8 signs you're eating too much salt

Did you know that you actually need some salt (sodium chloride) for your body to function properly? Salt actually helps ensure the fluid levels in your body don't get too high so your muscles can function properly, according to Medical News Today. If your body doesn't' have enough sodium, your blood pressure can drop dangerously low!
However, eating too much salt is also very dangerous. Check out a few things you might experience if your diet is too high in salt!
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1. You are thirsty all the time
When you eat too much salt your body needs more fluids to help clear out your system so your muscles and other organs can operate properly. Your body lets you know it needs more water by telling you that you're thirsty. (And you should drink water because if your body has to draw the water from other areas, you could become dehydrated).
2. Swelling
If your rings are feeling a bit tight, your feet are swollen or you have puffy eyes in the morning, you might be eating too much salt. Salt helps your body retain water. Too much water retention may result in the swelling of arms, ankles, feet, hands and under the eyes, according to Popular Science.
3. Achy bones
When you drink lots of water to make up for the sodium overload, you'll have to urinate more often. Frequent urination leads to the loss of extra calcium. Your bones (including your teeth) need the calcium to stay strong. A calcium deficit can lead to osteoporosis.
4. Kidney stones
If you eat a lot of salt you likely have more calcium in your urine. The combination of lots of salt and calcium working their way through your kidney can result in Kidney Stones, according to WebMD.
5. High blood pressure
The sodium/fluid balance in your body is so important because it affects your blood which affects your muscles. When you eat too much salt your body holds onto more water. That excess water raises your blood pressure (because of extra strain on your blood vessels), according to Blood Pressure UK.
6. You can't concentrate
The high blood pressure that results from a diet high in sodium can damage the arteries that lead to your brain. This could make it harder for your to concentrate on daily tasks. Over time this can lead to dementia or even a blood clot.
7. Cravings
Salt tastes good and if you eat a lot of it, over time your body begins to crave more salt to satisfy your taste buds. Salt (and sugar) activate the pleasure section of your brain and can learn to associate the tastes of sugar and salt with happiness. It can become quite a vicious cycle (as anyone with a sweet or salty tooth can testify to,) according to Cleaveland Clinic.
8. Frequent Headaches
While researchers aren't entirely sure why sodium causes headaches, a study by Johns Hopkins University showed that people who consumed 1500 mg of sodium were 25 percent less likely to have headaches compared to those who ate 2500 mg.
While kicking the salt habit isn't easy, you can start by reading the labels of the food you eat and aiming to eat more fruits and veggies and less packaged products.
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