happy feasting!