February 07, 2014

Sodium


     Sodium is an essential nutrient required by the body for maintaining levels of fluids and for providing channels of nerve signaling. Deficiency of sodium is rare, however, can occur in people after excessive vomiting or diarrhea, in athletes who intake excessive amounts of water, or in people who regularly fast on juice and water.

Functions of Sodium


  • Sodium is an essential nutrient required by the body for maintaining levels of fluids and for providing channels of nerve signalling. 
  • Sodium is used to control blood pressure and blood volume. 
  • It is also needed for proper functioning of muscles and nerves.

Deficiency


     Deficiency of sodium is rare, however, can occur in people after excessive vomiting or diarrhoea, in athletes who intake excessive amounts of water, or in people who regularly fast on juice and water. The current percent daily value for sodium is 2400mg, however, the American Heart Association recommends that people with high blood pressure eat less that 1500mg per day, or less than 3/4 of a table spoon of salt. Since sodium is required by all life to exist, it is naturally found in all foods and rarely does salt ever need to be added. Steps you can take to ensure low sodium eating include: avoiding canned foods, avoiding pickled food, choosing low sodium cheeses, and substituting herbs and other spices in place of salt. Below is a list of high sodium foods, almost all these foods should be avoided.


Rich Sources


       Since sodium is required by all life to exist, it is naturally found in all foods and rarely does salt ever need to be added. Steps you can take to ensure low sodium eating include: avoiding canned foods, avoiding pickled food, choosing low sodium cheeses, and substituting herbs and other spices in place of salt. Below is a list of high sodium foods, almost all these foods should be avoided.


  • Table salt, baking soda, baking powder
  • Soy Sauce, Other sauces and Salad dressings
  • Pickled Foods
  • Snack Foods



Recommended Daily Intake    


     Healthy adults should limit sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day while individuals with high blood pressure should consume no more than 1,500 mg per day. Those with congestive heart failure, liver cirrhosis, and kidney disease may need much lower amounts.

Symptoms


     Symptoms of sodium deficiency include nausea and vomiting, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, restlessness and irritability, loss of reflexive movements, muscle weakness and spasms. 


Prone to Deficiency 


  • The elderly 
  • Those with a low sodium diet 
  • Athletes who take in too much water before competition can dilute their sodium levels to dangerous levels

Overdose 


  • High Blood Pressure – Increased intake results in hypertension which in turn results in increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Hypernatremia – It is observed when level of sodium is elevated. Hypernatremia may cause lethargy, weakness, irritability, neuromuscular excitability and edema.

References


                          Livestrong,
                          Picture

No comments:

Post a Comment