We all need that sprinkle of salt in our food, to add taste to an otherwise bland dish. But did you realize that having an excess of salt on a regular basis can put you at an immense health risk?
From causing a spike in your blood pressure levels to increasing your risk of stomach cancer, coronary heart disease, causing kidney stones and more, there is a lot of damage that salt can do to your health.
High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure refers to the pressure that your blood exerts on the walls of the blood vessels as the blood pumps through your system. Eating an excessive amount of salt on a regular basis can definitely increase your levels of blood pressure. In most cases, the health effects of salt intake start even before your blood pressure reaches a high level, and there are often not many recognized symptoms for the same.
Eating too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, which greatly increases your risk of stroke. A stroke happens when there is not enough blood supply to your brain and the amount of oxygen that your brain receives is less than what is required. This can lead to a haemorrhagic stroke that happens when a blood vessel bursts and there is internal bleeding in the brain.
When you have a lot of salt, it damages the lining of your stomach and makes it easier for the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) to infect you. The H. pylori bacterium causes inflammation in the stomach that can further cause stomach ulcers and stomach cancer. Excessive salt intake also aids the bacterium.
Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease refers to the condition when there is not enough supply of blood to the heart or there is a blockage in the heart that can cause a heart attack or heart failure. One of the biggest reasons for coronary heart disease is high blood pressure, and excessive salt intake is directly linked to the same. When you have high blood pressure, it makes the walls of the blood vessels thicker. As a result, the blood vessels become narrow and it is difficult for them to supply enough blood to the heart.
Having too much salt makes you thirsty, which not only makes you drink more water than you may need (yes, having too much water is also not good for health!) and other fluids that could be sugary. All of this can result in too much weight gain, and if this is a regular thing coupled with lack of exercise, it can soon turn to obesity.
Osteoporosis refers to the condition where your bones turn thin and brittle and can easily break. Your body stores most of the calcium in the bones, but when you have too much salt, it leads to a loss of calcium from the bones, making them prone to damage.
Having too much salt leads to water retention, which can lead to bloating and can be particularly dangerous for people who suffer from cirrhosis of the liver or heart issues.
It refers to a mental health condition that affects a person’s ability to speak, think and also leads to memory lapse. It is a very common type of dementia. Too much salt increases blood pressure, which increases your risk of stroke and hence the risk of vascular dementia.
While having too much salt may not lead to asthma, it can definitely trigger or worsen the symptoms.
Excessive salt intake can lead to high blood pressure which makes the kidneys excrete a lot of calcium into the urine. This causes a buildup of calcium that causes kidney stones.