Know the dangers of excess sodium in the diet

Sodium is essential for our body. Its main function, together with potassium and chlorine, is to balance the amount of water inside the cells and control blood acidity, in addition to having an indispensable role for muscle contraction.

Everyone needs sodium daily. The recommended amount is 2400mg of sodium per day . According to nutritionist Silvia Spinelli, this is the equivalent of just 5 grams of sodium chloride, the famous table salt. It is an amount that would fit on the cap of a BIC pen ” , she says.

The nutritionist also says that excess sodium in the diet can have health consequences:

“Excess sodium requires a lot of water for its dilution, generating great pressure inside the arteries. This pressure requires a greater effort from the heart to pump blood throughout the body. This is systemic arterial hypertension ” .

Diseases related to excess sodium in the diet

Although super important for the proper functioning of our body, excess sodium can cause serious health problems. Some of them are:

Arterial hypertension

High blood pressure makes the heart have to make a lot of effort to pump blood. Over time, this causes it to wear out, in addition to increasing the possibility of aneurysm and vein ruptures.

Kidney stones

Kidney stones, also called kidney stones, can arise when there is too much sodium in the blood, since during filtration, this sodium can accumulate in the organs, forming the stones.

They cause great pain when they get stuck in the channels that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder or urethra, and can cause kidney damage.

Hypernatremia

Excess sodium, a condition called hypernatremia, usually appears when the patient is severely dehydrated as in cases of severe diarrhea or excessive sweating. But there can be sodium intoxication.

What happens in the body when you eat too much sodium?

If someone ingests a very exaggerated amount of sodium, the concentration of the mineral in their blood becomes very high and the cells can have their liquid withdrawn from themselves to reduce that concentration.

This loss of water can damage them, especially in highly fluid-dependent organs, such as the brain. Consciousness can be altered and brain lesions, as well as in other organs, can appear due to this loss of cellular water to the blood.

If there is no treatment and the person does not receive fluids to compensate for this sodium concentration, the result can be death. That is why it is possible to die of thirst at sea.

The amount of water in the sea is not enough to compensate for the salt present, which causes the cells to become dehydrated even if you drink the liquid.

The woman who drank a liter of Shoyu

A woman from the United States drank a liter of soy sauce, Shoyu, in two hours while following internet detoxification advice. Supposedly the salt in the soy sauce – whose composition is 20% salt – would cleanse her body of toxins.

The result was a cardiac arrest – caused by dehydration of the heart cells -, which she was resuscitated in the ambulance that her husband called when he found her passed out.

Then there was brain damage caused by dehydration and subsequent rehydration of brain cells.

The woman survived. He woke up three days later, but the brain damage was permanent. She lost the ability to articulate speech, and became quadriplegic because the sodium in her body was rebalanced too late.

Normally, the human body is not able to ingest as much sodium without vomiting, but abusively high amounts are possible.

Spinelli says that if you simply ingest too much salt, you are likely to feel thirsty and drinking water can dilute the sodium, but in more severe cases, medical intervention is necessary. “The service must be immediate, with gastric lavage and rehydration serum” , she concludes.


Excess sodium can be very dangerous to your health, whether it is in the diet over time or ingested all at once. Share this text with your friends to let them know more about the dangers of excess sodium!

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