Everyone knows that too much sodium can affect the body in a negative way. High blood pressure, heart issues, water retention, none of which are good for the body. So when you start craving salt, should you always assume it’s just an “addiction” to salty foods?
Turns out, there are multiple reasons other than just loving salty foods that could be causing your craving, and it probably won’t hurt to get them checked out if the salt cravings go on more than a day or two. If you’ve been working out a lot, sweating much it can cause your body to lose electrolytes and other things the body needs, including sodium and that can be one cause of craving salt, especially if it’s just after a workout, you may just need a little boost. If the salt cravings go on constantly and after your workouts are over, then it’s time to look at other possible reasons.
- Your body needs other minerals that are in with more natural forms of salt, such as sea salt. In sea salt for instance, since it’s not heavily processed like table salt, it contains trace amounts of sodium, chloride, calcium,potassium, sulfur and magnesium. It’s possible that your body wants salt to replenish one or more of these trace minerals, disguised as a craving for salt. Calcium and magnesium play essential roles in your body, helping with heart and muscle function for instance. Chloride helps with muscle and nerve function and sodium helps with blood volume among other things. Potassium works with chloride to provide the right level of acidity in your body, in it’s list of duties. Sulfur helps with detoxification and boosts your immune function. So if you are craving salt, it might be time to get your mineral levels tested as it might be your body’s way of telling you about a deficiency.
- Next thing is it might be your body’s way of dealing with hypothyroidism. When you are hypothyroid, the body is unable to absorb both sodium and magnesium as well as when your thyroid levels are normal. Craving salt is the body’s way of telling you that your thyroid levels may be too low. So your body is saying it needs more of those minerals. When you comply by eating more salty foods, consuming more sodium increases the production of a hormone called Aldosterone. Aldosterone helps stem the loss of magnesium in the body, and helps to regulate your sodium levels in the body. When you have low levels of Aldosterone, it sends a signal to the kidneys to release more salt, causing an increase in urination and increase in thirst. This can also cause a person to have their blood pressure lowered to the point of dizziness or even fainting.
- A third major reason you are craving salt is diminished adrenal production. Salt and sugar cravings are one of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue/exhaustion. Many people with thyroid issues also will show signs of adrenal problems. When the adrenals start increasing hormonal secretion, thyroid hormones are then limited. Too much adrenaline is thought to feature in the production of reverse T3, which is the body’s way of stopping the body from making and using T3 thyroid hormones. If you have these other symptoms, get yourself checked out for adrenal fatigue, the best tests are the salivary tests, not the blood tests available. Symptoms to watch out for include: anxiety, energy crashes at different points during the day, poor appetite in the morning, sugar and salt cravings, trembling, waking up in the middle of the night frequently, unable to tolerate loud noises, frequent infections like colds and more. Check out here for more information!
Part 2, will be about how iodine in salt and other foods is thought to affect people with thyroid disease.
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